My Take On The Nokia N9
- My Take On The Nokia N9
Quite a lot has been written on the Nokia N9, Meego Harmattan Phone, and most of it will be more technically written and better illustrated, http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/22/nokia-n9-review/ , however, this is my take on the phone after a few days usage.I was lucky to be given the choice of either the N9 or the new Lumia-800 Windows Phone, which I used for a couple of days, at Nokia World 2011 , and I chose the N9 for several reasons. First I'm a Geek and love anything different and new, second the phone is unavailable in the UK market so obtaining one would be more difficult than a Windows Phone (which I hope to get at a later date !) and third , well it's bloody gorgeous :-D
A lot has been written about it being a stillborn child and having no future, but I really think this has been over emphasized, not that it's untrue, but to be honest, it is unlikely I would keep ANY handset for more than a couple of years, and I think the N9 will have plenty of support from both Nokia and the Maemo/Meego community https://meego.com/community , http://wiki.meego.com/MeeGo_Apps , http://www.meegoexperts.com/ etc , long beyond that, so whether it's supported or not, 2 or 3 years in the future is millenium in the tech world, so I don't see it as a major issue. Another critisism is lack of applications ! I DON'T CARE !!!!! I don't need 1,000's of apps, I want and need and USE a few and the N9 comes pre-loaded with more than a few, and there are a number already available to add and more will come. All my main requirements are met, not fully, but I can do what I want to do with the phone. My main use for any handset are that I can make clear reliable phone calls , send text messages, have a reliable email service, browse the web and do some Tweeting and take a look at Facebook. The N9 can do all of this, there is room for improvement with the Twitter application, but Fmobie takes care of Facebook as well or better than any mobile app I've used, Twimgo makes a good effort with Twitter, but neither that or the built in app have the ability to upload pictures to Twitter (please release a Meego Version of Gravity @janole
) and you need to use a work arround using the email service for Twitpic (now fixed with latest SW update http://carman58.hubpages.com/hub/Software-Update-For-The-Nokia-N9 ) , which works fine, and the beauty of the Meego Harmattan OS, is you are allowed work arrounds and it doesn't really matter where they come from , as it is open source, and supported by a large community as well as Nokia, hence it will develop beyond any plans Nokia may have actually have had for it .One cool thing found on http://www.my-meego.com/software/applications.php?fldAuto=406&faq=13 is the ability to add/change the operator logo with a gif image no larger then 120x120 using LPMC Customizer Kudos to @Psychomania666 for pointing it out to me and to @Playloud77 and @Nhocht for there help and creative input using it :)
Now the phone itself, well it's absolutely gorgeous, it feels superb in the hand with or without the perfectly fiting case, supplied in the box, the screen glows with it's CBD curved Amoled display and vibrant colours, it is supremely sensitive and a joy to use. The UI (user interface) is both intuitive, functional and a joy to use, every time I double tap on the phone to wake it up and then slide the screen open , it puts a smile on my face . The UI consists of 3 screens basically, Applications, where, believe it or not, all your applications are, Notifications, where your feeds from social networks, emails, messages, calendar reminders and weather are displayed in a stream and finally 'Stuff that's running' that's not a technical name, it's simply whatever is running on the phone displayed as thumbnails which can be pinched and zoomed to a different size to alter the amount you see on a single screen and simply tapped to open, brilliant idea !! After using the phone for a few hous, never mind days you are addicted to swiping and tapping, this OS is the crack cocaine of the mobile world, it wrecks your brain for using any other handset, try it and you'll see what I mean.
The phone has a good Music player along with good video support , although doesn't seem to have the same codec support that Symbian^3 has, as I have had a couple of Videos fail to play, those that do however look and sound gorgeous, though better through headphones than the built in speaker, which is a little quiet for me ! The Multitaking is fantastic and 20 to 30 apps can be running on the 'stuff that's running' screen without the phone slowing down, and all the applications I've used on the phone , including Maps and Navigation, work great. The virtual keyboard, although a little sensitive for me works really well and the correction, I find both useful and unobtrusive, although for my eyes the actual fonts on the N9 are rather small for my old eyes and an option , which doesn't exist at the moment, to make them larger would be great, at least for me.
The final thing about rthe phone I'd like to mention, before I finish rambling, is the camera. I am no photographic expert or photographer but it's bloody brilliant, I've spent a couple of hours taking photos with it today and it's produced some superb results a few examples of which can be seen here http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenquin58/sets/72157627905799833/ , which must be the camera, as I am crap at photography LOL even the stainless steel plate arround the Carl Ziess lens looks good.
To summarize , the N9 is not perfect, but show me a handset that is ? But it is fantastically well made, beautiful, quick and great fun to use. It will get better, as there is a major software update due very soon and more and more 'stuff' is becoming available for it daily, I absolutely love it and to confirm my love, I've just ordered a sim cutter (yes it uses a damn micro sim !!) so I can put my main sim card in it and use it as my main phone for the foreseable future. Any gripes or shortcomings I spot melt away with the swipe of a finger and I know in the back of my mind that the N9 will only get better and better on a daily basis for years to come, because there are 1,000's of independent people working on cool stuff for it and in the world of the BBC's Top Gear it should be in the Sub-Zero section of the Cool Wall.
So a minor update to this Hub, I have used the N9 as my main phone for the first time today, having bought a sim cutter and put my main sim into it !! Few things I'd not seen before were the call notification screen , answer screen and dialler, because no one calls the O2 sim I got from Nokia world and I'd mainly used the phone for browsing, Twitter and FB for a week, plus some music and photography, I find the dialler and alert screen great, both to look at and to use, so just thought I'd add a few screenshots, for anyone that was interested :)
I am honoured , lucky and priviliged to own and use the Nokia N9.
Yet another minor thing I noticed a few days ago, kinda hard I never realised before, but the flap covering the usb port is held in place magnetically, didn't realise until I tried a cheap car charger with the N9 and the connector kinda 'stuck' to it , took a pic of a paper clip hanging off the phone in an attempt to demonstrate this !!
Thanks for reading
Update on Heaven & Hell
I really need to explain before I continue with this little update, that I love and admire Rita El Khoury as a writer and as a person/personality on Twitter @Khouryrt and that I was inspired to do this by her well written articles here http://www.fonearena.com/blog/43989/theres-a-special-spot-in-hell-for-the-nokia-n9.html and that this is neither a rebuttal or criticism of her views, it's just another way of seeing things ( with less than perfect vision) and also another user case.
I largely agree with Rita's view about the phone, but my eyesight isn't good enough for the pentile screen display to do anything but look superb to me, some of the criticism is genuinely valid, the swipe on swype can be annoying, in fact doubly so for me as my last name is Quin and so I can change the keyboard from both sides !!! However many of the other points are very user specific and as such I don't have many of the issues, As I really don't use Google services a great deal my contact integration is fine and I don't have an issue with MFE which has worked very well for me using my Hotmail account, and merging contacts from Facebook and Twitter although a little tedious works fine and all my contacts and all there details appear as they should on my phone. Many of the other issues although irritating at first are simply a matter of use, when viewing photo's or email for example a swipe from the middle of the screen to the right or left will transition fine, but this is what you learn as you use the phone on a regular basis as your main device, which is what I have been doing for several weeks, and any new OS takes some getting used to, I had issues with Android when I first used it, and found opening a Google account irritating to get my contacts on to an HTC Desire !
As for the camera, which seems to get very mixed reviews, I find it good, but then I'm no photographer as most people who have seen anything I've done will realise :) Certainly the N9 would be a better phone with a physical camera key, but it's certainly not a major issue for me at least, and I've had more good than bad photos from the N9. The 'back' function and 'inconsistency' with the UI again is something that in effect is the whole point of the OS , you're never more than a couple of swipes away from anything on the phone. Now maybe you shouldn't have to learn the idiosyncrasies of an OS, but I think most 'normal' users do have to, I've experienced people new to BB and Android having issues when first using them, and for a 'noob' I think the swipe UI on Meego Harmattan is far simpler than many ?
So despite any issues the N9 may have, personally I am still very happy with it, however , people with 20/20 vision and a strong integration with Google , may need to avoid it, you may also have issues if you require 100's of apps, but for me , the N9 is still a joy to use and still covers all the things I use my phone for, and I'm certain it will continue to do so for a while yet :)