Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Sep 2013 16:57 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Still, the Nokia N9 and its MeeGo Harmattan software platform remain unmatched in various aspects of user interface and user experience. Even though MeeGo Harmattan has essentially remained stagnant and frozen in time for 2 whole years, it still represents a benchmark in some ways for what a smartphone user interface should be.

Virtually every N9 owner I've ever talked to loves the N9 unconditionally. It could have been the Eve of Nokia's resurrection. Instead, it became the symbol of its demise.

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I don't love mine unconditionally
by No it isnt on Fri 27th Sep 2013 17:24 UTC
No it isnt
Member since:

The N9 has some flaws. The most serious one is the browser, which was poor when the phone was new. Certainly worse than IE is now, but who knows what Nokia could have made of it if they just tried. Also, the hardware is a bit slow.

The UI is decent enough, but it's too easy to swipe an app to the background if the app itself has a swiping interface (like maps). It should have used upward swipes to send them to the background, and downwards to close.

It's still the coolest phone I've ever seen, though, and very functional right out of the box. Skype? Google voice and video chat? You don't need an app for that (Skype is video-less, though).

Reply Score: 3

anda_skoa Member since:

The N9 has some flaws. The most serious one is the browser, which was poor when the phone was new.

True. I really like everything else though ;)

It can easily be used with one hand, the Swype keyboard is great, it is extremely sturdy due to how it is manufactured.

Oh, and of course it has an exceptional battery life.
Mine is now two years old and I charge it every fourth day!

Reply Score: 6

Carewolf Member since:

I actually went back to using the N9 as my primary phone because the browser was a lot better than what was in my Android and Blackberry10 phones. Well, at least the browser played a part of going back, the other part was Nokia maps. Just can't deal with shitty GPS after using a N9.

Reply Score: 4

gan17 Member since:

I actually went back to using the N9 as my primary phone because the browser was a lot better than what was in my Android and Blackberry10 phones.

The browser on the N9 was much better than anything on Android at the time, imho. In fact it's probably still smoother than Chrome on my Nexus 7 in many cases.

I haven't touched my N9 (made in Finland, btw) ever since I got an iPhone 5 last year, but it remains nicely stored in it's box inside my storage cabinet.

One standout feature of Meego Harmattan on the N9 was the haptic feedback. It felt like the vibrations were coming from that exact point you were touching on screen. No other touchscreen phone I've used has come close to mimicking that, not even Windows Phone on similar Lumia hardware.

Reply Score: 4

No it isnt Member since:

Web pages took ages to load on the N9 compared to the Nexus 7, even over the same wifi. They're smooth enough once loaded.

I agree on the haptic feedback. My Nexus 4 is piss poor in comparison, as is the Lumia 920. The keyboard felt much better, in general, but Swype would lag from time to time.

Reply Score: 3

sicofante Member since:

After much longing for an N9, I finally bought one, but had to let it go. (Actually I bought it for my wife and we both used it for a while.)

The browser is what I (and my wife) use 99% of the time with a phone. The N9's native one is close to useless, IMO. Firefox is behind useless on the N9. But I'm very happy with Opera on my E52, so I installed it on the N9, only to discover it's not a native app there, and doesn't even use the N9's stellar keyboard. No way we were going to use it like that, and since hopes for a better browser would remain close to zero, we had to let it go.

I'm sad, because I think the N9 is one of the best -if not the best- design ever, both hardware and software wise. It was just murdered by this soul-less idiot who dismantled the whole company (making a few dollars for Nelson, I know, I know) for Microsoft. (I hope anyone finds a way to sue that bastard and the board altogether.)

I just can't understand why no one else has achieved haptic feedback but the N9 developers. What's so hard about it? Why doesn't even Nokia get it on Windows phones? I have some hope that the Jolla team has done it right again, although their whole design is far from what the N9 was.

Edited 2013-09-28 23:23 UTC

Reply Score: 0

shmerl Member since:

You can use Firefox there.

Reply Score: 1

No it isnt Member since:

Yes, but it's incredibly sluggish. There was some work on getting it ported to Qt, but I'm not sure it's in a usable state yet. A browser is a big project.

Reply Score: 2

shmerl Member since:

It already uses Qt (always did there). But IPC embedding based one is definitely faster (that's what's used in Sailfish).

Reply Score: 2

Comment by drcouzelis
by drcouzelis on Fri 27th Sep 2013 18:04 UTC
Member since:

So, I'm madly in love with my Nokia N900. I'm saving my money for a Jolla Mobile, but it may be many months or ever a year before it's available for (easy) purchase in the US.

Should I get an N9?

The people on the forums seem to suggest that even the N9 can't compare to the N900. And I guess I don't really have a reason no replace the N900. I've just got the mobile phone ITCH. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by ebasconp on Fri 27th Sep 2013 18:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
ebasconp Member since:

I loved my N900 and used it until the screen got broken.

Anyway, though it had a lot of potential and was a very interesting design, I always thought it was a "Beta product" instead of a finished and polished product. I think N9 has a better UX and I hope the Jolla phones will continue such trend.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by ukki on Fri 27th Sep 2013 19:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
ukki Member since:

i can trade you an n950 for Lumia 1020 ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by CowMan on Fri 27th Sep 2013 19:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
CowMan Member since:

I have both an N9 and an N900 (and an HTC One). My preference overall is definitely the N900. I'm watching this project, to potentially breath more life into the old phone: they are looking to bring a replacement (and open hardware) mainboard to the N900.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis
by leech on Fri 27th Sep 2013 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by drcouzelis"
leech Member since:

I am REALLY looking forward to a rejuvenated N900. I loved mine, I have a replacement screen for it, but can't seem to get the screws out... Gonna have to dremel it..

Reply Score: 2

Great phone
by terrakotta on Fri 27th Sep 2013 20:06 UTC
Member since:

I bought my N9 after using a Pré 2 for a year. Due to using a phone often in rainy conditions I went for the Sony Experia Z after it, which is in repairs because the screen is soooo fragile. So back to N9 it is, and I'm not missing that Z one bit, even if having a larger screen is somehow usefull every now and then, Meego runs miles around the three biggest platforms.

Yet, I still find the WebOS interface to be much better (albeit slow), I tend to swipe a long time before I actually get to where I want to be. What WebOS did better as well was the unified messaging, really one person one conversation, the thing is that having 4 different messaging services connected drains the battery, which is I think the reason why the big players aren't really interested. The notification area combined with the newsfeed I find to be misplaced and in the way to work with the device. Maybe I should use more online services to get more notifications :-).

The haptic feedback, the browser, the keyboard (miss numeric version hough), the excellent maps and drive program, mail, clock, multitasking, ... are so much ahead of Android it is painfull to say the least. This thing really seems as fast as a quad core android, and it is still usefull with one hand as well. Only when you're on the train really often, a bigger phone like the Z can be usefull.

Reply Score: 1

Just got mine
by Torbjorn Vik Lunde on Sat 28th Sep 2013 07:27 UTC
Torbjorn Vik Lunde
Member since:

I just got mine in the mail yesterday. I was curious about the UI of Meego and I just really liked the industrial design.

The phone feels abselutely great in your hand, way better than any of the Lumia’s I’ve tried. And the OS… it’s certainly flawed in many ways, but there is just so much potential in this. So many interesting ideas and ways of doing things. There where so many moments when using the UI I just thought “Oooh, that’s really nice”, like the way you set the time. I also love how the hardware and software design is more integrated than I’ve seen on any device. The curves on the sides are *perfect* for doing the side gestures.

Remember the iPhone prototypes that had some similarity to the N9 design? I wonder with iOS7 being side gesture oriented, whether we’ll see a return of that kind of design from Apple.

I think it’s incredibly sad that Nokia didn’t go more for this. If they fixed the flaws I think this could have been a truly great product, much better than the Lumia phones. I think Windows Phone is an interesting OS too, and the iOS/Android duopoly is sad state of affairs. I really wish we had more diversity in the mobile OS space, I’d love to have Android, iOS, webOS, Windows Phone and Meego alive and breathing. We’re a big planet with many people, surely the market space is big enough to support that?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just got mine
by jamaca22 on Mon 30th Sep 2013 08:05 UTC in reply to "Just got mine"
jamaca22 Member since:

Why no mention of BB10? This has a lot of the great swipe features present in Meego.The UI is also based on QT, with Android support!

BB10 is by no means dead and still fighting for relevance in the mobile space.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Sun 29th Sep 2013 04:21 UTC
Member since:

It's great that key engineers behind N9 left Nokia to make Jolla. The effort and experience are not lost.

Reply Score: 1