How does Nokia’s N900 cellphone compare with the iPhone 4?

Apple phone (artwork by azrainman - CC-BY)

Apple’s iPhone 4 and Nokia’s N900 are both advanced mobile phones with web browsers and music players, yet they are very different products. Apple’s iPhone offers a streamlined but controlled user experience, while Nokia’s N900 is unconstrained and powerful but perhaps somewhat uneven and unrefined.

For many purchasers their preference will depend on the included software, but that’s a highly subjective decision. Here we list the hardware specifications, which are more amenable to side-by-side comparison.

Notice that the 3G radio frequencies differ. In the United States, the N900 works best on T-Mobile. For AT&T the iPhone is the better choice. In most countries, both phones are available unlocked and without carrier branding on the hardware.


N900 iPhone 4
Size 110.9 x 59.8 x 18 to 19.55 mm slider 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm slate
Weight 181 grams 137 grams
Volume 113 cubic cm 62 cubic cm (approx)
Keyboard On-screen plus slide-out On-screen
RAM 256MB 512MB
Storage 32 GB 16GB or 32GB
Memory card MicroSD/SDHC to 32GB No
GSM/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
3G/HSPA 900, 1700, 2100 MHz 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
WiFi 802.11b/g 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR 2.1 + EDR
Bluetooth profiles A2DP, AVRCP, FTP, HFP, HSP, OPP ?
Location Assisted GPS Assisted GPS
Digital compass No Yes
Battery Removable 1320 mAh Fixed
Charging Micro-USB to USB Proprietary to USB
Needs computer No Yes, Mac or Windows
Computer interface USB Mass Storage or Nokia PC Suite iTunes
Display 3.5 inch diagonal 3.5 inch diagonal
Touch screen Single-touch resistive Multi-touch capacitive
Resolution 800 x 480 pixels 960 x 640 pixels “retina display
Pixels per inch 267 326
VGA interface No 1024 x 768 pixels
Video interface Composite AV Component or composite AV
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Gyroscope No Yes
Proximity sensor Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Speakers Stereo Mono
Headphones 3.5mm 3.5mm
Microphones One Two (noise cancelling)
Color Black White or black
Camera 5 Megapixels 5 Megapixels
Video recording 848 x 480 pixels 25 fps MPEG-4 720p 30 fps
Camera flash Dual LED LED
Front-facing camera 640 x 480 pixels 640 x 480 pixels, 30 fps
Browser MicroB (Mozilla-based) Safari (Webkit-based)
Document formats Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, RTF
Adobe Flash 9.4 No
Java No No
App stores Ovi, Maemo iTunes
Audio playback AAC, M4A, MP3, WAV, WMA AAC, MP3, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV
DRM No iTunes, Audible
Video playback 3GPP/H.263, ASF, AVI, FLV, H.264/AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, XVID H.264, MPEG-4, M-JPEG/AVI
Device root Supported Unsupported
SIM card Full size Micro
FM radio Transmitter and receiver No
Infra-red Transmitter No
Kickstand Yes No
Operating system Maemo 5 Linux iOS 4

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1 Comment

  • karan says:

    n900_ the computer fone which needs bit of brains by users to be applied and refined by dem but once done its the best evr fone made mayb for life.n900 has capabilities and possibilities.nokia married maemo gave birth 2 n900 and left it orphaned.and trust me theres no kid better den this orphaned kid.

    iphone_for people blinded by “APP” yes i hate that word.its a toy for kids so go on and buy it but iphone is no advancement in tech accept hardware..its app based world.fones hav lost deir way..

    my final word_iphone is a toy n900 is real tech in ur pocket provided u mst knw hw 2 customize n use it.i m no nokia fanboy

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