Layman’s Take on Nokia N9– Music of Beethoven

Three views forming the basics


Apart from these three screens, we have a lock screen and standby screen as well and their names suggest their appearances.


While standby screen that keeps it minimal black & white, takes care of Digital clock, unread message notifications, missed call notifications, notifications on the top bar, signal level, battery indicator etc. The standby screen is the only place, where black background leaves and give the place to a background with custom wallpaper. Standby screen can show you notification, calendar alerts, alarm, date & time and even music player controls (only in case any song is running). Just a swipe on any notification and it takes you to appropriate app.


Standby screen also shows you the name when anyone calls you via GSM or Skype\Gtalk and interesting part is, it hides the private information from the same like number in above case and Skype\Gtalk ID in case of calls via them. Might be a small trick but many of us will agree that it helps a lot in many of the situations. Though it might be funny as well, like when I did setup the accounts with the new Airtel SIM I bought just the same day, then I got a call from a friend on Nokia N9 which left me in shock as even I was not fully aware of my Airtel Number then how come a friend knew. Later it came out to be a Skype call. This is close to Nokia N900 ways, which highlights the theme that it’s the conversation that matters not the mode of communication.


The recent update has also added the feature of displaying Music controls on Lock screen, though the first iteration seems to have missed some tricks. Like it takes place of clock\calendar, means if you are playing some music then Date\Time wont be displayed on the lock screen. Same way, if you have paused the track from Music player and then check back Lock screen then no music controls will be displayed as its available for running in background tracks only.


You can slid right, left or down or up from here to move toward rest of the three screens though swiping it upward and then holding it for a second brings you a quick launch bar from the bottom with four default fixed icons for Dialer, Messages, Camera and Web. Yeah! these four icons can not be changed into something else. Same gesture for bringing up the quick launch works on any of the screens except the basic three screens.  There is an application named swipe manager in Nokia Store via which you can determine that what effect these swipes gonna put over the apps, like wiping down to close some app.

Anyway, that pretty much sums up the lock screen, let’s take a look over other screens ..


Second comes the events screen that houses your Facebook\Twitter feeds and rest of the SNS/basic notifications. Feeds have an option for refreshing them, while rest of the notifications have an option to clear them. Tap on any of the notifications and it takes you to the particular app. Like tapping on a Twitter\Facebook status will take you to the native Facebook\Twitter apps and will open that particular status\tweet. Hold on any particular status and it gives you option to clear the entire feed from that account. You can customize that how many number of updates you wanna allow on this notification screen and on what schedule they should be refreshed.

I think I have some suggestions here.. it would have been better if they would have integrated the RSS Feeds to notification screen. After all, like the way, one wanna keep a check with the twitter\FB updates, one would like to have a check on RSS feeds as well. Moreover, I am not sure if the framework allows third party developers to add their feeds into common FB\twitter feeds. I think that would make the notification screen more happening.

On the upper part of the notification screen, on the left side, there is day and date, tapping on which it takes you to calendar app, while tapping on the right side over the weather icon, it takes you to weather app from Accuweather that seem to be integrated with Nokia N9.


Next is the applications screen, interestingly, there is no bottom bar like Android\Windows\Symbian neither any persistent search bar (just a search app), just a flat menu of app, no folder support, no grouping of icons. Though you can definitely arrange them by tapping, holding and then moving from one place to another. Same way, apps can be uninstalled from the same screen as well in the way, we are used to do in iPhone\Symbian^3 etc.

Note the interesting top bar that can be accessed from any screen where the top bar is accessible. Tap on the top and you have options of setting your profile to Silent, Beep or Ringing (no custom profiles here I guess), an interesting way of volume rocker, connections, SNS account status and transfer notifications. You get used to of this so naturally.


Now the third screen is a tile based task manager, named as Open Applications. Each app will have a tile of its own with the dynamic preview of status (yes, dynamic, not just a snap shot of last status). A pinch gesture turns the display mode of Task manager which can toggle between 4 app per screen to 9 app per screen. Hold on any of the tile and you get option to close down any particular or all apps.

One very interesting aspect of the UI is, its being portrait most the time, somewhat like I seen on last BlackBerry Torch 9860.


43 thoughts on “Layman’s Take on Nokia N9– Music of Beethoven

  1. 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..

  2. 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. 😀

  3. 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

      1. Ok…if you had to guess that “will it come” ? what would you say ?
        Maybe some time after Nokia Lumia phones ?

          1. 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.

  4. 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 ..

  5. 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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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!

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