I will start with what I would like to have in a phone that I use. In my day-to-day life, following are the apps / functionalities that I use on a regular basis:
- Email (MFE, Google, Yahoo, custom email account support)
- Ability to configure multiple Calendars (+ to-dos, reminders)
- Social network (facebook, twitter)
- Contacts sync with online services (e.g. Ovi, Google)
- Feed reader
- Password manager
- Dropbox client
So, both Lumia and N9 have these mentioned features / functionalities and hence make both of them a good phone to use. The real difference lies between the user experience.
Lumia is no doubt a good phone, but it does not promise me a good “user experience”. Here are some of the reasons, why:
- Crazy silent reboots!
- No time (or other indicators) on the power saving lock screen. Powering on the screen everytime I want to see time is bad. And sometimes, pressing the power button initializes a reboot.
- No handy way of connecting or disconnecting WiFi / Cellular connection. I hate going to settings and then doing things. Or even, installing the short-cut applications for this purpose.
- Internet explorer sucks. Big time.
- No beep profile. I would not like the phone to be in vibrate mode at some times. While at work, I would like the profile to be famous Nokia Beep.
- Can’t do much with an offline Lumia. (or get a real flat data plan, not like those in Germany)
- Can’t transfer or share files (songs / images / ringtones) over bluetooth. WAAT!!
- Not a good battery life. Have to charge battery almost every 8 hours.
- The annoying “Mobile operator” delivery reports.
- The applications for facebook sucks! The in-built integration with social networks is Ok but when the phone is offline, I cant really see much about what’s happening around. I have to open dedicated applications or even the people’s application to see whats happening which again triggers some data connection in background.
- No ability to show contacts by Nicknames! It is annoying to see my mom calling and the phone says: “Rxxhxx Vxyxx”. Does not give me the feel of having a “personal” device.
- No way to schedule when to sync my email accounts. I really do not want to see any office emails in the night from my exchange account. Brrr!
- I am forced to connect my phone to a PC to update it. No OTA update is available. Being a linux user, I had some hard time trying to update my phone.
- Cant configure my custom voip accounts to make calls.
On the other hand, what I like about Lumia is a couple of UI effects that it has. The swipe gesture in inbuilt apps is good. The showing of calendar reminders on lock screen and tiles is good.
I have been using N9 for close to two years now. And I really see N9 as the clear winner in my “user experience and expectations”.
- No crazy reboots
- A good blank screen indicator
- Connect / disconnect from the network using the status menu
- The beep profile
- With an offline N9, I can still see some selected updates from my friends in the feeds screen. No need to trigger a new data connection. And if I am interested to know more, I can tap on a particular update to open app and create connection if required.
- I can see all the updates (from social, feed reader) at one place. No need for opening a special app for them.
- OTA updates are available.
- I can select when to update / sync which email account.
- Support for OVI which has all of my contacts.
- Relatively better battery life. I charge it every morning. (or at a gap of about 12-15 hrs)
In a nutshell, Nokia N9 is an epitome of good work and passion towards making a solid phone that people will love and like to use.
Lumia 800 indeed is a good phone in its own category. But it does not stand a chance when comparing to Nokia N9. What I could add more is that if someone has been using symbian all his/her life, they might find Lumia a very good experience. But I guess, it is not the case with Nokia N9 users.
Honestly speaking, initially, I was hesitating a bit to start using Lumia. One of the major reasons being “what if it is better than N9”? But now, I am happy it isn’t.
And yes, I agree with https://twitter.com/lowyatdotnet that Nokia N9 is the most underrated smartphone ever. Read this.