Just a few days ago, Nokia surprised us with the release of the Nokia Booklet 3G mini laptop. Today, they officially released details of their first Linux-based smart phone – the Nokia N900. Compared to other Nokia phones that run on Symbian, the N900’s Linux-based Maemo operating system will make it operate more like a PC.
The Nokia N900 is a quad band phone (GSM/EDGE, 900/1700/2100MHz UMTS/HSPA) that will be running on Maemo 5. It will sport a 3.5 inch 800×480 pixel resistive touchscreen, a sliding QWERTY keyboard, 32 GB on-board storage (expandable to 48 GB via microSD), GPS/A-GPS, an integrated FM transmitter, TV-out, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optical lens, dual-LED flash and powered by a 1320mAh battery. This mobile Internet device runs on a ARM Cortex-A8 processor, has 1GB of application memory and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration. It also has a Mozilla-based Maemo browser that has Adobe Flash 9.4 support.
The Nokia’s move to switch to using a Linux OS is most likely a strategic move to make them compete with the Apple iPhone and Google Android. Below are more product photos and a couple of promotional videos of the Nokia N900.
Here’s the official press release from Nokia:
Maemo 5 injects speed and power into mobile computing
August 27, 2009
The new Nokia N900: Computer-grade performance in a handset
Espoo, Finland – Nokia today marked the next phase in the evolution of Maemo software with the new Nokia N900. Taking its cues from the world of desktop computing, the open source, Linux-based Maemo software delivers a PC-like experience on a handset-sized device.
The Nokia N900 has evolved from Nokia’s previous generation of Internet Tablets and broadens the choice for technology enthusiasts who appreciate the ability to multitask and browse the internet like they would on their desktop computer.
Running on the new Maemo 5 software, the Nokia N900 empowers users to have dozens of application windows open and running simultaneously while taking full advantage of the cellular features, touch screen and QWERTY keyboard.
“With Linux software, Mozilla-based browser technology and now also with cellular connectivity, the Nokia N900 delivers a powerful mobile experience,” says Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Markets, Nokia. “The Nokia N900 shows where we are going with Maemo and we’ll continue to work with the community to push the software forward. What we have with Maemo is something that is fusing the power of the computer, the internet and the mobile phone, and it is great to see that it is evolving in exciting ways.”
Designed for computer-grade performance in a compact size, Maemo complements Nokia’s other software platforms, such as Symbian, which powers Nokia’s smartphones.
“Just as Nokia continues to expand and diversify its device portfolio, so it is deploying multiple platforms to allow it to serve different purposes and address different markets. While we have seen continued growth in Symbian as a smartphone platform, Maemo enables Nokia to deliver new mobile computing experiences based on open-source technology that has strong ties with desktop platforms,” says Jonathan Arber, Senior Research Analyst in Consumer Mobile at IDC.
More multitasking with Maemo
The Nokia N900 packs a powerful ARM Cortex-A8 processor, up to 1GB of application memory and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration. The result is PC-like multitasking, allowing many applications to run simultaneously. Switching between applications is simple, as all running content is constantly available through the dashboard. The panoramic homescreen can be fully personalized with favorite shortcuts, widgets and applications.
To make web browsing more enjoyable, the Nokia N900 features a high-resolution WVGA touch screen and fast internet connectivity with 10/2 HSPA and WLAN. Thanks to the browser powered by Mozilla technology, websites look the way they would on any computer. Online videos and interactive applications are vivid with full Adobe Flash(TM) 9.4 support. Maemo software updates happen automatically over the internet.
Messaging on the N900 is easy and convenient thanks to the full physical slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Setting up email happens with only a few touches and the Nokia Messaging service mobilizes up to 10 personal email accounts. Text message or IM exchanges with friends are shown in one view and all conversations are organized as separate windows.
The Nokia N900 has 32GB of storage, which is expandable up to 48GB via a microSD card. For photography, the Maemo software and the N900 come with a new tag cloud user interface that will help users get the most out of the 5MP camera and Carl Zeiss optics.
The Nokia N900 will be available in select markets from October 2009 with an estimated retail price of EUR 500 excluding sales taxes and subsidies. The Nokia N900 will be displayed at Nokia World, Stuttgart, on September 2. More information on Maemo is available at http://maemo.nokia.com.
The Nokia N900 will be officially launched in October of this year and will sell for about â‚¬500 or $713. Its a very gorgeous looking phone and I’m sure a lot of people, especially the Nokia fans are already drooling over this device. It already has the hardware and the software to compete with other leading and popular smart phones. Now what Nokia needs to do to make this smart phone compete with the Apple iPhone, BlackBerry and Palm Pre here in North America, is to find a carrier that will subsidize it.
So what do you think of Nokia’s first Linux-based smart phone, the Nokia N900? Do you think it will be able to compete against the Apple iPhone or the Palm Pre? What are the features you like or don’t like about it? Please share your thoughts.