Nokia says that the N9 is a demonstration product of sorts, limits production to just about 90,000 units, stiffles it for Windows Phone, limits country availability, yet everybody who has reviewed one is raving about it.
This has to be said: the N9 is not even being compared to the iPhone; rather it has become the new standard, and the iPhone is being compared to it.
No other mobile has been described with the dramatic, poetic, sometimes almost erotic language that the N9 has been described with.
I thought I would compile excerpts from some of the N9 reviews floating about the internet. Hope you enjoy them.
The Sexiest Mobile
I have only been using the N9 for a few hours so cannot comment on battery life, camera performance, and a host of other functions, but will be spending more time with it and report back on my findings. It really is a slick device with a nice OS, but it is also sad that so few people will ever be able to experience it.
The Most Amazing Phone You’ll Never Buy
Robin Wauters, Tech Crunch
The Nokia N9 is easily one of the most pleasant, fast and thoughtfully designed phones I’ve ever used. And I’ve used plenty of iPhones and Android phones to date to know what I’m talking about.
There’s a lot of things to like about the N9: the quality and responsiveness of the touch screen, the nifty ‘swiping’ features, the general look and feel of the (unibody) hardware, the navigation and ‘Drive’ applications, the curved glass, the camera quality, the way notifications work, the incoming updates river view, the lack of buttons, built-in NFC capabilities, and so on. A really, really solid job, Nokia.
Once In A Lifetime
When the first touch-only OS debuts on one of the hottest pieces of hardware this year, you can bet we want a piece of the action.
When a smartphone’s popularity is off the charts without it being all over TV, it must really be something special.
We were amazed by the silky smooth handling when we first met the N9 back in June. If you can pull off that kind of performance, it doesn’t really matter what kind of chip is doing the math inside.
The general performance of the Nokia N9 is silky smooth, even with all the eye candy that MeeGo offers. Animations are fluid, everything opens quickly and there are no hiccups even with over 15 apps in the background.
Beautiful. Simple. Brilliant. Out of place and hardly on time. Timeless…
If price is of no concern, you’ll have a phone like no other. More importantly, it’s nothing like the iPhone – and that somehow seems a mandatory requirement these days. Funny actually, if any device comes even close to the Nokia N9 and its touchscreen experience, it’s the iPhone.
Gone in 60 seconds
Timi Cantisano, The Mobile Fanatics
Experiencing the device for the first time is magical. Time stops, everything goes silent, your heart slows, you hold your breath because you can feel that this device is a piece of history. The slightly protruding curved glass screen is bright and extremely glossy, reflecting everything and anything like a highly polished jewel. The colors emitted by the glass display are colorful, true, and unyielding under extreme lighting conditions like sunlight. The N9 display is surrounded by a black shell thats soft to the touch, firm in construction and compliments the display well due to its matte finish. This design, structure, and style exude decadence and is something that is missing from current offerings by competitors.
Just like its impressive exterior the OS is brilliant. The N9 is different, it doesn’t rely on dedicated touch sensitive buttons but instead relies on swipes and gestures to accomplish actions. Often swiping from the side, bottom, and top of the screen will yield different results making the interaction with the N9 extremely physical and intimate. Over time your body reacts appropriately and swipes instinctively and all the while the OS stays right on pace without a sign of exhaustion. Simply put, the OS is quick, beautiful, and intuitive. Its a perfect example of creating something from scratch that is both familiar and different.
Alex Kidman, Gizmodo Australia
It’s a very well made smartphone that feels great in the hand, responds with a surprising turn of speed and covers the majority of smartphone basics very well indeed.
The camera is great; just taking some sample shots shows good colour reproduction, fast focus and a simple shooting mechanism that just plain works. No, it’s not yet a DSLR, but it’s easily in the top echelon of smartphone cameras.
Battery life is very solid. Like most smartphones, if you run it hard — and especially if you use the hotspot function — it’ll conk out within a day, but with moderate use I’ve managed multiple days without it plaintively complaining of low power.
All this sounds excellent; a solid smartphone with a clever operating system, good response, great camera and eye catching design. But I’m still not buying one.
Gorgeous Hardware and Brilliant Software
Myriam Joire, Engadget
Love at first sight — this is possibly the most beautiful phone ever made. It’s not our first hardware love affair (we’re looking at you, iPhone 4S), nor likely our last, but the N9 is in a class of its own in terms of design. You’ve never seen anything like it, and if you think it’s attractive in pictures, wait until you see it in person — it’s completely and utterly irresistible.
The 3.9-inch FWVGA (854×480) ClearBlack AMOLED display is phenomenal, rivaling Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus — text and graphics just appear to float on the panel, further refining the experience.
MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan is such a breath of fresh air it will leave you gasping — that is, until you remember that you’re dealing with a dead man walking. It’s impossible to dismiss what’s been achieved here — a thoroughly modern, elegant, linux-based OS with inspired design that’s simple and intuitive to use, all developed in house by Nokia.
Like No Other Phone
Dennis Bournique, WapReview
It’s one of the most innovative new phones I’ve used in a long time. The “Swipe” UI is very efficient, there’s obviously been a lot of thought put into making it easy to get things done. Still it is like no other phone before it and users coming from another platform, even Maemo, will need a little time to get up to speed. Thankfully. the learning curve is shallow and after only a week I feel I’m able to use the full power of the Swipe interface with confidence, something that took me months with Symbian and Android.
A universal Experience of Delight & Desire
Vlad Savov, This Is My Next/The Verge
I say this without any qualification: the Nokia N9 is beautiful. Everything about this phone’s design exudes elegance and harmony. Lines flow seamlessly into one another, fit and finish is perfect, and the feel in the hand is sublime.
I’ve used the N9 alongside an iPhone 4S and an HTC Radar over the last few days and would say it has the best ergonomics of the three. The aluminum-clad Radar often feels cold to the touch (because of its inherent thermal conductivity), while the iPhone’s glass surfaces and straight edges can’t match the N9’s smooth curvature and grippy texture. The N9’s Gorilla Glass screen slopes off at the sides, making it feel as if it were melted onto the phone’s body. The sensation of using it is exactly as divine as that analogy makes it sound.
The only other company that has shown this kind of immaculate care with keeping design themes consistent is Apple. Ultimately, what Nokia has put together in the N9?s UI is nothing short of a triumph. It feels cohesive and, remarkably, lives up to the fantastic elegance of the phone’s physical design and construction.
Chris Davies, SlashGear
Our frustration is that the N9 doesn’t deserve to die. In fact, Nokia has delivered a double-punch of compelling software and beautiful hardware: a device that earned curious, envious glances while we played with it in public, and a platform that was both instantly usable and consistently slick.
…it’s hard to escape the polish of the N9?s hardware/software combination. Seldom are we so reluctant to part with a review unit as we are over sending the N9 back to Nokia. It may not be the fastest, or the most whiz-bang of the smartphones, but it’s holistically beautiful and an example in many ways of why Nokia once led the mobile field.
The Ferrari of Phones
Randall Arnold, Tabula Crypticum
There’s been enough mentioned on this aspect, but I have to say it myself nonetheless: this is the Ferrari of phones. In fact I even suggested on Twitter that Nokia co-brand a red one with the Italian king of cars. I cannot overstate the sexy elegance. Yes I have overused that word “sexy”. Yes the N9 deserves it. No other cell phone has been designed better. Most don’t even come close.
MeeGo Harmattan provides the ultimate mobile device experience. Period. Yes, I have a fondness for the various Maemo iterations (and a tolerance for Symbian Anna) but this user experience is state of the art. Swiping is so intuitive, so expected, that I now find myself futilely flicking my finger across the screens of lesser devices.
I must now remind the reader: I am really a computer person, not a phone person. And when I have had to use a cell phone, my past preference has been Nokia sliders and E71-type form factors. So when I tell you I can’t put this candy bar touchscreen phone down, that’s profound. The user experience has no equal.
An Excerpt from my own Draft Review
The N9 is spectacular and sublime. It screams and whispers.
It is death and also fresh life. It is the beginning and the end. There will be no more MeeGo/Maemo devices after this. Yet, it is Nokia saying, “Take a look at some of the nifty stuff that we are bringing you on other devices“. In other words, expect to see elements of the N9’s user interface on some upcoming Nokia products. This is just Nokia showing off.
The N9 is open and closed. It is functionality and aesthetics married in superfluity. It is what no other device is.
The polycarbonate unibody of the N9 is nothing short of outstanding craftsmanship. The N9 is the sexiest phone on the block It is a phone that you want to be seen with.
The OS and UI are superb and intuitive. They work. They flow. They wow! The N9 is a drop-dead absolutely stunning piece of work.
If you are a mobile enthusiast, you should get one.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with HDML/WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.