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A look back at Nokia N9, a smartphone ahead of its time with gesture navigation and bottom camera.

A look back at Nokia N9, a smartphone ahead of its time with gesture navigation and bottom camera.

. 3 min read

That is at 2011 and Nokia was still the king in the global phone market. At the time, Android was then just starting to grow. On the other hand, the Finnish giant always decided to stick with its Symbian operating system. When market share began to decline, Nokia decided to test the new OS called Meego. The decision gave birth to the new Nokia N9. The first and only smartphone running Nokia’s Meego. Only soon after, they started a grim relationship with Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

3 nokia phones on top each other with different colors

It is well known that Nokia N9 is a beautifully designed but unfortunately with a retired fate. However, few people know that Nokia N9 has many features ahead of its time. First, it places the front camera position in a rather unique place. Nokia N9 may be one of the first phones to place a front camera in the lower right corner of the screen. Most likely Nokia 9 is the inspiration for Xiaomi’s first full-screen high-end smartphone, Xiaomi Mi MIX.

In 2011, when the selfie has not yet become a trend, mobile phones used to have only VGA cameras in front with limited capabilities. In fact, according to GSMArena, many users did not even realize that Nokia N9 has a front camera.

A hand is holding the Nokia phone showing its front camera
Many people do not know the Nokia N9 has a front camera

Users at that time did not know if the Nokia N9 front camera was a camera or any other sensor and the fault was not from them.

First of all, the position of the camera is quite unusual, making people skeptical about the existence of a front camera. Secondly, there were no leaks like OnLeaks, Evan Blass … to leak information about upcoming equipment. In fact, even if a phone has been released, there would still be some details that have not been revealed.

In the case of Nokia N9, people only believe that it has a front camera located in the lower right corner of the screen when Nokia officially confirmed it.

Compare gestures of Nokia N9 with iPhone X

Another point of Nokia N9 is the Meego OS’s gesture navigation system. Everything in Meego is based on gestures, very similar to what we see on Android and iOS smartphones today. You can flick from the bottom up to the main screen, flick from the bottom up to access frequently used applications, slide from right to left to enter multitasking …

Compare of Nokia N9 with iPhone X

Honestly, Meego failed because it did not receive strong support from the big guys as it was not good. Intel has supported Meego for some time but it does not make smartphones survive. Nokia left Meego right after the launch of N9 to switch to Windows Phone.

Soon after, Nokia Lumia 800 was launched. This was the first Nokia phone model running Windows Phone, death was coming closer to Meego. At the time, Google began to strongly support Android while Microsoft focused entirely on Windows Phone. When these two giants directed everything to their own OS, no other OS could survive. Now, Google’s Android accounts for the majority of market share and Apple’s iOS holds the rest.

Although there is an unfortunate, but undeniable fate of Nokia N9, it was surely a phone with many features ahead of its time. Although there is an unfortunate, but undeniable fate of Nokia N9, it was surely a phone with many features ahead of its time.