Editorial: Travelling Europe with the N9 and Lumia 800

| August 2, 2012 | 28 Replies

As you most likely know, I spent the last month touring a few countries throughout Europe. I took with me my trusty N9, and the Lumia 800. You’re probably asking, why take both? This is why:

  • N9 has tethering (Tango wasn’t available for 800 when I left)
  • N9 has a better camera
  • Lumia 800 has better travel apps (tour guides, transport timetables etc.)
  • Lumia 800 has Skype w/ video calling
  • N9 has better battery life (& better power saving mode)
  • N9 has hot swappable sim (makes it easier to swap between home sim, data sim and roaming sim)
  • Lumia has pocket-to-picture (useful for when you need to take a picture quickly)
  • Social integration on Lumia 800 is unmatched

So those are the things that I have straight off the top of my head.

It isn’t going to be an extremely fair assessment, since, my N9 died mid trip so I only had both for about 13 days. (Don’t worry though, I bought a new one at the end of my trip, so I’ll still be bringing you some very cool N9 tweaks and hacks.) In that time though, I used the N9 to shoot every picture, (except Panoramas), as the camera is just far superior, and with touch-to-focus, those creative shots are just even easier to capture. I used my Lumia for Panoramic photos due to Photosynth (if you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do).

I purchased a data sim whilst I was in London, and swapped it out for my regular sim several times, and this is where the N9 came in handy. Not only did the hot swappable sim feature make it effortless and with no battery drain (the drain that comes with powering off the device, then on again), but also the native tethering capabilities were fantastic. Sadly, the Lumia doesn’t like Ad-Hoc networks, so I couldn’t connect it, but it worked extremely well with my MacBook Pro and Cousin’s iPhone. N9’s battery life was also important, as I could use 3G all day, come back, and still have enough juice for the tether. Where as on one particular day, Lumia dropped to 80% (from charged) in less than an hour, with minimal use.

Nokia Maps also seemed to work better on the N9, getting a faster GPS fix, and providing faster search results. Although, Bing Local search was helpful when looking for a laundromat nearby, or a place to eat. Pocket-to-Picture was handy a few times, when there wasn’t much time to take that perfect photo. A few times I managed to snap some images super quickly, which I most likely would have missed on the N9 (although the N9 would have produced a better image, so that one remains even).

The Lumia 800 came out on top, when it came to local transport timetables, and city guides. Although it is pretty much a given since it has 100,000 apps compared to, about 10,000. The benefit of having Skype Video was amazing, as it made it easier to talk to family back home. Things like the “Me Tile” and integrated IM were handy with staying in touch with friends and my Twitter buddies.

I could clearly go on for sometime, but the long read is most likely at a boring state. So I’ll sum it up like this. Obviously I had no clear winner between the two, else I would have taken just one. If it comes to Photography, Battery Life, Tethering or Navigation, I suggest you choose the N9. If travel apps, other apps and socialising is more your style, go Lumia 800. I’m someone who needs both, so the combination was perfect for me.

Have you traveled with your phone and have a story to share? Let me know below.


Category: Editorial, Lumia, MeeGo, Nokia, Opinion

About the Author ()

Hi! My name is Michael. I currently live in Sydney, working on all things Digital Marketing. I have a real passion for the latest technology and I'm a real Nokia buff! My aim is to keep those of you, like myself, updated with the latest in what's going on in the Nokia World. Get in touch on Twitter via @MFaroTusino, or even simply drop me an email at mike.mnb[at] or tips[at]