Why you should be excited about the Nokia N9

Why we think the Nokia N9 will please your average consumer, but not serious technology buffs

Nokia N9

Nokia N9

Earlier this week, Nokia lifted the lid on its latest smartphone, the Nokia N9. It is the struggling company's first smartphone to run the open sourced MeeGo operating system, a joint collaboration between Nokia's Maemo project and Intel's Moblin software. It's also the first smartphone from Nokia in at least three years that we've genuinely been excited about getting our hands on.

Read our detailed preview of the Nokia N9.

Predictably, the Nokia N9 was met with a chorus of disenchanted press upon its release. Although still a dominant mobile manufacturer, Nokia has struggled to compete in the high-end smartphone market against slick, touchscreen rivals. Current Nokia smartphones like the N8, the C7 and the E7 are sluggish and unintuitive compared to their rivals — including Apple's ever-conquering iPhone, and a wealth of Google Android smartphones from manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola.

Read Nokia N9 vs. iPhone 4 at Techworld Australia.

In February, Nokia announced that it would be switching its focus to produce Windows Phone 7 powered smartphones for its premium devices. Its Symbian software that powers current smartphones, including the latest N8, C7 and E7 devices, will continue to be supported with both software updates, and a range of new models, (up to 10 new Symbian-based smartphones will be released within the next year) but Nokia's "primary smartphone strategy" will be Windows Phone 7 smartphones.

This makes the launch of the MeeGo-powered Nokia N9 more than a little confusing. Most analysts believe the success and strength of rival ecosystems like Apple and Google will leave little room for smartphones like the N9, which many expect to be a niche device. Nokia seems to be perfectly happy with that, and says the N9 aims to "showcase new ways to use a smartphone" — the company's CEO Stephen Elop has revealed that many of the N9's user interface features may be seen on upcoming Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices, the first of which are expected to hit the market at the end of this year.

Regardless of Nokia's Windows Phone 7 strategy, the fact remains that Nokia smartphones with Microsoft software are still months away from becoming a reality. In the meantime, Nokia remains well behind its competition, and simply waiting for a Windows Phone device to change the company's fortunes would be a disastrous move. The N9 seems to fill the gap in the meantime, and will at least give Nokia a credible, refreshing and new alternative.

Nokia N9 Both the Nokia N9's hardware design and software will at least give Nokia a credible, refreshing and new alternative.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesNokiameegomobile phonesnokia n9

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?