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)
Beautifully simple. That's the marketing tag-line for Nokia's promotion of the N9 smartphone, the first and last Nokia phone to run the MeeGo operating system. The N9 is the best looking and slickest device the company has released in a number of years. Although it can't compete with Android's flexibility, or iOS's number and quality of third-party apps, the Nokia N9's great design, superb display and ease of use makes it a valid alternative if you're looking for something different. It's just a shame it's so late to market and is essentially running a dead operating system.
Nokia N9: Design and display
Nokia is no stranger to excellent design and construction: despite many of its recent smartphones bring plagued by poor software, we've always admired Nokia's build quality, craftsmanship and industrial design. The N9 is no different — it's a candybar handset constructed from solid polymer. According to Nokia the N9 is manufactured from the same material often found in ice hockey helmets. The company says the phone's polycarbonate casing is coloured all the way through in the manufacturing process, so scratches, dents or marks from everyday use will not show up. The N9 is available in black, cyan and magenta colours in Australia: the cyan colour in particular is a real head turner and will definitely stand out in a store.
The N9 is Nokia's first-ever "pure touch" smartphone. It has no keypad or home button on the front — the only physical controls are on the right side in the form of volume buttons and a lock key. The bottom houses a speaker while a standard headphone jack, micro-USB port and SIM card slot are aligned on the top. A flap covers the micro-USB port but it's awkward to open: you need to dig your fingertip into the left side of the cover for it to flip up and you need to do this every time you want to charge the phone. The N9 doesn't have a removable battery and uses a micro-SIM card rather than a full-sized one. The only other smartphones on the Australian market to use a micro-SIM are Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
The entire front of the Nokia N9 is taken up by a 3.9in, super AMOLED, edge-to-edge display. The screen uses gorilla glass technology that Nokia says prevents scratches and cracks and the glass is curved outwards in order to achieve a more natural swiping motion. This curve makes content on the N9 appear as if it's floating underneath the screen. Viewing angles are excellent and the display is very bright, though it has a yellow tinge when compared directly to the iPhone 4 on full brightness and lacks an automatic brightness setting. Text is both crisp and clear.
Nokia N9: User interface
The MeeGo operating system running the N9 is focussed on simplicity: Nokia says it intended to "cut through the clutter associated with traditional smartphone design." Although it has a learning curve if you’re coming from an iPhone or Android smartphone, the user experience of the N9 feels natural. Swiping from edge-to-edge to unlock the screen, go back to the default home screen or see important notifications is effortless and easy.
The idea around navigating the N9 is that whenever you are in an application you simply swipe from the edge of the screen (either side) to go back to the home screens. At times we were left longing for a back button but after a few days use the swipe gestures become second nature. You can also set the N9 to close apps by swiping down when in an app — a similar action in parts to the webOS platform that powered HP's now-defunct TouchPad tablet.
The N9 interface is based around three "home views" — an applications screen that lists all your apps, a notifications screen for calls, messages, calendar events and social networking feeds and a currently open applications screen. Nokia says there is no limit to the amount of apps you have open and you won't see a message or error if the memory becomes full: we managed to open 15 apps without a direct affect on performance, but there are times when we wish the N9 had a faster, dual-core processor. Apps sometimes take a few seconds to open and more taxing tasks like playing back video files does result in a little slowdown.
Unfortunately, the Nokia N9 does not support the ability to create folders for app sorting, so the app list screen does become cluttered if you download a lot of apps. You can press and hold an app icon to move it where you want on the app screen, but this is the only method of sorting: you can't sort by alphabetical order or most used, for example.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Apple iPhone X
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Toys for Boys
Google Daydream View VR Headset
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Xbox One X
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Sony Commences Android 8.0 Oreo Rollout in New Zealand Starting With Flagship Xperia XZ Premium Smartphone Device
- Qualcomm adds security, battery life features to phone chips
- Cygnett’s new wireless charging range has arrived
- Belkin Introduces USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD
- Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Will Come To Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- 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
- CCRPA DeveloperVIC
- CCProject Manager - IVRVIC
- CCAnalyst/Programmer- AutomationNSW
- CCTechnical Lead - BrisbaneNSW
- FTGraduate Application Support OfficerOther
- CCInfrastructure Solution Designer - Financial Services - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTService Desk Analyst/Telecommunications Service AnalystOther
- CCSenior/Junior Oracle DeveloperVIC
- FTSystem TesterOther
- CCSenior Analyst ProgrammerVIC
- FTBroker Support/ Applications SupportOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTLevel 2/Level 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- FTForm Analyst/DeveloperOther
- TPProject Officer. Website optimisation enablementNSW
- FTGraduate C# DeveloperNSW
- FTIntegeration ArchitectOther
- FTSolution Manager - SAPOther
- CCRelease Management LeadNSW
- FTScrum MasterOther
- CCAutomation Test AnalystNSW
- TPProject Manager - IaaSQLD
- CCSenior AngularJS DeveloperNSW
- FTOracle Financial Functional Oracle FinancialNSW