Nokia N9 in the Flesh, First Impressions

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I had the chance to tinker the elusive Nokia N9 at Nokia’s exclusive event last Thursday. Check out the raw pictures and my first impressions below.

Without a doubt, the Nokia N9 is a beautiful device. Its minimalistic design is magnificently crafted. It does not look, in any way, related to its direct predecessor, the Nokia N900. If my iPhone 4 were a man, I would have seen him (sic) checking the Nokia N9 out.

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The first thing you will notice on the N9 is its Gorilla Grass display. It’s 3.9 inches, AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors evidently makes this phone on par with the iPhone. In my opinion, the colors in this phone look more vibrant.

I was fascinated to see that this phone got only 3 hardware buttons – the volume rocker up, rocker down and the dedicated on/off button found on the right side of the device. Amazingly, it didn’t cause me any problem while using the device. All it took me on this phone was a SWIPE to navigate its operating system. Exiting apps required me to swipe from the edge of the device to the other. (Apparently, there is one more gesture apart from swiping that you need to remember when using this device – tapping to wake the device up.)

The homescreen took me to the native and installed applications on the device. It didn’t look so fancy. The application icons are reminiscent of the icons from the recently release Symbian Anna. I swiped to the right and it took me to the notification area of the device. It’s where – well – all the notifications are placed from new emails to new chat messages; from new Twitter mention to Facebook comments. It was a pretty convenient experience to see everything in one area. I swiped back to the homescreen, then another swipe to the right and the operating system took me to the running applications in the background in widgets view.

Overall, my experience with the Nokia N9 and its Meego 1.2 operating system was somewhat convenient and fascinating. It was so different from my experience with the Nokia N900 and its Maemo 5 operating system. I just really hope that this phone would be officially available here in the Philippines. Stephen Elop may have already declared their unfortunate plans for this phone, but it is, without a doubt, going to be a keeper.

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