Lumia 800 vs N9: Which suits you best?   Leave a comment

Get the N9 now, or wait a month or two and get the Lumia 800? That’s the question on top many a Nokia fan’s mind.

I can’t claim to have access to the mentioned devices, yet (hint, hint @ Nokia), so after reading various reviews and comparisons I drew up the following table to serve as an easy summary:

Differences in Basic Specifications

Screen: AMOLED 3.9 inches AMOLED 3.7 inches
Weight: 135g 142g
OS: Meego, v1.2 Harmattan Windows Phone 7 Mango
CPU: 1 GHz Cortex A8 1.4GHz Scorpion
Chipset: TI OMAP 3630 Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
GPU: PowerVR SGX530 Adreno 205
Front facing camera: Yes No
Near field communication: Yes No

To see a more detailed comparison on hardware check out GSMARENA’s comparison @ link.

The largest difference between the two devices are the operating systems, Meego vs Windows phone 7.5 Mango. It is for this reason that the comparison below focusses mostly on the software side of things:

N9 & Meego OS:


  • Swype user interface: Easy and simple to pick up.
  • Double tap screen to wake up: Like swipe, it’s second nature.
  • Unique: It’s the only device of it’s kind.
  • Three home screens: These views are very easy to use.
  • Real multitasking: Apps run in the background and do not get freezed like on WP7 and iOS.
  • Screensaver: Just look at the screen and see the time, as well as any new email, call or message notifications. A Feature sadly missing from WP7.
  • Laminated Screen: It makes those swiping action so much easier and smoother.
  • TV out: This is a feature many use and which is sadly lacking from WP.


  • Dead OS: Although Nokia continually states it will get support, many are skeptical. This mainly impacts developers. No users, No developers, No apps. And consequently, No apps, No Users. a Very good example of this is What’s App. The very popular messaging app isn’t available for the N9.
  • Battery consumption: The N9 has decent battery life, but it is expected to be better. In the current times of smartphones, battery is a major part that influences user decision.
  • Ringer volume: It is found to be too soft, even on full.
  • Keyboard: It’s way better than Symbian anna/Belle, but one tend to hit the full stop instead of space quite a lot.
  • Messaging: Each service is separated. It would be nice if (like iOS and Mango) the services where in the same thread or linked contacts, just differentiated by a line across the thread saying “Text”, “Skype”, “Facebook” or whatever, or even, a thumbnail icon next to the time stamp.

Lumia 800 & Windows Phone 7 OS:


  • Very fast growing App market: The windows phone marketplace has reached 50,000 apps quicker than Android, Symbian and Blackberry. (Source: link) With Microsoft’s backing and multiple manufacturers using windows phone the martket place will cath up with iOS and Android sooner rather than later)

  • Live tiles: Okay, they aren’t the widgets you are used to on Symbian or Android, but they are still very helpful. Its simple, and elegant, looking a lot less cluttered than Symbian.
  • Metro UI and minimalism: It’s incredibly fluid and simple to use.
  • Camera interface: The swiping from the top(or left if in landscape), to view previously captured items is a really polished and fluid feature. Saves having to select gallery and scroll through items.
  • 270 degree screen rotation: It helps in bed sometimes as whilst it is charging, the phone can rotate so the cable isn’t being pulled as much.
  • Pictures: This is super cool. The gallery actually connects to your Facebook account, and populates itself with the albums you have shared with your friends.
  • Messaging: Mango groups your chat messages and texts in the same thread, and it is so simple to switch between the two.
  • Build quality: The glass on the Lumia 800 flows seamlessly into the body. One cannot feel the edge of the glass. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the N9.
  • “Me” tile: This is really handy. It retrieves notifications for you automatically, and will inform you when you have “new items”. Helps when your Facebook tile isn’t up the top and you forget to scroll down and look.
  • Keyboard: This is by far, by far the best keyboard on a touch screen the reviewer has ever used.


  • Arranging Live Tiles: When you arrange the tiles, there can sometimes be blank spaces where the tile once was, due to shifting it around. Tiles don’t just move to the next spot, pushing everything over one, instead creating a new gap. Live tiles do however have a scroll bar at the side so when the screen is filled with tonnes of tiles, one can quickly jump to particular group of tiles via the scrollbar.
  • No screen saver: Okay, one can tap the lock button on the 800, but it is just that one less task that would make the experience a bit more pleasant and refined. On the other hand it does extend the battery life of the phone.
  • Tethered software updates: Forcing the user to connect the device to a computer to update, is stupid. It will most likely mean that the user won’t update for a while, because of the hassle, or won’t update at all. It is important to note that apps update on the device.
  • Ringtone customization: The only way to add additional ringtones, is through apps. If the app doesn’t have the latest tune you’re looking for, you can’t set it as your tone.  (Note: it should be fixed with the next WP update, nl. Tango)
  • TV out: Sadly the feature is lacking from WP7.


I could definitely go on and on about both for hours. But I think I have put you readers through enough torturous reading. You are probably thinking, “well, what is Japie’s verdict?” The answer isn’t simple. If you want different and can’t wait another month or two, you go for the N9. It offers a completely different experience (at least for now) than anything else you will find. If you want something with apps and a clean user interface and that will get all the love and support you want, go Lumia 800.

Here in lies a very large differentiation factor. Although Nokia is stating that the N9 will continue to get support I just can’t see it happening. Nokia has clearly stated that the N9 will be the last Meego based device from Nokia (link). They keep on stating that some of the features will live on in future Nokia devices, which does not say much. At the very most it implies that some features like NFC, swiping gestures etc. will be build into future windows phone devices by Nokia.

I am currently still using a Nokia N97 as I am waiting for the Lumia 800 to become available locally, and not getting support for your phone really sucks. The N97 last got a firmware update in July 2010, just a year after it became available and I see the same thing happening to the N9. I just can’t see  Nokia committing measurable resources to the cause, it just doesn’t make business sense.

This is an important factor, but I have also read a large number of articles by long-term IT experts saying that for the first time they are considering leaving their iPhones/Androids for a Nokia, a Windows Phone based Nokia that is. This just tells me that there is something about windows phone, something new, something fresh and something with one of the world’s largest software companies behind it…

Think about it for a bit, and please take the time to take part in the related pole.


Posted December 28, 2011 by allaboutnokiasa in Meego, Nokia, Windows Phone

Tagged with , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: