Thursday, 14 July 2011

Nokia N9 hands on

Nokia may be switching to Windows Phone rather than continuing with its own MeeGo OS, but we’ve been playing with the Nokia N9, and it’s an absolute cracker. Read on to find out what we think about Nokia’s new range-topping smartphone.

With Nokia wanting to switch to Windows Phone, the MeeGo-based Nokia N9 looks like having a limited shelf life, and it’s not even likely to go on sale in this country. It’s a shame, as it’s the best touchscreen smartphone we’ve seen from Nokia so far, and it’s better than rivals in lots of areas.
The most noticeable is the screen – it’s absolutely gorgeous. We compared it directly to several Android handsets, and the contrast level really stood out, with deep blacks that helped the screen to blend in completely with its surround.

The other thing we love about the Nokia N9 is its design, with amazingly simple styling and a surprisingly thin and robust case. With a glass screen that dominates the front of the device, it feels every bit the high-end product, and given the chance it’s easily capable of taking the fight to Apple’s iPhone 4.

It’s the operating system that’s the main talking point on the N9, however, and it’s a vast improvement over Symbian ^3. The menu is organised into three different panels, letting you swipe to the side to access them, or down through all the different apps. It’s contemporary, looks great, responds instantly, and with decent app support it really could have been a rival to Android or iOS.

Unfortunately, it’s not to be, with MeeGo looking dead on its feet. We just hope that the Nokia N9 hardware makes another appearance when Nokia launches its first Windows Phone handsets, as the super-skinny styling, brilliant screen and speedy responses help to make it one of the best smartphone designs we’ve seen all year.

What do you think of the Nokia N9’s design? Would you buy it if available with Windows Phone? Leave a comment and let us know what you think

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