18 February 2012

N9 vs N8 - why should (or shouldn't) I switch

I am one of these guys who switched to Nokia N9 from the fan favourite N8. I did not really need to do that as the N8 (with the recent Belle update) was an amazing piece of hardware and I did not really feel I needed to change it. Why did I change the model then? Well, I guess I just wanted some new shiny gadget and Nokia N9 looks so gorgeous I just couldn't resist. If you are still wondering whether to switch to N9 from your N8 or stay with the good old model, I am going to help you out a bit. Please consider the pros and cons that I've prepared for your consideration.

Disadvantages of Nokia N9
  1. The ugly duckling. The thing we have to admit is the N9 is an ugly duckling. Nokia will not continue the line of MeeGo products and we're not even sure how long they will provide support and updates for the phone.
  2. The interface is simplistic. I personally consider this an advantage, but it may as well feel retrograde to many. You won't find dozens of customizable homescreens with thousands of widgets and animated gadgetry. This has all been reduced to a necessary minimum, but it's functionality does not suffer. There's all you need.
  3. Memory. Believe it or not, the Nokia N9 16GB offers just under 9GB of free space out of the box. Strange, isn't it? The 64GB version, on the other hand, will give you just 57GB of user space. This really annoyed me given the fact that no review website I read prior to buying N9 mentioned this important limitation. My old N8, by comparison, had 16GB on board storage and was expandable via the memory slot by 32GB up to total 48GB, which was amazing capacity for a phone. In other words, I switched from 48GB phone to a more expensive 9GB phone. Sad.
  4. No dedicated camera shutter button. Those who love using phones to take photos will be disappointed with the lack of physical camera shutter key. Thus, taking photos may not be as comfortable as with N8.
  5. Pen-tile matrix. The screen on the N9 is amazing, no doubt about it. It has great brightness, direct sunlight legibility and infinite black. However, the technology used here is pen-tile. I don't feel particularly upset about it but there are people who might be. To read more about the pen-tile technology go to http://blog.gsmarena.com/nokia-n9-fwvga-amoled-uses-pentile-matrix-heres-the-proof/
  6. MicroSim card slot. You have to have your standard SIM card converted to micro sim to use N9 (like with iPhone or iPad). You can do that at your mobile operator or, alternatively, do it yourself using a dedicated Sim cutter (available for just under $5)
  7. Accelerometer works only in selected situations. The accelerometer in N9 is a real mystery to me. Although it works, i.e. rotates screen from vertical to horizontal automatically when you write an SMS or an email, but it doesn't when you type in your wifi password. The screen also does not rotate in music player, lock screen, main menu, settings and dozens of other situations. It makes the phone experience quite uncomfortable and unpredictable. When in car, I have my phone in the car holder (horizontally). This means that navigation works in horizontal mode, but as soon as I switch to music player, it is all vertical again, thus very difficult to use when driving. You must actually learn when rotating the phone will have any effect, and when it won't. I just hope it will be improved in PR1.3 update (I don't hope it to happen in the PR1.2).
  8. Internet browser is simplistic (not to say retrograde). Virtually it does not offer anything more that typing in the address and pressing enter. No bookmarks, cards, back and forward buttons, favourites, copy and paste. The list is very long. Fortunately, you can always install the great Opera Mobile.
  9. Use Nokia as modem?. I used my old N8 as a modem via bluetooth (and Nokia Suite). No such luck with the N9. Technically, you can activate the hotspot on N9, and connect your PC to it, but the procedure is more complicated than with Nokia Suite.
  10. No smart dialling. I got really used to smart dialling in the dial mode. There's no such thing in N9.
  11. No voice commands. N9 does not react to voice commands. Not that I used it very often, It just does not offer such functionality. Deal with it.
  12. No pre-installed voice recorder. There is no such app in N9. You can, however, find similar apps in the ovi store.
  13. Screen is virtually always on. The display shows you the time and key notifications even when locked. To wake up the phone, it's enough to double-tap. This is a nice functionality, but for those who would like to switch it off to save some battery life - it's impossible. Switching off the stand-by screen (with clock and notifications) will mean you get no notifications whatsoever. There is also no led indicator like in N8.
  14. No Nokia Suite (Ovi Suite) Support. As you may already know, there is no support for N9 in the famous Nokia Suite. For some obscure reasons, however, the older versions of Ovi Suite did support N9 and synced it with PC and Office. No such luck with recent releases of Nokia Suite. What does it mean? Basically there are certain limitations to functionalities I liked in my good old N8. Nokia N9, since it can connect with your PC only via Nokia Link software, id does not offer the following:
  • No out-of-the-box bluetooth connection with PC.
  • No easy syncing with Outlook 2007/2010
  • No SMS, Notes, Calendar and Contacts syncing with PC.
  • No SMS texting via the Nokia Link.
  • No "connect to internet" functionality known from the Suite.

Advantages of Nokia N9
  1. Body Design. N9 has gorgeous body design. In fact, I thing this is one of few phones on the market nowadays that make iPhone look old and bulky. The polycarbonate body of N9 (and, in fact, for the Lumia 800, as they have virtually identical construction) is sturdy, durable and very nice in feel. I found that I just can't resist to reach to my pocket and touch the sexy curves of the N9.
  2. Amazing screen. The screen offers almost infinite black depth and very vivid colors. The edges of the screen blend seamlessly with the unibody policarbonate casing, which just looks stunning. The image displayed on N9 seems incredibly close to the surface as if it was right beneath your fingers when you touch the icons. I've never seen anything like that before in any other phone.
  3. Speed. N9 is a truly really fast phone. The processor is just 1GHz Cortex A8, which by modern standards is nothing amazing. However, when you just see how fast the phone works, it is not really relevant what does the job under the hood.
  4. Amazing haptics. Touchscreen experience with N9 is amazing. It is even better with the phone's great haptic response (vibro) upon touching. It feels really natural and fast.
  5. Lossless audio formats support. N9 supports FLAC and OGG formats which means that if you're a music lover, you will probably benefit.
  6. Great camera. Quite what we might expect from an NSeries phone, the N9 is also an amazing shooter. Although there's just 8Mpix on board (instead on 12Mpix in the N8) you probably won't feel any drop in quality. The N9 camera is also much faster - It can take about a photo per second.

No comments:

Post a Comment