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Ask Slashdot: Life After N900?

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the old-ways-are-best-ways dept.

Handhelds 303

Rydia writes "Since it first released, I have been in love with my Nokia N900, and it has satisfied all my needs for a mobile with a high degree of control and utility. Sadly, the little guy is showing his age, both in battery life (even with the powersaving kernel options enabled), and performing in general has been left far, far in the dust by phones that are now considered quite old. The time has come to find its successor, but after a thorough search of smartphone options, I can't find any handset that offers everything for the power user that the N900 did (much less a hardware keyboard). I'd like to avoid supporting Google/Android, but there don't seem to be many options. Have any other techies found a replacement for their N900?"

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I had a N900 too... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074663)

It was shit. I didn't really realise quite how shit it was until I upgraded to an iPhone. Never looked back since.

Re:I had a N900 too... (5, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#46074847)

It was shit. I didn't really realise quite how shit it was until I upgraded to an iPhone. Never looked back since.

It's not a phone for the general population. The N900 was a phone for hackers, developers, etc.: people who needed a pocket computer with phone functionality. Sort of the "anti-iPhone" in its philosophy. You were clearly not in the (tiny) target demographic, and whoever sold you yours was not your friend, didn't know you very well, or didn't as the right questions. (I just described a salesman, didn't I?)

Re:I had a N900 too... (4, Insightful)

Tom Brinkman (3513859) | about 7 months ago | (#46074961)

agreed to an extent. it was first gen phone, that needed a couple more generations to get it all right. However, the basic idea of the n900 was awesome, and still exceeds what I see on the market today.

Re:I had a N900 too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074971)

I'm genpop in that perspective and i liked N900 as a phone. It was a great phone.

Re:I had a N900 too... (4, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | about 7 months ago | (#46075027)

Easy enough. Get any recent phone that's supported by Cyanogenmod. Install Cyanogenmod. Then install Debian (or similar). This can be accomplished as a dual boot or as a chroot inside Android. I have Debian installed on my phone; it's kind of fun to dabble with and show people.

Re: I had a N900 too... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075385)

Ugh. Androids drivers are a mess and cyanogen just makes that more apparent. My n900 has a specialized kernel, injection and monitor mode, overclocking, and they even made better camera drivers. With cyanogen mod the opposite happens...things break. Some hardware just completely is unusable. Android is nothing at all like the n900 was, and google will never let that happen anyway. Nor do the manufacturers want it.

As for Debian on an android? Yo dawg, i heard you like Linux, but since you can't have Linux we put some virtualized Linux in your virtualized Linux.

Re:I had a N900 too... (5, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | about 7 months ago | (#46075625)

Agreed. A rooted Android phone with a decent mod on it is as close as you can get to a Unix box in your pocket. The lack of a physical keyboard is a drag, but with a decent stock keyboard replacement like SwiftKey, it is not the end of the world.

I recently put Cyanogenmod on my droid razr and actually got geeked out on my phone again. Everything just works like it should. The ROMs that come from the phone companies are bloated and inefficient. Do not make the mistake of judging the Android ecosystem by what you see in the stores.

There are even some useful utilities for Android. (http://ultimatepeter.com/freakin-cool-hacking-apps-for-android/)

Get a Nexus device (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074673)

You can replace the standard Google Android software with a completely Google-free custom ROM, if you like. You can also get Ubuntu Touch.

Re:Get a Nexus device (5, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46075335)

"You can also get Ubuntu Touch."

Spoken just like someone that has not used Ubuntu Touch.

If you dont like to make or receive phone calls, Use ubuntu touch.
If you dont like internet connectivity Use ubuntu touch.
If you LIKE your phone locking up, Use ubuntu touch.

Also when you actually look at ubuntu touch, it's just Android with a UI stapled on top but with no apps, and no functionality.

What he is after is a Nexus 5 that has a pure android on it.

Android (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074679)

Buying an andriod phone doesn't really mean supporting google.

Re:Android (-1, Flamebait)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 7 months ago | (#46074697)

It does now, $0.75 goes to google for the Google Play application.

Re: Android (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074749)

This has already been debunked as false, so stop repeating it.

Re:Android (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#46074819)

Depends on where you buy it. Not everyone bends over for the G.

And you are actually paying for Google services, play is just part of that.

Re:Android (2)

CdBee (742846) | about 7 months ago | (#46074835)

especially so if you buy one of the many chinese phones sold as carrier-own handsets in Europe (most made by ZTE) - pretty good average spec, much faster than an N900, better screens, fairly minimal Android installs

Re:Android (2)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 7 months ago | (#46074843)

Buying an andriod phone doesn't really mean supporting google.

Yeah, it does. You then get fully monetized by the Google ad collective even mores than non-Android users. TAANSTAFL.

Google and Android (2, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46074683)

I'd like to avoid supporting Google/Android, but there don't seem to be many options.

Why against Google and Android?

Re:Google and Android (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074741)

Because google is one of the biggest hypocrites in the tech world, ever?

Re:Google and Android (3, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 7 months ago | (#46075435)

Hey asshole, we pay you good money to astroturf Slashdot.

Include the fucking scroogled tag line next time or you're fucking fired!

Re:Google and Android (1, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 7 months ago | (#46074745)

Why against Google and Android?

Maybe because he doesn't like the idea of his private life being a product that is sold to the highest bidder? Just a guess.

Who was your Highest Bidder? (3, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 7 months ago | (#46074849)

Maybe because he doesn't like the idea of his private life being a product that is sold to the highest bidder? Just a guess.

Ironically a quick glance through your private posts, shows your continued subterfuge about Google *selling* your data. Google business model is to *NEVER* sell your data. Advertising is the product. If they sold your data they wouldn't have a product.

Almost everyone here understands the model, yet you persist in this transparent lie. Interestingly search Microsoft's and Apple EULA using the search for what they do with trusted *cough* third partys.

Re:Who was your Highest Bidder? (2, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 7 months ago | (#46074959)

Google business model is to *NEVER* sell your data.

Really?! One of my rules is to never say 'never', because it's a really long time. I also thought my government would 'never' spy on me. I thought all of those conspiracy theorists were crazy.

Mark my words, one day your private life will be sold by Google, and I'm pretty sure it'll go to the highest bidder.

Ironically a quick glance through your private posts, shows your continued subterfuge about Google *selling* your data.

Also, two can play that game [slashdot.org] . 'Subterfuge' doesn't mean what you think it means.

Re:Who was your Highest Bidder? (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46075345)

Google will not sell your "life" as that is not their business model.

LexisNexis does that. I can cheaply buy enough info about you to really scare the shit out of you. And they have far FAR more info on you than Google would ever dream of having.

Re:Who was your Highest Bidder? (5, Informative)

Jaktar (975138) | about 7 months ago | (#46075033)

From Google's Privacy Policy Page [google.com]

With your consent

We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google when we have your consent to do so. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information. [google.com] .

So Google does "share" data with advertisers as part of their money stream. A very specific subset is opt-in, but everything else is opt-out. If services get updated and you're not careful, you can miss an opt-out. See Privacy and Copyright Protection [google.com]

I'm not sure how anyone can read that and not understand that they're selling your data. They're just calling it sharing. Everything in the EULA you already agreed to in order for you to use a Google service grants them the permission they need.

Re:Who was your Highest Bidder? (-1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 7 months ago | (#46075189)

The quote doesn't support your claim, dude. Lurn 2 reed.

Re:Who was your Highest Bidder? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075251)

Sorry, in this case I trust Microsoft waaaay before I trust Google. Microsoft seems interested in advertising, but I don't see them forcing me onto their social media sites, linking my bing accounts, or bothering me for my phone number (except on Xbox now, ugh).

Re:Google and Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074897)

He's an idiot, and so are you. If you want to remain a luddite then you have no business being here.

Re:Google and Android (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074951)

Absolutely fair, but just get CyanogenMod or flash stock any AOSP ROM without Google Apps and you're good to go. I'm assuming the author is capable of doing this because the N900 requires some technical skills to really enjoy anyways.

Re: Google and Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075425)

So, you're telling someone with an old and broken phone to get a new phone and make it worse than his old broken phone, but faster?

Aosp is ages behind the official version, its a beta version that turned into abandonware. In some ways it doesn't even function with the official google Services that its supposed to. Why anyone settles for it i do not know.

Cyanogen mod simply forces the "broken bits" from googles services to the phone hardware itself. The mods are a cludge and typically leave bits of hardware non functional.

You may accept these solutions, but a typical n900 user would not.

The Company (2)

Jamlad (3436419) | about 7 months ago | (#46075071)

Or how about because Google are a few steps shy of becoming Weyland Yutani? I understand a corporation has to diversify, eggs and baskets and all that, but it doesn't mean I have to support them in that effort.

Re:Google and Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074765)

Steaming pile of Java crap?

Neo900.org (5, Informative)

Zarhan (415465) | about 7 months ago | (#46074687)

It's a niche project, but looks like getting a good techie phone is niche these days. Uses N900 displays and casing, so resolution is not getting any better, but has lots more processing power.

Jolla might be an option once they get the QWERTY "other half" available.

Re:Neo900.org (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074947)

I'm intrigued by the Neo900, it would be nice to switch to something that is simply an improvement without worry about compromise and sacrifices.

I bought a Jolla and it has it's ups and downs. The interface is slick and smooth. The android app support works reasonably well (it's definitely not perfect, but has been good enough for most things I've tried). The sailfish sdk is a lot nicer than the old maemo sdk. The other half idea still seems like it will be nice once things start coming out (or I make some myself). The terminal application is actually fairly nice, though the on screen keyboard is still not as nice as a hardware keyboard.

On the downside, it lacks the 1700MHz band that the n900 had, which makes it worse to use in the US. I think there are some other bands that US carriers have for LTE that the jolla doesn't have but neither did the n900. I read somewhere that the FM (yes, I used to use both transmit and recieve on my n900, occassionally) antenna pins aren't actually wired up, so even if someone activates that functionality in the bt chip, it wouldn't really work. LTE support hasn't actually been implemented in the software yet. The settings seem sparse and missing some options that would be nice. Of course the lack of a hardware keyboard is annoying, as is the lack of IR support (I used it all the time on my n900). Jolla still hasn't publicly released CAD files to make it easy for people to design and print their own other halves. And I feel a general sense of the device not being complete (worse than the n900 when it came out) and that the developers are still almost as closed off and unresponsive as the maemo and meego team at Nokia. I was hoping for a little more openess once they actually released a phone.

Overall, I think I'd lean slightly toward the Neo900 for the short term (particularly for US users), but I still have hope that the Jolla will actually develop into something even nicer, eventually, maybe.

life after n900 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074691)

yes the OP should indeed get a life

Need that keyboard. (4, Insightful)

Sowelu (713889) | about 7 months ago | (#46074695)

Oh god yes please. Sometimes I have to do some amount of scripting on my phone, and a hardware keyboard is a complete necessity. On the Android side, I've gone from a Samsung Epic to a Motorola Photon, but I can't find a good next upgrade path. At this point I don't care about Android or iPhone or anything as long as I can get a slide-out keyboard with brackets on the keys.

Re:Need that keyboard. (1)

Dracos (107777) | about 7 months ago | (#46074983)

I'm still on the Epic, because the Photon Q's non-removable battery made it a non-option.

Re:Need that keyboard. (1)

DocHoncho (1198543) | about 7 months ago | (#46075203)

It's no hardware keyboard, but the Hacker's Keyboard [google.com] is quite useful for scripting/cli purposes. Unfortunately it only works well in landscape mode, which ends up severely restricting your vertical space, and some apps insist on using the stupid "full screen text box" input method in landscape orientation which is completely useless, but by and large it works as well as one can expect for an on screen keyboard.

If you've got a big, high res screen (Nexus 5, S4, etc) it's actually a pretty decent solution, especially considering that hardware keyboard phones are all but dead and gone nowadays.

Re:Need that keyboard. (2)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about 7 months ago | (#46075423)

Bluetooth keyboard? Almost all platforms support it.

Also, I have this vague terror about any sort of important scripting being done from a device with a sub-5" screen. No offense, but I kind of hope that I don't rely on those services ...

Blackberry (1)

Mr.CRC (2330444) | about 7 months ago | (#46074703)

Obviously. Check out market-ticker.org, where among other political/economic rantings, the author frequently delves into in-depth discussions on Blackberry and it's technical characteristics.

You might even learn a thing or two about the real reasons health care is so expensive in the US (if you are in the US and care about that.)

Re:Blackberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074761)

Hahaha blackberry. You know, the company whose idiotic head in the sand approach led to them going out of business?

Oh, the name will stay around, but everything else is outsourced now. Thankfully, because I doubt any other company has the talent required to fuck up as royally as RIM did.

Re:Blackberry (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#46075045)

you think the name will stick? I don't. They crapped over the RIM brand, and had to drop it for BB, and BB now is getting all crapped over as obsolete and slow and cheap. Nortel, which was a much bigger company totally disappeared in a flash, and they had a pretty good reputation.

BB just seems to be hanging on kind of pointlessly. They are selling their building to get some more quick cash, and seem to be burning through it at a good pace. I suppose they could limp along for a while longer selling cheap phones to asia/africa, but that's just revenue, it won't make them any money or get them any bigger.

Re:Blackberry (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46075367)

in 10 years we will see the BlackBerry brand on very low end china TV sets just like GE and Phillips.

Love the Q10 (3, Informative)

rwade (131726) | about 7 months ago | (#46074905)

My Nokia E5 was similarly out of date. Since I use my phone generally for texting, email, twitter I didn't need a big screen but do need a keyboard to be happy. I was not enthused about committing to the BlackBerry platform due to the perceived financial issues, but BBRY has already released a few updates and app support is good enough for me. BlackBerry has taken care of me so far.

And the keyboard is incredible - not just passable, but enjoyable to type on.

Re:Love the Q10 (3)

umdesch4 (3036737) | about 7 months ago | (#46075577)

I wish I had mod points to mod you up. I love my Q10. I'm an annoyance to my peers. Every time they launch into a rant about some issue they're having with their iPhone, I listen respectfully for however long it takes them to fizzle out, and then I just pull out the Q10, and while starting to check my messages, I just casually say "I think you already know what my solution to that issue is". I gave up trying to sell people on it a long time ago, and I also gave up trying to help people work around their iPhone problems years ago. I use my phone for work and personal stuff, and I work *a lot*, and I commute several hours a day. So I need something that always just works unobtrusively. I dunno what I'm going to do once BlackBerry is gone, and nobody makes a decent phone with a physical keyboard, decent security, decent battery life (with a self replaceable battery), decent stability, non-proprietary connectors, non-proprietary hot-swappable storage media support, decent corporate VPN integration support, seamless Exchange server integration...etc.

If you can live without keyboard, get a Jolla (5, Insightful)

pijokela (462279) | about 7 months ago | (#46074719)

I got one from preordering and I really like it a lot. If the thing you like in n900 is the community and the hackability, you will like Jolla too. Most importantly, I'm able to use it as my work phone already, so it's not just a plaything. So far there has been a steady stream of updates and apps. If you are in US, getting one is probably not very easy, but maybe you can get one from ebay or something? (Check the frequencies etc. first.)

http://jolla.com/ [jolla.com]

Re:If you can live without keyboard, get a Jolla (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074831)

this phone has 2012 specs, so €399.99 is overpriced.

You can get buy a Nexus 5 for $350.00 US/CAN (Google Play store)

Re:If you can live without keyboard, get a Jolla (4, Informative)

pijokela (462279) | about 7 months ago | (#46074907)

So? The Nexus 5 has nothing to do with what made n900 great. Jolla has a pretty similar OS, community and development environment. Neither phone has a hardware keyboard. Either you are willing to pay for the better OS or you are not... I agree that Android hardware is the most cost effective hardware on the planet.

(Part of the Jolla price is 24% sales tax to Finland - it would be nice if they had a separate export price for people outside EU without the tax. Hopefully soon.)

Re:If you can live without keyboard, get a Jolla (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075019)

I've been very happy with my Jolla and its ability to run Android apps so well has meant that where there are gaps in the fledgling Sailfish apps ecosystem, it hasn't been a problem.

If a hardware keyboard is a must have, then it is possible to buy a handmade keyboard by a community member for 100 euros: http://www.jollausers.com/2014/01/self-made-qwerty-otherhalf-is-being-worked-on-new-edition-of-oled-otherhalf/

Re:If you can live without keyboard, get a Jolla (1)

levell (538346) | about 7 months ago | (#46075213)

The Jolla keyboard mentioned by the parent is only being made in a batch of 100 to start with so may not be an option for everyone...

Re:If you can live without keyboard, get a Jolla (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46075249)

To be specific. The main part of the engineering and designer team that made Maemo on n900 moved on to make N9 and n950 (unpublished successor to the n900), and after Elop closed the development moved on to make the company called jolla.

Their OS is evolution of the line which started with the Maemo tablets, culminating in n900 and N9/n950. The phone is in beta phase through you can buy one. One of their specialities is the special separate back panel system, which apparently has a digital connection to the main phone, allowing you to replace the standard back cover for one with keyboard eventually when one is developed.

Overall, if you're looking for n900 successor today, jolla is about the only thing that comes to mind.

N9005 here (1)

thrill12 (711899) | about 7 months ago | (#46074727)

Samsung's joke on Nokia :) Reasonably happy, but not 'in control' as with Maemo. And no HW keyboard of course.

Re:N9005 here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075111)

Yes I couldn't resist. Still use my n900 for a couple of non-call related things.
Stepped into Galaxy note a few years ago. Jolla seemed to be a promising alternative, but was to late for me and silence about other halfs, especially a HW kyeboard, made me look at the Note series again. And then, who can resist another N900(5)...

Neo900 (4, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#46074731)

There's a Neo900 project attempting to make a modernized version of the N900, software and hardware. I don't know if they'll succeed and be able to do it at a price one can afford, but you might check it out if interested. If you don't visit maemo.org forums you might wish to.

I like my N9, but not the way I loved my N900. I especially miss the h/w keyboard.

There's also the Jolla phone, but its availability and network compatibility is limited now (e.g. current version might work in the US but as 2G only, the only modem offered in it is designed for European market, or part thereof, no idea what rest of the world situation would be like). And again, no h/w keyboard.

Re:Neo900 (1)

Tom Brinkman (3513859) | about 7 months ago | (#46074937)

Your no crackpot. N900 very well could have been a great phone. It just needed one or two more generations. Sad that it got abandoned. In fact, i'm more sad about n900 got abandoned, than any other of my devices that I've purchased over the years.

Say "Thank You" to the man who destroyed Nokia (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074733)

Once upon time there was a company, struggling but still profitable. Then one day M$ Sauron came.
Destroyed and sunk the company, flying off using golden parachute.
Fascist western regimes reward incompetence.
Another chapter closed.

Re:Say "Thank You" to the man who destroyed Nokia (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074817)

Nokia had destroyed themselves long before Microsoft turned up - largely thanks to things like the N900 which no one other then a very small number of geeks were interested in.

Re:Say "Thank You" to the man who destroyed Nokia (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46075255)

It's follow-up, N9 sold millions without ANY marketing whatsoever - Elop specifically forbid any kind of marketing for it, suggesting that you are utterly incorrect in your rather strange assumption.

Re:Say "Thank You" to the man who destroyed Nokia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074879)

You're so stupid it's almost unfathomable.

Re:Say "Thank You" to the man who destroyed Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075505)

Burma Shave.

Replacement? (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#46074763)

Have any other techies found a replacement for their N900?"

A sledgehammer, but it really is a poor substitute. They aren't as strong as the N900 was. As I understand it, the replacement program for the Space Shuttle suffered a major setback after they were discontinued; they're having to rely on conventional heat shielding now to re-enter the atmosphere.

Cyanogen, Ubuntu, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074771)

Just get a phone with decent specs which works well with an alternative OS like Cyanogen. Yes, it's still Google-created to some extent, but it's also sort of giving Google the middle finger in some ways.

Android is OK-able (3, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | about 7 months ago | (#46074775)

Hats off to you, sir, for holding out longer than I could with my Palm T|X.

Currently I'm rather happy with CyanogenMOD on my HTC myTouch Slide 4G (and the slide 3G before that). Too bad they haven't updated the myTouch Slide line for a while, since they'd carve out a nice little niche for themselves being one of the only major Android manufacturers that did physical keyboards.

I'm about to break down and just get a Nexus something, and pair it with an external portable keyboard (there are various cases that help make this more portable).

Also, I think you'd enjoy running full ARM linux on an Android device, but look at the forums for
https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]
and check which ROMs support the loopback module (or make sure you can build one for yourself). Not all of my third-party ROMs bothered to do this, so I only have a full chroot Debian distro behind one or two of my Android devices :/

But let us know how you turn out! My musings were plopped down here:
http://trumblings.blogspot.com... [blogspot.com]
and maybe a few more relevant posts here:
http://trumblings.blogspot.com... [blogspot.com]

Re:Android is OK-able (1)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 7 months ago | (#46074887)

I also would put a vote in for the MyTouch 4G Slide. Not as good as the n900 but it has been a decent replacement
and being mainstream it does have the advantage of having things like wifi hotspot, vendor support, and plenty of apps.
Make sure it is the HTC version and not the recent replacement which isn't near as good.
If you are trying to avoid android another option is to get a bluetooth keyboard case for an iphone. The case basically
attachs a physical keyboard to the iphone.

I'd have to agree...N900 is crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074807)

I was like you back when the N900 first came out. I thought it was great! Total customization, full Linux Kernel, CLI, etc. Trust me dude, once you switch to a modern platform, the N900 won't even be a distant memory. It's a horrible device in reality. It was a hobby-shop idea by Nokia that went nowhere. It had some plusses, but they were far outweighed by it's minuses. Dump it. Get a Nexus 4 or 5 and flash it with an open ROM if you're dead set against Google.

re: Life after N900? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074829)

Life after Treo? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074839)

Dude, how do you think I feel, I still have my Treo 755p, the homo erectus of smart phones. The email stopped working a couple of years ago but I can still browse many websites, text and make calls.

os is best (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074861)

>I'd like to avoid supporting Google/Android

>handset that offers everything for the power user

There's your problem, submitter.

To get a keyboard (1)

mhkohne (3854) | about 7 months ago | (#46074867)

is itself a major problem these days. I'm using a Droid 4 because it's one of the few with any kind of keyboard available. You may or may not like Android, but you can always put CyanogenMod on it, if you want to move further away from the carrier's grasping tentacles.

Re:To get a keyboard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075055)

I'm also doing this, but the Droid 4 has horrible latency, like multiple seconds of lag just navigating around the settings app. I think there's something actually wrong with the way the software's built because Nexus 4 and 5 have ten times less latency and certainly don't have ten times faster hardware.

Another problem is battery life: Droid 4 cannot last the day, and in certain poor radio conditions Droid 4 will flatten its battery in an hour. For newer phones, I believe modern LTE radios may be more efficient. For older phones like Droid 3, extended Chinese batteries were cheap on ebay. Droid 4 is in the worst spot on this timeline.

Finally, there are just buggyness problems. You aren't giving Android a fair shake unless you try a Nexus device where they actually put some diligence into fixing bugs after the product is released, albeit still not enough compared to, well, any other phone (BB, iOS, dumbphone). problems like: crappy GPS, crappy battery life, radios that don't acquire a signal for multiple minutes after emerging from underground, screensavers that get stuck off, crashes/freezes requiring a reboot (sometimes due to fsck-able errors on the filesystem, other times due to some kind of real bug), bluetooth features (ex tethering) that just don't fucking work. Nexus phones still have all this android flake-factor, but less than other phones IMVHO. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus was awful, but the LG Nexuses seem less buggy than other Androids.

I'd like advice on a bluetooth keyboard case so I could choose from more phones, perhaps Nexus or perhaps iOS.

However, Android itself might not be to the taste of some. Running Cyanogenmod doesn't help much, except maybe avoid bogus tethering restrictions. You still have yucky Android style (if you are someone who doesn't like it), and you have the usual Android buggyness and then some.

HTC Incredible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074871)

I've been using my 2010 htc incredible, it has no scratches, all hardware still functions, no problems running the latest app. I haven't rooted mine, you can root it easily and eliminate the bloat and prolong the battery even further though.

Touchscreen and display are still fine, i started turning the display down recently to resist screen fatigue. It has an optical joystick/button on the bottom, you can move your thumb over it to simulate moving the cursor/using arrow keys and the button acts as a touch, I really enjoy this feature but it has been eliminated from current phones.

I use it mainly for writing notes in google docs, accessing google drive, email, instant messaging, web browsing ... I can see myself using the same phone for at least 2 more years.

life after N900 is another N900 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074899)

buy another one

the androidness of it all (5, Interesting)

xeno (2667) | about 7 months ago | (#46074901)

Congratulations, you made it far longer than I did. My N900 started to show hardware problems about a year ago, and radio problems/disconnects were the last straw. I loved the versatility and control, but ultimately I needed the damn thing to make calls and browse. I nabbed a Nexus 4 when they got cheap, and have adjusted reasonably well. I had a fair look at the iDevices, but wanted something faster and with a bigger screen. I coveted the Galaxy Note series, and might have been happier that way, but I wanted something closer to the N900 size. Recently got my kid a Moto G -- and currently it seems to be the best deal reminiscent of the size/screen of the N900. But still there is the lack of a hardware keyboard... there's just no substitute for input-intensive apps. Maybe Jolla will solve that.

If you do head in the direction of Android, these might make it easier:
- Have a look at Cyanogenmod, and see if you can find a sweet spot with hardware you like and a recent version.
- Read up on App Ops, the utility that allows one to have granular permissions for applications, and restore a modicum of privacy control.
- Don't be afraid to disable all the default apps/Google+/hangouts/crap. Android works just fine with the processes disabled.
- Have a look at bare android/Samsung's overlays/cyanogenmod before you commit to them, there are significant differences.
- Try getting an older phone and experimenting with it before you jump. I obtained a Galaxy S1/Vibrant, learned all about the boot loaders, firmware, and OS installation, and tried out various roms before settling back on Cyanogenmod. (Then I taught the kids how to do it, and gave the phone to my 10yo -- never too early for mobile hacking.) All of the features aside, the process restored some of the sense of control that I had with the N900. Some of it real, some of it not, but at least I knew were I stood wrt the device I was using most frequently.

Re:the androidness of it all (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 7 months ago | (#46075015)

I didn't have an N900, but I know them. My primary concern was always a hardware keyboard. I've moved through my share of hardware keyboard phones, mostly the very solid line of HTC WinMo phones(Kaiser, Mogul, etc). The closest thing I could find nowadays that at least gives me something close to a hardware keyboard while being an actually solid phone is the Galaxy Note series. The Note 2 is cheap now that the Note 3 is out and is still a very solid device. It's Android, which OP doesn't want, but oh well, it does the job.

Q10 or Wiko (2)

core (3330) | about 7 months ago | (#46074931)

If you're really bent on having a hardware keyboard, the Blackberry Q10 is pretty decent. There's zero apps for it, but I guess you didn't mind if you held on to your N900 for so long.

Otherwise, get a ridiculously overpowered/underpriced android phone like a Wiko. They got for like $200 without a plan and run a recent Android on very decent hardware. This way you can try it out without sinking too much money into a samsung or htc phone if it turns out you can't stand Android.

Jolla Sailfish perhaps (3, Insightful)

opk (149665) | about 7 months ago | (#46074935)

Currently, they seem to be the best option If you want to avoid supporting google. Personally, I'm sticking with my N900. I wouldn't mind something newer but don't see a need to spend a lot of money when my N900 still works fine.

Samsung i927 Captivate Glide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46074991)

I bought a second-hand Samsung i927 a few days ago. I'm still waiting for it to arrive in the mail. On paper, it has everything to be a good phone, including a real keyboard. It's comparable to a Galaxy S2 and it is cheap to get these days.

HTC Desire Z with Flinny's CyanogenMod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075035)

Still ok for me...

Try other mobile Platforms with Nexus 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075037)

Nexus 4 is N9000 today - you can check Ubuntu Touch or Sailfish OS

Sliders (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#46075039)

There are a few android phones like motorola droid or the lg enact with slideout keyboards like the one in the N900 (not sure if as comfortable too). They aren't too powerful, nor with a big resolution screen, but probably would be an improvement. With a bit of luck you can install cyanogenmod on them, or even ubuntu touch or others built from android base like firefox os for extra hackability.

If you want another kind of phone, Blackberry Q10 have a keyboard and a good screen resolution for that format. And there are cases for other phones that provides a keyboard, like this one [androidspin.com] for the S4.

You can change a bit the focus of your search too.The N900 wasn't so great as a phone, but was great as a pocket computer, maybe searching for something that fits in that role and having something else as phone (and maybe 3g hotspot) could have better alternatives.

I loved my Amiga, too (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 7 months ago | (#46075065)

I loved my Amiga, too. That doesn't mean I want to go back to those days.

Life has moved on. Time for you to do the same.

Re:I loved my Amiga, too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075183)

Well duh, that's exactly what he said. The question is, to what?

"I'd like to avoid supporting Google/Android," (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075089)

Your only other choice then is supporting Apple/iOS, and that is by far worse an outcome.

Re: "I'd like to avoid supporting Google/Android," (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 7 months ago | (#46075565)

There are at least here other active smartphone platforms out there...

Windows Phone: probably not something the poster would consider, and while some of the WP7 models had hardware keyboards I don't think any WP8 ones do, so the hardware and OS would be nearly as obsolescent anyhow. Hackability, on the other hand... Well, a WP7 device with a suitably modified custom ROM might almost work, but it won't be Linux. Most WP8 devices don't have much in the way of hacks at all. If you were to go this route, the phone I would recommend is the HTC 7 Pro / HTC Arrive (same thing really, once just being a CDMA variant) - good hardware keyboard, custom ROM support, outdated but still better specs than the N900.

Blackberry: best bet for a hardware keyboard, and you can get relatively modern hardware for cheap from them, but I don't know how you feel about the company. Hackability is a question, though; I don't know how hard it is to get at their guts, but it's probably not easy. A valid option if you just want a decent hardware-keyboard-equipped smartphone, but otherwise probably not a great option. Not sure what model would suit best.

Jolla Sailfish: still in development and arguably not yet release-ready. The obvious advantage here is the Maemo roots underpinning the Sailfish OS; from a Linux-user/tinkerer point of view, it's probably the closest option for an N900 successor. "Politically" speaking, it's probably the best option as well. Currently you'd need to give up the hardware keyboard, though. That should change, and probably quite soon, but it's too early to say for sure how well Jolla will be able to iterate on their product. It's a cool idea, though!

Yes, I'm aware that all three of those, combined, have *maybe* 10% of the global smartphone marketshare. Oh well. Your claim of "only other choice" is still wrong.

No idea what you want to do with it (1)

matbury (3458347) | about 7 months ago | (#46075103)

We have no idea of what you want to do with your phone. What does a "power user" use their phone for? Are all "power users" the same? If you post something more meaningful, perhaps you can get more meaningful answers.

I have my phone. It does everything I want very well. I have no idea if it'd be useful to you.

Ubuntu on Android (1)

nashv (1479253) | about 7 months ago | (#46075105)

If you are ready to live on the edge (you must be since you brought the first mass-produced Maemo phone), buy a Nexus phone and try Ubuntu for Android [ubuntu.com] .

Since Google makes no money on sale of Android phones, not using the Android part would mean you are not supporting Google/Android (whatever reasons you have for it).

Re: Ubuntu on Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075493)

That's about as close "to the edge" as drinking energy drinks and playing video games on your Xbox/ps.

As in, not very.

Try emerging operating systems (1)

camplus2 (3513869) | about 7 months ago | (#46075121)

With Nexus 4 you can try Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish OS, maybe more

Re:Try emerging operating systems (1)

camplus2 (3513869) | about 7 months ago | (#46075133)

Google Nexus 4 is N9000 today!

Neo900, Jolla Phone (2)

sadov (450985) | about 7 months ago | (#46075141)

Neo900 OpenMoko GTA04-based platform in N900 slider-case. Support many Linux distros, may be interest OpenSource SW & HW hackers.

Monoblock Jolla Phone with a SailFish OS -- more user-oriented platform designed by former NOKIA Maemo/MeeGo developers.

The obvious answer is to get a Neo900 (3, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | about 7 months ago | (#46075163)

Its got (or will have once it goes on sale) all the good things about a N900 plus a faster CPU (not as fast as the latest iPhone or Android device though), better cellular radios and more.

Bluetooth keyboard (2)

crow (16139) | about 7 months ago | (#46075263)

On thing to consider is getting a Bluetooth keyboard. You can also use a regular USB keyboard with most any smart phone with a USB OTG cable. Of course, carrying around a separate keyboard may not be convenient depending on how you use the device. I would think someone probably makes a small Bluetooth keyboard designed to be carried with a phone.

Hmmm. Maybe I should Google that? Hey, what do you know? You can get a Bluetooth keyboard that is designed to attach to your smart phone, sliding out just like a built-in keyboard would.

I haven't used one, but with a number of options available, this is likely the best route to go. You might want a small one that you carry with you, and a full-sized one that you keep at home or work for more extensive use.

Get a Pre 3 (2)

Lispy (136512) | about 7 months ago | (#46075271)

It's got a hardware keyboard, Linux underneath, homebrew scene going strong and a bunch of apps that you might find useful, ymmv. Battery life is 3 days with powersaver and data switching on/off on demand. Really everything you could ask for if you want a decent specced/priced smartphone which is a bit newer than your n900, sports a great capacitive touchscreen and since obsolete ecosystems seem to be your thing, welcome on board: www.http://webosnation.com

Re:Get a Pre 3 (1)

Lispy (136512) | about 7 months ago | (#46075281)

Wow, cat got my tongue: http://www.webosnation.com

Firefox OS (3, Informative)

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER (2473494) | about 7 months ago | (#46075273)

Re:Firefox OS (1)

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER (2473494) | about 7 months ago | (#46075279)

...with portable bluetooth keyboard

next device? (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 7 months ago | (#46075369)

i would try pda db.net. decide what you actualy need /want from a device and then try their device finder.

I got a replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075375)

Just like the writer I had also been in love with my Nokia N900.

I replaced it with a super model. Whilst no one can reach me anymore, I see this as a bonus. The features on my super model are superb. Apart from the occasional problem with her throwing phones at assistants, I have no complaints.

I strongly recommend any of you who are looking for a replacement of their old phone to consider doing the same.

outdated garbage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075381)

your phone is 4 generations out of date life-after stopped when nokia died

SOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46075497)

Sorry, but there simply is not a "good" smartphone on the market, you're basically stuck with two similar, but not great environments
Android: which is a pain in the ass, second tier support, and if you're lucky, sometimes affordable.
iOS: Which is safe and functional, just about everything works out of the box without needing to tinker, first tier support.

First tier support, means that the company that manufactures it, takes responsibility for all problems with it. Second tier support means that the manufacturer only warrants the hardware and doesn't care if the software works properly, or at all. So if you feel that the Android device doesn't do what you want it to do, you're free to install your own OS on it, but you're still SOL if there are are poor driver support for what you want to do with it. I wish Google would just drop the Java crap already.

For the most part, software designed for the iPhone, works, on all devices, in every country, regardless of the carrier. Not so of Android. This entire "making google play optional" bit that some manufacturers have been doing (and not just on smartphones, smarttv's too) is just serving to fragment it further. Sure you may buy an Android device, but you are not guaranteed to have any third party software function on it. Nokia's software wasn't even this bad and Nokia's software was all C++

But you said N900, and the closest thing you'll get to an n900 now is an Android device... you can even boot Android on the n900, not that it will improve it any. But in all honestly I'm firmly in the Apple iOS camp because the fragmentation on Android is just so stupid that that you have no guarantee that you will ever be able to install anything made after the date of purchase.

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