Saturday, August 29, 2009

Exclusive Video Previews Of maemo 5 On Nokia N900

image As we get closer to Nokia World 2009 (1st September 09), there seems to be more leaks and previews of Nokia’s next big bad boy – the N900. Which leaves me wondering whether the event will still have such a kick with one of Nokia’s main announcements already flooding the internet! Perhaps Nokia has something else, even bigger up their sleeve?

The fact that Nokia has put in the effort to create an open source platform on it’s own is nothing short of amazing, some say it’s even bigger than any hardware release we’ve seen over the past years! With maemo 5 Nokia has sprung itself into the frontline of the competition alongside Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android-based devices, something Nokia has vowed to do in past interviews. Looking at these video previews it definitely looks very promising, the ability to multitask is luxurious, and users can even run several browsers simultaneously, just as you would on your desktop!

Speaking of desktops, maemo will have several desktops, which is fully customisable for users to throw in widgets, contacts, browser and podcast shortcuts and so much more. From the looks of it the possibilities and customisation are virtually endless, and users will be able to switch between desktops with just a flick of a finger, just like the N97. I’d like to note that maemo’s multiple desktops seems very similar to the one seen in Ubuntu, which is a Linux based platform as well.

To allow all this heavy multitasking, the N900 comes with some pretty impressive hardware.

3.5" touchscreen, 800x480 resolution. The screen shrinks from the N810's 4.13" but keeps the same resolution. Software won't take a big hit on this since the resolution is the same, but applications that rely on very precise touchscreen use may be more difficult.

TI OMAP 3430 ARM Cortex-A8 CPU at 600 MHz. This is a massive upgrade over the TI OMAP 2420 at 400 MHz. Faster faster!

Up to 1GB Application Memory. This is a plus but not as big as it looks. There's only 256 MB of "real" RAM and the rest is attributed to swap. Still - the RAM amount is doubled over the N810 and the usable swap is six times the size.

32 GB storage. Wow. That's massive. This puts the N900 squarely in the "multimedia computer" space and even has more storage than some SSD netbooks. The N810 had only 2GB internal. Both support MicroSD (through a MiniSD adapter on the N810)

Size: About 113 cubic centimeters and 181 grams. That's down from about 129 cubic centimeters and 228 grams. it will feel better in your hand as a phone.

3-row Keyboard. This part took the biggest hit. The large D-pad and four-row keyboard was replaced by a three row keyboard with a squashed spacebar and arrow keys that can't easily be used for gaming (not that the N810 ever did much of that.)

Wireless connectivity: This is the first Maemo tablet that is actually a PHONE. With that, we get 3.5G HSPA, GPRS, EDGE,WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1. That's a major boost over the WiFi/Bluetooth that the N810 gave us.

Additional Communication: The N900 now includes TV out, an FM transmitter, a real A-GPS receiver (hopefully destroying the long lock times that the N810 suffered) and a micro-USB connector. The N810 had micro-USB and a GPS. The new features are fun toys, but won't be massive selling points.

CAMERA: The new camera features represent a massive shift from the previous generation tablets. The N800 had a cute pop-out rotating webcam that worked badly. The N810 had a front-facing webcam that worked badly. The N900 has a 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera with a digital zoom, dual-LED flash, macro mode, and MPEG4 recording up to 848x480 at up to 25FPS. The Maemo tablets are now on par with high-end Nokia Nseries devices and soundly beat the pants off iPhones and Blackberries.

The star feature of Maemo 5 will probably be the dashboard, allowing users to conveniently switch between tasks in a live thumbnail layout. Response seems speedy from the videos and it definitely adds to a mobile computer feel, which Nokia has been trying so hard to emphasise for the Nseries. Well, the videos will speak for themselves, indulge :D

For more info, tech specs and the original videos visit here!

EDIT: The N900 will probably retail for 500~600 euros, roughly RM2500+


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