I have had the Nokia N900 for a couple of weeks now, and minus the initial issues I experienced with email I have found it a bleeding edge device.
In this part of my review, I present to you screenshots of the N900’s user interface and explanations of how it works.
True to 2009/2010 expectations, the N900 offers multiple desktops, in this case four of them (I use only three). Also true to the times, the desktops support widgets. But in addition to widgets, you can stack shortcuts, bookmarks, and contacts as well on each of the desktops.
The N900 supports themes and there are a variety of cool ones available. You can also change the backgrounds, or disable one or two of the desktops if you have no use for such fads as swiping right or left.
If you do choose to use multiple desktops, you will find them a pleasant experience. You move between them by swiping right or left. The transitions feel and work smoothly.
Multi-tasking on the N900 is on a whole new level with its “dashboard”. In any application or menu, you will observe an icon at the top-left corner of the screen. That’s the highlighted icon in the screenshot below.
When you touch it, the dashboard is displayed. Touch a second time and your applications menu shows up. But back to the dashboard now.
The dashboard displays snapshots of all running applications on the N900. And it gets even better. You see; its not called a dashboard for nothing. The snapshots are alive – more like video cam shots – showing you the progress of eacch of the running applications. For example, in the dashboard, you can monitor the progress of a web page you are loading in the browser, while also monitoring the mails being downloaded by the email client.
Get the picture? It is novel. It is eye-candy. And it works fine.
In any menu, tap on any empty area on the display to return a step back and you can so tap your way all the way back to the desktop.
At the top of the desktop, just right of the Applications Menu, is the Status Area. This displays the time, network signal, battery icon, data connection indicator, and others, depending on the 3rd party apps that you install.
Tap on the status area and it drops down to show you more details and present you with options to adjust volume, access time and date settings, switch internet connection, change profile, among others.
Though it may sound like something from Android’s notification bar, it is quite different, if you ask me. It does not display any notifications for SMS, email and calls. It is not exactly a notification area, but it works very well. Oh, and yes; it displays notifications for firmware and downloaded application updates.
The N900’s user interface is smooth and looks good. In addition, thanks to the 600 MHz processor and copious amounts of RAM, it just chugs along. It is miles ahead of Symbian S60 5th edition and rubs shoulders with more modern and more user-friendly interfaces as available on the iPhone OS, WebOS and Android OS.
Simply put, it is a breath of fresh air from Nokia.