N9 Vs. Lumia 800: Camera & Camera UI #MeegoVsWP

| April 17, 2012 | 74 Replies

As mentioned last time this was supposed to be part of the Video comparison– but the huge difference in quality called for a separate post for the videos – so here it is, a look at The Camera UI/Gallery on both the N9 and the Lumia 800 as well as some photo samples.

Apologies in advance as I got a bit carried away with some minor ranting and some other things- so the video ran a bit long (around 19 minutes- so I had to split it into two since the maximum time on my youtube is 15)

Part One: Camera UI & Gallery


Part Two: Video Recording UI


  • First off I’d just like to repeat that I absolutely HATE the fact that the N9 doesn’t have a shutter button; someone PLEASE explain the logic behind that? How would a camera button remove from the “buttonless Swipe experience”
  • Unlocking The Lumia 800 by the camera button and instant capture is a super neat feature, available by default on the 808 and as Michael Posted today- an add-on app for older symbain phones
  • In my general usage I’ve found that the Lumias camera starts up faster than the N9s camera does- but that’s possibly due to the fact that the Lumia always has more “free ram” due to the whole active resume deal.
  • The shutter button on the Lumia is great for taking pictures but holding on the capture area of the N9 gives you similar results (with the added bonus of choosing where to focus, as the Lumia doesn’t focus on a specific point when using the physical button- only when tapping on the screen)
  • Tapping on the screen to capture an image on the Lumia is great, but annoying at the same time; as you might have seen in the video it gets a bit frustrating when the phone gets “capture happy”
  • Sliding directly into the gallery from the Camera & the side-by-side view is a HUGE plus for the Lumia, although it has no real value but the awesome factor is off the charts (besides the fact that the gallery truly becomes part of the camera)
  • Continuous burst on the N9 is a pretty sweet feature; although in my opinion the resulting images could be a bit better- *Cue off topic chat about the One X*
  • From an options/settings point of view the two devices are almost similar minus the couple extra scene modes on the Lumia and the resolution changes on the N9
  • Regrettably neither phone supports pinch to zoom (although the N9 does support zooming with the volume keys)


  • Lack of the option to zoom in both phones while filming is a real bummer
  • The recording “slit” on the Lumia is ridiculously small and almost pointless
  • Both have the optional LED light while recording that can only be toggled before filming
  • The N9 has the same draggable focus box it has in imaging mode which is useful fro quick focusing (same feature was implemented int eh 808)
  • Similar settings as imaging mode
  • Personally I like the large countdown of how long you’ve been recording on the Lumia- and it’s surprisingly un-obtrusive even though it’s quite large.

Photo Samples:

Disclaimer- I am most definitely not a professional photographer; in fact photography isn’t even a major hobby of mine so the following pictures aren’t the most artistic– for lack of a better word.- to make things easier the image on top will be from the Lumia and lower image by the N9 (I’ve also watermarked them in the lower right corner but it might not be visible in all the shots)- also all these images are uploaded on Flickr so if you want to look at the full size image just follow the links.




Random Indoor shot of my keyboard- the “blue tint” on the Lumia is obvious, while the N9 seems to have captured better colors but they do appear slightly washed out. (and yes my keyboard is super dirty)



As was the case in video recording the N9 captures the colors of the subject better in direct sunlight; while the subject in the Lumia appears much darker- However the Lumia captures better details in the background (sky isn’t visible in the N9s shot).



Random shot in Landscape mode- they both seem almost identical- but here’s a full scale crop:




Although the Lumia seems to have captured better colors (green of the trees)- look at the dust coming from around the excavator/digger thing that’s only visible on the N9.



Another shot facing the sun- once again the N9 captures better colors, but the Lumia gets more background details



Surprising results in this shot- for some reason the N9 seems to have some tinting issues while the Lumia’s picture is plain gorgeous



Taken in Macro mode on both- I must that the Macro focus on the Lumia is RETARDED! it gets the object into focus then drops the focus a fraction of a second before capturing the image- making it almost impossible to get a decent shot (no matter what I did the focus always ended up on the background surrounded the flower and not the actual flower)- while the N9s results were quite impressive, I really like how the background is slightly blurred showing off the depth of field and giving it a slight “tilt focus” look.



Once again taken in Macro mode the Lumia failed to capture a decent amount of detail- here’s a full size crop:

As you can obviously see, a noticeable difference in both the color (the Lumia comes off looking like a peachy color more than green) as well as the complete lack of detail of the text in the Lumia’s image- I shudder to think of what the 808 could do here- you could probably see the fissure opening between the lenses on it.



Once again the Lumia’s Macro mode focusing is absolute garbage while the N9 is quite impressive- Until you see the same shot taken with the N8:


Flickr sets:



-All in all normal shooting they were almost equal both with ups and downs; although the N9 did have the upper hand- when it came to macro mode the N9 beasted the Lumias poor focusing giving it an easy victory. (Apologies for the Lack of low-light shots but I’ve been completely swamped these past few weeks with mid-terms that it completely slipped my mind).

*I had considered taking each shot with the N8 as well but decided against it since it would probably lead to too much confusion.

Final Note: I have about one more idea in mind for this review series (basic service ease: alarms, notes, calculator etc..) so if you have anything else to recommend go ahead list it down below.



Category: MeeGo, MNB, Nokia, Reviews, Video, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • j

    first: when you use camera pro, you can use the volume button als camera button

    second: i’m using my n9 in my car fr navigation. and i’m very happy, that the camera doens’t start every time when i put the n9 into the nokia phone holder. (that happend with my c7)

    • Saul

      [“first: when you use camera pro, you can use the volume button as camera button”]

      Oh so no need for that app done by THP?

  • Madratz

    Not to flame.. but it seems like there’s more N9 users than L800 users here on this blog.. Or maybe L800 users are not that interested with this topic..

    • Jari

      Madratz: Yes much more N9´ers here cause WP phones havent got interest in ordinary people, and WP strategy will end Nokia once and forever:-( Plan B Please.. Meltemi (low cost phones).. Meego based top of the line phones, Symbian supported (not killed.. Belle OS with FP1 is vy good) But Windows as the only option will kill Nokia. Waiting for 808 Pureview.. Wont spend any more Euros on Nokia unless they wont support other OS´s but MicroS**t OS. Nokia even might consider Android too.. Not too difficult to get it work (See Nitroid can be done easily). I am ashamed to be Finnish citizen and to see Nokia dying after having so many Nokia phones 🙁

      • Rafael Vinicius

        Hi Jari… Im from Brazil.. here the N9 is perfect and the guys simple buy for ur design, mobile and users swipe. But the M$Kia Brazil stop the sells N9 because of Lumia :S . Say me how are salles N9’s in Finnish city ?

        • Saul

          You mean they’ve blocked sales entirely in Brazil?
          They’ve done several things to limit it’s chances of success in Australia.
          But they haven’t completely blocked it…

          • Rafarl Vinicius

            OMG. Else, here stop sells N9 in Nokia Store. if u need a Nokia N9 from Brazilian only in stores that have stores

            • Saul


              Sorry but I don’t understand what you are saying?

              • DesR85

                I probably think he means outside mobile phone stores still sell N9s. Same case here in Malaysia but they sell it alongside the Lumia phones as well.

                The Nokia Store on my side still display the N9 but only with one unit while the Lumia 800 have 3 units in different colours (red, blue and black) on display. Both are still stocked, I believe.

                • Saul

                  Yeah no idea what he’s trying to say.
                  On balance there’s no doubt it’s been pretty unfair here.
                  But then again that’s pretty much the reality worldwide now/soon.
                  And to be expected, somewhat…
                  Oh what could’ve been…..

                  • Someone

                    In Sweden in many stores you can see the sign and product info for the N9 but the displayed device is actually an Lumia 800.
                    So they only switched the displayed device to an Lumia but all info says it’s an N9.
                    I would call it a scam and i seen it in many stores, and they also have the Lumia in separate displays in the same stores.
                    And it’s not only one store.
                    And it’s even illegal in Sweden to do so.

                    • Saul

                      Prolly mostly just ignorance & laziness.
                      I doubt that sort of activity would be encouraged by Nokia management.
                      You never know though, middle mangers will sometimes do silly things.

  • Aleve Sicofante

    Please add telephony and profiles to your “basic service ease” part. I’ve just learned how the N9 answers a call and it’s ugly (this speaks volumes about the current state of “phone reviews”…)

    Also, I have out-of-the-box call management on my E52 (blocking calls/SMS), integrated VoIP and plenty of third party call recording solutions. Nothing like that AFAIK under Windows, but again plenty on Meego (and free, BTW).

    It may sound weird, but making, receiving and managing calls is one of the things people do with, well, phones… 🙂

    Also, profile management is essential to me and part of what I consider “smart”. I don’t know a word of how -or is, at all- WP and Meego handle profiles (again, modern reviewers don’t seem to give a damn about basic things like that). My E52 silences itself at midnight and turns back to normal at 8 AM. I know of apps that will switch profiles based on location (GPS or cell) and other niceties. The iPhone has no concept of “profiles” at all, for instance. How do WP and Meego deal with it?

    Thanks for your very informative comparisons.

    BTW: The N9 camera seems to overexpose (but it could be spot metering on the subject you focus on) and the Lumia seems to underexpose (which might be caused again by averaging the whole frame instead of spot metering). If forced to choose, I’d go with overexposing, especially if my guess that the N9 is just spot metering on focused area is right.

    • Saul

      Excellent post Aleve,

      2 profile management programs I recall OTTOMH for N9 are profilematic and proximus.
      Profilematic by all accounts is excellent, & the dev seems to be very responsive.
      I’m yet to play with them heaps myself…

    • Saul

      And you’re better-off contacting Ali via twitter to mention your review ideas: @AliQudsi


    • Saul

      Please… this is a man-crush free zone…
      Only interesting/informative tech related comments belong here.

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