OneDotZero: N900 Visit to London

19 09 2009

Well I (gerrymoth) touched down in London Heathrow Airport from Glasgow Airport on  Saturday at 830am, then was quickly on route to meetup with the WOMWorld/Nokia Team  (Donna and fellow scot Robbie) and five other guests (Jay, Nick, Valerio, Roger and  Mick) from around the world for Breakfast in the Cavendish Hotel.

When I arrived the WOMWorld/Nokia Team introduced themselves and a N900 was thrusted  into my hand to play with. WOW what a welcome 😀

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Once everyone else arrived we moved into the breakfast room and I’ve never wolfed down  a fried breakfast as quickly in my life to allow me to sit and test out the N900.

The N900 has four desktops which you can add widgets, bookmarks, contacts and  shortcuts to, you move between desktops by swiping left or right. Up on the top left  hand corner is the menu icon and the normal phone ones like battery, network signal,  bluetooth, wifi, etc.. Touch the menu icon and the menu grid appears like it does on  normal S60 type phones. From the menu everything looks quite phone like rather than  tablet like.

I opened up every application I could and ended up with multiple ‘windows’ like boxes  which you can quickly switch between. I really liked this windows look and hope they  can change or theme the menu grid in some way to make it a bit better looking. Moving  around the desktop/menu/applications once you get used to it (took me 10min) is very  easy and VERY VERY fast.

The N900 didn’t have a SIM Card in it and the hotel Wifi wouldn’t let me connect, so  Joikuspot on the E55 came in very handy and I quickly tethered the N800 to the O2  Mobile Internet (O2 internet policy I say ‘Bla bla bla’). I managed to check for  software updates on the N900 and found there was a new one waiting, but required me to  connect to the PC and NSU to update. I then checked for the available apps to install  and was presented with a short lists, maybe the extras repositories hadn’t been setup,  but I managed to install Documents To Go, QIK and an Evernote add-on, which took a  minute to install all of them.

I took a few photos using the Camera and tested out the Tagging feature and also took  a video of the others eating breakfast and played it back to see what it was like.  Pictures and video looked good, but didn’t manage to extract off the phone (reason  will be explained later). I noticed a few videos already installed on the N900 and  played a great trailer for the new Tim Burton movie 9 on it. The picture and the sound  for the trailer were superb, the video is flickerless and sound was BANGING. The sound  was way better than the sound on my (still in repair, Day 29) 5800XM.

I opened the Notes application on the deivce to test out the keyboard and found the  keyboard’s 3 row layout very easy to use in the hand and the slide felt good opening  and closing it, not as godlike a sound as the N97 snap, but still pleasurable 😀

Opened Maps application, but couldn’t get a GPS lock due to being in the Hotel and  unable to see sky, but noticed there was no maps loaded on the device or thinking  about it, maybe it only had Finland maps? Anyway couldn’t test fully, but did notice  the Compass feature in the maps app.

I had not contacts and didn’t want to add my email details onto the device, but the  mail setup looked Nokia Messaging like and contacts looked standard, later on we saw  one of the guys with his contacts on the desktop and Chat/IM app running and it looked  cool. There is no MMS as such yet, but been told its coming in the next kernel update.  I did ask what else was missing, but no one said anything!

We all finished breakfast and jumped into a taxi to take us all down to the BFI to  meet the N900 represetatives.

20090102_004-1At the BFI Southbank we meet up with Jussi Makinen (N900 Marketing Manager), Andrew  Flegg (The Maemo Community) and Gary Birkett (Liqbase application developer  http://liqbase.net). Jussi dropped the bombshell that he had to leave in about an hour  and the devices we had need to go back with him, so while he took Q&A I had to pass  the device over to one of the other bloggers who hadn’t had a play with it yet 😦 BOO!

Anyway Jussi took questions from us all and explained a little about the N900  development todate. I did try recording the Q&A on my E55 using the default Recorder  app, but the E55 didn’t saved the file (Aaaaahhh!). The main points of interest I got  out of the Q&A session was:

– Nokia listened to the Maemo Community when developing the N900 and will continue to  listen to them. The Mameo Community has 25,000 members at present.
– There will be a N900 Hackers Firmware Edition for N810 users (like the 770 had when  N800 appeared). Jussi explained the N810 is very capable of running the N900 OS, but  the chip in the N810 doesn’t have the required license to use it and would need  drivers from the manufacturer, something Nokia are talking with the manufacturer about  to obtain.
– The N900 will be on sale at the MAEMO Summit on 9th october 2009.
– Nokia see the N900 more for techie people and the N97 more for mainstream people.
– The available memory in the N900 to install applications, currently 65MB only, will  be extended in an update to 1GB.
– The straight slide out keyboard was chosen instead of the newer N97 slide, divertly  from feedback from the community on what they preferred. If the community in the  future prefer the N97 slide, then Nokia may change?

We managed to have some time after the presentations to visit one of the many London  attractions and we were treated to the London Eye. Great views of the whole of London  and we managed to give a video comment to the WOMWorld/Nokia Team on our thoughts of  the N900. If I don’t look too good on the video the temperature in the all glass pod  on a very sunny London day was a little hot.

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I managed to visit the Nokia Flagship Store in London and also the Apple Store  straight across the road from it. I did buy my Wife a replacement Newer iPod Shuffle  2GB from the Apple Store, but I did try to hide it when I walked past the Nokia Store  again 😀

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Later on in the evening we ventured back to the BFI as the sun faded to see the onedotzero demonstration, the N900 being used remotely to control images coming from  several projectors, I can’t explain it well so here is the video I took.

I did have some fun by putting up nokiAAddict and gerrymoth, but it ended up getting  rediculous when Neil put up Merry Christmas, that was our queue to go for dinner and  have a free beers. I have a great meal with Neil, Jay, Valerio and Roger and we  discussed many different techie subjects. Good night, good company and good beer 😀

Conclusion
The N900 excites me, its coming near to what I want from my phone, a MINI PC. I’ll be  able to do what I want, when I want and where I want. The more developers get on board  with the Maemo Community the possibilities are endless, that’s not saying there isn’t  much there already. The N900 is feature packed and the fastest nokia device I’ve used  and I’m hoping one of the UK Networks see sense and carry this phone. Come on  networks, get over the Open Source tag, its still a phone you’ll flog by the millions.

I’m hoping to get a N900 in a few weeks to trial out fully, so will be able to give  you a full indepth review of the device, but for the 2 hours I had the device I was  hooked on it.

Checkout the other guest bloggers views on the N900 and see me on the WOMWorld/Nokia  video (Ah!)
Jay http://mynokiablog.com
Neil http://mypocketos.com/
Valerio http://www.valeriovalerio.org/
Roger http://internettablettalk.com/
Mark http://mobilementalism.com/
WOMWorld/Nokia Video http://www.womworld.com/nokia/11336/the-art-of-the-nokia-n900/

Finally a BIG BIG THANKS to the WOMWorld/Nokia Team for inviting me to this event and the great hospitality on the day. Was a wonderful day and a great experience. Hope its the 1st of many???? :-p

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3 responses

20 09 2009
Magnus

Hi,

Ok, so they will provide MMS support later, fine. How about calls on the 3G network? Read somewhere that that won’t be available either out of the box, and I’m not only talking video, but voice also…. Any date?
Finally, the stupid question that doesn’t even have to be asked… Will S60 apps run on it?

21 09 2009
Darkness

Ok, cool article
the MMS issue is solved, but what about the following:

1)- Hand recognition
2)- Video Call
3)- Digital Compass
4)- FM radio & Visual radio
5)- The battery
🙂
thnx

21 09 2009
WOM World / Nokia » Blog Archive - OneDotZero reflection

[…] the dust has settled on the N900 OneDotZero event last weekend in London, gerrymoth has had a chance to reflect over at his nokiAAdict […]

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