Update 02-Oct-2014: I have added one link from Tomi to the end.

This has been recurring theme in blog and tweets of Tomi Ahonen lately:

The N9 is the only smartphone – by any manufacturer – and MeeGo the only OS – that was regularly rated as good as the contemporary iPhone and often rated better.” [1]

Wait, what? N9 did have good reviews of course, I do not deny it, but “regularly rated as good and often rated better? Is this the Der Stern again?

MeeGo, a Linux-based OS, was seen as the first ever OS better than what Apple had in the (then-current) iPhone. Had never happened before – note, this has NEVER happened with the Macintosh – never has Windows been rated better than the Mac OS. It has never happened with the iPod and iTunes music either. But Nokia – the hardware company – managed to build an operating system – software – that was rated better than the iPhone OS.” [1]

Like the N9 and N950, on MeeGo, yes an operating system that on side-by-side comparisons was rated regularly BETTER than the iPhone !!! Who is ever rated better than Apple? No Windows product in history, haha.. But Nokia’s MeeGo and N9 were, regularly so.” [2]

There is no excuse for Nokia killing the world’s most praised OS – the only one regularly rated better than the iPhone (MeeGo) in favor of Windows Phone” [3]

Now this is getting to the hero OS called MeeGo. But let’s see if Tomi is little off here. Since he very specifically says that N9 was “regularly rated” better than iPhone, I ran Google search for “Nokia N9 review”. I assume I don’t need to go beyond first page in order to have majority saying that N9 is better than iPhone:

  • Engadget mentions iPhone. It says about N9 that “It’s arguably the first competitive flagship phone to come out of Espoo since the launch of the original iPhone
  • GSM Arena mentions iPhone too. Their view on N9 is that “If price is of no concern, you’ll have a phone like no other. More importantly, it’s nothing like the iPhone – and that somehow seems a mandatory requirement these days. Funny actually, if any device comes even close to the Nokia N9 and its touchscreen experience, it’s the iPhone. On the other hand, these two are polar opposites and we don’t mean the app stores only. And by the way, the iPhone 4S is one of the very few phones that costs more than the N9.
  • The Verge hands best so far, going for Tomi’s statement, although only on HW design: “Not even the shiny new iPhone 4S feels as luxurious in the hand as the N9.
  • Neowin seems to support Tomi’s view too: “It’s built just as good as an iPhone, and offers something that is different. It seems a lot of people are beginning to realize that they might end up being an iSheep, and are looking for an alternative, and this seems to be one of the best ones yet.
  • Phonearena does not mention iPhone at all in their (also positive) review.
  • Gizmodo on the other hand has mixed view. N9 is inferior to iPhone yet as consumer friendly: “clearly Nokia’s going to have an uphill battle convincing the mass market to buy the N9 rather than the equally consumer-friendly iPhone 4S
  • Slashgear mentions iPhone only in apps context which I feel is not valid comparison as MeeGo was dead on arrival. They say N9 is too expensive as a feature phone and due to lack of apps it has too shaky a future to take on Android or iOS.
  • PocketNow is not sharing Tomi’s opinion at all: “You will probably not switch over from iOS, Windows Phone or Android to MeeGo but if you are new to smartphones, the Nokia N9 is definitely a choice you can consider.
  • And last is CNet that puts MeeGo below iPhone and Androids saying “The web browsing experience is vastly superior to previous Nokia handsets, but it still falls just short of the experience that you will have on an iPhone or a top-tier Android.
    If you don’t know the difference between an iPhone and an Android, and you’re looking for a decent smartphone experience wrapped in some truly gorgeous hardware, then the N9 could be for you.

Now this is not a good case for Tomi’s “regularly rated as good as the contemporary iPhone and often rated better“. Two reviews said it’s better, 3 say it’s worse, four break even or do not mention iPhone at all.
Tomi says MeeGo was rated better than iOS, ye in the reviews it is the HW design that gets most of the credit. Several of those reviews said it has good feel in hand, some even comparing to iPhone like The Verge. NOT ONE of those reviews said MeeGo OS was better than iOS! But hey, how about ratings? It was RATED better than iPhone, right?

Of those that gave a rating:

  • The Verge handed N9 a 7.9 (and 8.6 for iPhone 4S).
  • Phonearena was a bit less generous and gave N9 a 7 (and 8.5 for iPhone 4S).
  • PocketNow gives N9 score of 4 out of 5 (and 4.5 out of 5 for iPhone 4S)
  • CNet rated N9 worth 4 stars out of 5 (and 4.5 out of 5 for iPhone 4S)

Not regularly viewed as good, not often reviewed better. I wonder why Tomi can’t just stick with facts and say N9 got *good* reviews? It did! N9 definitely was rated good!

In fact, we could compare N9 performance to Lumia 800 reviews (those are usually mentioning that Lumia 800 has the same superb HW design as N9). Of those who gave rating:

It is valid argument that if MeeGo had not been announced as dead end, N9 could have gained that extra half of a point to its reviews from a functioning ecosystem, beat Lumia 800 and actually become better than Lumia 800, doing what Tomi stated. However, he has NEVER said that N9 or MeeGo would have needed it. He is saying that N9 was rated better than iPhone, which is not true, not even with that half a grade more.
Tomi is also saying that no Windows Phone has been rated as good as N9, which is of course happens not to be true either as Lumia 800 breaks even.

How about my readers? Do you feel there are some reviews other than these nine that I should add? Some definite proof for Tomi? Against him? Anonymous comment section can be found below.

UPDATE 02-Oct-2014

There is (finally) one link [4] from Tomi. It comes from Twitter [5]:
Okay, feel free to read the review full, here’s the summary:

  • Form factor – N9 wins
  • Display – iPhone 4 wins
  • Storage – N9 wins
  • Processor – draw
  • Operating system – iPhone 4 wins (I thought MeeGo OS was “world’s most praised OS – the only one regularly rated better than the iPhone“?)
  • Camera – N9 wins


The N9 has a lot more storage space on its larger capacity device, it looks nicer and the camera is amazing but we’d be hard pushed to adopt MeeGo at this early stage.

We don’t find the iPhone to be particularly inspirational but it is easy to use and reliable. It’s tried and tested. We also like how adventurous Nokia has been with the N9 but we’re a bit jumpy about how things will go despite Nokia’s pledge to support MeeGo for several years.

If Nokia puts out a Windows Phone 7 powered N9 it would be a different story entirely.

Why on earth did he link to a review that not only says they would choose obsolete iPhone 4 (contemporary iPhone at the time of N9 launch is iPhone 4S, like the Verge review shows) but also states they’d rate similar looking Windows Phone 7 handset better if there was one (at this point of time Lumia 800 had not been published yet)?


[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/09/now-we-know-why-nokias-elop-had-a-25m-personal-bonus-clause-from-the-nokia-board-if-he-was-able-to-s.html

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/04/nokia-disaster-told-in-single-pictures-number-10-greatest-destruction-in-any-global-market-leader-el.html

[3] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/06/huawei-ceo-says-could-be-interested-in-acquiring-nokia-but-that-windows-phone-is-weak.html

[4] http://www.knowyourmobile.com/apple/apple-iphone-4/13872/nokia-n9-vs-iphone-4

[5] https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/517543363080228864