Published by Asri al-Baker, David Gilson at 17:01 UTC, August 4th 2011
Nokia Malaysia organised a special Nokia N9 preview for bloggers. Some Malaysian bloggers were invited to the event which was held for two hours from 7pm to 9pm Friday the 4th of August, to experience the first MeeGo Harmattan device. This is a special report for All About MeeGo, by our friend Asri Al Baker from i-symbian.com. Read on for Asri's first impressions of the N9, along with several video demonstrations of the N9 in action.
For something as unique as the Nokia N9, it was a golden opportunity for these bloggers because we are among the first in Malaysia (other than Nokia employees) to get the chance to play with the Nokia N9. The Nokia N9 has already been written about at great length by others. So, instead of repeating what you (probably) already know, I want to share my first-hand experiences that made me think the N9 is something special.
A presentation at the Nokia Malaysia bloggers event
The Nokia N9 will be made available on the Malaysian market soon, and will be available in two variants. The 64GB version will only be available in black, while the 16GB version will be available in Black, Cyan and Magenta. Nokia would not make a comment on the price, but it will be announced on the release day.
While we enjoyed some food (which was delicious by the way), each of us was handed a Nokia N9 to play with. Boy oh boy, it’s marvellous!
It’s been a long time since I was so excited while holding a Nokia device. The N9 gives me a feeling of awesomeness when holding it. At first, I thought it looked big, but when I held it, it was actually smaller and thinner (and of course sexier) than I expected.
Besides playing with Nokia N9 units, we a chance to experience a pair of the Nokia Play 360 NFC Speakers. The sound produced by these speakers is awesome. It can easily fill a small room with plenty of bass and treble. They will be sold separately from N9 of course :-)
Editor's note: The Nokia 360 Play speakers operate over BlueTooth. The NFC action is just there to trigger automatic pairing
The Nokia 360 Play NFC speakers
For 30 minutes or so, we were allowed to explore and examine the N9. All of us were very impressed with the fluidity and smoothness of the UI. And the hardware too! We didn't have time to test all the functions, but the Swipe UI is truly unique. After using N9 for a few minutes, I found myself swiping my Nokia E7 to change its views! That shows my mind had adjusted to Swipe UI. One of the fellow bloggers, Jason Goh (aka @smashpop) mentioned that he would prefer the N9 over iPhone4 anytime (regardless of the app support of course).
Enjoy the videos below, but please pardon quality of the photos and videos here - they were all taken using Nokia E7 under fluorescent light.
Anywhere in the N9 (except on the multitasking panel), you can use a simple gesture from the bottom to the middle of the screen to access four of the most used functions i.e. Phone, Conversations (chat), Camera, and Web browser.
Multitasking and closing opened apps
Any application can be closed by swiping from top of the screen to the bottom. After an app is closed, the multitasking panel will appear. From there, you can also close app with a longpress, then clicking on the “X” icon on the top right of each application. You can even close all applications by pressing the “Close all” option, which appears at the bottom of the screen.
Nokia did a very good job by including a function to import contacts from other devices via Bluetooth. You can import your contacts from your other devices (iOS, Android, Nokia phones, etc.) by using the "Import Contacts" function in the Contacts application. We did not test it, but according to a Nokia representative, it is very easy to use and reliable.
There are a plenty of options to connect to internet services. Namely Flickr, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, Skype, CalDAV, Mail for Exchange, among others. This kind of integration is something that many older Nokia devices lack. You can configure all of these accounts at one place in the settings. However, Foursquare and Vimeo are not included yet.
Web - All About MeeGo
Viewing http://www.allaboutmeego.com using the built in Web browser which is very good. The kinetic scrolling and pinch to zoom are very smooth. the smoothest I have seen in a Nokia device. It’s very fluid.
Web - YouTube HTML5
Viewing http://m.youtube.com using the Nokia N9's built-in Web browser will open the HTML5 mobile version of YouTube. Videos are played outside of the browser i.e. in the video player.
Thank you to Nokia Malaysia who invited us to the event.
Asri Al Baker (third from left) with fellow bloggers
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