back to article Got a one-of-a-kind N9? Get ready to adopt Meego's baby Sailfish

The only Meego phone Nokia ever released, the now two-year-old N9, has been given a new lease of life today. Owners can now install the new Meego descendent Sailfish alongside the original OS. Sailfish is an open-source operating system developed by startup Jolla, and is a continuation of the work Nokia did on Meego before it …


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  1. Piloti

    My N9 is still running like a brand new device. The battery is fading, but it is 24 months old, but call quality is excellent, the depth and "blackness" of the screen is still just about as good as it gets, the size and weight is wonderful and frankly, I still think is it one of the most beautiful 'phones ever released.

    It is a shame Elop killed it and went with MS instead.

    When the Jolla goes "mass market" later this year, I'm on the list to get one. The spiritual successor to Nokia......

    The king is dead, long live the king......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      because you've not been able to do much with it.

      any phone will feel 'like new' when you can't install any new apps or change much about because it's still running the same software it left the factory with.

      1. Piloti

        Re: Probably

        Oh my Anonymous Coward.....

        Just how wrong you are. It is in constant use. Skype, Google Talk and WhatsApp are in constant use. Of course, I use Opera to read the news on the way to work and home again [the Bern Tram system is very relaxing] , occasionally as an MP3 player and let's not forget, it is also a 'phone.

        No, the reason it feels "like new" is because of the excellent build quality, the excellent screen colour saturation and the intrinsic quality of the build materials. Basically, Nokia know how to make a decent 'phone.

        It is true that the N9 does not have the range of software available as, say, Android. But, how many "fart apps' " does one need ?

        1. Shaha Alam

          Re: Probably

          we've moved beyond fart apps on the android store.

          granted, not *that* far, but far enough for you to safely decommission that tired joke from half a decade ago.

          1. Gene Cash Silver badge

            Re: Probably

            Yes, we've moved on to thousands of nearly-identical apps that are derivatives of the API tutorials with pictures of nearly-naked anime characters, probably containing trojans of some sort.

    2. Professor Clifton Shallot

      I haven't seen an N9; are you able to say how it compares with a Windows Nokia like, say, the 920?

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        The N9 case and hardware is very similar to Lumia 800, the first Windows phone from Nokia. So much that people suspected Nokia rushed the Lumia out of the door by reusing the existing N9 design as much as possible . I wonder if Lumia 800 could also be converted to Sailfish.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Thumb Up


      Not too difficult to change the battery - Remove two screws, then prise the screen from the shell which is a bit nerve-wracking.

      1. Piloti

        Re: Battery

        Show me where, on a Nokia N9, the screws are.... ?

        If you have one you would know.....

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Battery

          The screen is fixed to the shell with 2 screws

          Pop out the sim carrier. Between the slot and the edge where the buttons are is screw #1

          Prise out the usb socket cover (can be done without damaging it) - Look down the part exposed where the battery cover was hinged, beside the usb connector - screw #2.

          Once the screen is off, the battery is behind a large metal shield. I did have a bit of trouble with loosening one of these screws, but removed it eventually.

          There are a few videos on youtube

          The part where the screen snaps out is around 1'56'' - looks easier than it was - may be I was being overcautious.

          Ensure the screwdrivers are good fit to avoid damaging the heads.

          If in doubt, get it done by a service center.

  2. TheFiddler

    Still waiting for my Jolla despite ordering on the 28th. Impatience may see me putting this on my N9 later.

  3. Philippe

    Great news.

    The next thing those guys need to do it to design a version of sailfish for the main Android phones.

    S4, and HTC one for instance and then let the market decide.

    1. 20legend

      Re: Great news.


      Want to try that sweet-sounding Sailfish OS, but don’t want to fork out the €399 for the first Jolla handset? Fret not as the company will allow you to sideload its OS to any Android device that you might already have.

      The option isn’t yet available, but it’s currently being worked on as has been confirmed by the company’s CEO Tomi Pienimäki. In an interview with a Finnish website Mr. Pienimäki stated the following:

      ”That is the plan. We are on device business and OS business. It is fairly easy to install the OS on Android devices"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great news.

        " Fret not as the company will allow you to sideload its OS to any Android device that you might already have"

        Love the idea. But what's the business plan? This matters because there's always a price.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great news.

          Simple, Jolla makes money from their app store and from the search provider. This is how Google makes money off of Android.

          What is the Firefox OS business plan?

          What is the Cyanogen business plan?

  4. Jess

    N8 next, please?

    If, as I would think likely, some of the development of meego took place on N8 type devices, then perhaps it's possible.

    But it certainly demonstrates the strength of open source. The contemporary Windows 7 Nokia devices won't be seeing a new operating system, 7.x is all they will ever do, (and the same may prove true of windows 8 devices).

    If they want to get an instant user base, perhaps they should produce a Pi version.

  5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The insane thing was ...

    N9 outsold Nokia's Windows Phone - without the enormous marketing campaign, subsidies or release in the biggest markets. It got excellent reviews and higher customer satisfaction ratings than the iPhone. Nokia had better troll Jolla to bankruptcy or Windows Phone will become even more irrelevant.

  6. James 51 Silver badge

    Noticed one of these in a second hand tech shop a few weeks ago. If it's not too expensive, might take a look (though I won't be trading my n900 in against it).

  7. gerryg

    Not been there (yet) but (at least) I got the T-Shirt

    I've been waiting since 25th Nov, when I got the you can pay the balance mail, on top of €100 lobbed over in May

    The blog has lots of interesting information but I haven't got my phone yet.

  8. Andus McCoatover

    Gobsmacked that Jolla hasn't had the foresight to send one to El Reg.

    Or is it a case of "If you don't ask, you don't get" ?

  9. Sgt. Pinback

    not for the faint of heart

    I couldn't see a link in that article that actually explains the process so here it is:

    Pretty messy procedure, you wouldn't want to try this if it's still your primary phone.

    I sold my original n9 to a friend today to replace his lumia-whatever (the early model that shared mostly the same body/innards as the n9). As soon as he turned the device on and it recognised (correctly) his location and timezone information he was gobsmacked. That and the contact management were enough to completely thrill him. Such an amazing piece of software, it screams of thoughtful coherent design and it's somehow open source. Still feels like a minor miracle that this thing even exists, I guess it is in a way.

    and what did I replace my n9 with? a new 64gb n9 of course

    you can pry this phone out of my cold dead hands and I hope jolla stick around long enough to make some more impressive second and third generation devices (AMOLED screens on the next ones please jolla)

  10. Andus McCoatover

    Here's the HOWTO...

  11. Smudged

    Christmas Pressie

    My son needs a new phone, but doesn't want to go for anything that's too conventional. An N9 running Sailfish might just fit the bill. To anyone who has one currently, are they still a viable phone, or would I be better off trying to convince him to join the Android crowd and get a Moto G or Razr i?

    1. Sgt. Pinback

      Re: Christmas Pressie

      They're still fine as a phone with maps and facebook, youtube and all those acronyms (NFC, 3G, WiFi, GPS). If he's in to alternative ways of doing things he'll love it. If he loves Angry Birds type gaming fads then you're sheet out of luck (app store is closed next year), although I think most firmware images actually come with Angry Birds installed on the n9.

      and get him some martial arts training after you hand over the n9

      the body of this phone could be used as a deadly weapon in a fight, it is one tough mahter farker*

      *my 2 year old n9** flew out of pocket onto concrete or rocks so many times and it it got were little chunks taken out of the body, one or two tiny scratches on the screen. THING IS TOUGH

      **must stop talking about n9, must stop talking about n9

    2. Piloti

      Re: Christmas Pressie

      See the posts from Piloti, above./

      For me, despite the inane ramblings from the Android fans, it is just about the best device out there.

      OK, yes, the range of software for the N9 is less than most, but it is a /'phone/, not a computer.

      Battery life is the only issue, but mine is almost two years old.......

      Cheerio and enjoy your N9.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The OS looks quite impressive they could have a decent Android alternative on their hands here. Hardware wise I'd be tempted to swtich if they did an up to date N900 with a bigger screen with a retina style display and the slide out keyboard...

  13. Andus McCoatover

    N9 - If I can put Sailfish on it.

    Now, it's even more attractive.

    Had a look at (online flea-market) for a s/h N9. They're flogging for about €120 - 180, but rare as hen's teeth (only a dozen or so in whole of Finland Seems folks are hanging onto theirs). I guess about the same as the repair cost (screen smashed) to my N8...

    Plenty of 'lumias' though...About same price area depending on model.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    easy upgrade is the key

    I've looked into putting cyanogen Kitkat on my Galaxy Nexus. The steps are a bit daunting if you're not used to doing this kind of thing. I really don't see Jolla having much luck getting a huge number of Android users to upgrade to their offering unless it's really easy to do. It looks great, I'd happily stick it on my phone and give it a try, but for the mass market, having to access bootloaders, run command line and so on isn't going to be something the average user will attempt, however good the result might be.

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  16. Smudged

    Got one

    I bought one on ebay for about £95. Just waiting for delivery now. We will see whether it's a successful present for the son, or he thinks I'm just giving him some old tat.

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