new gadget – Nokia N9

Nokia N9
Nokia N9 (Photo credit: whatleydude)

a fairy tale machine; my wait since late 2011.

Yes !! finally even though a little more than my budget, this was what I’d wanted for a long time now. No specific reason, fell in love as soon after it was announced in Q3 2011. Its old hardware(dinosaur old!!) and has limited applications available. Last firmware update was on July 2012 – something named PR-1.3. After this Nokia completely abandoned the N9.
So why the love for this prehistoric relic?

user interface
One word – beautiful. The swipe interface is awesome, and as soon after I was using it, both Android and iOS seemed boring. BB10 has some reminiscent, and Windows Phone 8 has copied something from it. Overall, the interface is so less and yet, has so more to offer.

social networking
Facebook and Twitter is available and gorgeously integrated. The event home screen has many nifty add-ons that put more social networking in a glimpse. Very much like windows phone 7.5 (7.8 and/or 8). There is however a big lag of Linkedin and Google Plus – something I prefer these days.

camera
This is on par with current middleware mobile handsets. Eight MP is okay, and even though the low light is not perfect as iPhone 5 or Nokia’s premier – Lumia 920; it gets the job done. There are two good LED flash behind, which in Nepal, I mostly use as torchlight during the electricity cuts (currently 12 hours/day). Camera options are good, with continuous shooting is a charm.

maps
Nokia Maps (a.k.a Here) is good enough for Nepal. I downloaded offline map pack (56.6 mb) of Nepal and now use it often. The street maps are comparable to Google Maps, and sometimes better (my perspective). Far better than the open street maps (that I’d root for). However, there is a big confusion for me. Online maps from my desktop browser (firefox 19) shows streets filled unique areas (shops/cinema/hospitals etc) whereas my N9 has blank streets. May be Nokia forgot about N9. None the less, Nokia Maps has VDCs and remote roads that are not present in Google Maps (up until few months back – late 2012).

clean UI software
The Clock, Calendar, and Message apps have good simple UI. Not many options, but they get it done. Contacts are synchronized and Merged, but there is no speed dial :(. Mail App could have been better (compared to Android Gmail App). Firefox 15 is available, but I rarely use it. Feeds App is simple, but I needed a whole weekend to bring all my feeds from Google Reader. Gallery is self sustaining, with many plugins (except may be instagram.com effects). Music App is not that from Apple, and I do miss the Genius feature. Overall, its not iOS smooth, not even Android 4.2 smooth. Its very rough UI, and lots of glitches – but its all worth it. I love it.

software i use
Google mail is present with integrated google voice. Skype is integrated, along with Wazapp, Picasa, YouTube and Flickr. Obviously, Twitter and Facebook are present. There is however no Active Sync support from Google, so google calendar and contacts are out of questions. Lucky for me, I use hotmail in mobile handsets. Most confusing, is the presence of CalDAV but absence of CardDAV. So there is google calendars available, but no google contacts. strange?

I have dropbox from DropN9; evernote from Notekeeper(paid app); WordPress from CutePress, Pocket client from Pockeego(paid app), my new favorite ProfileMatic (changes profiles according to time/place/person/anything). I have roughly 4-5 apps open at any time, with automatic Cache Cleaning (via DropCache) running now and then. At times, I had to use the terminal App too.

love for hardware
There is NFC, and I am still waiting to use it. I had to cut my SIM into the smaller version (took me NRs.50). The black polycarbonate body is superb, along with the Gorilla Glass curving is momentous design. Front Camera is – BAD !!. The small breathing light in front, has minimum work (worthless). The speakers are good, headphone jacks in better placed at corners, but the charging point hidden inside is a hassle. There is one volume (well two) button/s, and a power power button. The front screen is clean slate – no physical buttons. Love it.

looking forward to..
Well, I hope Nokia comes up with the next firmware update. Waiting for PR.1.4 or something, Fingers crossed.. The other big news being Jolla (and/or Sailfish OS), It should run on N9, and it should come out within next few months. Otherwise, except for the lack of Google Plus and LinkedIn, I am happy with this Road Rage.

P.S. Next Post – Tomorrow – something from Wikipedia
P.S.ii. Next (real) Post – Tuesday, March 12, 2013. something about mHealth.