The N90 takes an intermediate position in a new N-indexed smartphone line. For the moment the N70 starts the line and the N91 is a top model. To tell the truth the N90 differs from its fellow models greatly. It has a considerably redesigned 60th platform being the first representative of the new generation smartphones by Nokia. The main difference from the younger model is a higher screen resolution that made the developers to rework the software part. The elder model has the same screen but also comes equipped with a hard drive and a Nokia 8800-like metal body. That is mainly some kind of a musical combine. The Nokia N91 is a niche device standing apart from the main line like all the N-series devices today. On the other hand in the nearest future we'll see some 6000 and 3000 series solutions based on these models. The manufacturer has stressed the design on purpose to distinguish the models from the line and make the audience not to intersect with the business class one directly and only involving a part of them.

The Nokia N90's design quite logically developed from the Nokia 6260's idea. The company placed a smartphone into a clamshell body with a rotational upper part again. Concerning the form-factor the model has no rivals (here experiments like a Rover S2 smartphone are not considered), since no other company has a similar solution in its model line. But being unique doesn't always mean being comfortable for a user like it happened with the Nokia 6260. The main disadvantage of the device was a poorly thought over ergonomics - the functional keys were placed on the upper part while the number keypad remained on the bottom one. Thus you had to put your hands into another plane which was extremely troublesome. Also the device was heavy and the absence of an external screen really was a disadvantage, since you either had to turn off answering on open or rotate the screen to make it outside. The shortcomings were serious and the feedback was not pleasant, though the target group (glamour people, for instance) accepted the phone well.

In the N90's case we see the company rectifying the Nokia 6260's errors and the whole control reworked cardinally. The first innovation is placing a camera module separate from the main construction. The dimensions still remain the main limitary factor for all the companies, to integrate a bigger matrix with the best characteristics the thickness of the device should be sacrificed in the classic assembling. The module depth is a limitary factor here though the last developments in this field are quite promising and now we see the first examples, for instance the Sony Ericsson K750. The Nokia N90 has a camera module put on the top end and rotational. If placing the phone vertically, you will be able to rotate the module 270 degrees and then it will get fixed. The module rotation allows having a changing viewing angle while shooting which is quite unusual. You don't need to move the device, just turn the camera. At the same time besides improvements some worsening appeared, now you can't work with the main screen in a folded mode. That is when your internal screen is turned up hiding the keypad like Nokia 6260 (you would be comfortable to read books in this mode and work with other applications). When taking the device in your hand for the first time you would place your finger exactly on the camera objective leaving a fingerprint there.

The camera though doesn't take the whole of the module, here is also a loudspeaker. Due to its top end disposition the volume is a bit higher than in the previous models.

When the device is closed the module is at the same level with the phone body, but open the device and it will get to the back plane turning into some kind of a rest. If putting the opened device on the table, you'll see it lying in a comfortable angle. It is convenient when using a Bluetooth keypad - you don't need an extra rest. When in hands the module is uncomfortable but still may be clasped in fingers.

The phone dimensions are small as compared with usual devices not smartphones (112x51x24 mm). But when comparing with smartphones you'll surely see the Nokia N90 almost completely similar to the Sony Ericsson P900, P910, and having a bit bigger size than the Nokia 6680/6681. As different from the mentioned models the clamshell form-factor supposes opened condition and thus the models should be compared, since mostly we work with the phone this way. The device is very heavy and even its balancing can't help, entering messages with one hand is very difficult. Even men had to put it into another hand. Placed near your face the opened device looks giant, it is almost twice larger than standard today phones.

That's senseless arguing about the dimensions, one will consider them appropriate and one inadmissible. You just should understand it is the largest device on the market for today (not communicators, there are even larger models among them).

The external screen delivered from a complete rotation of the upper part of the phone, now it is opened only to one side and can't be placed so that the internal screen is outside, but we have mentioned this point above. Thus the device resembles a small video camera in appearance.

The external screen is comparable with Nokia 6230 in characteristics, 128x128 pixels (28x28 mm), up to 65K. But the picture quality differs from this model, it looks ruder and not so smooth. The TFT-matrix net is seen. The possibilities of the screen are impressing for this size and there are no comparable outer screens for the moment. It is readable in the sun which is an advantage. Traditionally, the developers tried to make users' lives easier by providing a possibility of using a camera without opening the device (only photo mode), you need to turn the module from you. Changing profiles, turning the device off, reading messages on the screen, viewing the missed calls and dialing them are possible. It's curious you can speak on the phone when closed, but the speakerphone is automatically on. Thus you either allow everybody hearing your conversation or open the device. Естественно, не забудем упомянуть вариант разговора по гарнитуре.

An On/Off button on the top end (to be more precise, on the camera module) is responsible for controlling the events on the external screen. The shutter button is on the right side, it activates voice dialing and voice control also. A 5D joystick mostly necessary for shooting is placed lower, though quite useful here. The button is quite comfortable and easy to work with. On the other hand placing the button here doesn't make dealing with the phone easier. You'll mostly have to hold the device in your right hand for your finger lay on the joystick, but due to the phone size and weight (173 grams) that's uncomfortable sometimes. Holding the N90 in your left hand you'll find difficult to use the joystick.

An RS-MMC slot is placed on the right side, hot change is provided. Naturally, it's impossible to use 3 W cards here like in the Nokia 6630 and later versions of the Dual Voltage cards, so only 1.8/3 ones.

A standard Pop-Port is placed on the right side and a charger connector is near. Differently from the previous models the slot has been seriously changed - it got thinner. There were no any presuppositions for changing the slot precisely in this model - the total body size allows placing a slot of almost any size. Another question is the company plans to introduce a line of thin and miniature models and an old connector will be inadequate in them. So the technological reequipment is mostly connected with it. Another reason might be a wish to renew some accessories, and precisely, chargers, since the company considers it a serious market volume. But the second reason is oblique, not the main. We'd like to point out an adapter is included into the kit. It allows using old chargers.

The commercial version has the backlash problems improved. The cover is still attached imperfectly, though the better quality is to the fore. To tell the truth, there will be no problems with the cover, though it won't get comfortable to open. The minus is you'll need to cope with the opening process, it is not smooth sometimes and you'll have to shake the cover out.

The SIM-card holder differs from the majority of the company's models; it is placed in an angle of 45 degrees and has a special fixing mechanism on the side. One may suppose the trigger pushes the card away from the holder, judging by the photo, but it's not right, it is a lock. The card may be plugged out when a special profile is on - the phone is not used and a radio block is off. And a possibility to plug the card out and put into another phone is foreseen for this profile. The developers thought a user should touch the main battery as seldom as possible and that seems quite logical.

See More: Nokia N90 Review