back to article Nokia rolls out N9 across Europe, avoids UK

Nokia has reiterated the fact that its new MeeGo-based handset, the N9, will not be heading to the UK anytime soon, despite its European roll-out this week. The Finnish manufacturer told Reg Hardware that when it comes to Blighty, there are still "no plans to offer the Nokia N9 at present." "We have selected to ship the N9 to …


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  1. Danny 5

    you know what

    if they had stuck that 12 megapixel cam in there, the one the N8 has, then it might have been good, but for some odd reason they actually reduced the resolution? can someone explain to me why that would make sense? is the lens better now? is the framerate impressively higher? I'm straining to find a reason for this move.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Different, not better, but beats N8 in a couple of things

      The N9 camera is 8 MP, but it's 8MP *regardless* of the aspect ratio chosen by the user. N8's 12MP camera drops to only 9MP when used in 16:9 mode; for 12MP you need to use 4:3. There's also a much wider field of view in 16:9 on N9 than with any other camera. Switching to 16:9 really does give you a wider field of view.

      Also, the lens maximum aperture is now f/2.2, which is a nearly a stop brighter than the N8's f/2.8. 2.2 in a mobile camera is unheard of, and will go a long way to overcoming any low-light issues from the N9's slightly smaller sensor (shorter lens-to-sensor distance means a smaller sensor).

      LED flash is a downside, even a "20% brighter" LED can't match a Xenon unit, but you get the advantage of having a flashlight, I suppose...

      Details here:

      The one-sensor/two-aspect-ratios thing really is one of those "why didn't anyone else think of that" moments...

      1. Danny 5
        Thumb Up


        so basically the even though the resolution has gone down, in total it's going to be at least as good as the N8 and sometimes even better. That's useful information, thanks!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      This device uses a different GPU (which handles the camera) to the N8, and it isn't as good.

      Making a good camera phone is not just a matter of taking a camera and slapping it in - you need to a lot of work to get it good, and a good GPU.

    3. Station Grey

      Camera resolution

      I've not used the camera on either the N8 or N9 so can't compare them, but a greater resolution does not in any way guarantee an increase in picture quality, and often reduces it. The megapixel count just tells you how many pixels there are, it doesn't cover the quality of the image they capture. Increasing resolution on a given sensor size just means smaller pixels - and these capture light worse than larger ones.

      Higher resolutions can be useful for cropping images or for printing, but for viewing on a camera or a monitor it's generally better to have a lower megapixel count. If you think about it, even a modern 20" widescreen monitor at 1600x900 resolution can only display a 1.4MP image. Any more than that is only going to be visible by zooming into the image.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      High megapixels do not equate to better pictures. With a small sensor it actually can increase the noise in a picture. Less can be more..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: Higher megapixels

        Do, in fact, result in better pictures, providing the camera has been tuned correctly and you are using a decent image pipeline. There are in fact some image processing algorithms that work much better when you have a lot more pixels to work with. Yes, you can get more noise, but even with that disadvantage, you generally get better pictures.

        1. Andus McCoatover

          Higher mexapixels mean nothing, when I'm rushed...

          I just shove the N8 in my pocket when running for a bus, so the lens can compete with the coins and the keys...No, I don't have a case for it.

          So far, survived without a scratch....Literally...

  2. 1Rafayal

    I quite like the way it looks tbh and I like the idea of having a niche product. But, given that this is the first and probably last iteration of a new Nokia platform, I will probably wait for a review or two before I part with £400.

  3. James 51


    Expansys have had one on preorder for a while now. Alternatively might pick one up next time I go on holiday, if there is English language in the settings.

  4. Anonymous Coward 101

    If they had this phone out...

    ...18 months ago, Nokia would have been back riding strong. Wasn't to be. Nokia must regret the time they wasted after the iPhone came out and they should have got their act together.

  5. Piloti


    ... but will have English built in ?


    1. ToonArmyBarmy


      If you look at the pictures, everything is in English, why would they not put English on just because it's not being released in UK.

      Believe it or not, there are lot's of people in the world who's native language is English (USA, Australia....)

      1. Piloti
        Thumb Down

        Without wanting to be too anal about this......

        .... using America as an example of uses of English is probably not a good idea.

        "Colour", "favour", "harbour", are three examples of incorrect spelling, and there are more. There is also the blatant exclusion of the preposition from statments, such as the word "on" from sentences, such as "Nokia will release the device Wednesday". No doubt written in the El Reg San Francisco office......

        I appreciate your sentiment, but, no, you are wrong. English is only spoken in one place, and even then, sometimes not very well......

        Tatty bye.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge


      Nokia phones always include English as a language no matter what other languages are included.

    3. Neil 7

      It's being launched in Australia on all major operators

      Is that close enough to English for you?

      1. Piloti


        I'm not in Australia. So will end up with the euro-version. Will this version support English ?

  6. Kristian Walsh

    It's not MeeGo - most of what you see is Nokia's work

    This is Nokia's own Maemo, with Nokia's own Qt framework, with Nokia's own Harmattan UI on top. The Harmattan UI that everyone raves about was never part of MeeGo.

    There are MeeGo compatible packages installed, ported to Maemo, but it's not MeeGo, and Nokia were very careful NOT to refer to it as a MeeGo device, right from its announcement.

    As for availability, Nokia approached the UK carriers, but only one (I heard it was O2) was in any way interested, and even that wasn't a viable proposition. If N9 becomes something that customers start asking for by name, those carriers will change their mind, because they really don't care what device you use, as long as it keeps you on contract with them for another couple of years.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

        No it ISN'T MeeGo

        Harmattan was NOT the N900/Maemo 5 platform. Harmattan is Maemo6 a mix bag of Maemo5 and MeeGo.

      2. Neil 7

        No, it's NOT MeeGo

        And the N900/Maemo5 had the "code name" Fremantle.

        The N9 is essentially running Maemo6, or Harmattan, the planned successor to Fremantle, and it is MeeGo 1.2 API compatible, hence why it is officially known as "MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan"

        The only products using true MeeGo have been tablets and netbooks. No handsets have ever launched with true MeeGo, although there are builds of MeeGo available for the N900 (with an early MeeGo v1.3 build released just today, and a big improvement over 1.2 it is I must say!)

  7. Wize

    I used to like Nokia...

    ...before I got the N97

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: its not Meego

    Well said, not sure why someone down voted you but hey, there's always one

    1. Ian Michael Gumby

      Because she was wrong?

      My guess was that she was down voted because of the poster who said that it is meego and explained why it was...

      1. Kristian Walsh

        ... but was wrong :P

        It's a subtle point, and won't matter much to users to be honest, but it really isn't MeeGo - it's compatible (to a degree) with MeeGo, but the N9's core OS is Maemo. The most visible sign of this is that N9 apps are packaged as .deb packages, where "real" MeeGo uses RPM.

        It's well documented that MeeGo was not in any fit state to give to consumers, and wasn't going to be for at least another 18 months, which left Nokia with a problem - they were spending money to develop a handset, and had no OS to run on it (afaik, Nokia don't have a version of Symbian for ARM Cortex devices, so be grateful that that option wasn't open). The solution was to revert to a known-good OS build, Maemo, and port the Harmattan applications to it. The result is officially "Maemo 6 Harmattan".

        The objective wasn't to produce a MeeGo device, but to produce an OS capable of running Qt and the Harmattan UI, which is why the N9 was only ever described as "MeeGo 1.2 compatible", and even that was buried in the small-print.

        (btw, I'm male, but you're not the first person to mis-assign my name, and there was no offence taken in any case)

  9. Herer
    Thumb Up

    I have one actually

    and it's brilliant. I can't fault the handset, which makes it even more sorrowful that big N have binned such an elegant and easy to use OS in favor of WinPho.

    The swipe left or right to multitask, and swipe down to close is really intuative.

    1. Neil 7

      Try installing "Swipe Manager" from Nokia Store

      and you can configure the swipe gestures.

      So for instance, swipe to the right will always take you back to the Multitasking/Switcher view, swiping to the left back to Events, and swiping up back to the apps Launcher view. By default these three swipes take you back to where ever you started from.

      Have had an N950 for about 6 weeks, by far the best Nokia device they have made. Easily compares to iOS and Android in terms of usability, though sadly not apps but a lot of typical functionality is built-in, and the WebKit2 browser is superb. More apps are coming, despite the Tizen news.

  10. dansus


    Pre-ordered my 64gb in black.

  11. Herer

    oh and

    the 3d accelerated maps are just *beautiful*

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want one

    a) It looks very cool

    b) My 3GS is becoming ho-hum

    c) Few people will have one

    d) I love fringe technology

    e) If enough of us buy them Elop might get canned and Nokia can get back on track instead of being borged into MS

    f) that is all


    1. N13L5

      I wish you be right

      Elop, of course will do everything to prevent this from being a successful launch.

      He also probably figured the Brits would buy the most of them, so he's not offering them in the UK, to make sure of slow sales.

      He's already rushed to say that the platform is dead at every possible opportunity... "don't buy it, don't buy it, hint, hint..." he's shouting in everybody's ear... we were only "forced by contract" to do this...

      Lets hope for Tinzy or what they call the new sprout. If they could get 10% of the market with any Linux platform, I'll buy that forever...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cool - the last of the mohicans kind of way

    Obviously there won't be any software to speak of down the line but hey!

    It is "as is" different - not part of the iOS or the Android masses. That makes it geekly cool.

    Good design. Probably very good build quality, as is usual with Nokia handsets. And the last shout before nightfall, which makes it unique.

    I had seen the user interface demo videos some time ago, and it looked fluid, simple and elegant. Finally, a Nokia with enough grunt to scroll @60 fps.

    Yes, it may be the hit iphone or samsung gs2 are, but with a tiny bit of marketing, it could sell in good numbers. A good send-off to the Nokia, as we know it.

    (though I do wonder what they will come up with for WP7, it can never have the character and be as quirky as this one is)

  14. Robredz

    Wouldn't mind one

    This one looks as if it could be good, besides It would be easy to migrate to after a Pre, with the WebOs like swipe, wait a minute some of it looks like WEbOs, dealbreaker for me is lack of physical QWERTY

  15. Andus McCoatover

    Proof that UK is not in Europe

    (Then neither is Finland in Scandinavia)

    But as I posted on the main Reg. site, it looks fantastic!

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