Video and Video Chat
The N900 is one of the few phones out there with a functional video chat. At one point, the N900 could video chat with other devices via the Fring
service. Since Fring and Skype have had a falling out, that is no longer really as much of an option unless they also have Fring. But no fear, with the new firmware update that we installed prior to reviewing the device it gained Skype and Google Talk video chatting functionality. It is easy for us to say that this device has successfully made video calls via 3.5G across the United States and the Atlantic. This is one of the few devices that can do video chat using 3G and does not require Wifi. But there is also a disclaimer, there is a significant amount of lag when using 3G compared to Wifi and the incidence of failure is much higher. Also, there seems to be an issue when trying to make Skype calls to people who are on Macs… but that may just be a Skype issue. The lag issue simply illustrates that networks need to increase their upload speeds and overall network speeds for video chat to be useful. This is likely why the HTC Evo is only allowed to use Qik videochat unless in 4G mode or on wifi.
In regards to video playback, there is no easy way to say this… but it can on occasion be pretty choppy. The videos that came on the device played fairly smoothly in full screen and the definition and colors were impeccable, but there was still some occasional lag. The hardest thing is really to find the right bitrate so that it plays smoothly. This has been an issue, and we’d highly recommend Nokia look into improving their up scaling and downscaling as well as possibly bundling a video converter. Camera and Photography
The N900’s camera is a 5 Megapixel camera that when used in stock mode, really isn’t much better than most 5MP cameras on phones today. The only thing that sets it apart is the fact that it has a lens cover that easily enables and disables the camera application along with protecting the lens. Recently, though, an application has been made by a few developers that adds a whole new set of camera drivers and creates an entirely new camera app that enables the user to effectively use the camera as if it were an actual camera. With the application FCamera the user can effectively control the exposure, gain, focus, white balance, and burst modes. In addition to that, there is also an option to take HDR photographs which isn’t new to the N900 but may be to others.
When it comes to capturing video, we consider this a sort of middle ground between video and photography. In the case of the N900 we could not capture video without getting some stuttering and some artifacting. Even so, many videos taken with the N900 do look good as long as they don’t stutter or have any artifacting. Overall, the artifacting and stuttering issues do affect the overall quality and have left us wanting more from this device’s video capturing.
Here are a few sample photos and videos.This photo was taken with the stock camera softwareThis photo was taken with the FCamera software. It captures images in RAW format which usually results in much better photos.This photo was also taken with the FCamera software. It captures images in RAW format which usually results in much better photos.
Here is an uploaded video taken off of the N900 using the stock software as FCamera does not do video.
The battery life of the N900 is quite poor even though it features a 1320mAh battery, which in our opinion should’ve been a higher capacity. On a good day, the N900 will last a full working day, and on a bad day it won’t last more than 4-5 hours. We have determined this to be partly because of the fact that the N900 is constantly searching for signal or switching between data networks. Specifically on Tmobile’s network we’ve noticed that the battery life is much worse. People who considering buying the N900 need to be aware of this fact and make sure that they have a car charger and possibly a charger at work or school. We must admit, though, that the phone does charge very quickly from being completely dead.
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