Nokia N9: The Exteriors, the design, the beauty
Before meeting this device face to face, I was already well prepared to hold myself from falling into her charm, like many other would do, knowing its future and apps availabilities, but perhaps there was a reason that why the word “irresistible” got a definition.
There been many and many poetries written over the beautiful design of Nokia N9, poetries which even “impossibly” thinner superphones like Motorola Droid Razr or riding on top horse smartphones like iPhone4S will crave for but won’t get. Take it in your hands once and then let it go away from you for a while … may be you will also add one more drop into the flood of poetries.
It was quite surprising to see that it took just one Nokia phone to completely turn around the views of Gizmodo, Engadget and TechCrunch likes, who were not ready to give a fair chance to even Nokia N8 likes. Just a sluttery combination of design/ UI magic and all those absence of apps, basics, blames seemed to have lost their meanings for a moment.
At one side of argument, I really wonder that how much weight such tech reviews give to common usability/durability of phone or their use cases, when a tank like built Nokia N8 scores poor than a just one drop away from dead phone (Read iPhone). Anyway, that might be a viewpoint of reviewers or of those people, who get the phones on contract for some fixed period or people who live with a phone for few months max, but probably not of the consumers, who live with the phone for years.
On the other side of argument, I would agree on the fact that the design is definitely a major factor that makes your phone stand out from the crowd. Otherwise what’s point to buy a phone in price of a normal Netbook, if you can not differentiate it from many others available in market? Do one buys a phone for its FM transmitter or some high speed port? Nope! a consumer buys the looks for sure and hence the opinions of the these blogs might be valid in their place.
Coming from Nokia N8 and Nokia E7 likes, we really know how much worth a unibody build is, but Nokia N9 takes the whole unibody design concept to entirely new level. Even if Nokia E7 was already a master piece, even with that it wasn’t hard to find the places, where you could have spotted the joints, but with Nokia N9, it feels amazingly one piece. No cracks even at places where the Gorilla Glass CBD screen meets the non-painted polycarbonate body. It almost feel like the glass would have been melted and then cooled to fit in the rest of the body.
In fact, anyone who will take this phone in hands will wonder that how someone will open this handset for service etc. So, I thought to put an official Nokia video to show that how Nokia N9 got assembled.
If still you have not got the idea that from where a Nokia N9 could be opened in service center, then let me hint you, the top place and then display is the key.
Check out the full Nokia Service Manual in details here. Obviously DO NOT TRY IT YOURSELF. I am posting it just for sake of your curiosity, not for using it.
Anyway, we got detracted here, point is, the only place where you see some moveable/ detachable parts is on top, where the MicroUSB port, MicroSIM card slot and 3.5” jack resides.
Though I couldn’t find any kind of picture evidence, but as much I checked, somewhere inside it houses a noise cancellation mic as well As pointed by Thomas in comments section, I was wrong about the location of Noise Cancellation mic that can be located next to camera flash (Notice at the top on Dual LED Flash). GPS and NFC units are also housed in upper portion itself.
For me, it was a joy to see the USB slot opening mechanism. I repeatedly posted that Nokia should leave the USB slot open till the time, they don’t find a proper covering mechanism like slider on my Galaxy S or something like that. It seems that Nokia finally has found a way.
This is the first MicroUSB slot covering mechanism on a Nokia that doesn’t look scary and assures that will last enough longer.
The slot mechanism becomes more important when you know that the USB slot is the only way to charge the device and hence will be required to be opened/closed all the time.
MicroSIM was definitely the most tedious part of a Nokia N9 review for me as I was to run for getting one for myself first, which took one two days from me in finding one and then getting that activated. I should say thanks to iPhone4 launch in India that it was even possible otherwise, I would have needed to cut my SIM to fit into the slot and then once review was over then I was to ask Vodafone that please issue me a new SIM as last SIM is damaged.
Update: I was able to use the MicroSIM easily in my Galaxy S in the following way…
As of now, there might be only countable phones like iPhone4/4S, Motorola Droid Razr, Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia N9 supporting MicroSIM, but once you use it, you really think that why we using this bulk of plastic outside the actual chip in the SIM that is as small as MIcroSIM (After all, we just need to cut the plastic to make the same SIM as MicroSIM). Once most of phones will start supporting MicroSIM, phone manufacturer will have more room to do slimmer designs than ever.
Anyway, I was talking about MicroSIM slot, a pull out slot for MicroSIM that is very well made just like MIcroUSB slot. First slide it a little to one side after opening MicroUSB slot and then pull it out. A very durable and reliable design.
The other moveable parts are Volume switches and Display lock switch. While we can still manage without HW volume keys by swiping over the pink bar shown in above shots, but having a HW key for volume changes always better. Though same can not be said about Display lock switch which happen to be Power key as well, though lock switch not needed to unlock the device as a double tap on the screen would do.
The last portion of the build where the unibody design ends is the bottom base that houses the speakers. Same grills house the mic as well (can’t be seen).
The bottom portion of the device also houses a VGA front camera as well. Though strange fact is, you just can’t use the same via the native camera app, neither do it has UMTS video call support, via Skype or Gtalk video chat. Only app I could find in Nokia store was Simple Mirror that can make use of this front camera, but still its kind of proof of concept that it exists, no actual use yet, not even after the recent big update.
Then comes the back of the device. So symmetrical, so smooth like some curves of a super model. It houses the in surface 8mp shooter, which is actually capable of 8.7mp though shoots 8mp for 4:3 while shoots 7.1mp in 16:9/3:2. While this is the technical part, but good thing is, when you switch to widescreen mode in camera, then you loose only 0.9mp while in case of Nokia N8, I was loosing 4 mp. Good!! isn’t it?
Just above the camera, there is NFC portion of Nokia N9, which I couldn’t cover in the review due to lack of any NFC device like Nokia 360 with me at present.
So, this was the exterior that already got the whole world going gaga behind it. Such a unique design that no company could dare to sue on. Such a great feeling in hands and a slap over folks, who thought that Nokia couldn’t design an in-surface AF camera in Nokia N8 (raised camera module there).
But it doesn’t mean that its perfect. Feeling of holding it in hands is sure priceless, but not exactly timeless like it been with Nokia N8/E7 like metallic bodies. At least, with Cyan and Magneta, I am sure that it gets dirty over time due to the use of unique material that wont be as easy to clean up as a metallic build was. Same time, while the shining camera unit looks quite decent, is actually most prone to get scratches before the polycarbonate body itself as you definitely gonna keep it on the back. Same goes with the rubber covers which though fits the device nicely and protect it perfectly, suffers the same issue, get dirty very easily.
But that’s my viewpoint. My kind of people don’t even think of buying a white iPhone or white N9 for the same reason though some people like those only. Personal preference, I would say, but my choice will be a
Dark Grey Black Nokia N9 only, if I have to buy. Check out the Dark Grey Black Nokia Lumia 800 video walkthrough to understand about the beauty of it.
I could take only one distant pic of the beauty somehow ..
And I could definitely say that if any color will match my likes then it would be
dark grey Black only.
43 thoughts on “Layman’s Take on Nokia N9– Music of Beethoven”
one question, how did you change the clock background to black?
Have always been trying to find out, because i read the review on theverge and they managed to changed even the calendar to a black background..
Clock background is white where you set alarm while its black where you set the system time.
I’m halfway through page 5, and… man I was so disappointed with “Ra.One”. It has NOTHING to do with this review; that comment will come later. 😀
Brother from where did you get this in India (I guess you are from India)…is there anyway I can get this device from anywhere in India…desperately need one…please tell
I got it from Nokia Connects as a review unit. No official words on Indian availability as of now.
Ok…if you had to guess that “will it come” ? what would you say ?
Maybe some time after Nokia Lumia phones ?
Well, you can always import 🙂 For example, it’s available in my country for around 600 Euros. You can send someone the money for it and have them buy it and sent to you.
You won’t get warranty in India if you import.
Better check warranty terms in nokia website. (Nokia replied)
True, but if something happens you can always send it to Nokia Care from the country you’ve imported it from, and get it fixed there. Right?
It’ll not come to India, but you can find them on eBay.in
hey thanks bro…didn’t expect that…will wait for it to drop a bit in terms of price
Less chances for an Indian launch as of now, but who knows. Nokia N900 came to India after 8 months
ya actually that thought is not allowing me to buy any other device…still using 5800
Wow .N900 now ready for India. Of course it shloud be as silence is broken, Meego would not be commercially launched for N900. So Nokia don’t want to let its smartphone sales figures come down & since latest info on N900 will not help sales figures to move up in Europe & elsewhere, the better option is to follow the imprints of Apple I.e. Launch soon going to be obselete products in Indian Market.Thank you Nokia. This time luckily I wasn’t expecting anything else.
you nailed it Nitish .. greatest phone ever made .. period .. and your review does give N9 a justice that it need .. no other phone should have a review of this length and attention to detail except N9 😀 ..
this phone has saved me from all dreadful devotion given to all the dreadful ecosystem .. you won’t believe how much I’ve spent buying apps from apple appstore without even executing half of it .. and come to think of it, I did that because I can’t never find satisfaction or sense of completeness with my last phone in its original form ..
but N9 was different .. it has everything that I ever need in a timeless beautiful form, and already I felt a sense of completeness in one aspect of my life .. I think this is the phone that I’m going to kept forever while I’m alive even if it is can’t no longer be used (I always sold my old phone/trade in when buying new phone).. seriously, I am that much of fan ..
Nitish Kumar there some inconsistency in your review.
1. .deb files you can install it as simple as enabled 3rd party installation then run file manager and run it directly no need terminal
2. soft reset the cirulating arrow doesnt mean brick it means its erasing or in progress. in the progress even u turn on and off it will still process u just need wait until it reboot itself means completed
or its that your fren
3. Account Authentication Broken: fixed in PR 1.1
1. Agree that the same can be done with File Manager itself but I was not sure that if it picks supporting files as well. Didn’t happened in case of VLC with me.
2. I waited more than 20 mins but nothing happened and then review unit was to go back, so couldn’t check.
3. My unit had PR1.1 only as I got the update before the review and it actually got broken after the update only.
What a review!! Thank you so much!! 😀
Greetings from Portugal. 😀
hi nithish… Good job… My doubt is if i buy this n9 from singapore .. Whether i will get software update in india or not through air or not.. Pls mail me
Your “issue” number 3 is not an issue at all.
This is N9 behaviour – and it is not “bricked” as you said.
You just have to be patient and wait 10-15 minutes.
Ok.! I couldn’t wait more than 30 mins as DHL guy arrived on door to pick it up 😦
I could barely make it through the first page of this review, as the English is absolutely terrible. This trend continues through the rest of your site as well. I would recommend doing some major editing.
will try mate
The noise-cancellation microphone is next to the camera flash – a 0.5mm hole. The in-device instructions indicate you shouldn’t cover this location during a call if you enable noise-cancellation.
Maybe I missed it but can you :pause/play/forward/back the music player on the included earphones button? Is there a volume control too?
As I wrote, the one shipped with it is a minimal one with one button only.
Regards Nitish Kumar @nkumar_
The Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone smartphone is a power packed product with many amazing features like an 8 MP Camera, Microsoft Windows 7.5 OS, a 1.4 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM, People Hub, XBOX gaming, among other things. But one feature that takes the cake here is Nokia Drive. Nokia Drive is a GPS app with a voice guided turn-by-turn navigation system which helps you when you are out travelling. And the best bit about it is that it is completely free!
Nokia Drive also saves your search history so that the user can easily get traffic updates to their regular commutes. This also means you can quite easily select any of your previous destinations. The fact that Nokia Drive has a database of over 100 countries and that it can be used offline as well, is something that will really click with the viewers.
The only thing I have not found in any review is a perspective or voice dialing.
Voice quality in most of Nokia phones is always top notch, something that we take for granted, so missed to mention again.
Regards Nitish Kumar @nkumar_
What I meant was regarding voice control…
What was your impression on Battert Life?
Battery life is OK. Much better over Nokia N900 but not better over Nokia E6/E7/N8
Regards Nitish Kumar @nkumar_
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