Nokia N9

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Reviewed by trivialex (Currently owns)

While this device only gets a low 8, there is no other phone currently on the market that I'd rather own. It's about the perfect size, I love the 'always-on' clock and notifications. I love the openness of the platform. And despite the dearth of apps, short a good crossword puzzle app, it's got everything I need. Hardware wise, the design is really good, though the top and bottom edges do dig into the palm a bit when holding it in certain orientations, and the USB cover flap is delicate and vulnerable (though cheap to replace, BTDT). I don't notice the pentile display, and the deep blacks are great.

Camera is nothing special, but performance is good for a cell phone.

The performance is fine, and the software is fantastic. Yeah, there's not many apps, but the interface is so intuitive and fluid. I came from WebOS (via iOS, Android, and WP7), and it's nice to not give up functional multi-tasking. I love the music player, and that I can listen to the FM radio through the AWESOME speaker (that never gets muffled) without headphones for an antenna when reception is good. Email client is decent, though WP7 is the best native I've used (I don't use gmail). Maps are great, though google maps is superior on Android.

Battery life is great. Really great. If I forget to charge it over night, I always have enough juice to endure the commute and charge in the office. Also, charge times are nice and short.

Ecosystem is a mixed bag. That it requires no additional software is a huge plus. That I can hack away at its linux innards is another perk. That the marketplace lacks much in the way of interesting offerings is a minus, but I don't really desire much beyond the basics, and the basics the phone does on it's own quite admirably.

I love this bright blue, curvy, pentaband, open(ish), hackable little guy. It gets a bunch of comments, and is an absolute joy to use. Too bad it wound up a dead end for Nokia. I think it speaks to the tragedy of the carrier-driven market hegemony that unique, inspiring, exciting devices like this stand no chance against the uniform drudgery of the iOS/Android oligopoly. Screw the 'best' devices. This one has passion!

The Breakdown

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  • 10
  • Design 8
  • Display 7
  • Camera(s) 7
  • Reception / call quality 9
  • Performance 7
  • Software 8
  • Battery life 8
  • Ecosystem 6
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