Nokia N9 Front

We immediately fell in love with the Nokia N9 when we first saw it in July 2011. It’s 3.9 inches, AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors evidently makes this phone on par with the iPhone. 5 months later, Nokia and Smart formally launched it and put more power to the finger as it’s the first and probably only phone we ever came across with that demoted the value of home buttons. The word ‘swipe’ became sexier than ever.

The Software: The Main Ish

The Nokia N9 is the successor to the defunct Nokia N900. It runs on a forked variant of Meego 1.2 Harmattan. As a matter of fact, it is the first and the only phone, [manufactured by Nokia] that carries the Meego OS. It was a great and promising open-source OS (like Maemo 5 of N900) but the growing competition radically put it easily aside.

No matter how great the Nokia N9 is, its software (OS) is and would always be the main ish (issue). Lots of companies may have publicly pledged to support the Meego OS project, but the interest of consumers became even more focused on the rise of Windows Phone 7, the ever-growing Android and the dominant iOS.

Putting the competition aside, Meego OS in Nokia N9 is undeniably a beautiful software. Unlike Android 2.3.6 on my Galaxy Note, the performance of Meego 1.2 Harmattan on my Nokia N9 is more fluid and fast. Take note that my Galaxy Note has dual core 1.4 GHz processor and my Nokia N9 only has single core 1 GHz processor. Again, it all boils down to one reason: the operating system.

Check out the video below for a walk-through on the N9’s operating system:

 [youtube width=”720″ height=”486″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvDNwNs09AU&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

The Form: Nokia Loves It

Nokia N9
Nokia N9
Nokia Lumia 800
Nokia Lumia 800

Obviously, the Lumia 800 borrowed the form and design of the N9 with minimal differences. Let me rephrase: the Lumia 800 borrowed the sexiness of the Nokia N9. 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.

iPhone 4s vs Nokia N9

Nokia N9 Volume Rocker and Power Button
Nokia N9 Volume Rocker and Power Button

Games on Nokia N9

Amazingly, the limited physical buttons didn’t cause 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.)

Nokia N9's Multitasking Panel
Nokia N9's Multitasking Panel

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 and Belle. 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.

Nokia N9's Events or Notification Area
Nokia N9's Events or Notification Area

Camera

The Nokia N9’s camera is, by far, one of the best and fastest camera’s I’ve seen. Of course, when compared to the camera of Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note, photos taken on the N9 look quite duller and grainier especially on low lighting conditions. Take a look at our pictures below using Sony NEX-5, Samsung Galaxy Note and the Nokia N9, taken at 3-15 minutes interval from 4:53PM to 5:15PM.

Taken Using Galaxy Note at 4:53PM
Taken Using Galaxy Note at 4:53PM
Taken using the Nokia N9 at 4:56 P.M.
Taken using the Nokia N9 at 4:56 P.M.
Taken using the Samsung Galaxy Note at 4:53 P.M.
Taken using the Sony Nex-5 at 5:15 P.M.

Battery

Battery life of the Nokia N9 is decent. With minimal use on 3G mobile internet, heavy on SMS messages and business calls with my TOP clients, my Nokia N9 started to gasp for power juice after 18 hours from a full charge. I thought that such performance is very impressive, as expected.

NFC

NFC or Near Field Communication is the future of device pairings. With a simple “bump” or “touch” of two devices, certain actions will be performed such as transacting payments, sharing data, “broadcasting” songs from the phone to an NFC-enable speaker, playing multiplayer games and so much more. The Nokia N9, amazingly, is endowed with this feature.

Summary

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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