Nokia has just started selling two new mega phones – the N900 and the X6. And the way they represent Nokia right now is very interesting. The Maemo5 running N900 represents the side of Nokia that is forward looking and wants to get in on the whole new age smartphone craze. The X6 on the other hand runs Symbian S60 and represents Nokia’s heritage and also the company’s involvement with the world’s largest mobile platform.
It has been a while since Nokia started selling these phones and already the reviews are coming in. A lot of people had done reviews with pre-production models but this time, the response is much better thanks to the final retail models.
The N900 is currently completely eclipsing the X6, which was expected to happen. After all, there isn’t much that the X6 has to offer that isn’t already out there. In fact, most of those other phones are either iPhones or Androids and they are better equipped than Symbian. Not that I am saying Symbian is a weak OS, it isn’t. But it was never designed for the current scenario and it is overdue for an overhaul.
The first-ever Maemo5 handset is what people really want to know about. Is it really all that great? How cool is the web browser? So on and so forth. All those questions have specific answers but let me give it to you in a nutshell here.
The point of the N900 is that it is supposed to be a ‘mobile computer’. It just happens to let you make phone calls. What Nokia did was to shift their tablet project into making the N900 so that they could stay relevant in the global smartphone market that is belong taken over by the iPhone and the Android.
The N900 is actually a great phone. It has been really well designed and it sports Nokia’s signature toughness. It will not feel as if you will break it if you use it too rough. The OS itself is fully featured and while it has its quirks, the fact that it supports Flash means that a lot of people will buy it simply because of that. That and the full-on multitasking and great web-browsing that this phone boasts off. So where’s the catch in all this?
The catch is actually somewhat indirect. The phone is great, so is the OS – the only thing that is missing is a nice collection of third party apps to choose from. Nokia has promised to open an Ovi store for Maemo5 but that is yet to happen.
The Maemo5 has the open-source Linux devs behind it who really want to take the OS to the next level. But Nokia is still not in a position where professional developers will really want to develop for the platform. These devs need to earn money from their apps, so they would want a large user base that actually buys apps. And there’s also the question of the competition eating the fresh out Maemo5 phone(s). With the iPhone and the Android in the market, Nokia is too late to introduce its own OS that it will control and let others build apps for it. Apple has already gone ahead on that bus, far ahead.
So now that the phones are selling, the buzz is around the N900 and X6 is hardly getting any love at all. Once bought, the N900 is seemingly pleasing the users but we will have to wait and watch till the time they need a great app that’s simply not there. Nokia better get this special Ovi store running or else they will see a sudden slow down in sales as the world of mouth catches on with the potential buyers.