Seven things I really like about the Nokia N9

Now that I’ve spent a couple of weeks with my brand new Nokia N9, I thought about sharing some of the things that I was surprised and even delighted to find out about it:

The camera records the video sound in stereo

It might seem a minor thing to brag about but believe me: when you hear the sound this N9 is able to record, you will notice the difference compared to the mono sound recorded by competitors like the iPhone (that also has two microphones for noise cancellation but does not make any use of them when recording video!)

I can buy apps at the Nokia Store and pay for them with carrier billing

Nokia Store is currently the only one offering carrier billing in my country. This is huge because a lot of people here have prepaid plans that, when you charge your phone with money often enough, offer unlimited free calls and messages within the same network, so a lot of people end up with a lot of money in their phones that aren’t able to spend because the communications are free. Now I can just spend it on paid apps instead of accumulate it in the phone prepaid balance!

It supports 5GHz WiFi networks

I’ve tried a lot of mobile devices and until now none, not even Apple’s iPhone 4S, was able to detect my Airport Extreme 5GHz 802.11n WiFi network. The Nokia N9 detects and connects to my network flawlessly.

The alarm works even if the phone is turned off

A lot of people like to shutdown their phones at night. Unfortunately, with iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices you can’t turn them off at night if you want to wake up in the next morning, otherwise those devices alarm will not work. The Nokia N9 alarm will work every time, even if you turn off the phone, it will power on in the morning and ring the alarm bell, which is a great feature that previous Nokia phones with Symbian and even Blackberry devices always had.

You can also connect the phone to the power outlet and charge it while turned off. Most competitors can only do this while running the OS, so when you connect the phone to the wall the phone will boot the OS and start charging the battery. The N9 will charge without needing to boot the Harmattan OS.

The performance is better than you might think

I wasn’t expecting much from the TI OMAP3 1GHz processor that the N9 carries inside. But Nokia has proved me wrong and was able to optimize the MeeGo Harmattan OS well enough to provide a smooth user experience despite the single core SoC.

Battery life

I’ve read a lot about the N9 battery life: some say there are some bugs that cause the MeeGo Harmattan OS to drain the battery too fast. Others, like Engadget, considered it good enough to put it in the “Pros” list. My experience is that, at least on standby, the battery life is impressive. With active usage is, at least, on par with the other smartphones it competes with. Overall, the battery life is much better than the one I had with the Galaxy S (but there was a nasty battery drain bug responsible for the lousy Samsung’s battery life)

The rubber case

I never spend money buying a case for my smartphone. After a year or so I usually regret that decision because with the usage my smartphones eventually have some damages that show the hard life I put them through. The Nokia N9 comes with a rubber case included, I’ve put it and might say that’s a pretty good one: does not increase noticeably the overall size of the phone, it looks pretty much as part of the phone itself and protects the phone from any accidental damage… for free!

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