Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy camper

I broke down and bought a Nexus One last week.

I got the original G1 phone from google when it came out, and I hardly ever used it. Why? I generally hate phones - they are irritating and disturb you as you work or read or whatever - and a cellphone to me is just an opportunity to be irritated wherever you are. Which is not a good thing.

At the same time I love the concept of having a phone that runs Linux, and I've had a number of them over the years (in addition to the G1, I had one of the early China-only Motorola Linux phones) etc. But my hatred of phones ends up resulting in me not really ever using them. The G1, for example, ended up being mostly used for playing Galaga and Solitaire on long flights, since I had almost no reason to carry it with me except when traveling.

But I have to admit, the Nexus One is a winner. I wasn't enthusiastic about buying a phone on the internet sight unseen, but the day it was reported that it finally had the pinch-to-zoom thing enabled, I decided to take the plunge. I've wanted to have a GPS unit for my car anyway, and I thought that google navigation might finally make a phone useful.

And it does. What a difference! I no longer feel like I'm dragging a phone with me "just in case" I would need to get in touch with somebody - now I'm having a useful (and admittedly pretty good-looking) gadget instead. The fact that you can use it as a phone too is kind of secondary.


Tony Mattke said...

Glad to hear you like it ! -- I haven't been able to pull myself away from my iPhone, but I think when Google rolls out their second or even third iteration... I could be convinced.

baza said...

Very smart your argument! I also wait Nexus One hear in Brazil!

Unknown said...

And what do you think about the Android/kernel problem (see the blog post from Greg KH here => ) ?

Unknown said...

Huh, @patrick, just wanted to ask the same question :)

Unknown said...

Congratulations with purchase, Motorola Droid not attracted you?

Johanna Janhonen said...

i love nokia's 1st linux phone n900. Have you seen that?

John Kerr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Kerr said...

Linus, you are in good company. If I remember correctly, it was Alexander Graham Bell himself who did not believe anyone would want a phone in the home because it "could interrupt dinner".

lost said...

Enjoy the nexus1. All my friends @ work got one for free last week, and it is a bumpup from 1.6 firmware of the g1.
Btw, if your selling your g1, I'm buying,
I have a brown one that's been w/me since launch and I could use a lesser used one soon, would be an honor to get your old 1 (no pun intended).

hallin said...

Did Google pay you for writing this? :)

Linus said...

ukrainets: I had a tmobile sim-card for the G1, and wasn't going to get a new data plan, so droid was out for me.

I also have to admit to liking thin-and-light. I did like having a physical keyboard on the G1, but voice search for the navigation actually seems to work pretty well.

patrick/brabadu: I don't worry about out-of-tree development for odd devices too much. I wish we could merge android, but I also accept it likely being a few years away. We had similar out-of-tree issues with the SGI extreme scalability stuff, and it took quite a while before the standard kernel merged all of that.

Linus said...

hallin: no, just a happy user. Admittedly just for a day or two now.

Greymarch said...

I bought the Nexus One the moment Google released it. It's my first touch screen phone, and I love it. It's amazing all the crazy things you can do with it. Runs fast too, damn fast. Comes with a free invite to google voice, which is incredibly useful to me. Having my voice mails transcribed and emailed to me is true 21st century tech.

I write about technology, including the Nexus One at my website.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're enjoying the N1. Thank you for Linux and Git, two things that have been a big part of Android's success.

We do hope to see a day when enough of our stuff makes it to mainline that one can build a kernel that works with Android "out of the box", but yeah, it's not the end of the world that it may take some time to get it all sorted out.

NoName said...

I hate phones also. But it must be interesting to program them to do other things than undesired calls.

Kelly said...

I am surprised you didn't go for the Nokia n900, what with it having a traditional GNU stack instead of Java.

crashsystems said...

Welcome to the club Linus! I'd be interested in hearing about what apps you've been using on Android.

Russ Nelson said...

"and you can make phone calls on it"!

Work bought me a Moto Droid. I mostly like Android. So far I haven't not liked anything enough to want to download the source and fix it. Just knowing that I can makes me very happy.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the Verizon Nexus One, great phone, great network... unbeatable combination!

Adam said...

Please let us know after a couple months of use what you think of the phone then!

just_a_nerd said...

I've the G1 and the Motorola Milestone. Now i want the Nexus. Before Android I was a mobile phone hater myself - the Androids are the first smartphone I bought - Others cellphones I've used as part of the job, and to make mom and girlfriends happy. It's pretty cool to have a gadget that actually make phone calls!!! :)

Jandy said...

Nexus One is too expensive for a normal Chinese, I want a HTC G3, now is 2958RMB($433).

Roger Mugs said...

now if only you had a phone that was running with linux underpinnings but had a beautiful iphone ui... now that would be something...

probably have to jailbreak it to get the terminal access though, but whatev.

Anonymous said...

No "jailbreaking" required:

All Nexus One devices have an unlockable bootloader (% fastboot oem unlock), which, once unlocked will allow you to reflash the boot partition (kernel + ramdisk), system partition, etc.

Full kernel sources are available here:;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/android-msm-2.6.29-nexusone
(make mahimahi_defconfig to configure just like the production kernel). We're in the process of rebasing up to .32, on our way to .33 and beyond.

TTL level serial is available on the D+/D- pins of the microusb connector, whenever VBUS (usb power) is not present. /dev/ttyMSM0

TEJ said...

Glad to hear that,
Hope google will innovate more on UI side for future version.

n900 looks very nice alternative.

Leon said...

IMHO the only problem with android phone is that they are A LOT less Unix-like then Iphone or the n900...

Ok, ok, they use the linux kernel... But just to boot the DalvikVM and period.

Unknown said...

Absolutely right
Mostly I have my phone on me 'just in case' and that almost never happens :)

mhoyes62 said...

I too hate cell phones/phones in general with a passion. An additional problem I have with cellphones is they keep getting smaller. It is to the point that they are becoming unusable for anyone with larger hands. I tried using a friends iPhone and couldn't even make a call for mis-dialing on the bloody touch screen, and forget about trying to type text. And why is the backspace key the smallest on the screen? I have a phone with a keypad, but the buttons on it are so small I have to use a pencil eraser to even type on it. I must say, the idea of a linux phone is great, just wish touch worked better so it would shine.

Unknown said...

" ..... I generally hate phones - they are irritating and disturb you as you work or read or whatever ....", Absolutely right ! ! :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm also quite shocked you wouldn't have purchased a Nokia N900, which plays nicely on T-Mobile's 3G network. This thing is phenominal. I just mounted a Samba-shared Drobo to my N900's file system the other day. No dumb jailbreaking or hacking required. N900 is better suited for Linux geeks... it IS GNU/Linux. Unlike those other phones that pretend to run Linux.

Unknown said...

I to love my N1... For those talk'in about iphones... your living in the past...I'll take the N1 over the iPhone anyday! :-)

riotingpacifist said...

If you want that "pinch thingy" for your desktop, might interest you.

Not to stalk you, but do you by any chance live in the US, meaning the n900 wasn't a decent option? If not how come you chose the nexus over it? price?

Anonymous said...

The Nexus One is great, I'm sure, but I am one of the stubborn folks out there that still isn't sold on Android. The only platform in the marketplace that truly takes advantage of Linux development is webOS. Anyone that thinks otherwise can talk a look at Preware and let me know if they still feel that way.

Unknown said...


It is so multi-functional, that I find it odd calling it a "phone", because it is so much more than that. It is a GPS navigator, camera, internet browser, bar-code scanner, song identifier, art and landmarks identifier, video recorder, voice recorder, trek recorder, eBook reader, little piano, metronome, media player, and the hardware is the limit (relatively speaking).

And one of the things I like most about it is the multi-tasking :), which is not to be found on the most popular phone.

Unknown said...

Welcome to the Nexus One family. If you are having any problems or questions, be sure to check out the Nexus One Forum:

David Gerard said...

I have no problem with my cellphone. I even have the number (+44 7733 223 584) up on my web pages!

The secret is I almost never actually answer it unless it's a family member, generally letting it go to voicemail ;-)

bazanime said...

Quite shocked you havent tried out the truest linux phone, Nokia N900.

I suggest you just give it a look and a run through.

Support @ said...

A rare review from the father of Linux kernel.

Thank you,

Unknown said...

Why not the Nokia n900? A Linux phone.

bigpicture said...

I don't have a cell phone of any kind just for the reasons that you indicate. (more irritating than useful) I bought a Blackberry storm for my wife because she likes to text message and e-mail.

Smart phones could be tiny PCs (the phone being only one of the lesser functions) but they are too small to be useful for that purpose. Then there is iPad that is probably too large to be usefully portable (a huge smart phone?)
LG has something in the works that is still pocket able (by males and may not attract female buyers) But as more of the PC functionality migrates to these portable devices I might be convinced to buy something like this LG.

Anonymous said...

I also would like a comment: why not the Nokia N900? It's the closest one to be in mainline. Also has a typical linux user-space (GTK+, X, GNOME stuff), and even an xterm built-in.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hey Linux, I agree that the Nexus One is great.
With all respect, your post sound like you don't have a single thought about the consequences of changing phones too often.

Have a look at the "Blood in the mobile" video, for example. Terrifying!

And of course, re-sell old phones to give them a second life, or give them to assossiations like Phonebank.

Sorry if I only write too obvious things. Best regards,

Unknown said...

please make sure you are properly disclosing any relationship if you are making an endorsement.

And I will mirror the sentiment of others here the nokia n900 is a much better and open platform for linux hacking and development than android/dalvik.

Works just fine on tmobile. very surprised you would choose the nexus one over the n900. It's a clear choice from an engineering perspectve

bigpicture said...

There are all these comments here about: "try a Linux phone". Android IS Linux, Moblin IS Linux, Ubuntu IS Linux, and all of the other multitude of flavors noted here.

It is like saying you are not drinking my brand of beer. The thing is that if they are Linux they are probably OPEN meaning you can modify or mess with them to your heart is content. Even install them on things that they are not supposed to run on and no-one from the software side will sue you. Also the apps will probably not come from a closed shop so you can also probably mix and match any way you want. The whole point is that you are not forced to drink one brand of beer.

Unknown said...

I feel ya. Nexus One was the first phone since 2007 that I have considered buying to replace my aging win6.1 phone. being that I work for Nokia I was waiting for devices that I hear are coming down the pipe. But I don't wanna wait anymore. Instead of Nexus One, Its either gonna be a Nokia device(what we will be releasing in the future) or the Motorola Motoroi.

Texrat said...

Sorry to be part of a mob, but it would be really nice to hear Linus' opinion of the N900, even if the Nexus One was his preferred choice.

eLMagodelRock said...

Yes, i wanna hear why you dont go after the N900 that is the real Gnu/Linux phone and go for the Nexus One, likes&dislikes and what feature you liked in the N1, if you can, of course. Thanks in advance :)

Linus said...

everybody: my dad got himself a N900, so there's one in the family. Don't worry about it, there's room for more than one Linux phone.

I like the Nexus One, maybe I'd like the N900 too. But I certainly don't like cellphones enough to have two.

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Unknown said...

My G1 has been a love/hate relationship. The G1 size, slowness and battery has just about done me in, however the apps are keeping my interest going. Google Voice integration will someday end the hold of the carriers on phone hardware. For now, shelling out $500 is a deal breaker. <$200 and I'm in...


PS. It's been awhile since I started the sudden death syndrome thread in1995 Linux 1.2 Amazing that google still finds old postings in ms.

Unknown said...

Physical keyboard wins touch-based ones just because it's physical - easier and faster to use with the ability to keep eyes on screen..

Still, Nexus One looks better than most, but I'd personally prefer N900 for it's bad design physical keyboard or wait a few years.

Just curious, Linus, what does your desktop look like and what linux distribution you mostly use? I read your humorous book and came to think!

Unknown said...

And you not taking the N900 has nothing to do with the fact that it IS GNU?

Unknown said...

I'm very fond of my N900 but also very happy there are now multiple decent choices. That means Linux is becoming a recognized option for smartphones... and we finally see phones that are smart. :)

Foxter said...

It is worth to buy, Linus?

MMM said...

There are those who like mobiles as a status symbol, those who like to tool with them for other pursuits, those who simply like to be communicated with, and those who'd like a little of all of that, but for most of its use to fade into the background.

Android does that better than pretty much any mobile platform other than Palm's webOS.

When the OS fades into the background, and the person can just use it, then mobile is enabling. He's pretty much just saying as much - with a product note from the group who runs his blog ;)

ray bhai said...

so does it means you gona do some tweaking and stuff on it too ??

ezcola said...

Hi Linus!

I agree with you that Nexus One is a marvelous piece of gadgetry and I feel the same way about the Android platform...

but one thing bugs me about the way Google approaches the "open development" idea. They have gotten so much from linux kernel and from the open source community directly and indirectly but they seem to only leech the good things from the kernel and give nothing in return. This is a huge issue and it's causing big long term problems and headache for example with driver development for linux kernel (e.g. framebuffer issues etc.). In my opinion there is no excuse to rudely dismiss upstreaming the kernel bits they work upon just because they are so BIG they don't have to care.

I think someone should confront Google Android platform developers about this issue... and as the one of the head devils (pääpiru) of the open source world You would be a great one to do just that.

I thank you in advance if you have had the patience for reading this far and wish you would read just a bit more from following link:

Yours truly,

Unknown said...

Can you guys leave the man alone if he likes N1 over N900...he picked the N1 because of things you can do with it, not because it runs a Linux flavor too. I'd pick up a N1 or HTC HD2 (WinMo) twice over before I buy the N900...its just my I hate qwerty boards. Its like asking iPhone lovers why they carry a phone that cannot could just be the simple intuitive UI or the 100,000+ apps on Apple's market.

Unknown said...

I'm waiting for the phone that can connect a keyboard and screen, and run NX or similar ... THAT would be svweeeet.

Unknown said...


N900 can do it. Bluetooth keyboard, and TV out. As for NX not sure it is supported now, but there are rumors it will be available soon, or at least a port of some sort.

hchj said...

Glad 2 C UR having fun with it; now lets build another OS, I've got some ideas


Unknown said...

You seriously should've bought the N900.. The Nexus One doesn't even come close to the N900..

Bad investment IMHO.

Unknown said...


Uqbar said...

Linux, go back to your G1.
With a real 5 rows keyboard you can play a rougue-like game ... provided that someone ported any to Android.
And this post is a bet that you won't read it, though! :-)

MiniScalope said...

Maemo blow out Android, clearly...

Unknown said...

Hi Linus,

Are you running any special applications on your phone? Or have you considered writing any apps for it?

And last but not least, now that you have been using the phone, do you see any limitations in the OS that could be improved upon?

Unknown said...

@Brian Swetland

[snip]No "jailbreaking" required:[/snip]

Bravo! Knowing that now, I can say that the Nexus One might actually be the turning point for me to buy something with android preinstalled instead of hacking it onto all of my existing phones (& other devices).

I have to admit that I'm a big fan of the keypad though, and free SoC documentation is also a major motivator to go with other (intentionally unnamed) devices.

punto said...

isn't it kinda sad that a programmer can't have a nice phone because of the crappy software it runs? I used to not give a shit about what software came preloaded on the devices I bought; if I don't like it, I can load my own. Now that the phone is chained to some corporation, you have to actually care about the software (which usually sucks)

Angelworks said...

One problem with the N900 is its GSM only :( - wish they had a CDMA version of it.

In that light - I can't wait for the CDMA version of the N1 to come out :).

usagemayvary said...

your post here has been covered a ridiculously large number of places as if you didn't already know.

As well, I should add that I have a G1 and was looking at this phone as well, although lack of a keyboard creates complete disdain for me - I run PuTTy equivalents on my G1.

Meanwhile, enjoy it. Seems to have great hardware enough to run without having to deal with rooting, etc to have proper functionality.

R2Nets said...

Physical keyboard may not be necessary- For me at least, the Swype port is about as fast as the physical keyboard on a Droid, for English prose. Not so fast for long passwords, though.

anglamaz said...

The shitty thing in Android is that you cannot turn OFF the GSM part (just to preserve battery and to less radiate your body). You can switch ON/OFF WiFi, GPS, BT but not GSM. To me, it's a mobile computer with phone capability in the first place, not a phone which can run small OS.

Drude said...

I lol'd.

Linus said...

anglamaz: the Nexus One seems to be different from the vendor-locked-in devices. You can actually enable it and use it without any SIM card at all, and it will happily connect to a WiFi network and do everything but make calls (and maybe it can do that too using google voice, I've never tried).

Ok, so to be honest, I didn't use it much without a SIM card. But it's definitely different from some other android phones that simply refuse to even activate unless you have a GSM connection to set it up.

Mauro said...

Hey Linus! Well, first, THANK you, for this post, I'm from Argentina, and I was going to buy the Motorola Milestone, but now that I've seen this post, I watched at the Nexus One and I'm really impressed, now I want to buy this awesome toy.

Celeblin said...

You should check the Geek's Phone. Is not powerful as the Google's one, but the company brings you root access and invites to hack it. It's the first mobile that I bought without any company contract. Byez!

Unknown said...

Um, Palm Pre? Linux Base, easy to access, great interface, 1380 apps and counting.

Unknown said...

Um, Palm Pre? Linux Base, easy to access, great interface, 1380 apps and counting.

antonioj said...

All you Nokia/n900 fanbois: maybe Linus figures a 2010 top smartphone should have a CAPACITIVE screen, be slim instead of looking like a brick, have a snapdragon 1ghz processor and 512mb RAM?

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ssdfsdf said...

Interesting you took Android, which forked from Linux, over the Maemo. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, my friend's phone once got locked and she unlocked that Motorola M900 phone using unlock code available at You too can try that site for any of your mobiles. If you don't get it there, try this site for unlocking your mobile

Unknown said...


Who's paying you for the comment?

Come on people can't you see through this, a guy hates phones because they are bugging him and now he's suddenly fond of one of the phones!! AARGH!

zoolook said...

Congrats Linus! I wish I could buy a Nexus One, but it doesn't do the freqs we use in Argentina (850/1900)

I have a Motorola Milestone (Droid in the US) but is somehow a disappointing device. I can't run custom kernels for example (the bootloader checks for motorola's rsa signatures)

Anyway. Congratulations for your new phone!


Anonymous said...

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vicky said...

Linus do you know that none of the Google Android based phones currently available in market are fully opensource?

Fredrik said...

@anglamaz said:
The shitty thing in Android is that you cannot turn OFF the GSM part (just to preserve battery and to less radiate your body)

um, just put the device in flight mode should surely do the trick?

antonioj said...

"um, just put the device in flight mode should surely do the trick?"

yep, works in every single android phone, and very in every smartphone out there..."

yog said...

Este señor acaba de descubrir los argumentos por los cuales podria haberse comprado desde hace 3 años un iphone.

Markus said...

I am also suprised that you took a smartphone which is not entirely open-source and hides the Linux underneath the Dalvik VM.

The Nokia N900 is the most Linux you can get in a regular smartphone.

Starting a shell without having hacked the phone etc. - it is MAEMO, and for that it is Debian GNU/Linux.

And it has a keyboard :)

Google will also be happy to have now access to all private data of Linus Torvalds.

mamadou-dia said...

Yes, me too i got my nexus ONE when the PARIS ADL2010 IN PARIS.
It's the must have smartphone for the moment !
You may be a simple user or a developper, it will be usefull


Unknown said...

Wow. Give the guy a break people. The man made a choice of phone. Take this as an isolated example of a man who doesn't ordinarily like phones being sold by a feature set and functionality that appealed to him.

The last thing I would possibly think of when buying a microwave, dishwasher, laser pointer, or bicycle is whether it is truly open source or the company's philosophy on schematic distribution matches my own.

Most people just want a device that works well, looks sharp, and is more of a help than hindrance.

Jon Masters said...

Wow. Next thing you'll be addicted to mobile facebook :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

> You should check the Geek's Phone.

Er, that phone wouldn't be very useful to Linus. He lives in the US, and that phone doesn't support UMTS on any of the frequencies used here (AT&T=850/850, T-Mobile=1700/2100). It can't even fall back to EDGE. In America, that phone would basically be a GPRS paperweight.

As far as his preference for the N1 over the N900 goes, remember... ${} works in mysterious ways. On a Unix system, the root user is ${}. Linus is the root of all root users. Therefore... er.... anyway, you get the idea ;-)

Unknown said...

I agree, have a HTC Hero since a few days.
Now I use it to surf heaven at home where I have 2 laptops.
Facebook becomes usefull, "my location" on maps, google search ... It's wanderfull.

Hope I can soon develop my own applications (since I know java).

rmrfslash said...

I feel similarly about phones. Such a distraction above anything else. I'll definitely pick up a Nexus One when my god forsaken 6000 yr. Verizon contract expires.

Unknown said...

I dislike phones, sincerely. I have a nokia 1112, that I will continue having until it stops working.

I would like to hack it's software! But i never put myself to it.

I'm betting it has an ugly closed-source software :)

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Perfecto said...

A very good option. I was waiting to buy my next phone until it was out, but... after comparing I have bought the Nokia N900. This is really a Linux phone with a very good hardware compared with both the Nexus One and the iPhone. I like google and I was waiting for the Nexux one because of that.
For me, the worst of the Nexus is that it is only possible to program with java.

Benjumea said...

Hi Linus I was wondering if you've seen this/are able to reproduce this issue:

and if so does it change your opinion of the phone ? I'd like to hear your input as I'm considering buying one but probably won't unless they fix this.

Thank you

gill_za said...

@antonioj said...

All you Nokia/n900 fanbois: maybe Linus figures a 2010 top smartphone should have a CAPACITIVE screen, be slim instead of looking like a brick, have a snapdragon 1ghz processor and 512mb RAM?

1ghz snapdragon vs arm cortex a8 processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 RISC Chipset
Simplified Technical Specifications

Type: Snapdragon QSD8650
Manufacturer: Qualcomm
Year Released: 2007
Predecessor: 32bit Qualcomm MSM7600
CPU Structure (complexity): RISC
Width of Machine Word: 32 bit
Primary (RAM) Data bus: 32 bit
Instruction Set
Supported Instruction Set(s): ARMv7
CPU Core: Qualcomm Scorpion
Clock Frequencies
Recommanded Maximum Clock Frequency: 1000 MHz
Semiconductor Technology: CMOS
Minimum Feature Size: 65 nm
Additional Details
Special Features: Embedded 600MHz DSP (GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS/WCDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA, MBMS, CDMA2000 1xRTT, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. 1, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. B, baseband), Embedded Seventh-generation gpsOne GPS module, gpsOneXTRA Assistance
Datasheet Time: Apr 22, 09 0:21:59

ARM Cortex-A8 RISC Microprocessor
Simplified Technical Specifications

Type: Cortex-A8
Manufacturer: ARM
Year Released: 2005
Predecessor: 32bit ARM 1176JZ-S
CPU Structure (complexity): RISC
Width of Machine Word: 32 bit
Address bus: 32 bit
Primary (RAM) Data bus: 32 bit
Instruction Set
Supported Instruction Set(s): ARMv7-A
CPU Core: ARM Cortex
Level 1 cache: 32KiB data cache / 32 KiB instruction cache
Level 2 cache: 1024 KiB
Semiconductor Technology: CMOS
Minimum Feature Size: 65 nm
Additional Details
Instruction Execution Performance: 2000 million instructions per second @ 1000MHz
Special Features: Superscalar processor, Configurable L1 and L2 cache sizes, 13-stage pipeline, FPU, MMU, AMBA 3.0 AXI bus, NEON Media Processing technology, ARM Thumb-2 Technology, ARM TrustZone Technology, ARM CoreSight, ARM Jazelle RCT
Datasheet Time: Sep 4, 07 17:10:

Taken from:

So to sum it up for all those who compares nexus to n900, n900 has a stronger processor. The 1 Ghz of the Snapdragon is used to process everything: sound, video, system, etc while OMAP3 utilizes different cores to process different tasks so essentially you have a 600 mhz CPU, but also have another core for sound, video, etc. You also have more cash too.

In terms of memory one can argue back and forth, but keep in mind that android devices need to run the Delvik VM and thus need more memory, while Maemo does not.

In terms of space n900 has ~27gb more than Nexus.

In terms of screen, capative is great ofcurse and arguably more sensitive but you can't reach the same degree of precession on captive screen as you can on resistive. Personally using both capative and resistive screens I did not feel that much difference and tended to try to use G1's screen the same way I used n900 while I had G1 for a much longer period of time. As a matter of fact what angered me the most about G1's screen is that I would always tap a wrong link or dialog box while browsing web and this is not an issue with n900.

As for the size - n900 has a keyboard that adds to the "briskness".

N900 is geeks oriented device, what people like Linus essentially are, why he chose Nexus I can not fathom... Spur-of-the-moment-type-of-thing?

Here is a nice comparison chart

Jaakko H. said...

Excellent choice, Linus!

For all you commentators that wonder why on earth he didn't choose N900 let me tell you my personal story:

I just returned two N900s to Amazon in January after seriously trying to get accustomed to the N900 experience (after using mostly Nokia devices for some 13 years, S60 since 2002) and made a "giant leap for myself but not even a tiny step for mankind" by giving up Nokia for Android. I would've loved to get N1 but couldn't because of the lack of a physical keyboard. I was really torn with the choice. The better screen resolution (which I had gotten used to with the Nokia E90) and more powerful device in so many ways, etc would've been really nice but at the end of everything, the physical keyboard did the trick for me and I got myself a G1. (I'm still missing the E90 for the dual physical keyboard both of which are fantastic.)

As a Finnish engineer I feel like I have some explaining to do but it's really very very (unfortunately) simple:

The user experience of the N900 _sucks_ (as of now). It's a _great_ Net tablet and a great proto for what it is -- but not ready to be sold as a ready (flagship!?) product. (And don't tell me that Nokia's "warned" that it's a proto, they haven't, but they really really should've!)

This is something that I'm just as sorry for as the case is simple. There's about a zillion (or at least tens and tens of) reasons for this but it starts with the first touch, bounces by the fact that you can't get Google services on it, rambles through all the other reasons, and at the end of everything annoys the heck out of a normal(?) user when you have the same sync problems as the previous Symbian devices I've used have had (7650, 3650, E90) - which means that it's taken your data partially hostage! Except that, _as of now_, the N900 is even worse. It doesn't even theoretically sync with the Ovi service.

I really, really would've wanted to like the N900 and Maemo. Right now. But I just couldn't. I think I've used (more than enough of) my time for trying to figure out how some service gets set up or wait for a _simple feature X_ to work (and I'm a semi(?)-techie who's usually able to figure it out).
Not to mention the fell of the first touch: wow or not.
With the N900 it was the latter.

I dearly hope that Nokia gets it act together and will be able to come up with updates that make the N900 and Maemo a kick-ass-WOW!, magical or what-ever-other-superlative experience as soon as possible. From what I know the Maemo people are great but something is missing and my guesstimate is, as I've e.g. commented (in Finnish) earlier at, that it's (management?) understanding for the need of excellent user experience, even WOW-at-1st-touch products (including the services they run).

Now, Based on all the raves from coders, Linux lovers and other Real Geeks (not just wanna-be's like me) it seems to me that Maemo has huge potential. I dearly hope that it can be polished into a diamond! ... In case it didn't come through yet: I'd love to get together with Nokia, again. One day.

(And I, on my behalf, didn't say this last sentence only to make sure that I'm not deprived from my Finnish citizenship - or my engineer degree for that matter ;).

Angie Tawfik said...

I think there will be a day where mobile operating systems are not tied to hardware. You buy a device with certain set of features and then you install the OS on your own and customize applications to your taste.

May be it seems difficult at the moment, but if some sort of real alliance takes place between operators, they can create a repository where your device is pointed to out of the box.
You choose Maemo, Android, Symbian, you name it and you name the version too.

I really despise tying software to hardware. This trick does nothing but hinders technology advancement.

GEAD said...

I'm sitting here in good old Germany reading your comment and all other comments of the Nexus1: about the os Android and the good touch screen. Since years I have a simple an easy cellphone, with an intuitive system: the Neonode N2. The best of world. Linus, buy this phone and you will be happy til the end of life....

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Cesar said...

Thanks for everything. Linux T. You're the best. That everything will go well.

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manfred said...

Thanks for this interesting, usefull blog.
I'm waiting for the Nexus One also
here in Germany. Seems to be the right request for me.

AltandMain said...

Seems like a great phone ... I hope that HTC releases something similar to it in Canada. I hear that there is something called the HTC Desire recently at the Mobile Phone Congress.

But let us consider mobile phone operating systems - perhaps they too should be modular, free, open source, and developers should be allowed to spread their talent, like how Linux fragmented. As one poster above said, hardware should never be bound to software. That is why I have never considered buying a Mac. One things is for sure, for the end user, it is best to have an Android, Maemo, or a Symbian succeed rather than an iPhone or Windows mobile.

Unknown said...

Only the kernel is nice since it's linux... but the user space... ERK!

Gogo said...

I must admit that I had to change my cellphone anyway. And I must admit that I am not a friend of touchscreen phones. But when I read that Mr. Linus Torvald bought it, I decided to get one too. And I also think it's a great thing. Thank you Mr. Torvald for helping me taking a decision.

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symonds said...

I am surprised for the nokia n900

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Yea. I was, too.

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Alan said...

Well you sold me on getting the Nexus One. Now can you fix the GPS on it? The GPS on my G1 worked better.

Cool phone though. I can definitly see the improvement from the G1 to the Nexus One.

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