Why did I switch my N900 for a HTC Hero?

Around a four months ago I got a Nokia N900 from work, it was for me to learn the Maemo system and develop for it, education. The N900 is a pretty large brick, heavy as well, but the keyboard is one of the better hardware keyboards I have ever used in such a small device.

Just a week ago I switched with my colleague to a HTC Hero. One of the reason is that I already have the iPhone in my pocket, carrying around the N900 as well was very very redundant and often resulting in that I only used the iPhone anyway. The only thing that I preferred to do on the N900 was IRC, because of the hardware keyboard.

The N900 is unpolished and it feels very much like a proof-of-concept rather than a real end-user product, which I realize is the exact same view Nokia has on the N900.

Also the battery capacity is horrible, really really horrible. It drains within 8 to 10 hours when you use it normally and if you want to use any of the nice features (like the IM integration) you are looking at a lot less.

There is a lot to like about the N900 as well. It’s a very open system, compared to Android and iPhone and it’s nice that you don’t have to jailbreak it to get root access, you just write “sudo gainroot” and you got it. The web browser is also very good, not as fast as MobileSafari, but it renders the pages very good and you can use most webpages without a problem in it. The inclusion of flash is pretty useless, it’s not fast enough to do anything useful with.

The IM/VoIP integration into contacts is probably one of the better I have seen. Just add all the different IM accounts you use and then you can send SMS, call over VoIP or normally all from the address book, and it doesn’t hurt that the functionality is modular, so developers can write their own protocol integration.

I will eagerly watch Mameo’s Meego’s future, I think that Nokia is onto something here, they just need to polish it way more. Meanwhile, I will use my iPhone for smartphone stuff, and the HTC Hero for making calls.