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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nokia N900: Linux-based mobile phone

Finally it's out. N900 is the first Linux-based 3G/HSPA phone from Nokia, powered by Maemo. There are already some high-quality awesome pictures of the phone, or just enjoy the following taken by my countryman who is working for Maemo. Or watch its 75-second promo video clip. Price is not set yet, but seems to be in the EUR 500 range. The geek side of you might want to glance at the specifications (and mark that OpenGL ES 2.0!).


Anonymous said...

Hm the geek in me notices lack of support for Ogg Theora/Vorbis. But other than that this looks like a freaking awesome smartphone. Definitely some excellent product. Now you just need to build up some proper hype to measure up to the iHype.

Anonymous said...

Nokia did great things with this new version. GSM is what was missing! Why Nokia even made the netbook because it got this great handheld?

Oh could we please already stop the trend talk about "linux-based"? The hardware can never be based to software. Ever never.

And even the linux OS is so great and fantastic, it does nothing. The maemo software platform is what is great on this phone. The N900 is powered by Linux, but more correctly said, runs by Linux.

Yeah, Linux is great and awesome OS but it has nothing special.

deviljelly said...

but...... is it Maemo/Hildon/ GTK or Maemo/Hildon/QT4.5? .... will it move to QT4.5... thats the question. If it will then the iPhone has a true competitor over time... assuming that the N990 has a decent chipset

deviljelly said...

i'm guessing that this is another TI OMAP chipset .... Nokia! cut the cord or get TI to step up to the plate for gods sake

Ariya Hidayat said...

@Anonymous: I'm sure third-party support for Ogg is not impossible.

@Other anonymous: Since this is not a technical manual, every now and then I allow myself some liberty to use less accurate, popular marketing-like terms.

@deviljelly: If you dig more, you know (just like everyone knows it already) that this is still Gtk-based. The next Maemo, codenamed Harmattan, will sport Qt officially.

Harley said...

@Anonymous #2: Well you're technically wrong too, Linux isn't an OS, it's a kernel, so it'd be more suiting to ask if it's GNU/Linux, busybox based, or BSD based, etc. Because that actually adresses what OS it is an not the kernel ;) The fact that it's Linux based (regardless of the OS portion) is a big deal to people who like Linux based systems (a sub category of people would be those who are interested in devices/hardware that run Linux.)

The question I have to ask is: will consumer models be able to get root access to get (near) total control of the system? (*I can hope/dream*)

Ariya Hidayat said...

@Harley: Root? Maybe inspires you?

deviljelly said...

@AriyaHidayat looked like GTK in the vid.... so QT next rev... fantastic so the face off is all set up.... I can predict a long term winner assuming that Nokia either kick TI or take matters into their own hands. ( for reference I have an N770 (on launch day) an N800 and an iPhone)

joel gonzalez said...

now its up to us..

Tommy.S said...

@Harley. Not to turn GNU/Linux war, but actually the Linux kernel is the operating system. GNU really has nothing OS parts to offer. GNU's own OS is Hurd. It is microkernel-based OS. Hurd's microkernel is the GNU Mach.

The monolithic kernel is the original structure for the OS.

Do not fall to the marketing term of the kernels. There are different kind of kernels, monolithics what are the complete OS and then microkernel based what are modular where the OS is kernel + userland modules.

The misunderstanding for most users comes that the they believe kernel is always just a kernel. They do not know that in first years, the synonyms for OS were supervisor, master program, core and kernel. The OS was one binary on kernel space.

Then later came idea to make more secure and stable OS. Came microkernel idea. Idea was to slice the OS to tiny kernel and OS servers what are protected from each other and from the kernel.

early 2000, almost all OS's had microkernel. The kernel was part what really needed other OS parts on userland.

So fast, normal users readed how kernel was just one component of the OS. Without knowing that it is discussion only about microkernel-based OS's, not monolithics.

Linux, SunOS, NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, HP-UX and so on. Are all monolithic kernels and so on all they are operating systems. Not just kernels.

GNU has own problem with Hurd. They have changed it microkernel from own written to copied Mach what name is 'GNU Mach'. I do not think you have ever heard that HURD is the OS and not the kernel, and it's kernel is GNU Hurd :)

The GNU/Linux is just so great propaganda to brainwash people to keep in minds the GNU project and prise the fame of GNU how it was part of Linux.

Check these links and think what they say.

But no one should mistake the Linux to other meanings than just the monolithic kernel and so on the operating system. Linux is not development platform, it is just one possible OS for such. Linux is not software platform. It is just one possible OS for such.
Linux is not software system (counterpart of hardware system), it is just one possible OS for such.
Linux is not distribution. you can even make own software systems what you can distribute because Linux is licensed under GPL.

When someone say Linux, they should mean only the OS. Nothing else.
When someone say GNU/Linux. They should think OS + development tools and so on. Nothing more.
When someone say Hurd, they should mean GNU's own OS.
When someone says GNU/Hurd, they mean OS + development tools.

This is something what GNU fans do not want to hear. It does not make GNU project smaller or less effective. It is just the truth and they should prise the truth because truth is only road to freedom.

So what that Linux kernel is the OS and GNU has nothing to do with it? If GNU fans just accept that truth. They comes less fanatics and hippies of own propaganda.

Do not just prise the Linux is just a kernel, it is the complete OS as well ;)

Unknown said...

Great device. Only one question: what's the screen color depth? (The N810 was only 16 bit, IIRC)

Thomas "Tanghus" Olsen said...

It is *SO* much on my Christmas wish list (dreaming, ha).
But seriously Nokia: You got the Qt - use the force.

Wesley said...

Capacitive single-touch screen? What about multitouch?

kedadi said...

Hm the geek in me notices lack of support for Ogg Theora/Vorbis.

One click away, I don't know why they have removed ogg support but it would be a lot better if it was built-in from the factory.

Great device. Only one question: what's the screen color depth? (The N810 was only 16 bit, IIRC)

N810 was 16bit, for N900 seems no information is available yet.

jessica magert said...

Well it does look great in terms of specs. Problem is, so did the N810 when it came out, but using it was such a pain. Although it could technically do more than my iPhone, e.g. run multiple apps and had full flash support, it was a far inferior usability experience, so I dumped it after a few weeks. Hopefully they will have improved the N900 and it won’t crash all the time.

Harley said...

@Tommy.S: touché! Honestly though, I don't think I read two articles of all those links that agree 100% (one link for instance splits the monolithic OS/kernel into two categories which doesn't seem to be expressed anywhere else), not to mention your paragraph hits the gist of a lot of those links, but then contradicts with others (though, just guessing that you're not a native English speaker, which may be part of that.)

STiAT said...

I'll wait until it's known if it will be possible to upgrade the N900 to Maemo 6 later. The system itself sounds great, and I love it, but I will want to update to Maemo 6 once it's released (even when it's not yet alpha stage, I use to keep my mobile phones for longer than one or two years if I like them).

This is something yet undecided, and I don't want to be stuck at Maemo 5 in the end, or forced to buy a new phone for Maemo 6, which will be very likely due to Maemo 6 switching from GTK+ to Qt.

Ian Monroe said...

@ggrabler I really don't know if Maemo 6 will require the new hardware. But I do know that if it does, its not because of the switch from Gtk to Qt. Its still X11, its not honestly that different. :P

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