We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Smartphones Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Nokia N900 review

From free on £35 a month contract

Manufacturer: Nokia

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5 User Rating: Our users rate this 5 out of 10

Running an advanced, Linux-based operating system called Maemo 5, the Nokia N900 is an interesting device. Foremost an internet tablet and capable of full multitasking, the Nokia N900 smartphone will impress early adopters and gadget gurus, but for others the experience will feel incomplete and uncomfortable.

Running an advanced, Linux-based operating system called Maemo 5, the Nokia N900 is an interesting device. Foremost an internet tablet and capable of full multitasking, the Nokia N900 smartphone will impress early adopters and gadget gurus, but for others the experience will feel incomplete and uncomfortable.

The Nokia N900 smartphone lacks a little style compared to many of its competitors. The conservative black glossy styling on the front and matte rear do not scream excitement. However, many users will remain undeterred by the plastic finish, which mirrors many of Nokia's previous N-Series devices.

Updated, January 7, 2010:

We were excited by the idea of the N900, hoping its Maemo OS might deliver the sort of wow factor that the N95 brought when it launched in 2006. We wanted the N900 to knock our socks off. If only.

The first issue is the sheer size and weight of the thing. It's a 181g handset that weighs one and a half times as much as a Palm Pre and nearly twice as much as the BlackBerry Curve 8520; more importantly, it's too chunky to slip discreetly into a pocket.

Nokia N900 review

On the rear is a stand to help you view video or web pages on the 3.5in touchscreen, but this, perversely, is too small and flimsy.

The keyboard itself isn't the best around. It's more cramped than the Motorola Dext's, and its gunmetal appearance is reminiscent of the unbranded PDA sliders that HTC was producing back in 2005.

More positively, the screen itself is better than average. A plus key at the bottom allows you to instantly bookmark sites or desktop shortcuts, while the thumbnail views for recently visited websites makes it easier to find items of interest in the history.

A home button at the top left allows you to jump between features, one of the most interesting of which is the media player. This shows albums stored on the device, complete with album art, video clips and the number of available internet radio stations.

It also displays details of available network devices that contain media, so you can stream music using the N900's Wi-Fi connection.

Other notable features include a 5Mp camera with flash and a range of adjustable settings and Ovi Maps, which distinguishes itself from the standard Google Maps fare with OS grid references and a compass.

There's a huge number of productivity tools too: file viewers, email, a PDF reader, file backup and more. Fun stuff includes an RSS feed, weather app, currency converter and a few flash games.

The touchscreen, however, lets down the N900, being solid but not as sensitive as some. We were also frustrated that we couldn't always jump straight to the phone to make a call. Contact management is good and call quality exceptionally clear.

NEXT: Original full review.

Nokia N900 Expert Verdict »
Nokia N900 Scores 8.1 out of 10 based on 31 reviews
Mobile phone
Network bands: 1800MHz (2G), 1900MHz (2G), 2100MHz (3G), 850MHz (2G), 900MHz (2G), 900MHz (3G)
5Mp digital camera, 3x digital zoom
Geotagging
Video mode
Digital video
Accelerometer
3.5in TFT, 16700000 colours, screen resolution: 480x800, touchscreen
GPS receiver
full QWERTY, touchscreen keyboard
email, MMS, SMS
Microsoft Exchange support
Attachment editing, Attachment viewing
256MB RAM
Data tethering
FM radio support
PIM (Personal Information Management) features: Alarm, Calculator, Calendar, Notes, Stopwatch
600MHz processor, ARM Cortex-A8
18x110.9x59.8mm
181g
Maemo 5 operating system
internal storage: 32GB, microSD
AAC, eAAC+, MP3, WAV, WMA
HTML, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, PDF, Text, JPEG, 3GP, AVI, H.263, H.264, MPEG-4, WMV, XviD
3.5mm headphone jack, USB 2.0
A2DP Bluetooth
3G, Bluetooth, Wireless 802.11b, Wireless 802.11g
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Nokia N900 is best classified as an interesting but ultimately incomplete device. The Linux-based Maemo 5 OS does some things superbly and others poorly. This smartphone offers one of the best mobile web experiences available but there is plenty of room for improvement elsewhere. Watch this space.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£208
  • Nokia X3 Touch and Type review

    Nokia X3 Touch and Type

    The Nokia X3 Touch and Type is a budget smartphone. It has a hybrid design that combines a touchscreen as well as a traditional 12-button phone keypad.

  • Nokia N810review

    Nokia N810review

    Nokia's latest product in its line of internet devices is more appealing than earlier models, but it's expensive.

  • Nokia N9 review

    Nokia N9

    Fantastic design and build quality, bright and clear screen, slick and easy to use software, say hello to the Nokia N9.

  • Nokia N96 review

    Nokia N96

    The Nokia N96 is a multimedia handset with a 5Mp camera and Mpeg4 video filming – and it's equipped for future live mobile TV broadcasts.

  • Nokia N8 review

    Nokia N8

    Like other N-Series mobile phones, such as the N97 and N97 mini, the Nokia N8 impresses with its slick hardware and superb multimedia features.


IDG UK Sites

Where to buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the UK: Launch day price, deals and contracts

IDG UK Sites

Is Apple losing confidence in itself?

IDG UK Sites

Professional photo and video techniques for perfect colours

IDG UK Sites

How (and where) to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in the UK. Plus: What to do if you pre-ordered...