The Only Design of Its Kind: Nokia N9 Design and Display Review


We have been on testing Nokia N9 for quite a few days and have published the unboxing session already a couple of days back while now when the design elements of Nokia N9 are ready to be reviewed, here we go again with a moderate set of pictures showing how the Nokia N9 has been designed to serve its users in a very different and unique way. But before continuing on, I’ll want you to know what I have to say about it’s design in a single line.

Remarks: “Nokia N9 is one and the only device with its unique and appealing features of the design along with the user interface, I’ve ever experienced.”

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

Nokia N9, while bringing 1GHz Processor and 1GB of RAM inside, brings a very unique and attractive but simple design to a purely new form factor with no main operating hardware button other than the power button and volume rocker. This is what you have heard a lot since the day when N9 was launched. I personally had impressions about this swipe-only device that how could it has been managed to bring comfort of usability with no hardware button to operate, until the first day I experienced this device myself.


AMOLED display and 3.9″ screen with FWVGA resolution of 854 x 480 pixels look awesome under 2.5D curved glass. It’s the scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass with Anti-glare polariser.

With all these features the display is crisp and vivid. Comparing recently with Nokia N8 and Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, Nokia N9 amazingly performed well both the indoors and outdoors. We’ll try to compare it in detail with other devices as well soon.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

Nokia N9, Xperia Arc, Nokia N8 Nokia N9, Xperia Arc, Nokia N8

Well not only me but everyone here in our office really loved it and wished to spend a day with it when I had to excuse them all for not being able to – “Sorry guys! next time :P”. Anyway there is really not much special around the device to talk about, like many devices we have a few buttons and ports around Nokia N9 that we’ll be talking below. In fact it’s lacking a button which normally devices do have – A “menu” or “Home” button.

I’ll call it the “beauty” with “simplicity” – a combination which never gets lost from your eyes.


Nokia N9 is packed into single sheet of plastic body. “Plastic” even being amongst the high-end line of smartphones. You must be thinking “Plastic?”. Yeah! “plastic” but seriously standing aside from all the Galaxies with it’s tough and premium quality plastic – The Polycarbonate. Samsung Galaxy I and II users would really won’t like me saying that the build quality of N9 is way better and premium than Galaxy’s.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

N9 comes in three colours Cyan , Magenta and Black. As the body has been purely built with same coloured polymer hence the colour you see is not just a paint over the body but it relies all within the body. That means if N9 gets scratches on the body, it will not reveal any other colour from underneath and instead the same colour will be revealed.

Camera and Dual-LED Flash

When talking about its uni-body build structure, we’ll start from the back where Nokia N9 hosts an 8 mega pixel camera – with Carl Zeiss optics. We’ll be doing a full review about N9’s Camera in coming days but it’s worth to hint about its combination with Dual-LED flash residing right along with the camera at back. We missed the power of Carl Zeiss combined with Xenon flash.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

May be there had been a design issue for not being able to add Xenon flash into N9 but it feels like saying – a greater design with the lesser option for camera facility. While using it for a few days I can say the imaging capability of N9 was still impressive but we’ll talk about it later in detail where there are some objections as well.

Hardware Buttons

The only two hardware buttons on Nokia N9 are the “Power button” and a single piece of “Volume Rocker” for volume up and down. These all reside on the right side of the device. They are actually well placed on the device as if holding the device in one (right) hand front-facing, you can easily access and use these buttons with your thumb.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

Power button serves for turning the device on and off, locking or unlocking the device. Also the same button is used to forcefully shutdown the device in case of non-responsiveness.

Ports and Slots

On top of the device we have connectivity options starting with 3.5mm AV jack for audio and video out. Nokia N9, like other Nokia devices, also support TV-Out feature but having not an option for HDMI out.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

Along side, a folding shutter is covering the micro USB port which executes very well if I talk about it’s mechanism. But I don’t think it should have been that way. USB port is the only way to connect Nokia N9 for PC Sync/Transfer and to charge it. But this unfolding behaviour of the shutter is not a good idea as it now has to be opened all the time when you use USB port. So there are more chances for it to be harmed or wasted. You have to be careful with it.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

Plus the SIM card slot is a secondary part to open as it is locked by the USB port shutter cover. You need to open the USB shutter first and then release the SIM card slot by slightly moving to the left side (towards the USB port). It’s awesome that Nokia has put labels with the direction to open things up. I didn’t need to look for it in the manuals this time as I did previously with Nokia X7.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

That’s it with the ports, slots and buttons on Nokia N9. There is nothing else on the left side of the device but only a speaker opening holes on the bottom side.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

Securing Case

Additionally there is some surprise accessory with Nokia N9 which have been mentioned in unboxing session is the the securing case for Nokia N9. A rubber case is a finished product in quality with N9 which really is thin and not letting you feel carrying a thicker device in hands. I usually do not use such rubber or silicon cases but this one didn’t let me feel any bad with it.

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case

Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case Nokia N9 - Design, Display and Case


Nokia N9 Gallery

Following is a wide set pictures of marvellous Nokia N9 that I couldn’t resist taking from here and there. You even might find same angles on different locations.

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157627810761073″ size=”small”]

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