Nokia N9 ReviewNokia N9 7
With Huge shoes to fill, looking at specs alone and the Nokia N9 trails behind its older brother, the N8. The sensor's down from 12MP to 8MP while the Xenon flash has been dropped in favor of a dual LED flash. That said, working in the Nokia N9's favour is the fixed minimum aperture of f2.2 in contrast to the N8's f2.8, and the slightly wider angled 26mm focal length.
Specs aside, and the performance of the Nokia N9 camera is very solid indeed. Detail levels are good, dynamic range is respectable and color is for the most part accurate, though at times the exposure and white balance needs a helping hand. Our only niggle is in relation to the auto-focus and the camera UI. The camera fires very quickly, sometimes before it even get a chance to focus. This is both a blessing and a curse, with quick capture but occasionally soft picture.Touch to focus also proved unreliable, not playing nice in macro and locking occasionally, while the UI is heavily menu driven. We would have liked shortcuts or an HTC style corrections on the fly approach.
We managed to get some cracking atmospheric shots using this phone, with macro shots getting decent depth of field while wider shots absorbed a scene. That the Nokia N9 can handle noise pretty well really helps if you're into your sunsets and nights out.
Sadly, video capture doesn't deliver the quality we would have hoped for. With 720p recording, it's already slightly behind the competition, however, the artifacting, muted colours and shortage of clarity and detail are what stop the Nokia N9's video output from complementing some rather impressive optics. For casual video however, it is passable, and as you can see from the clip, the touch to focus during the video itself tends to work very well indeed.
This firmly places the Nokia N9's camera in the upperechelon of still photo snappers, however if video's your bag, watch our sample before committing your hard earned cash.
Nokia N9 Sample Video:
Nokia N9 Sample Video:
After you've spent hours creating content, you'll want to consume it, and the Nokia N9 has everything you'll need to do just that.
Starting with the music player and Nokia have decided to lock everything into portrait orientation. This works perfectly for one handed usage and keeps in-line with the simplicity of the OS.The main screen offers you a 3x3 grid of recently played album artwork in the upper half, while in the lower half are standard playback options such as artist, album, songs, playlist and ovi music. Playback quality is definitely above average, with impressive volume and clarity. Tracks retained a good amount of bass as well, giving the N9's audio output a nice rounded quality.
video support is good for H.263, MPEG4, H.264 BP/MP, WMV9 / VC-1 and Mkv formats. Sadly, at 720p, rvrn MP4 support wasn't reliable. While the Nokia N9 manages to play captured HD content well, MP4 video podcasts and YouTube rips fail to playback smoothly.Once your video is playing however, the Nokia N9 comes into its own. The Clear Black AMOLED display caresses your senses while the immersive audio quality is the icing on the cake, making the video playback a real treat.
The onboard penta-band 3G and quad-band GSM makes the Nokia N9 an ideal phone for traveling – it is even usable in T-Mobile USA's 3G network. The pre-installed Nokia maps with GPS allow for free navigation. The handset also has your usual, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, not to mention NFC which is something we don't see all that often.
Web browsing is a very positive experience on the Nokia N9 thanks to a zippy browser and intuitive interaction. Multi-touch pinch to zoom works a treat while pages load quickly and are browsable while loading. The browser doesn't support Flash, and this probably has a lot to do with the smoothness of the experience, however you do get HTML 5 support.
The Nokia N9 gives users the ability to easily tether Wi-Fi which we're delighted to see. The GPS also works well, locking on when outdoors in a matter of moments with the AGPS, and from cold in about 30 seconds.
Nokia N9 Review - Camera, Multimedia and Connectivity