Last October we reported about an upcoming device called the Neo900 that which is being groomed to be the successor of Nokia’s N900 phone. This device is also called a hacker phone since it is able to run any open source operating system such as Maemo, Ubuntu or Firefox OS. It can even run Android too.
Back then this was still a concept device that needed 200 pre-orders to reach its production stage. Each pre-order was worth 700 Euros (over $950 US). Funding of at least 25,000 Euros must also be reached. We just learned today that both goals have been met which means that the device is now going into production.
A quick check at the Neo900 website shows that the device is now in phase 5 of development. This phase plans for 1000 units to be built in order to lower the costs. Donations are now accepted with donors pledging 1500 Euros getting a prototype unit while those who pledge 100 Euros will get a rebate on the device.
Why is there a lot of excitement surrounding this device? The Neo900 basically acts like a PC in a sense that the consumer can do whatever they want with it. Full schematics and documentation will be provided so that users will be able to tinker with it. Its motherboard can even be replaced as spare parts will be provided.
In terms of hardware specifications the device isn’t impressive in 2013 standards. This is because it is primarily designed to work with the Maemo system which ran on the original Nokia N900.
Neo900 Technical Specifications
- CPU: TI DM3730, 1 GHz
- RAM: 512 MB/1 GB
- Storage: 1 GB NAND + 32 GB/64 GB eMMC + external
- Modem: LTE 100/50 Mbps or UMTS HSPA 14.4/5.76 Mbps with CDMA
- Display: 3.5″ TFT, 800×480, resistive
- Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, Ambient light, Proximity, 3-axis compass, 3-axis gyroscope, Barometer/thermometer
- Infrared: High power Consumer IR (with learning) and IrDA
- USB: Micro-AB 2.0 (OTG)
- Audio: Stereo speakers, 3.5mm, Stereo out, Mic in, Video out, Stereo line-in
- Bundled OS: Debian GNU/Linux, BSP
- Others: FM receiver and transmitter (RDS), VGA front camera, 5.0 MP camera autofocus, Internal full RS232, RFID-EEPROM, Expansion connectors (battery, I2C, USB), GPS/GLONASS, Battery hot-swap support, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0
Based on the device specs this isn’t suited for people who are into powerful Android devices. The target market for this device are people who are into open software and hardware.