Nokia N900 review

Bulky and blocky – yet could this be one of the phones of the year?

The definitive Nokia N900 review
The definitive Nokia N900 review

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The camera on the N900 is pretty much standard fare for a mobile phone these days - 5MP lens with dual flash LED, and a nice little slidey lens cover to keep everything safe.

However, despite the range of picture taking options, there's not a whole amount of pleasure to be found from snaps taken using the N900.

Nokia n900

The main thing we quickly realised is that this isn't a phone that's designed for the mobile photographer (mo-pho), as while there are modes such as macro, landscape and action, these are pretty much useless in our opinion.

For instance, the macro mode captured the detail well enough, but when a reflection came in, that whole area on the snap became pixellated and looked thoroughly rubbish.

Similarly, the dual LED flash in low light - nice to have, but it's certainly no Xenon. And, in fact, the main selling point of the camera appears to be being able to take the resolution down from 5MP to just over 3MP, in order to take a widescreen 16:9 picture. Thanks, but that's not as important to us.

Picture taking was speedy, with less than five seconds taken between each snap - that is unless you add in a spot of geotagging, when it will be about double that. Our tip - don't do that.

You can change the exposure and white balance on the phone, but we've only ever really seen this feature as a gimmick that we'd anticipate 95 per cent of users will never, ever touch. That said, for the five per cent that do, it works well enough and it's always nice to have other options in these situations.

Nokia n900

Video capture and playback is a bit disappointing as well, as although QVGA capture is promised (which takes it to near DVD quality) the N900's framerate lets it down, with choppy movies not really what you're looking for in a phone like this.

And for that reason, we'd suggest you don't pump said shootings out through the TV cable - they don't look good on the big screen and that's going to make people think this good phone isn't much to shout about at all.

It is nice to have a few photo-editing options, such as being able to rotate and crop snaps straight after taking them. There's also the opportunity to tag photos as well, where you can assign a label (or more) to the snap and then when it comes to viewing it in the photo gallery (which is basic, but rockets through photos when swiping along) you can then filter by tag, which is pretty nice.

Overall, it's a camera that is a little less impressive than other Nokias, and certainly one that's bettered by most of Samsung's range, such as the Samsung Jet.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.