Nokia N9 vs iPhone 4S? – Huge Camera Comparison Gallery

| October 17, 2011 | 50 Replies


@Nokia_Fan was tweeting about this on Saturday but I thought I’d leave it up to the weekday crowd to check out.

If you weren’t checking out Nokia stuff during the weekend, this is a Nokia N9 photo comparison against the iPhone 4S. Already, what I find annoying with Nokia is that whilst competition gradually gets better and better on all fronts, you can NEVER with confidence assume that the next flagship will be better than the previous. As such, the N9 is not as good in the camera department as the golden child N8 which still today is better than any other camera phone. Fact.

Now you can see the iPhone samples, as typical it makes the colours pop beyond normal which generally I think folks prefer. Sometimes it produces some unnatural looking things but other times (as shown by increasing HDR photos) people liking vibrancy and bright colours.

Sometimes, on my DSLR I manually push saturation so that from the normal that my eye and DSLR sees, it then converts it into something loud, where greens are very deep lively greens, reds are punchy, yellows almost molten. Basically nothing “bland” looking.


Did the N9 even focus?

Note that the Nokia N9 is set at 7.1MP whilst the iPhone 4S is at full 8MP. I can’t comment too favourably here in terms of detail. Unlike with the N8 where it would wipe the floor even with digital cameras, in quite a few of the photos I’m looking at, they seem to be clearer on the iPhone.

Click on the flickr set to see full size.

In the photo with the car you can see the N9s photo looking darker and cooler, whilst in general iPhone 4S has warmer, more saturated colours. It’s quite typical of iPhone pics. Same again below, the over saturation can be seen with the sort of yellowy haze.

At least in usability of the camera, the N9 has vastly improved in terms of having a much easier to use UI, with touch focus. Though we no longer have a camera button there still is the wealth of in built camera options.

Fortunately for Nokia fans, Nokia isn’t going to make the N8 bear all the expectations in the camera department indefinitely. Put an entry in your calendar for MWC2012 just to see yet again, how putting cameras into smartphones is really done.

Which photos look better to you? Nokia N9 or iPhone 4S?



Category: MeeGo, Nokia

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • Supa-shoppa

    Interesting comparison and as much as I hate to admit this being an N8 owner and Nokia fan – the Apple iphone 4s (in this comparison anyway) clearly overall shades the N9.

    In about 50% of the pics, there is hardly any difference, in the dark landscape scenes the iphone tends to let far more light in and is considerably sharper. Sometimes the natural colour balance works in favour of the iphone, some times against it.

    In the indoor photos again the pics are far sharper and saturated on the iphone but perhaps with the colours a bit too pumped up which again can work against it in a few photos. Disappointingly (for me) all the N9 pics whilst showing more natural colours are little on the soft side in fact overall that’s my general feel of the N9’s pics that they look too soft.

    Maybe as it’s been mentioned there will software update(s) that will improve matters.

  • Alejandro

    Hi!, I see your photos but i have a question…. do you see in the last picture that, in the Iphone 4S the image is out of focus and n9 has a in focus??? if you read more about the N9 Camera, you find the answer about why photos are darkest.
    the rason is, N9 have the fastest shot (less than 3 Sec) and it’s necessary let down the lens exposition.
    now, if you want a more picture quality, turn on manual mode and adjust the lens exposition.

    finaly… sorry for my english, i need english class.

    • adal.b

      the fastest camera was the n9. but now the iPhone 4S it is just 1.2 seconds

  • art_vaider

    4S is better in details .

  • Kobus Nell

    Seems to me as if the white balance in the iPhone is off! It’s extremely saturated. On the other hand, the N9’s balance looks off as well. Probably just my untrained eye.

  • richard

    i hope the n9 camera gets better after the upcoming update. At least as good as what i’m seeing now on iphone 4s.

  • Nseries

    thats strange, my nokia n9 is better at taking pics then my iphone 4s………….

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  • jimmy

    n9 camera is disappointing…

  • Ben

    No doubt the N9. I have an iPhone 4S, lacks features that were available on the Nokia for ages. Essentially, my opinion? iPhone = A camera with a SIM card!

    – No delivery report for text messages
    – No additional configuration for text messages (duration etc)
    – Not possible to transfer images via Bluetooth
    – Additional GSM call forwarding features not available
    – No remote locking features by default.
    – Apps store requires my credit card even if the app is free!
    – Did I mention that Nokia has free [excellent] navigation
    – Highly customisable home screen, e.g. calendars, and date/time, etc.
    – No access point and grouping definitions!

    + The only thing I need to think about with the N9 is the multiple calendar support for Google – for free.
    + Perhaps Siri
    + The iPhone camera seems to be better.

  • Sarah

    I think both sets of pictures look good to be honest. I should admit I’m a big fan of the iPhone 4S camera. There are some great camera apps apps and the accessories you can get for it are amazing too. The Olloclip is pure genius for example.