Performance and battery
While the Nokia 9 packs last year’s Snapdragon 845, it’s not noticeably underpowered, and you’ll zoom around the phone with ease. In fact, the phone seems to move around too fast on the home screen – the UI lacks the subtle inertia that makes it easier to flit around a newer iPhone, say, where motion speeds up and slows down with simulated weight.
As previously mentioned, the phone can slow down, like when swapping around photo modes. But by raw performance, the phone holds its own, scoring a 9,014 multi-core average on Geekbench 4, putting it just ahead of the Snapdragon 845-packing Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (8,875). For reference, the Snapdragon 855-equipped Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus we tested scored 11,002.
in fact, you won’t even notice the Snapdragon 845’s actual shortcoming: it can only handle a maximum of three lenses at once, an HMD spokesperson told TechRadar. To actually harness all five lenses to make a combined photo, the phone uses a Light Lux Capacitor, which is designed for bespoke multi-camera setups, to wrangle imagery from all five of its rear lenses at once, allowing it to process 240MP of photo before feeding it into the Snapdragon processor.
The phone only comes in one configuration, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which fills up quick if you opt to save RAW DNG files of every photo. Unfortunately, it’s not expandable: there’s only a SIM tray (dual SIM for some markets) with no MicroSD slot.
The interface is, thankfully, basic Android without a lot of bloatware. As expected, the Nokia overlay does make some peculiar choices, like requiring two upward swipes to see the full app tray, but it’s still clean. Just don’t expect to get fancy UX options like sidebar shortcuts or gestures.
Fortunately, the phone is part of the Android One program, so it will get Android updates more swiftly than other phones. While the Nokia 9 launched with Android 9 Pie, older Nokia phones have also gotten the upgrade by now, which bodes well for the next big (and still upcoming) upgrade, Android Q.
The Nokia 9 has a 3,320mAh battery, which we found sufficient for a day’s charge. It only supports up to 18W fast-charging (Quick Charge 3.0), an acceptable if not impressive way to quickly juice up the device.