MY PATH TO THE NOKIA N9

OK, I recently purchased a Nokia N9, the MeeGo Harmattan powered smartphone which, while very popular among the “Geek” community, Nokia decided they were going to go another way.

You may or may not be aware that one of Nokia’s problems is that they are not a big player in the United States. This seems to be because carriers over there have been reluctant to take phones using Symbian, especially since seeing the slickness of the iPhone, and monster spec wielding Android devices.

Meego Harmattan was going to be the Operating System to lead Nokia phones into the hands of users in both the States and the rest of the world. but something changed. Stephen Elop took over Nokia, and much to the annoyance of Nokia advocates, he indirectly announced the death of Symbian, and the abandonment of the Meego operating system, in favour of putting Windows Phone OS’s into their device.

What made this decision so hard to understand was how good the Nokia N9 looked when it previewed at Nokia Connection in June 2011. Reviewers raved about how good it looked, and the original, intuitive Swipe UI was heralded as pure genius.

  For some, the blow was softened when Nokia reused the beautiful hardware of the N9 in their first WP device, the Lumia 800. For others, it just rubbed salt in the wounds.

I, like many others, were very impressed with the N9, and disappointed to hear the N9 wouldn’t be released in the UK, but when I saw the Lumia 800 on display in PC World, I tried it out and was impressed. It was the nearest I was going to come any time soon to the N9, so a month or so after it was released I went into a Fones4U and took out a contract. I loved the hardware, and the OS was very good, incredibly smooth and fast, especially compared to the N8, which I had owned and loved.

There were a couple of things which I didn’t like, such as those capacitive buttons on the bottom of the screen. When I saw them, they just reminded me of what should have been there. A full 16:9 screen. Then there was the inability to download videos or podcasts directly through the browser. It has to be done through Zune. Actually, I didn’t mind using Zune, but it did mean  planing ahead which videos I would want to watch on my train journeys to work, and when at the kitchen sink. This may not bother some, but for me, a huge part of my usage of a smartphone is watching videos. I loved the fact that I could stream from the web on the N8, but other than YouTube and a few others, streaming was not possible on the Lumia 800, let alone downloading and saving for later.

The truth was, if the Lumia 800 had been released in any other design, I would not have got it when I did.

So, a couple of months pass, and while I do enjoy using my Lumia, I can’t help but keep my eye on prices for the N9. and just a couple of weeks ago, I find the best price on ebay for the N9 is from a Hong Kong seller. I do my calculations, work out what I have saved in my PayPal account, not really thinking I would buy one, but just seeing if I could. No, I couldn’t. Wouldn’t be able to out lay that kind of money.

Unless…

I checked what the Lumia 800 was fetching on eBay. If I got the N9 on payday, and sold the Lumia after, I could make ends meet. Again, this was all theoretical, I didn’t really want to sell my Lumia, did I?

As my payday approached, the more and more I was thinking about it. In fact, I even contacted the seller to ask a few questions about Import tax. And, by the day before I got paid, my mind was made up. I had seen so many reviews and read so many articles about the N9, I knew it was a better phone for me. I had really come to appreciate what a fine OS Windows Phone Mango was, but the limitations which it has were leaving me discontent. So I gave in to my desires, and brought the 16GB Cyan Nokia N9.

It arrived really quick. Less than 48 hours to get from Hong Kong to Wiltshire, UK. And I was regularly checking the FedEx tracking number.

Now, that was nearly a week ago. I have sold the Lumia 800 (not an easy thing to do. If I could have kept both, I would have). I will write up my comparisons between the two phones soon.

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