Nokia N9 – Extra facts / tidbits / updates

After the announcement, the Nokia N9 has become a hot discussion topic in many forums. This post is dedicated to give readers extra little facts about the N9 that isn’t well known or difficult to find. I will be constantly updating this article at least until the N9 becomes avaiable to the market. Please note, this is in order of interesting facts found on the internet by myself.

Also check out my other N9 articles for more info:
Nokia N9 Preview Part 1
Nokia N9 Preview Part 2
Nokia N9 Hands-on video

Now let’s begin!

1. Icon launcher currently do not have any foldering capability. However, this feature is currently being developed and will be added in the next N9 OS update.

2. There is no native Korean input support. (Not even sure of it being able to display Korean fonts) However, it may be possible via other means. (Nokia N900 was able to get Korean input via mscim package)

3. You will be able to close the active foreground app via swiping from top to bottom (downwards) if you enable this from the UI settings.

4. N9 OS uses debian apt package management. You can even install .deb files via the web browser. (Much like N900)

5. The lock screen and the 3 homes are portrait only. No quick launcher in landscape.The lock screen and the 3 home screens (task switcher, notifications, app launcher are displayed in portrait orientation only. They will not rotate to landscape mode.

6. Web browser supports multitouch of up to 6 fingers at once. (maybe more?)

7. One of the videos of N9 on youtube showed Fennec icon in the app launcher. Fennec is basically a beta version of Firefox Mobile web browser. So it seems N9 will have at least 1 proper alternative web browser if needed.

8. N9 can play flash videos using its media player. But not within the web browse due to the lack of Adobe Flash plugin. (N9 can also play other common video formats. Even 720p MKV files out of the box)

9. It has support for FM TXRX (FM radio receiver/transmitter) in hardware. There is no software for it right now that’s all. So it may become available later on. (Update: There is a FM TX/RX chip and the Receiver is confirmed working. However, there is no TX antenna in the N9 apparently so the transmitter signal is too weak to work. 3.5mm socket / earphones cannot be used as an antenna either.)

10. In Australia, Blue and Black versions be available in the 16GB model. (What? No Pink?!)  64GB model will only be available in black. However, this decision could change.

11. In Australia, I was told by the Nokia product manager than they hope to have this released to most major carriers around August. (Exact word used was “August-ish”) UPDATE JUL/24: I have now been told by Nokia marketing manager (in Australia) that it is due in September. Official launch date is yet to be confirmed with the carriers.

12. N9 camera sensor is a unique 13:9 ratio sensor. This allows for 8MP 4:3 ratio and 7MP 16:9 or 3:2 ratio photos. What is interesting about all this is that unlike most other mobile phones is that it actually contains more information horizontally than shooting at 4:3 ratio. So you do not have to sacrifice a lot of the image like the other phones when shooting at wider ratio. You can read other interesting facts about the N9 camera from the link below:

13. N9 also has the fastest camera of all mobile phones. (Even against most digital cameras!)

14. Some discussions are apparently taking place about possibility of open sourcing the lockscreen at least so that widgets or any other useful modifications can be implemented. I really hope good outcome comes out of this.

15. Here is a nice video by showing the virtual keyboard and swype keyboard on the N9.
[vsw id=”JOI5g129rtM” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”270″ autoplay=”no”]

16. N9 is the first Nokia device that supports multiple Mail for Exchange accounts setup in the phone. (I was told of this during Nokia Australia N9 media event)

17.Colin Giles, Nokia’s Executive VP of Sales, has disclosed that the Nokia N9 will be retailing at US$660 and US$749 for the 16GB and 64GB models respectively. He revealed this information in a meeting with Malaysian journalists.” Well, at least we have a basic guideline price now. Obviously the price could change by the time it’s released and will differ from country to country.

18. IMAP IDLE for email is supported and works on the N9.

19. Swipe action is disabled in games if the game is programmed to disable it while playing. This can be seen starting at 2:50 into this video. So you don’t have to worry about accidently swiping the game off the screen during gameplay.
[vsw id=”WbT7-P-i6UY” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”270″ autoplay=”no”]

20. As N9 supports caldav, you can simply add your google galendar account to N9 from Accounts -> Caldav menu. For google contacts, you just need to setup a google talk account in the N9 for it to integrate with the N9 Contacts.

21. Photo sharing is pluggable (meaning it supports plug-ins) just like the N900 as it is made by the same team. So we should be able to get many different services plugged into the image sharing. (such as twitter, imgur, yfrog etc)

22. According to Jens Wilke (N9 Product Manager) about using the physical button for taking photos: “Use of the volume +/- keys was considered, but the interaction design opposed this due the keys being situated on the left side of the device when holding it in landscape mode. Power key was also proposed, but it’s dedicated for other actions, e.g. screen locking, and was considered problematic. As you say, this mapping could happen through some app. Then maybe even the proximity sensor could be used.” So it seems this might be possible if someone finds a way to map the action to the camera app.

23. Another tidbit on the camera side of the N9. Camera architecture on the N9 is OPEN. Meaning that 3rd party camera apps and RAW access is possible later on.

24. I’m quoting a lot from Quim Gil (Nokia Meego dev) as what he says is pretty much all insider info and proper fact. Here is another tidbit about the contacts in N9. “Access to Contacts: you can star specific contacts, making them appear at the top of the list of contacts. You can leave the Contacts app open and have it always in the Tasks home.”

25. Well, no idea how I missed this. Jukka Eklund is a product manager at Nokia and a member at TMO (Kozzi) has found some interesting IRC chat that went on with him involved. It seems USB OTG feature just needs to be enabled in software as the hardware is already there. (Like the N900) Update: N9 kernel seems to mention USB OTG as well.

26. Ogg Vorbis audio codec support isn’t mentioned in any of the official Nokia N9 spec page such as this. But it is supported according to the official N9 developer site as confirmed by Quim.

27. You do not need to flash a hacked kernel or jailbreak the N9 to gain superuser/root access. It’s as simple as just enabling the developer mode from the Security settings menu and voila, you now have root access to the xterminal, file system etc. Can’t be much simpler really.
[vsw id=”BsmDvgT9VYM” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”270″ autoplay=”no”]

28. Front proximity sensor is in use in a similar manner to the Nokia N8/E7. You can simply flip the phone over to face down to silence calls and alarms. Also, AMOLED screen is put to use as well via having clock and call/sms etc notifications (similar to Nokia Sleeping Screen) being visible all the time. But it will turn off when proximity sensor is covered. (such as in a pocket/handbag etc)

29. Unlike the Nokia N900, N9 supprts multiple app downloads and installs at the same time.

30. Now this is a BIG one. Adobe Flash content is supported in Fennec web browser. (Firefox Mobile) Default browser does not but at least you can get flash content using the other browser. So it seems Fennec will be very popular amongst N9 users. =)

31. Another tidbit.  DLNA stack is there on the device by default, but not in use. Nokia didn’t have time to test everything so they have decided to leave the settings menu out. But they may bring this back into the UI via the upcoming updates or 3rd party app can be made to enable this support even from day 1 it seems!

32. Tidbit about the camera app. I’ll be quoting what Damian Dinning said here. “The quickest way to launch the camera with the sales release sw is to bring up the lock screen, this is either two taps on the display or a press of the lock button on the side. Slide the screen up around 1cm or so to reveal the shortcuts. Tap the camera icon to launch the camera. It’s best to leave the camera running in standby mode in the background, it will launch faster. It will remain in the background after first launch unless you explicitly close it from the ‘recents’ homescreen.” So yeah, it seems the multitasking capability and 1GB of RAM makes is natural to leave most apps just “open” in the background to allow them to be launched faster. =)

33. N9 does not support Skype video calling. (I was told of this at the Nokia Media event) Not sure if it will be enabled in the future like the N900.

34. It seems the 3 main homescreens’ portrait orientation can be changed to landscape with a bit of tinkering for those who want it this way or is lucky enough to have an N950. But really, Meego Harmattan UI was made with portrait orientation in mind so it seems there some graphical glitches when this is enabled. (but it’s still very early days so anything can change…..)

35.  Klas Strom @ Nokia tweeted something interesting today. (see below) “years” to me means at least more than 1 year. Several SW updates sounds good however. I prefer frequent (every 3-4 months) small updates than 1 large update once a year or so. So I hope this is what they plan to do with the N9.

36. There is no official themes support in N9. However, it does support theming internally and may be easily enabled or applied with a third party GUI/app. All in all, it seems the actual GUI is quite customizable and it might be all up to the community on how it can be customized/improved. Thanks to kanishou (a Nokian) for this info.

37. An oldie but a goldie. User manual in the N9 says “This phone supports the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n WLAN protocols. You can create an 802.11n connection using either the 2.4 or 5 GHz frequency band.” I can only assume this means it supports simultaneous dual-band as well. But even if not, it’s good to see that it supports the 5GHz frequency.

38. Bluetooth version 4 seems unlikely now as it seems the N9 sports a TI 1273 chipset instead of the 1273L chipset. (Maybe this is incorrect? See update)
Chip Info – http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=1052321&postcount=111
Reason – http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=1056291&postcount=117
UPDATE: But this might mean it’s now supported now! Getting confused….

39. Sorry for the lack of recent updates. lol After all, seems many just want any N9 related tidbit. So for those who don’t know, more recent OS build has now option that you can enable for swipe down gesture to close an active running app. VERY handy as there it wasn’t so quick and easy to close an app before.

40. If you want to see what apps are being released by the community, check out the software catalogue @ My-Meego.com by Michael Jerg who really did a nice job with my-maemo.com for N900 also.

41. Not much new and exciting N9 stuff these days. (as it’s not out yet!) But, here is a great video hands-on of the N950 developer device showing a lot of what N9 will be like when you get one. It’s in Thai and I don’t speak it but video alone is enough really. =)
[vsw id=”lr3laUSK-FI” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

42. N9 does not come with a native file manager out of the box. But I was never worried. If you were, don’t. As we will most likely end up with at least 3 file managers once everyone has their hands on one. Here’s one for now and it already looks great. =)

43. An interesting tidbit in regards to what comes in the box with the N9. “Included in the phone packaging will be a free silicone case the same color as the N9 you purchased. The case completely covers the colour of the phone such that if you were to use a black case on a blue phone, your phone would appear black.”



As I said before, this will be updated constantly whevever I see something worth mentioning.
Please feel free to comment if you have something else to add that may be handy to others. =)

52 thoughts on “Nokia N9 – Extra facts / tidbits / updates”

    1. Does the N9 have 3G video calling using its front facing camera? In the user manual, it has no mention of such function, this was not demostrated in any of the youtube videos too.

      Thanks! Thumb up 1

    2. Nokia’s own official datasheet exactly says “2nd camera for video calls” in the specs. However, that is so vague to me that I am not so sure if it means it “can” be used or if it already does support it out of the box. So from what I can tell so far, it does not use the front camera for video calling of any kind on day 1. Also, have a read more about it here. It basically answers the question by the first post where it is said it does not support 3G video calling. http://forum.meego.com/showthread.php?t=3781

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

  1. Well i have a idea! maybe we could write a script that will when: you try to play a flash video oin the web browser it just uses the media player (flash player) to play it, then when done we can go back to the browser? or maybe ther will be update to support this? u c im not too worried about stuff that are software related that dont need certain hardware to, ‘coz we can eventually get that! im just worried abt the HDMI nd Mem. card

    here is a quote from:

    Saying: “Video tagging using XMP is included:
    – Geotags in numeric format (XMP Exif)
    – Geotags in human readable form (XMP Iptc4xmpExt)
    – Tags (XMP dc:subject)

    Those should be supported by Adobe SW.

    Regarding other features, we’ve some plans for the N9 update. Can’t say too much about that now”
    From Jens Wilke

    So maybe there is a short lived but sweet life ahead?

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  2. RE point #11…
    I hope by “August-ish” he really meant July/August, not August/Sept+!

    Thanks for compiling this!


    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. haha. Me too. I really hope it’s late July to early August. Well, I should be able to get one before it’s available in the market as I may get sent one straight from Nokia. I really hope they can send it to me much earlier. =)

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

    2. I spoke to my friend who works for Vodafone (.au) & the N9 does NOT appear on the “roadmap” for Q3. Q4? Hopefully it is added to Q3.

      “Can only see to Q3 and not on the roadmap. Will let you know if I see it on the Q4 plan when it comes though. I thought you would of given up on Nokia’s when they made the windows mobile call! “

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

    3. When I spoke to product manager in Sydney last week, he sid that they are still alking to the carriers. So I guess nothing has been set in stone yet and it could change at anytime.

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

  3. “Well, I should be able to get one before it’s available in the market as I may get sent one straight from Nokia.”

    Wow, how did you score that opportunity?!?
    Is it because you reviews have become high profile in the blogosphere?


    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. Over the years, I’ve been able to get connections with various companies and their PR teams as I have been quite active in the digital camera, gadget, mobile phone scenes doing reviews, forum activities and writing articles etc. (Hence I was invited to the Nokia Media event last week as well and it wasn’t due to this blog site)

      It’s just that I’m really struggling with the time I have to dedicate to this “hobby” nowadays. So I have been just concentrating on what I am currently using or like. (As you noticed, I’ve been only been active on Nokia side of things as I’m a user of quite a few Nokia phones and my current everyday phone is still the N900)

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

    2. Fair enough!

      Well if you ever catch wind of getting one a bit earlier, & it’s an option for 1-2 other Aussies, I’d love to know! 😉

      Once again thanks heaps for the ongoing analysis, its nice to have a central repository of how things are evolving!


      Thanks! Thumb up 0

  4. Congratulations on being the basis of the latest news story on Gsmarena.You have finally hit the big time lol.Seriously though great work on the blog.

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  5. Regarding item number six (#6) :

    Are they making this phone for aliens or, am I missing something? Unless their parents are related, most people only have five fingers on each hand.

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  6. haha. Well, it just tells us that the capacitive screen and the drivers used in the N9 supports detection of more than 2 inputs at once. Possibly be useful for gaming or some form of gesture controls. (such as using 2 fingers from each hand to drag something on the screen etc)

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  7. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I was just being silly~heh heh~ but, really curious to know the science behind that specification.


    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  8. Thanks for the info, MeeGo seems to be a pretty cool piece of OS. Let’s all hope it gets some support from Nokia and devs also.

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  9. i stopped@ point 5 to note that landscape home screens has already been seen implemented on the n950 prior to that it was even noted landscape mode is capable if users modded the os to do so

    however having seen landscape on the Dev device (for homescreens) i can only assume nokia has worked to add this maybe even by launch?

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  10. RE your new addition #37
    BT4.0 confirmed as not an option now :(

    But yes, dual-band is still pretty cool :)
    I’m not sure that’s very common on smartphones nowadays is it?

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. Yeah Thanks for the reminder. I saw the update on TMO about this few days ago but forgot about it. =P

      I don’t think dual-band 11n is common at all. Heck, it’s not common even on most wireless routers unless you get a decent mid/high end model.

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

  11. Are there any more updates? This post has been quiet for a long time now. Can’t wait for the N9 to be released, I’ve been checking this page almost every day : /

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. I wish I had more juicy tidbits about the technical parts of the N9. But yeah, it has been a bit quiet as very little people actually has their hands on one right now. (some do have N950 however…)

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

  12. Is there a way to sync the N9 DIRECTLY with a linux-(ubuntu)-box? OvI=Yahoo may not be involved, Google even less, nor Microsoft and so on.

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *