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Cellphones Handhelds Open Source Hardware

OpenPhoenux Neo900 Bills Itself As Successor To Nokia's N900 111

Posted by timothy
from the certainly-has-a-similar-name dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The latest device in the OpenPhoenux open hardware family is the Neo900, the first true successor to the Nokia N900. The Neo900 is a joint project of the Openmoko veteran Jörg Reisenweber and the creators of the GTA04/Letux2804 open hardware smartphone at Golden Delicious Computers. Furthermore, it is supported by the N900 Maemo5/Fremantle community, the Openmoko community and the OpenPhoenux community, who are working together to get closer to their common goal of providing an open hardware smartphone, which is able to run 100% free and open source software, while being independet of any big hardware manufacturer." So far, their Indiegogo campaign has raised more than half of the €25,000 they're seeking.
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OpenPhoenux Neo900 Bills Itself As Successor To Nokia's N900

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  • to reiterate, 3 line keyboard nooooooooo!

    that's not too lame, dang filter. 3 line keyboard is lame. and I'm not supposed to repeat either, stupid filters.

    • by hydrofix (1253498)
      You do understand that the design is based on the original N900 design [gsmarena.com]?
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        yes, but why not make it better? why not make it better and dodge a lawsuit at the same time?

        but why not make it better in hw too then, why stick with 800x480 resistive...

        • by dos1 (2950945)

          Because the creation of new case would be the most expensive part of the project at such low production runs.

        • yes, but why not make it better? why not make it better and dodge a lawsuit at the same time?

          but why not make it better in hw too then, why stick with 800x480 resistive...

          Because the projected volume is on the order of 1000 units. In that sort of volume, selecting a new keyboard, new screen, redesigning casework for them, and tooling up to produce it becomes prohibitively expensive.

          And I really don't understand what you mean by "dodge a lawsuit" -- AFAIK Nokia doesn't have any design patents on the N900, and even if they do, since they can't be bothered to pursue the makers and sellers of the parts that this will be made of, it seems really unlikely they'd bother coming afte

          • by citizenr (871508)

            yes, but why not make it better? why not make it better and dodge a lawsuit at the same time?

            but why not make it better in hw too then, why stick with 800x480 resistive...

            Because the projected volume is on the order of 1000 units. In that sort of volume, selecting a new keyboard, new screen, redesigning casework for them, and tooling up to produce it becomes prohibitively expensive.

            so why not use COMMODITY parts that are available right now? why are they using legacy garbage bin crap instead? Even $40 chinese tablets are capacitive by now.

      • by Mr Z (6791)
        Not just based on it. It sounds like they're actually putting their boards into N900 cases, aren't they?
    • by flyneye (84093)

      What, you wouldn't pay up to $936 U.S. for a phone with a 3 line keyboard?

      Love the idea, but, the price says get a nice laptop with a real keyboard, communications software, DSL phone Card , a case of beer and a prime rib dinner.
      Not a fan of dinky screens and thumb keys anyway. This solution cuts the radiation you receive by carrying a phone in close proximity to your reproductive organs, while keeping the spirit of hacking alive in a familiar package.

  • Hmm, it's more like the spiritual successor to the old Psion palmtops. They were amazing for their time and every so often I wonder what would have happened if they hadn't just given up in 2001...

  • by OliWarner (1529079) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @12:58PM (#45311981) Homepage

    A lot of people complain about the keyboard but frankly, it's a lot nicer than no keyboard and it's compact. It's enough for quick script writing and SSH. I speak from experience. On the other hand, the screen is dire by modern standards. The resistive touch sensor is great for stylus use but bad for fingers. The battery is awful.

    To resurrect the N900, it needs more than just new innards.

    • by Burz (138833) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @01:52PM (#45312363) Journal

      Fairphone seems like a more capable candidate for an open smartphone.
      http://www.fairphone.com/ [fairphone.com]

    • by CRCulver (715279)
      I lost my stylus about a week after buying my N900 back in 2010. For three years now, I've tapped on the screen with my finger, and I've never had a problem with it.
    • by dbIII (701233)
      I've still got mine. The battery is fine, it's the amount of juice the WiFi sucks that isn't which turns three days on a charge to one if you have any applications that keep polling something on the net. Also batteries and WiFi power consumption have both improved since the N900 came out so any workalike is likely to last longer on a charge.
      • by UpnAtom (551727)

        Look for an application called AutoDisconnect. You won't get IM notifications, but your battery will last 2-3 days. You can also buy the same battery but with more modern battery technology.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      I have a N900 and am very interested in the Neo900 (and in fact will be contributing to the software stuff where I can). I LOVE the N900 touch screen, its far better than the one on the iPhones and Android devices the rest of my family use, I love using the stylus and even with fingers its still good enough for me.
      And I love the keyboard too, its usable without being too annoying.
      I think the Neo900 is the perfect device for me (and will be interested in one when my N900 eventually fails)

    • by UpnAtom (551727)

      The keyboard is what most disappointed me about the N900. The dodgy USB port was the only other thing.

      The screen was amazing in 2009 and doesn't look too bad today IF you don't mind using a stylus.

      Battery technology has advanced a lot since then too, but you can buy replacement modern batteries which last a third longer. Secondly, the N900, once properly configured, uses almost no power and will last 2-3 days with a modern battery.

    • No, the resistive screen is one of the best parts. I hate iphone/android capacitive screens!

      They might end up using a new battery, and the SoC at least should be more power efficient. Anyway, the n900 battery life is more a function of software than hardware.

  • But seriously now, I would like to see at least a prototype, even glued together with duct tape and chewing gum. The target financing doesn't seem to be enough for a true serial production, more like a limited production of a niche terminal. Which, sadly, you could argue it is, since nowadays people have become obsessed with bigger screens and lightweight electronics.
  • why is it that i cant get a cellphone that is a cellphone and not a tiny computer that has to be rechanged daily? i want a cellphone that i only have to charge once a month or so. is it too much to ask for?! MOTOFONE was my last hope but alas it is dead.

  • by Horshu (2754893)
    As a brick
  • Finally, an underpowered smart phone that is already as dated as the existing smartphone I have, and will struggle with heavy app usage. But it's FLOSS and that makes it better.

  • I really, sincerely hope that they will avoid ever using the weak connection of the original N900's MicroUSB socket that caused bricking when it separated from the PCB.

    • RTFA; yes they'll avoid that.

      • Are you sure there is a description in TFA about how the problem of the original N900's MicroUSB port separating from the mobo (and thus bricking the entire device) is going to be dealt with? I don't mind people pointing out something that I seem to have missed.

        • by dos1 (2950945)

          It's for sure mentioned many times on Maemo Talk thread. You might also want to place your cursor near "Micro-AB 2.0 (OTG)" in Neo900 specification page to see a little tooltip... ;)

        • Oh, I'm quite wrong. Sorry about that.

          The Neo900.org front page has gone through some changes since last I remembered -- I'm pretty sure that a couple weeks ago, the USB port being sturdier was mentioned on the front page, but it's not now.

          Anyway, it is a well-documented fact that they're quite aware of that issue, and will be avoiding it, but sorry for calling RTFA.

          Nitpick: I'm with the AC in objecting to your use of the term "bricking". As long as you don't scribble over the bootloader and initrd (and thu

        • Please refer to my earlier post about this troll trying to sow doubt about a long fixed design fault.
    • Considering that even Nokia dropped it like a red hot coal ASAP and shipped a different design why would anyone ever contemplate it? If someone mentions Fords do you bring up the Pinto fuel tank as well?
      • Lighten up, Francis.

        I was a very happy N900 owner. In the near future, when I open up the case of my dead N900 to update it to a Neo900 I will be glad to see that the MicroUSB socket does not separate from the mobo. I had not even heard of the Neo900 project up until today (I've been way too busy to follow the Maemo forums too) so if it is me that you are accusing of being a troll you are *wrong*, like in 180 degrees wrong.

        • by dbIII (701233)
          You are being very weird by obsessing about a fault fixed before the phone was even released in quite a few markets so I had to assume there was some sort of motivation other than very stupid and ignorant rambling. Is there?
          • Your use of leading questions only leads me to wish you a better life in the future. Sorry to have upset you.

            • by dbIII (701233)
              Since you are obviously not sorry are there any more personality flaws you wish to expose or are you happy with just hanging out those two?
              • I can see that you have bested me. May you have peace and happiness now and in the future.

                • by dbIII (701233)
                  It was never about "besting" you - just about being pissed off with the vast number of liars pushing an agenda, especially the "Microsoft phone is good, Nokia before Elop bad" bullshit pushed by MS fanboys and most likely a few paid shills. It's ruining this site. In your case, bringing up a flaw fixed before I even saw that model of phone let alone got one myself a few years ago, it just did not look accidental but strongly resembled pushing such an agenda. If you are not a lying sack of shit then I am
      • Considering that even Nokia dropped it like a red hot coal ASAP and shipped a different design why would anyone ever contemplate it?

        Maybe because Nokia dropped it like a red hot coal?

        N900: Debian based, resistive screen, hardware keyboard, great for hackers, cute name "Maemo"
        N9: RPM based, capacitive screen, no keyboard, AEGIS!, horrid name "Meego".(*)

        ((*) some of this information is a lie, but it's Nokia's lie, not mine).

  • I have an old n900 at home. I'll be sitting this one out as I don't like resistive screens.
    If you can show you're a developer with some projects under your belt who can help this project just send me a message and I'll send you my phone

    -j

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