From what I have read CyGnus, the N900's only real benefit is that the Maemo OS is very easy to hack allowing for what seems to be some serious overclocks. The stock clock is 600 and i read where someone got theirs up to 1150 which he also said was a "safe" clock. He didn't comment on the battery life once he got it that high but I'll post the link to the forum. As well a blog comparing the two OSs.
As someone who was interested in getting one, I'll let you in on what I found. To be fair, I ultimately chose a Nexus One.
Personally, I felt the 3.5in screen is a tad small. Also, it is only resistive, not capacitive like an iPhone. However, I am told it is one of the best resistive screens around and that it doesn't really hinder operating the phone. The chipset is said to be pretty good in terms of performance. Battery life is supposedly average for a smartphone, likely requiring nightly charges. There are also some people working on getting Android working on the N900.
I saw it recently on sale for $349 (US). At that price, depending on your OS preferences, it's actually not a bad deal. The real downside is that Maemo is not going to be updated beyond what it is, and I think Nokia has said that they will never officially support Meego. So make sure your going to be happy with what it is because it won't change (unless you hack something on yourself).
i would say wait for a meego device, if you're looking for that kind of open architecture. supposedly meego development is going quite well, and i think they'll announce a device early next year, possibly have a full, working image for developers by then, and i'll be running meego on my phone around then as well
that being said, i've been using my n900 for over 9 months now, and i'm definitely pleased. i do, however, use my nexus one when i'm going out partying as it's just easier to use.
i have mine overclocked from 600 MHz to 1 GHz and it's working perfectly fine. i honestly have no idea why nokia set the cpu to 600 MHz to begin with... 850 MHz would've been MUCH better.
it is, however, the most flexible mobile platform i've used so far. it runs debian-based linux, so almost all .deb packages will run on it (although most won't run very well). it's fully open source, and all you have to do to root it is download a small app (rootsh). Qt framework lets you program apps pretty easily in C++.
the main flaw of this phone is the shoddy battery life, imo. for some reason the OS doesn't seem to be completely optimized. running any data using widgets will eat batteries alive. keeping wifi on will obliterate the battery as well... i'll get maybe 10-12 hours off charger if i'm connected to wifi.
so basically, get it if you're willing to spend the time to muck with it to get it where you want it.
edit: also, the screen is awesome. i'd say it's pretty much as responsive as my nexus one, just have to use a tiny bit more pressure. and you can use anything nearby as a stylus, cuz it's resistive!
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