Nokia N900 v the N8 v the X6: the Nokia smartphone throw-down

673 nokia faceoff.jpg

Nokia busted out the specs of a new phone this week, by releasing details of the N8 a big Amoled touch screen with a massive 12 megapixel camera. Last week we stacked up the iPhone 3G, the Android powerhouse the Nexus One and the Nokia N900.

This time we decided to measure up the three top smartphones in Nokia’s roster. The N8, the N900 and the X6 go head-to-head here and sparks fly. Well specs fly. But which phone wins?

HARDWARE:
The N900 is a touchscreen slider, the others are all both touchscreen – the X6 and N8 use capacitive technology to register touch making them tap rather than click-the-button-behind-the-screen experiences. The N900 uses a slower resistive technology for the screen.

The screen on the N900 and the N8 is 3.5 inches across with the new N8 boasting an Amoled screen, known for brighter and clearer display and gem-like colours. The X6 is a more compact 3.2″.

As for chips and processors: it’s a little complex. The N900 boasts 3 chips working three different fuctions which allows for power when you need it but doesn’t run down the battery when you don’t. As an efficient work phone, it’s the most powerful of the three.

Storage is pretty good on all phones with the N900 coming top: there’s 32gb on the X6 to hold all that music, 16gb expandable up to 32gb with a micro-SD card on the N8 and a hefty 32gb expandable up to 48gb on the N900.

Cameras are decent on all three phones, but the N8’s is a stand-out with 12 megapixels, a high-quality flash and the abillity to shoot High Definition videos. All have standard 3.5mm headphone jacks.

I’ll give a shout-out to the hardcore N900 fanboys who commented on my earlier article comparing the N900 to the iPhone and the Nexus and let Serhiy say what he thinks wins out about the hardware on the N900:

“Things like N900’s 2 CPU architecture, power for when you need it, battery savings for when you don’t… a keyboard, A/V out, 30 gigs of space, FM transmitter, FM radio, and a pair of good ear buds”.

673 Nokia_N900_with_keyboard.jpg

SOFTWARE:
These phones all run Nokia proprietary operating systems: the Maemo for the N900, older Symbian for the X6 and the new Symbian ^3 for the N8 (the first device to use the system). Jury is still out on the new ^3 system, but it promises

As for apps: all have Nokia’s Ovi store – not something that we get super excited by, though good user interfaces add useful functionality with native software.

The Nokia X6 comes with music. The phone title is actually “Nokia X6 Comes With Music” and this is a massive feature on the phone. It’s not some ingenious technologial advance by Nokia but it is smart work in securing the licenses and contract that let them do this. It shows tech companies thinking outside the hard specs and into the user experience, and this will be a deal-maker for a lot of people. Though note that the tracks are chained down to this device with Digital Rights Management (DRM) tracking.

PRICES:
The Nokia N8 – approx £320 Sim-free
The Nokia N900 – free for £35 a month on Vodafone
The Nokia X6 – roughly £400 Sim-free

GOOD FOR:
The Nokia N8 –
A great phone for picture-takers, the N8 is a beautiful Amoled screen capable of showing TV very crisply and a high power camera with some great video-editing software onboard.

The Nokia N900 –
You’re not concerned about gimmicks and you’ve got some work to do. You want a powerful phone with user-friendly features like FM radio and a lot of useful native tools for work.

The Nokia X6 –
You like music. Hell, you love music and you make use of the free download facility to the maximum. Otherwise you want a decent usable touchscreen smartphone.

CONCLUSION:
Nokia lacks the eye-catching media-baiting features that say iPhone has in their app stores, but it does seem to be thinking laterally about what consumers want and providing phones some great hardware – big storage capacities and great cameras. Maybe just maybe we don’t all want hundreds of thousands of apps, even if they project sonnets onto buildings and show us where the nearest manga shops are. In the words of N900’s greatest fan, Serhiy:

“if you’re looking for a flashy toy to drain your money through apps and minutes, yes iPhone and Android are the way to go. However if you want to get shit done, save some money, or just get your feet wet in some real Linux I highly advise the N900.”

While they may have lost space at the top of the market, Nokia are still the biggest phone manufacturers and know a lot about what people want in a handset.

X6 on Nokia
N900 on Nokia
N8 on Nokia

[CORRECTED: 29/04/10]
Anna Leach

30 comments

  • Nokia is right when they refer to this device as a Mobile computer. I’ve been using it for almost a week and it surpasses all my expectations, and bear in mind that Nokia will be pushing updates to the OS to make it even better.

  • I just want to know the best because i want to buy one of them but i don’t think X6 is in there level.

  • I just want to know the best because i want to buy one of them but i don’t think X6 is in there level.

  • I have the X6, the camera is complete & utter trash…really lets the phone down. Wish I’d waited for the N8.

  • Please help me guys, i just want to know the best because i want to buy one of them but i don’t think X6 is in there level.

  • My nokia X6’s screen is fluctuating like an unstable tv reception. Imagine a fone not more than 6months misbehaving. I think all dis flashy fones are just attractive not really strong or durable.

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  • I have the X6 and its an excellent phone. It does everything so well. The only thing I dont like about it is that there is no hardware acceleration at all :(

  • Dont say nokia n900 is user friendly I have been using it for 3 months its still irritating.It is neither fully loaded internet tablet nor a smartphone. Its just a nokia product with all features loaded with many bugs.

    • u need to know how to use the N900 before cursing it as it demands abit of intellect which seemingly lacks in you even a toddler cud master the n900 in 3months!! besides, i have the same fone and use it well, fully loaded and doesnt hang abit!!

    • u need to know how to use the N900 before cursing it as it demands abit of intellect which seemingly lacks in you even a toddler cud master the n900 in 3months!! besides, i have the same fone and use it well, fully loaded and doesnt hang abit!!

  • About Nokia N900…I have kin interest but does it really work in Nigeria? It’ll really be a waste of money to buy something u can’t even make use of.. Someone should please help me!!!

  • i cant decide, help me. which one is better.
    I dont get it. N900 is much expensive than N8.
    And u already got N8 for sale??????

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  • I have an X6 which I upgraded from an N95 8Gb. I love the phone.. It does what I want. I have the Putty client, also a full IMAP client (Profimail) and Opera 10 installed so its basically a pocket PC :) I love it. All my colleagues have the HTC Hero which they like, but I HAD to be different ;)
    The X6 is a solid phone and very underrated. An improvement on the 5800 which is more or less what it is.

  • nice phone, but it seems the N900 is not for Nigeria market. can’t download application. i regret buying the phone am frusrated.

    • watz ur advice to people in NIGERIA who wanna buy the phone cause i have developd interest…?

  • i have nokia n900
    its very good phone but i have problem with this phone problem is battery backup its very poor

    please you do the need full

    • well u have poor batter becuase u override chager when u see green led mean fully aslo u should unpulg usb chager phone, anyway i have nokia n900 aslo i have CD,Software web for my phone like update,hardware,software, etc but my phone just new when i bought it 2010/05/21

      that phone sweet and powerful much more. but iphone is fool and stupid wast money of fix pbm then few later months same things so not worth iphone so i use nokia n900 much better puls i pay months for hardware,software, etc beat iphone.

  • i have nokia n900
    and its much better ( FOR ME ) than the stupid iPhone and all his USELESS APPS !!
    why do you need a facebook app if you could just sing in to the REAL facebook Page throw the N900 !!!!!!
    the only thing that nokia have a very stupid Support team here in the Arab side of the World
    and when my N900 was in need for a Flash ( softwear ) the nokia support Team WAS UNABLE TO DO IT !!!!!!!! and instead they gave me a new device
    but i did go and talk to the manager and showed him how to do it!!!!!!!!
    lol he was like :O when he saw the MAEMO.ORG !!!!!! he didnt know it was on the web
    but its nokia mistake they dont take care of the workers in the arab world
    :(

  • the Nokia X6 in the 32gb comes with music version costs £439 on Play.com (http://bit.ly/dgcl8P) or in cheapest deal about £370 on Porta Gadget (http://bit.ly/dyIQFF)
    The 16gb version is cheaper, around £300 as you suggest.

    the nokia n900 does have a resistive touchscreen – article corrected accordingly

  • Dear god, you are incompetent, N900 screen isn’t capacitive, and the prices for the phones are incorrect, the X6 is around £300.

    Don’t give up your day job.

    • “The N900 uses a slower resistive technology for the screen.” He didn’t say it was capacitive, you git. Use your eyes and stop being a f***ing retard.

  • I think the X6 is a massively under-rated phone. If it had the backing of a decent app store I’d prefer it to the iPhone. The N8 looks good too

    • i agree i have just got a x6 after having a n95 8gb and i love it it dose everything so well, im very impressed by this phone.

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