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The Nokia N90, $900 Camera Phone Reviewed 212

Lord_of_Tech writes " has reviewed Nokia's N90 cell phones that comes with 2 megapixel camera and a host of other features, and it costs a solid $900 per unit. "The minute you set your eyes on the N90, the first thing that springs to your mind is 'it looks a lot slimmer in photos...' but as you take it out of the packaging, you realize the heaviness of it. To be very clear at the outset though, this is not Nokia's attempt to produce as sleek a phone as the Motorola Razr. What it is designed to be is a feature packed phone that doesn't mind compromising on the ergonomics to pack in every last bit of functionality you could ever want on a camera phone."
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The Nokia N90, $900 Camera Phone Reviewed

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  • by FidelCatsro ( 861135 ) * <fidelcatsro @ g m a i l . c om> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:03AM (#13879820) Journal
    One small , perhaps insignificant problem with the review.
    It goes in-depth with all the features of the phone rather well, it does however miss one thing.

    How good is it as an actual phone?
    What does it sound like when making a call?
    Is the antenna any use?
    How is the microphone?

    This is something rather important to me when buying a phone.. being that it is the primary purpose of the thing.

    Good review of all the features though, I won't touch this phone with a barge-pole if the review is correct (and the price tag so inordinate ).

    PS: I took the liberty of coral caching the site , it was taking a while to load pages when I was reading the review p?option=content&task=view&id=1915 []
  • by pasokon ( 829164 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:06AM (#13879841) Homepage
    The review really doesn't tell you anything... try this [] for a decent review, with real pics of the phone and interface, as well as sample shots from the camera.
  • by yogix ( 865930 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:25AM (#13879979)
    "Hey - the 90s called. They want your concerns back..."

    I have been using Nokias (and other mobile phones) for over 10 years here in India. While some of the earlier models did have issues in these areas, in my experience, NONE of the current models do...

    The problems that they do suffer from are mainly usability issues such as sluggishness of software, bad layout of keys and so on.

    So although every time a cam-phone is mentioned on Slashdot someone brings up the 'mic and antenna' issue and how a 'phone should be just a phone', I really don't think these newer phones have a problem in that area any more.

    [DISCLAIMER: This is of course based on my own experiences with several cam / non-cam phones I have used. Your mileage may vary...]

  • Japanese cell phones (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bueller_007 ( 535588 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:28AM (#13879993)
    The "West" is so far behind in mobile phone technology. For only $200, I can get this phone in Japan: 903t/index.html []

    It's completely bilingual (although I don't think it has predictive text in English mode), has a 2 MB camera, global roaming (and global GPS navigation (although only five or six countries are available at the moment)), can take video calls, communicate via Bluetooth or IR, read QR codes (very convenient in Japan). The Nokia N90 can't even vibrate when it's in silent mode. WTF? That's pretty much par for the course over here. And the Nokia is $700 more? If you can switch this phone to work on a Verizon account back home, it's almost worthwhile to buy a ticket to Japan, buy the phone and then fly back.

    Even the free phones you get with a new account over here have AT LEAST a 1 MB camera. Some have 2. Some of the newer Sharp phones even have built-in optical zoom.

    Vodafone is generally looked down upon by the Japanese people. NTT Docomo probably have even better phones available.
  • by fjm03 ( 548420 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:48AM (#13880109)
    Good point since the handset, as configured, isn't practical on the Cingular network which increasingly relies on the 850 Mhz channel for coverage in many markets.
  • by FidelCatsro ( 861135 ) * <fidelcatsro @ g m a i l . c om> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:50AM (#13880120) Journal
    Well that stems from UNIX Boxen which in turn stems from VAXen. []
    /bok'sn/ (By analogy with VAXen) A fanciful plural of box often encountered in the phrase "Unix boxen", used to describe commodity Unix hardware. The connotation is that any two Unix boxen are interchangeable.
    In German Boxen is Boxing as in pugilism

  • Re:Global Roaming? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Bueller_007 ( 535588 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:51AM (#13880122)
    Yes, you are missing something. Japan uses a different cellular phone standard than the rest of the world. Most Japanese phones use PDC, a 2G protocol developed and used ONLY in Japan. PDC has its advantages, but pretty much the rest of the world uses GSM. That means that the average phone that you purchase over here is incapable of global roaming, regardless of your provider. PDC/GSM and 3G phones (capable of global roaming) are becoming more popular over here, but they usually cost significantly more.
    Thus, I made a point of mentioning that it is capable of global roaming.
  • by Iloinen Lohikrme ( 880747 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:52AM (#13880133)
    In Japan, they use different technology solutions, not more advanced technology in mobile phones.

    The situation in Japan differs much from situation in other parts of the world, namely population density in Japan is much higher and there aren't many areas in Japan where there isn't high population density. What this means is that you have to build your whole mobile phone network differently, you have to have lot's of base station and they have to operate in much smaller area, thus leading to lower power usage in both base stations and in mobile phones. Because power requirements are lower, Japanese mobile phones have been a lot smaller for decades. They don't have any magical technology that the rest of the world hasn't, they just a different situation with different needs.

    It should also be noted that the markets have proved that Japanese don't have more advanced technology, if they would have, they would have stormed the markets allready.
  • by 246o1 ( 914193 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @10:07AM (#13880206)
    Actually, while most of the Japanese population lives in the major metropolitan areas (about 25% alone in Tokyo metro), most people here live in rural areas, as I do. Despite this, everyone here has cell phones (DoCoMo, probably having the best phones, also being the most popular). By everyone, I mean EVERYONE. Most schoolchildren start carrying cell phones when they go to school alone in grade school, and even the very old have them. Likewise, the above statement about cheaper phones with better offers is completely true. Whenever I notice the difference between the phones, I am amazed. That 2 megapixels would be something apparently extraordinary enough to draw such attention on /. surprises me, as I have even seen 3 megapixel phones advertised recently. Sure, technology here might not be miles ahead of America, but the truth behind the stereotype is that the availability of certain technologies is miles ahead here, regardless of the reasons.
  • by scottennis ( 225462 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @10:11AM (#13880240) Homepage
    There's also a good review of this phone here: html []
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @10:12AM (#13880242) Homepage Journal
    Every time I hear one of these "In Japan, great cell phones!" posts I always chuckle at an accessory in common use in Japan is a plastic case that contains 4 AA(maybe AAA I forget) batteries that plugs into the power port. Why use such an ugly abomination? Because the battery life on those phones with a zillion features sucks. My 40 euro little dinky motorola phone can last me from Monday till Friday on one charge; that never happened when I lived in Japan. Also, about the whole predictive text input: when I was living in the US, my 4+ year old crappy phone had predictive text input in English, not all that advanced of a feature.....
  • by Bueller_007 ( 535588 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @10:17AM (#13880271)
    The phone that I was referring to was a 3G phone. 3G is the new GLOBAL STANDARD. This phone DOES NOT use PDC (the Japanese-only mobile phone network to which you are referring). PDC phones have a weaker signal strength, so they are smaller, lighter and use less power. They have little, if nothing in common with the newer, (much) larger 3G phones. Did I even mention the size of the phone in my post? No. The phone is pretty big. Surprisingly big when compared to the old 2G Japanese phones. The difference is that it has almost the same features as the Nokia, and it is CHEAP. About 1/4 of the price. Plus, it has global GPS, something that is actually useful to have in a cell phone if you're going to carry it around with you to other countries.

    By the way, have you ever been to Japan? There are PLENTY of places with low population density. For example, the whole coast of the Sea of Japan... Tohoku... Hokkaido... Kyushu... Shikoku. Basically, EVERYWHERE except Kanto, Kansai and Nagoya. The population density of Japan is LOWER than that of Belgium and the Netherlands, both of which, I believe use the GSM standard for cell phones.

    If you've ever gone to a Japanese electronics shop, you'd know that we are FAR behind them when it comes to phones.
  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @03:44PM (#13883494) Homepage Journal
    FWIW, 3G is NOT a standard. 3G is a marketing and political term. It essentially boils down to "These standards support data rates approximately better than the worst DSL available." The following, totally incompatable, systems are considered "3G". UMTS. CDMA2000. FOMA. GSM with EDGE is also considered 3G by some groups, though it's borderline in practical terms.

    There are others, but these are the most popular.

    "3G" is little more than an attempt to extract more frequencies from governments by proposing they'll be necessary for a hypothetical future generation of mobile phones, which are assumed to provide video and high-speed Internet access. To call the entire concept fraud isn't far from the truth, but that said, governments have needed prodding as far as releasing their stranglehold on radio goes. Outside of government lobbying, it's a marketing term, with companies keen to portray their latest offering as 3G, usually redefining the term very few months so they can announce a minor upgrade as "3G" each time they do one.

    So, no, 3G is not a standard. Looking at one of the links an earlier poster mentioned, it looks like Japan is getting UMTS via Vodafone (UMTS is essentially 3G GSM), FOMA, and CDMA2000, to add to 2G PDC and PHS. Can't comment on FOMA. CDMA2000 is an incremental enhancement to the US IS-95 standard, which in practical terms is barely a second generation standard (IS-95's essentially a digital version of AMPS, the old analog standard in the US, and is deployed largely because it's cheap - and I mean that in every sense of the word) the only "nice" part is the air interface technology, and seems - for the most part - to be incompatable with the rest of the world for the sake of doing so.) UMTS is, by all accounts, pretty good - all the benefits of GSM with improved data rates and capacity - as long as Vodafone over there do not screw up, you're not "far behind" with phones. You'll at least have UMTS, and have the CDMA2000 people pushing the UMTS people in terms of prices.

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.