Monday, September 6, 2010

7 Reasons Why Nokia N900 is an Awesome Travel Mate

By now, readers of my blog know that I'm such a huge Nokia fan. WOMWorld was generous enough to let me try the Nokia N900 right after experiencing the Nokia Booklet 3G firsthand. This gadget is amazing, proven especially during my Singapore-Malaysia trip in the last week of August.

Nokia N900 is a full QWERTY side-slider phone with a 3.5" resistive touchscreen that operates in landscape mode most of the time (for now). It uses an open, Linux-based Maemo platform instead of the usual Series 40 or 60 operating system, which gives mobile users like me a whole new different experience with Nokia. As a gadget, Nokia N900 is a combination of a mobile phone, internet tablet, media player, game console, mini computer, and a camera.

Let's go one-by-one and allow me to tell you my personal experience of why Nokia N900 is an awesome travel mate:
  1. Impressive User Interface. Since I had to use a number of widgets, shortcuts, and bookmarks, the homescreen's 4 side-scrollable screens were very much useful to me. Depending on how you set up each screen, you can maximize the space by putting in as much shortcuts and widgets as you want too (but remember there's still a menu). In addition, Maemo's multitasking capability allows switching of one application to another using the Task Switcher. Switching from Menu to Task Switcher, and Homescreen can be done easily with a press on the upper left side (and scroll to the right if needed).
  2. Wow-ing Applications. Aside from Ovi Store and Ovi Maps, there are tons of free applications for Maemo platform devices that you can download and use (as long as you know how to set it up). For my trip, I made sure to install games like Brain Party, Crazy Parking, Masudoku, etc. to aid me in times I'm idle and bored. Another app called Siggy helped me stay on track with my budget, as it shows graphs and lists of my expenses overtime. Office applications like Word to Go, Sheet to Go, and Slideshow to Go were also very useful during the times I needed to open office files while onboard the train and bus. With the accelerator in place, I was also able to use the phone as a pedometer.
  3. Astounding Web Browser. Unlike an iPhone, Nokia N900's Mozilla based browser uses fast Flash Player 9 plugin and allows multiple pages, desktop web shortcuts, and RSS feeds. Browsing through different websites during the trip was impressive due to the desktop-like experience and the fast rendering of pages.
  4. Complete Connectivity. Needless to say, the N900 has complete connectivity options. It has Infrared (good for using the device as a remote control), Bluetooh 2.1, USB 2.0, WiFi, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, and also has a memory card slot. The WiFi automatically connects to the last succesfully connected network and loads e-mail messages to the mailbox, so leaving the phone overnight using our hostel's free WiFi was very convenient.
  5. Consolidated Phonebook and Messaging. Looking for different information of a certain contact can be daunting. Good thing the N900 offers consolidated social networking, instant messaging and VOIP contact list. This came in handy when I cannot remember the Twitter and Skype ID of a friend back in Singapore -- I just opened the Phonebook and looked up the name, and voila, found it all together! On the other hand, Messaging in N900 is named Conversations, because your messages with the same person are threaded. In this way, you can keep older conversations and get back to it for future reference.
  6. Beautiful Media Player. Playing music with the handset is as good as listening to a small radio -- the audio quality is decent overall. In terms of videos, watching movies using the DivX player impressed me for its big display, clear output, and excellent video playback. Since it's DivX, it saves the time to convert videos from one format to another.With the little kickstand at the back of the phone, it was an ease to leave it standing as I watch the trailers of Despicable Me and Going the Distance during the travel.
  7. Quality Camera. Since the N900 has 5 megapixel camera (with a maximal image resolution of 2576 x 1936), I was able to take good quality photos during the day. The colors are close enough when I compared it to my friend's iPhone photos of the same scene shot. The LED flash that comes with the camera was also useful as a flashlight when I was reading a magazine during our bus ride back from Malaysia to Singapore.
Although the thickness and weight of the Nokia N900 are major disadvantages of the device, there are far more advantages awaiting you. The phone's shortcomings in allowing landscape mode use plus having no MMS, voice recorder are one by one being remediated by the Finnish company. The market prices in the Philippines play from Php18,500 to over Php20,000.


Today, Nokia stands at a fascinating fork in the road.

Today, Nokia stands at a fascinating fork in the road.

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