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Handhelds Cellphones Hardware

Ask Slashdot: Life After N900? 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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Ask Slashdot: Life After N900?

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  • (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zarhan ( 415465 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @03:55PM (#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.

  • Neo900 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:01PM (#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 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.

  • by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:15PM (#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.

  • Love the Q10 (Score:4, Informative)

    by rwade ( 131726 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:23PM (#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.

  • by pijokela ( 462279 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:23PM (#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.)

  • (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:28PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:29PM (#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.

  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:42PM (#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.

  • by __aaqvdr516 ( 975138 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:43PM (#46075033)

    From Google's Privacy Policy Page []

    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. [].

    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 []

    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.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @05:07PM (#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.

  • Firefox OS (Score:4, Informative)

    by THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER ( 2473494 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @05:23PM (#46075273)
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @05:30PM (#46075335) Homepage

    "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.

  • by foobar bazbot ( 3352433 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:15PM (#46076821)

    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.

    Or as neither.
    I like Sven-Ola's debian kit [] which takes advantage of the (mostly) disjoint directory structure of Android and Debian (or rather LSB) to run Debian and Android in the same root. The benefit over chroot is that you can plug in a USB drive, SD card, etc. and instantly have access in /Removable/Foo for both Android and Debian apps, as well as the ability to use Debian programs (e.g. text editor) in the Android hierarchy. You can get the same functionality with enough bind mounts, but debian-kit makes it a lot simpler IMO.

    I'd also recommend zshaolin [] for those looking for a friendly *n*x environment without installing a whole distribution, or if they don't have and can't/won't get root access.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:51AM (#46078325)

    How do you think Google's ad service works? That is the question, and the answer reveals how stupid selling the data would be.

    Google's service is simple:
    1) Submit an ad to Google (banner / flash / etc)
    2) Look at the list of demographics, do you want male or female, what age, what interests?
    3) Press submit

    Google will store the ad on their server, when a user who matches the chosen profile loads a page with Google ads embedded in it, Google will insert the ad into the page where it downloads from their servers.

    Notice specifically that this places Google as the middleman between you and the advertiser, the advertiser chooses what they want from the restaurant menu, Google cooks it then delivers the finished meal (people who clicked on ads) and a bill.

    If Google sold the information, Google would have no business, the advertiser could sell ads directly without Google's help.

  • Neo 900 (Score:3, Informative)

    by kamathln ( 1220102 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @05:08AM (#46078739) Homepage []

    Seems like the best alternative for a hacker right now.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.