Nokia N9 smartphone
Nokia N9 review: The N9 is without a doubt Nokia's slickest smartphone ever
- Fantastic design and build quality
- Bright and clear screen
- Slick and easy to use software
- Limited third-party apps
- First and last MeeGo phone
- Below average battery life
The Nokia N9 is the best looking and slickest smartphone Nokia has ever built. It's a combination of superbly built hardware and slick, easy to use, elegant software. However, it's priced too high to compete with iOS and Android alternatives and we can't help but feel it's about 18 months too late.
Price$ 949.00 (AUD)
Nokia N9: Features and performance
The Nokia N9 comes pre-loaded with dedicated Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Maps applications and a special NFC-enabled demo of Angry Birds (more on that later). Australian models of the N9 also come with three games — Galaxy on Fire 2, Real Golf 2011 and Need for Speed Shift. The Nokia Maps application offers free lifetime navigation and you can download maps for 90 countries. Once a map is downloaded, this means the Maps application will not use your phone's data connection. This is a real advantage over apps like Google Maps that use mobile data.
The list of supported accounts makes for impressive reading: the N9 supports multiple Mail for Exchange, Google, CalDAV, Picasa and YouTube out of the box and also offers VoIP calling through the SIP protocol. Strangely, Google account support only comprises of e-mail through Gmail and chat through Google Chat — the N9 won't sync your Google Gmail contacts. You can get around this by configuring Mail for Exchange for your Google account, but it's a disappointing omission regardless.
Nokia's pre-loaded Facebook and Twitter apps look the part but both are missing key functionality — you can't check into Facebook Places, you can't attach an image to a tweet and neither app has push notifications. There's a few third-party options for both social networking services in the Nokia Store (formerly the Ovi Store), but selection is thin (around 500) compared to the well-populated Android and iOS alternatives. On a positive note, you can find plenty of apps from non-Nokia Store sources such as My MeeGo. Despite Nokia and Intel essentially abandoning the OS, the MeeGo platform that powers the N9 seems to be reasonably well supported by the developer community.
The N9's pre-loaded Skype app allows you to call Skype contacts through the regular phone and contacts applications but despite the presence of a front-facing camera, there is no video calling option through Skype. The Nokia N9's Web browser is slick and performs well, but it does not support Adobe Flash Web video or tabbed browsing: instead, new windows open separately. Selecting "add to apps" in the options menu on a Web site will add a shortcut to that site on the N9's app screen.
The Nokia N9 supports both individual and combined mailboxes. You can add multiple Gmail, e-mail and Mail for Exchange accounts and view them in "all messages" or view each account separately. Sliding your finger along the right of the screen when in an e-mail list allows you to view e-mail from different time periods such as yesterday, one week ago, two weeks ago and 10 months ago. E-mails are a part of the N9's universal search feature, as are both default and third-party apps, your contacts and calendar entries, text messages and Internet searching through Google. We were also impressed with the on-screen keyboard, which was easy to pick up and useable in both portrait and landscape orientations.
The Nokia N9's 8-megapixel camera won't match the quality of the unrivalled Nokia N8 but it performs reasonably well. Images captured with the N9's camera are sharp but do suffer from excess image noise and the dual-LED flash tends to over saturate images. The camera also doubles as a 720p HD video recorder and will record at 30 frames per second. The N9 also supports a wide range of video and music files. We tested a number of different file types and most played without issue. Conveniently, you can simply plug the N9 into a Mac or PC via a USB port and drag and drop files onto the device, or you can install the simple and effective Nokia Link application that enables you synchronise music, photos and videos from a Windows or Mac computer to the N9 and vice-versa. The N9's external speaker is loud and clear and sound through the included headphones is also impressive.
Curiously, the Nokia N9 has built-in Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, but its not for wireless payments — the technology enables users to pair compatible Bluetooth devices by tapping them against the phone. Depending on the devices, it can also offer the ability to share content. Tapping two Nokia N9's together can initiate multiplayer games and unlock new levels in Angry Birds, for example.
The Nokia N9 does not have a microSD card slot for expandable memory. It comes in 16GB and 64GB models and is a pentaband 3G smartphone, meaning it will work on all Australian 3G mobile networks. The Nokia N9 will be sold in Australia through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone and will retail for $799 (16GB) and $949 (64GB) outright.
Unfortunately, the Nokia N9 has below average battery life. It should last a full day with moderate use, but we ran out of battery well before the end of the day with constant use.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- BlackBerry readies a more secure version of the Samsung Galaxy S7
- Android device updates: Nougat rollout begins for the Moto Z Play
- Android device updates: Nougat is coming to the Moto G4, G4 Plus
- Beyond smartphones, Samsung wants its Exynos 9 chip in VR headsets
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTEmail Production SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst (BPMN or UML & Agile)QLD
- TPApplication DeveloperACT
- TPDeployment OfficerQLD
- FTProject Co-OrdinaterNSW
- CCSenior Commercial AnalystNSW
- TPGIS Resource Data & TestingQLD
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTAutomation TesterQLD
- TPProject Manager | HealthQLD
- CCExecutive SupportWA
- TPAgile Implementation LeadNSW
- TPSenior Communications EngineerWA
- FTJunior Applications SupportNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPNode JS DeveloperNSW
- FTSystem EngineersVIC
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperVIC
- CCMigration EngineerACT
- CCLead SAP SRM DeveloperACT
- TPSAP BA - Source to PayQLD
- CCCommunications Network EngineerWA
- CCQuote WriterVIC