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.