Physically, the N900 has a QWERTY side-slide design, a little on the chubby side but still manageable in a pocket. It has a 3.5" screen and is very definitely an internet tablet with phone capabilities, in that order.
The keypad feels a little cramped and supplemental, with the resistive touchscreen taking centre stage and looking the business. Packing a massive 800x480 pixels, it providing sharp video quality with an ambient light sensor built in. Supplied with a stylus, my fingernail worked pretty well, the best resistive screen I’ve used.
Inside, a 600Mhz processor backed up by 32GB of storage provides the oomph, with extra power dedicated to graphics and it shows. Maemo 5 is a visually delightful interface, but a little quirky to get used to. For example you swirl to zoom; clockwise in, anticlockwise out. The four paged home screen is completely customisable with widgets, shortcuts and web bookmarks, and can be skinned or themed as required. It's also nice that menus can be repositioned and that web links show a thumbnail of the associated page.
I struggled to find any application that isn't available, all the social networking sites are supported and Flash 9.4 plus a browser built from the same code as Mozilla Firefox provided a fantastic internet experience. WiFi, GPS and a 3.5mm jack that doubles as TV-out, are enhanced by an infrared port. This allows third party applications to act as a universal remote, folding in an extra level of geek-chic to the N900.
A hardcore and expensive device, more than a smartphone it rewards users that take the time needed to learn all its secrets. The deign brief 'tablet computer plus phone functions' means the tech savvy (geeky) will adore the N900, but other smartphones have a shallower learning curve for the masses.
Originally published at OneMobileRing.com