I like the times when I talk myself out of the normal settings of offices and home and use my mobiles in places such as coffeeshops. There something about just getting into other streams of life that expose truths and falsehoods about mobile. In this time getting to know my N9, I'm presented with several degrees along this spectrum.
It's been a while since I've felt that I don't need a larger screen to get everything done. Don't get me wrong, I like the iPad and Kindle Fire HD I own. There have been some neat things accomplished with them. But aside from the drawing and some remote teaching, there is nothing that's been done that I also couldn't have done from a laptop. With the N9, I'm free. And frankly, it's been reading to be back in that state of mobile. I use my tablet for longer term reading, writing, and drawing. Everything else is easier on the N9.
The N9 isn't yet good enough though. In writing this on my Kindle Fire HD, and taking pics with my N8. The N9 is a communication manager right now. It's the smaller screen that I'm using to stay plugged in while writing. It's battery couldn't take the constant switching, nor could my patience with some of the lagging. Yes, I now have FasterN9, but that points to where things could have been better done in terms of performance and usability before this device/platform was sent to pasture.
The N9 is a modern, beautiful, and usable device in spring of 2013.
Yes, it's running a processor that was a year old when it came out. Yes, it's on a platform that's abandoned by all but the staunchest of fans. And yes, it's mistaken for Nokia current Lumia model line. All of those perceptions ring as false when you start stacking some of its core usage against other models.
Can you make calls, send messages, share to social networks, view websites and some web apps, remote into servers, share media to other devices, admin networks, and even build apps on the N9? Then how is it not sufficient?
If your mobile usage revolves around many of the app and services that mark some kinds of mobile usage of these times (Instagram, some new/popular games, Google Wallet/Apple Passbook, and Amazon Cloud Player to name a few), then yes, it's false to see this movie as suitable. Then again, something about the apps I've named and the activities I started in the last paragraph do point to fight different perspectives towards mobile
Then there's the side that says it takes a lot of work to keep using a device like this. Perhaps I'm on the side of Monday morning quarterbacking since I got mine so late. But it does seem like the N9 has done just what it was designed to do: galvanize a community of users to care for the platform once the leading company has moved on. The N9 communities I've seen have been excellent, and I've got tweaks that make sense and some are pretty.
The N9 has a limited shelf life for all but the most consumed of open source mobile fans.
The N9 is weird though. You have this device that anytime I put it into anyone else's hands does this thing that's pretty much only seen with well-crafted car doors and watches: a look of being impressed, amazed, and then slight jealously. There are questions, and smiles of acceptance. And some even ask where they could purchase one (psst. Amazon). Its one of those mobiles in which the owner develops a sense of contentment, or a sense of "ok, that's what mobile was about. Let's go forward."
There aren't too many accessories that I'll have to trumpet the design of my N9. Sure, the included skin cover is a pretty sweet piece of work. I don't like it all the time – home times make me take the cover off. But, its something akin to nice.
I purchased the Luna headset from Arie and its pretty sweet as well. Tap to pair. Yea, NFC is great. Until it doesn't work. Twice now I've tried doing a simple URL swap with an Android user and haven't gotten it to work. I blame the tech, and the platform.
Its like the N9 is just far enough to be useful, and not far enough to be amazing (to all). Yea, I can pull out aspects of using the N9 that just won't be done with anything else (except Symbian given my history). My black 64GB N9 sits in this space where its going to probably have just enough of a impression in my hands that I'll enjoy the ride. And when its done, I'll want a color-code that's a bit different.
A lot about mobile can be summarized in 30 days with the N9. A lot more about mobile can be imagined.
Any comments or questions on this article can be posted below.
Please note: Prior to undertaking any modification detailed above, understand that there are risks involved. Whilst every modification has been tested to work on the author's Nokia N9, there are no guarantees it will work on a different Nokia N9 or other mobile phone. EverythingN9 will not take responsibility for any effects of a mod, including hardware or software damage, telecommunication charges, or legal implications.