Techworld

Nokia N9 vs. iPhone 4

Which is better: The iPhone or the Nokia N9?

Nokia's high-end, Linux-based N9 smartphone will be available on all Australian networks as well as from major retailers.

The Nokia N9's hardware certainly looks impressive, but how will it fare in a high-end smartphone market still dominated by the iPhone 4?

Below we have compared the basic specs of the Nokia N9 and the iPhone 4.

Nokia N9 vs. iPhone 4: Specifications

Feature Apple iPhone 4 Nokia N9 Verdict?
Operating system (OS) Apple iOS MeeGo Draw
Display size 3.5in 3.9in N9
Display technology Capacitive retina IPS AMOLED
Display resolution 640x960 pixels 854x480 pixels iPhone 4
Multitouch Yes Yes Draw
Camera 5 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging 8 megapixel, dual-LED flash, autofocus, geotagging N9
GPS Yes Yes Draw
Internal memory 16GB or 32GB 16GB or 64GB N9
Expandable memory No No Draw
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm 116.45 x 61.2 x 7.6-12-mm
Weight 137g 135g N9
Application store Apple App Store Ovi Store iPhone 4
Processor Apple A4 ARM Cortext-A8
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n Draw
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 2.1 with A2DP Draw
HDMI-out No No Draw
Near Field Communications No Yes N9
Quoted talk time Up to 7 hours Up to 7 hours Draw
Quoted standby time Up to 300 hours Up to 380 hours N9

Both phones have similar dimensions and weight, but the Nokia manages to pack in its larger screen by employing an attractive 'all-screen' design: There are no physical controls at all on the front, unlike the iPhone 4 which has a home button. We're yet to put the N9 through its paces, but it is likely to be extremely well built if the Nokia N8 is anything to by.

The N9 is equipped with a 3.9-inch touchscreen — larger than the 3.5-inch iPhone 4 display — that uses AMOLED technology, which should offer reduced power consumption compared to regular LCD displays. The iPhone 4's 'retina' display has the edge when it comes to resolution, offering 614,400 pixels on its smaller surface area compared to the N9 screen's 409,920.

The two phones both have impressive hardware, and if you look at them on a spec-by-spec basis not too much stands out. The Nokia N9 does have double the iPhone 4's RAM — 1024MB vs. 512MB. The iPhone 4 uses Apple's 1GHz A4 processor, which incorporates ARM's Cortex-A8 CPU and a PowerVR GPU. Similarly the Nokia N9 has a 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 3630, which has a Cortex-A8 and PowerVR GPU (SGX530; the A4 uses the SGX535). Although the N9 clearly wins out when it comes to RAM, actual performance will no doubt be in large part dependent on software.

Unlike the iPhone 4, the N9 will be available in a 64GB model. But like Apple's premium smartphone it has no removable battery and no expandable storage.

One interesting point of the N9's hardware fitout is its Near Field Communication (NFC) chip — there is no NFC on the iPhone 4. However, the chip is designed for sharing content and paring accessories with the phone, not mobile payments.

The Nokia N9 runs the Linux-based MeeGo operating system. The open source mobile platform is a joint effort by Nokia and Intel, building on the companies' Maemo and Moblin projects. Along with the Maemo-derived smartphone edition of MeeGo, a version is available for netbooks.

Nokia's last Maemo-based device was the N900.

The iPhone 4 is, of course, based on Apple's iOS platform. For all that you might want to rail against the limitations and closed nature of the operating system, there is no doubt that it offers a polished user experience. That, and a mammoth curated collection of mobile apps.

On this front the Nokia N9 is going to have its work cut out for it. The phone will offer access to Nokia's Ovi Store, as well as multitasking. Like the iPhone, it doesn't support Flash. While the interface has been well-received in hands on tests — Ross Catanzariti at Techworld's sister publication GoodGearGuide described it as slick and intuitive to use — and the Ovi Store offers access to quite a few of the same popular mobile apps available on Android and iOS, MeeGo is hardly likely to have a bright future on smartphones given Nokia's decision to go with Windows Phone as its "principal smartphone strategy".

At the end of the day, we have a feeling that, sadly, the Nokia N9 will end up like the N8: Wonderful hardware but a software platform that just can't compete with the heavyweights — Android and iOS. We'd be delighted to be proved wrong, however — MeeGo is an interesting project.

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Tags Applemobile phonessmartphonesNokiaiphone 4

More about AppleIntelIPSLinuxMeeGoMoblinNFCNokiaTexas Instruments Australia

33 Comments

Aminiesta

1

You are totally wrong.Nokia N9 and Nokia N8 have super massive hardware and software.Symbian and MeeGo far better than iOS and Android but likes many your are dellusioned by American media hype like Gizmodo and Endgadget.

jiero

2

Its different common platform. The community would provide more effective applications from their repository rather than OVI store as in N900 the latest maemo platform.

Jan

3

I agree with Aminiesta, American white people only see their own markets and make a noice of their own ways of using technology. We also know, that the more noice the more it influences the people's beliefs even it would be factually wrong.

Along the decades, actually, US. have been always actually laggards in implementing and using technology. Obviously they do not see it because they think locally, not globally (e.g. Apple). The thing what you do well, is the marketing. For instance, in European countries, using superlatives for everything is found silly and actually quite foolish. "Great!", "Superb", "Marvellous", "Awesome".

Well, I suppose the best way is to have the North European hw and industrial design, UI design and software from US, manufacturing in Asia and marketing from US (in english).

Niklas

4

It should be noted that the N9 does have 720p TV-out trough the "headphone" jack like some other Nokia phones.

dipak

5

nokia n9 is great it will beat iphone and android after improving its applications . Do'nt look to us markets us is not whole world biggest market lies in asia

deepak

6

nokia n9 is great it will beat iphone and android after improving its applications . Do'nt look to us markets us is not whole world biggest market lies in asia

Padre Padrino

7

Who is this pointless review for? Your average joe wont buy this phone with the scarcity and pricetag attached to it. So why not write something interesting instead of silly hardware comparisons when the interest is not in the hardware but the OS. Anyone can find specs at gsmarena.com

The only similarity to the Iphone would be the out of box thinking that have been incorporated into the N9. Truly a groundbreaking product. Having said that I hope the N9 will make a wave in sales and gather a userbase that will push Nokia into thinking twice about the abandonment of Meego.

I wont return to this site again. rubbish

holding it wrong

8

The iphone 4 constantly drops calls, the nokia n9 has a pentaband radio and Nokia wasn't stupid enough to put the antenna on the outside.

verdict: Nokia N9 wins.

Dan

9

I am American and some of you are way,way off base on your bashing of American media. Let me explain. In America Apple stock is one of the highest held stock of Wall Street hedge funds for the rich. They, Wall street ,are some of the largest advertisers in the so called u.s. Media and look at who owns that media. They bash Nokia and Windows Mango because they are paid large sums of money to lie and just promote their stock picks. Nokia and windows will not get the truth through the so called media until you challege the media. If you think about it, Nokia was very popular during the 1960 in the U.S. during the social revolution against the establishment. During this world people revolution against the corrupt establishment of the central banksters and their propaganda machine, google included in that, perhaps Nokia will be that phone that the people realize is a true phone of the world people. .....in other words.....believe what you see on Nokia...not what you read in reviews.

Muhd Sazali

10

You forgot to mention that the N9 has Gorilla glass that has been laminated on the display layer. This is thus will helps Nokia N9 be winning more. N9 is simple to use as well, easy than iPhone so the medal goes to N9. Simple phone does not mean less function one.

Nik Rolls

11

Shouldn't the N9 win on the GPS note due to the fact that it has a far superior GPS navigation system?

Jed

12

Nice article guys, but there's actully a few incorrect points.
I don't blame you, as Nokia's official doco has been atrocious wherever you turn.

N9 will actually suport 802.11an...
And DLNA (+Rygel) will be used w/802.11an for 1080p vid-out.
It's not perfect, MHL or HDMI-out would've been better overall.
But in many instances it'll do the job.

It will also support BT4.0....
Latest evidence suggests it may not be there at launch, but rather with the 1st major update.

You also don't mention anything about of the IQ of the N9's display, beyond it's PPI, & Size.*
There's other equally important metrics for evalutating a display's IQ.
If you were to take them into account...
It's likely your chart would place the N9 as winner "overall" for display tech.
(it would still lose the res category of course)

Also flash is still a posbbility, search TMO forums for user jolo.
He's a dev @Nokia pushing for this on Fennec.
It's actually working nicely apparently, he's merely waiting on management to approve licensing.
In his last post he sounded very positive....
Although he has been very quiet in the past 4wks, so it's posbile he's hit a dead-end.

*You mention AMOLED's power efficiency...
But that's not the only (or even the most) notable thing about AMOLED.

Jed

13

@niklas

No tv-out is only 460i via the 3.5mm....
It was cofnnired by Nokia devs @TMO that MHL or HDMI is not implimented.
If it had MHL, 720p-out would've been possible via the 3.5mm, alas no.
But as metioned in my prior post, HD vid-out is corrected by DLNA + 802.11an

What's with all the OT comments that don't talk specifically about the two ph's? *shakes head*

Jed

14

@niklas

No tv-out is only 460i via the 3.5mm....
It was cofnnired by Nokia devs @TMO that MHL or HDMI is not implimented.
If it had MHL, 720p-out would've been possible via the 3.5mm, alas no.
But as metioned in my prior post, HD vid-out is corrected by DLNA + 802.11an

What's with all the OT comments that don't talk about the two ph's? *shakes head*

Jed

15

Oh and one more thing....
By all latest accts it has phenomenal reception quality.

Like quality so good that some major telco's in EU...
Are know considering using the N9 as their test/reference platform.

I can dig up the info. if you want.

Berry

16

In addition to main processor and GPU, N9 also has really powerful Texas Instruments DSP. It massively enhances N9's capabilities in audio processing for example.

Many Synthesizers are powered by less powerful DSP. Korgs Radias has last generation TI DSP with 25% slower clock frequency and Alesis Ion(/Micron) is far less powerful DSP.

Akuma

17

Not a bad comparison...
but lets clear 1 or 2 things out!

iphone is nothing without the apps!!!
that's the only good thing the phone has.

Again why this guys keep forgetting to mention that N8..N9..E7 nokias do have VIDEO CALL and that iphone doesn't have video call ... or even TV-out ... really!!

I used to go in Europe and I will see everybody making video calls without having Wi-fi on their phones.. you just need to have an dual band GSM/3Gs.. reception.

Me the poor guy who comes from USA couldn't do it with my iphone..

very disappointing!

cjo

18

If nokia likes they can even put a whole building inside the phone at the end apple will still beat them. U can just imagine the number of phones that have been produced to beat an iphone that is over a year old. The new n9 still being compared with the iphone 4 dat has been around ever since...... Rubbish.

Bob

19

With regards to apps - the N9 will cover 95% of 'real' world usage scenarios straight out of the box - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, html5 web, music/video, email/exchange, wi-fi sharing, Skype, Voice GPS Sat Nav, even a few games (angry birds etc).

So you won't have the 231,654 fart apps . . . Does it really matter?

Invader9000

20

Well, i used to have a 5800XM and i now have an X6. I would prefer buying N9 to Iphone x because of the price. I do not overlook bugs like the antenna of iphone, my bro has the 3g, i rarely listen to him crystal clear. It is th first time that Nokia can beat up Apple, because N9 is far, far more beautiful, it is fast, it has gorgeous UI (MAYBE the main weapon of iphone). I blame Nokia for taking soooo looooong to wake up, but also blame thw Finns for using Meego, whose future is ...unknown. Stepping to Windows Phone maybe a good solution, but what about Meego? All the effords were for nothing?

Invader9000

21

Meego must go on! Or at least, if it doesn't, just put WIndows in the N9. Do not sell N9 with a already abandoned OS. Do the change now, or don't release the N9 at all. You will frustrate the :remaining: Nokia fans more...

drmit

22

Nokia is such rubbish! First they come out with the N8 - the phone to beat the iphone, with it's 'completely redesigned' Symbian 3 software, that was promised upgrades and new features, etc etc. The hardware and connectivity built into the N8 was vastly superior to the iphone too (sound familiar?) Well all those who bought the N8 are now left with a phone that has great hardware but no software capable of running it properly! It freezes and crashes regularly, can't multitask if you are playing music, has trouble running angry birds and other common software, has the worst music-management and playback system ever seen, etc etc. Nokia's much touted Symbian 3 OS was completely abandoned less than 6 months after the N8 was released. The N9 uses a new OS that - guess what - will be abandoned in similar fashion. You have been warned!

GinoS

23

Actually, who cares about OS. Only linux fans, and they prefer MeeGo of course! The rest of us should focus on hardware, UI and apps. Hardwarewise N9 is so much more interesting. (not talking of specs, but of build, camera and screen. Both have specs good enough). UI is obviously taste. But I find N9 much more interesting and actually easier to use (yes I have tried both). When it comes to apps most people misunderstand. It's not an issue of apps to the N9 or even MeeGo. The absolute most apps will come becouse they are made in Qt. Not only for N9 but for the hundreds of miljons of Symbian phones out there. Ovi store is the fastest growing appstore. AND you have in addition to this great apps from the linux community. Many are already made (for the N950) and many more are in the making.

I4U

24

Flash will be supported in the next release (PR1.1), before the end of the year.

I4U

25

@ginoS: the OS is the most important piece of a phone. When Apple released the first iPhone, the only one thing which was superior was the OS.
Play two or three days with a n9, you will feel how blowing this OS is. Simple, elegant, beautifully designed, and a so stylish and easy to use UI. The hardware specs are just an element, but nothing without an OS which empowers it.
About hardware and software design, the n9 is surely a reference.

AL

26

Well well, I really can't agree with this review so I wont. iOs is not that great and it is getting old. Let's face it, nobody really wants the same as the neighbours. Big part of Apple brand is "being different" and now it isn't working anymore, because everybody has one. So people who want to be different have to buy N9, because it IS different AND a great mobile device.

Abdou

27

Not because u can't buy an iphone means that N9 is better than the iphone this can not even be close . Huh ios is getin old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! R u drunked??? U should wake up people nokia will never beat apple even in 2100

kian

28

just look up how results are different !!!!
which one is valid?
http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/405366/smartphone_comparison_nokia_n9_vs_apple_iphone_4s/

yasir

29

i purchase nokia n9 yes ya no

Seraphial

30

Lol, i have commented a lot on the nokia n9 vs samsung galaxy s2 site proving that s2 is better...
The phones are classified like this(better phones as u go from buttom to top)
-Samsung Galaxy S2
-Nokia N9
-Iphone 4s
here u are comparing the iphone 4 which is not a that good phone, think its number 11 in overall 20 best mobiles in the world...its 4s which is a good phone

google downloads

31

Excuse, I've believed and have removed the notion

kj

32

nokia belle software upgrades are available for the n8 and other nokia mobiles. nokia takes care of its customers.

stranger

33

@kian
What are you trying to say with your link??
How do mean "which one is valid?"
There are two different phones... One is iPhone 4 and one is iPhone 4 S.
This review is about nokia n9 and iphone 4.
Compare iPhone 4 S with new Samsung Galaxy III then tell me who's better...
iOS i just better optimized OS then MeeGo right now, it doesn't mean nokia sucks...
If they keep putting MeeGo in nokia, it could become a large competition to iOS, because Android is getting bored.
I have iphone 3GS and is working better then some newest phones, but now I will sell it and buy Nokia N9 just to feel the experience that MeeGo offers.

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