Nokia Conversations: The Nokia N9 sports a 3.9-inch AMOLED display that looks like it will provide an exquisite visual experience. Another component that I’m very interested in is the camera. The N9 packs a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens. This isn’t the first collaboration between the two companies; the N73, N8, N86, N90, N95 smartphones all had Carl Zeiss optics. Most will agree that the iPhone 4 has one of the best camera system of any smartphone so I’m not so certain to what degree a Carl Zeiss-branded lens impacts photo quality.
Apple has realized that a hard key provides a better actuating experience than a soft key. With iOS 5 the volume up key will act as an actuator, a feature first seen on the original Camera+ iPhone app. I’m actually quite excited. Nokia is going the other direction: the company has removed the excellent half-pressable hard key and now is going with a soft button and continuous auto focusing. I think Nokia is making a big mistake here.
One area where the N9 beats the iPhone 4 is image capturing speed. From turning on the camera, getting the viewfinder ready, focusing on the subject, and finally capturing the image, the N9 takes just 2.6 seconds. The iPhone 4 takes three seconds; the HTC HD7 takes 8.3 seconds. From the chart above it looks like the N9 is even faster than the Canon S95. The image capturing speed of the N9 is impressive but that soft-button only actuator will seem “old-school” when iOS 5 comes out.