I fully expect to be in the smartphone market in the not-so-distant future. My BlackBerry 8700c has served most admirably these past few years, including untold drops onto various surfaces and a 9-hour nap in a snow bank. Despite it’s faithfulness, it is not the phone it once was. Aside from some cosmetic problems, it has a tendency to freeze up every so often, which requires me to remove the battery to shut it off. Not to mention the lack of 3G capability. That really hurts.
I’ve been eyeing the iPhone since it first came out, and the more I learned about the phone itself, the more I like it (especially the 3G S). Unfortunately, the more I learn about the way Apple and AT&T rule the network, the more repulsed I am. That, among other considerations, is a big reason why I still have yet to let the BlackBerry go. Still, when I look at the features that I want out of a smartphone, the iPhone fares the best. Until now.
There has been quite the buzz (or at least mild hum) on the Internets since Mobile-review.com did a preview of the Nokia N900. Holy crap, this looks like my kind of phone. From a hardware standpoint, it seems more like the G1, which is a solid-feeling phone. What really sets it apart is the software side. The phone runs Maemo, a Debian-derived Linux distro designed for mobiles and tablets. My knowledge of Maemo is still pretty sketchy, but from the Slashdot discussion I’ve gathered that it is a full-featured Linux distro, capable of running just about anything you want. Has freedom finally come to the cell phone market?
At the moment, it appears that most of the discussion on the Internet begins with the Mobile-review article, any other details are hard to find. One site did suggest that it might be available in the US in September, and since Nokia World is scheduled for Sept 2-3, that’s not unreasonable. The list price is supposed to be $780 (which compares well to the iPhone 3G S list price) and I expect the carrier (likely T-Mobile) will offer some nice subsidizing.
So for now I will wait and see what develops. It looks like a great phone, the real deciding factors for me will be the release date, the price and the carrier. For all the bad things that I’ve noted about AT&T, they’ve been my wireless carrier since back in the Cingular days and I’ve never had any problems. Plus, they offer a discount because of my employer, which is always a nice incentive. Will I end up switching carriers so that I can get the N900? Will the price be such that I can just buy it and bring it onto my existing AT&T account? Will I chicken out and just try to do everything on my Samsung Sync? I guess we’ll find out soon.