Another Nokia N9 vs Nokia Lumia 800 review/observations

| December 26, 2011 | 49 Replies


In response to the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia N9 comparison review by Rich (where both phones come off evenly well and in the comments I point out I am in support of both) a reader named Simo emailed us one of this comments. This is another Nokia N9 comparison review with his new Lumia 800.

Simo is a regular reader and commenter here at MyNokiaBlog and can be found on twitter @hasasimo. He has had the Nokia N9 since October and the new Lumia 800 for several weeks so sufficient experience of both phones.

He’s put together a review in the hopes of helping some folks decide between the two. This is already posted by Simo as a comment but it’s emailed to us  in case we wanted to post it. The picture above is Simo’s sleek black N9 and stealthy black Lumia 800 (both same colours in case you were wondering,)

Now before we start, regardless of the conclusion… Both are fantastic phones. They’re similar in design but quite different in use. I love, love love the Swipe and multitasking on the N9. It is such a wonderful paradigm of interaction. But I also love the speed, fluidity and reliability of everything just working on Lumia. I could go on with both but this is not my comparison review.

Each has great strengths but also each with their own weaknesses. Depending on your needs, one might be a slightly better option for you. Whatever that might be, it’s important to remember that is not always going to be the same one as another user, so respect please if the N9’s qualities are found to be more useful for a reader than the Lumia 800 and likewise should a Lumia 800 be a better option than the N9, that’s fine too.

Let’s not turn the comments into a “my dad’s bigger than your dad and can beat up your dad” playground match. It’s an opinion piece from a reader that has both phones. Please try to keep the comments as non-inflammatory as possible.


As many regular posters here know, I have both devices and was

initially a staunch defender of the N9 (before I tried the Lumia 800).

Three weeks on with my Lumia 800 and I can officially declare that I’m

ready to sell my N9. It’s a tough decision (I really do like the

device), but my overall experience with the Lumia 800 has just been

smoother, more convenient, and more enjoyable overall.


Some notes I’ve jotted down over the last weeks and months comparing

the two devices:


  •  PR1.1 OTA update neglected on my made in Finland, bought from Denmark N9. I don’t want to have to flash my device to update it, which I (and so many others) had to do with my N9. To this day, plenty of N9 owners have yet to receive their PR1.1 OTA update.


  • Hardware design clearly made for the N9. Icons dont appear to float and do not blend so seamlessly with the Lumia 800. Overall the OS/hardware package presentation is more elegant with the N9.


  • Windows is simply a more enjoyable OS. The “People” and “Me” hubs both work more quickly and smoothly on my Lumia than the all-in-one notifications home screen on my N9.


  • More impressed with the quality of apps on Windows, and apps on the Lumia 800 seem to load considerably quicker than they do on the N9.


  • Lumia 800 is just faster/snappier in general.


  • Email is SO much faster, smoother and more reliable on the Lumia 800. I cannot stress this enough. From the push notifications to the email client itself, email works without a hiccup or glitch, and is smoother than anything I’ve used on Android, iOS, or MeeGo. The N9 is terribly flaky in this regard.


  • The Lumia 800 keyboard is superior in portrait mode, but the N9 trumps it in landscape mode as it utilizes more space. Overall though, the typing experience is superior on the Lumia 800, with smarter (and more numerous) word suggestions and easier copy/pasting.


  • My Lumia 800 boots up much faster


  • The Lumia also charges much faster.


  • Battery life is about the same, but the Lumia is doing more with it.vI have three email accounts syncing every 15 minutes, 30-secondvtimeout, and medium screen brightness. I browse the web prettyvfrequently and use the camera about once every other day. With allvthat, I get equal battery life to the N9, but only when the N9 is invBattery Saver mode (which means minimum screen brightness and no pushvemail). It’s typically about 30% full when I get to bed at night.


  • Can’t turn haptic feedback off on my Lumia 800. This is annoying and a minor blemish. It would save some battery life.


  • The camera shots on my N9 seem to be slightly better than on my Lumia 800, despite the same specs. I find this odd and mildly disappointing.


  • I occasionally get a slight clicking noise about once or twice every so many phone calls. It’s not too annoying and doesn’t affect call quality, but interesting to note nonetheless. Didn’t have that with my N9. Though, sometimes on my N9 I would have to attempt a call twice, as the initial attempt wouldn’t go through. And as N9 owners know, the failed call sound is awfully loud compared to incoming voice volume.


  •  The N9 is a pentaband phone, with the Lumia 800 of course only being quadband. For those that insist on a certain carrier, it might be an issue (though I find that everything on the Lumia works well in 2G, though a bit slower with web browsing than in 3G of course).


  • Not too big of a difference with each device’s default browser, but Internet Explorer on the Lumia 800 does get a slight edge. Each has its quirks though. I get checkerboards too often in the N9 browser. However, the N9 does do better with refreshes than Internet Explorer on my Lumia 800. If a web site doesn’t render the first time, I sometimes have to close it out and go back to it as opposed to refreshing it.


  • No front-facing camera on the Lumia 800 of course. This initially was a deal breaker, til I monitored my use and noticed that I extremely rarely, if ever, even use the FFC. If I’m really desperate for a video call, Tango supports the main (back) camera anyway.


  • I really miss the clock/notifications in sleep mode on my N9. Something very simple but very convenient. I have to fiddle with the power button on the Lumia 800 just to see what time it is.


  • Voice commands! This has been so awesome to use on the Lumia 800. I use it to open apps, search, make calls, switch to speaker phone, and even text message. Not only has this been a joy, but it’s made using my phone on the road a lot safer. Can’t do this with the N9. Some will cite the Voice-to-Goog app which does some voice-to-text work, but I found that actually typing what I want to say is quicker than using that app (it doesn’t do nearly as much as Windows Phone 7.5 does natively anyway).


  • Audio and visual search is fun and convenient. I can translate text or look up book information through my camera, or find out what song is playing, Shazam-style.


  • WhatsApp; not a deal breaker in itself that the N9 doesn’t have it, but certainly very convenient to be able to use it on my Lumia 800.


  • There is currently no USB mass storage for the Lumia 800. It’s inconvenient, but still easy to transfer files to and from the computer.


As you just read, there are pros and cons to each device/OS. Overall

though, it would just be more difficult for me to part ways with my

Lumia 800 than with my N9. Windows is delightful to use and everything

simply works as it should. With the N9 there were just too many

strange quirks, like inefficient email (which I touched on above) and

even the built-in Twitter application no longer working (a quick

Google search showed that this was a common issue).


The N9 is more aesthetically appealing, though of course the margin is

slim as the two devices are practically twins. Windows Phone 7.5 just

does more overall, and does it better. If Nokia/Microsoft could just

somehow incorporate double-tap to unlock, sleep mode clock, and swipe

to Windows Phone, we’d have about as close to a perfect OS as could

be, as Windows Phone certainly (for me) trumps Meego-Harmattan

everywhere else.


Now then, who wants to buy my 64GB, black, made in Finland N9? 😀



Category: Maemo, MeeGo, Nokia, Windows Phone

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