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Phone Review: 2-week Nokia N90 phone update.

March 26, 2006 in Nokia Phone Reviews

My last attempt to write this update ended in failure (movable type “lost” it somehow). Anyway, it’s been nearly two weeks since I brought home the Nokia N90 phone, so let’s see how things turned out. The good, the bad, and the ugly…

Weird Bugs
The outer display on the Nokia N90 is really, really WHACK. There’s definitely something wrong with it firmware-wise. In the past two weeks, I’ve had the following happen to me: I’ve been unable to access the camera in closed-phone mode with nothing but the ! symbol on the screen; had the screen “stuck” sideways several times until I rebooted it; the screen saver time/date messed itself up display-wise (pixels all over the place and you oculdn’t make out a date or a time). And this is in a 2-week period! I think most of these are due to the laggy outer screen to camera transition and the Nokia N90 does a pretty bad job on that point.

Carrying the N90 around
I’ve gotten pretty used to keeping the N90 in my pocket and not noticing it’s there. For the most part. When I’m sitting down it’s hard NOT to feel it (sort of like keeping a 1-pound weight on your thigh – try it!), and I’ll usually take it out and put it on a desk or a table or whatever. I did do a size and weight comparison to my friend’s Sony Ericsson P910 and – the Nokia N90 emerged the winner in weight. And the P910 isn’t *that* much bigger in terms of length and width too.

Personally, I don’t really understand WHY the Nokia N90 phone is so thick and so heavy. The camera’s a separate piece on the top, so why is the rest of the N90 so bulky? In terms of features, the N90 is just like any other Series 60 phone – the battery is even smaller than the typical Series 60 battery too. I guess that will be one of those questions that will never be answered.

Calling, Making Calls, Loudspeaker Related Stuff
The loudspeaker is still great. The fact that the ringtone volume can go blaring alarm-sound loud makes up for the lack of vibration. On this note I’m pretty happy. Call quality is *very* clear – but then again, this is a Nokia we’re talking about. Reception has not been a problem for me but my area is pretty good no matter what service you have.

Applications, Incompatibilities, and General Weirdness
I still can’t get used to running any “normal” Symbian apps on the Nokia N90. It’s just so weird looking – bloated and blurry. And there aren’t many specialized apps or versions for the N90 excluding Smartmovie (which is great) and a couple of other applications. Even when playing Snake, which is included with the phone – it just doesn’t look right.

Value, Price, Costs, etc
My honest opinion is this phone is not worth $1100 (the first price point on ebay), nor is it worth even $500. You’re just not getting enough bang for the buck. It’s more worth it to carry around a small Canon digital camera and another Series 60 phone than to get the N90 – I think it’d be easier to carry around the former too.

Of course, I am a little biased because I’m looking forward to getting the Nokia N92 phone. Really badly. But I think that one’s slated for a June/July release and 600 Euros is a bit out of my price range. (that’s 722 bucks USD) I’m just hoping the price of the N90 doesn’t drop TOO much (it shouldn’t) – if all goes well, by November the price of the N92 should be around 450-ish.


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