Earlier this year during a roundtable with Nokia reps, we were told that there’s one MeeGo device they’ll be introducing this year. It may be a bit late for MeeGo to cash in on the mobile OS wars but the N9 looks really interesting… or maybe not.
The Nokia N9 is a single colorful slab of a device void of any front-facing buttons. You wake it up by double-tapping on its 3.9″ screen. Nokia is toting its revolutionary way of navigating through the MeeGo UI, by the use of Swipe (sorry can’t help being sarcastic here). They’re really highlighting their advancement in user interface on the N9 with the use of swiping or gestures, just like how other touchscreen phones are using.
Homescreen on the N9 is limited to three views. There’s Events which features a stream of feeds from different sources (SNS, RSS, phone events, etc.). There’s also the Application View which should be pretty standard for touchscreen phones today. And then the Multitask view which shows the live apps you are currently running at the moment. I don’t really get what’s so special about this UI. Other OS can do this and at the same time give their owners a way to customize.
I don’t know the strength of the MeeGo OS but I’m not really amazed with the UI. Maybe the N9 will cater to those who were fond of the Maemo-powered N900. Qt apps are not that aplenty although you can also install Ovi apps here.
So maybe the hardware is something to write home about? The body is made of one piece of polycarbonate material with smooth shapes. It has a 3.9″ AMOLED display and 16GB or 64GB of internal storage. Funny they skipped 32GB.
I’ll let you decide here if the specs are good enough for the N9 to be a worthy upgrade of the N8.
Nokia N9 Specs:
- Pentaband WCDMA 850, 900, 1900, 1700, 2100, Quad band GSM/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900
- HSDPA 14.4Mbps, HSUPA: 5.76Mbps
- ARM Cortex-A8 OMAP3630 1 Ghz, PowerVR SGX530
- 3.9″ WVGA (854×480) AMOLED display with curved Gorilla glass, no air gap, anti-glare polarizer
- MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan OS
- 1GB RAM, 16GB/64GB storage
- 8Mpix (f2.2) auto-focus Carl Zeiss, wide-angle lens, 2x LED flash
- Video capturing MPEG-4 SP 720p @ 30fps
- 2nd camera for video calls
- Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, A-GPS, WLAN 802.11abgn, NFC, 3.5mm AV connector, micro USB connector, USB charging
- Colors: black, magenta, cyan
- Weight: 135g
- Battery: 1450mAh
Ok right off the bat, the 720p video recording is inferior to the N8. It won’t even do 720p video playback. I’m not seeing any sort of HDMI out as well unless there’s an NFC display readily available. No microSD slot so if you need one you’d get the 64GB version instead. No FM radio? Hmmm is that feature already obsolete? Then there’s also the lack of Flash support which could be a deal-breaker these days.
It’s not all bad though. Nokia claims that the camera on this one is the fastest to shoot among mobile phones and the f2.2 will surely help under low light conditions. The build on this one looks really good and Nokia is saying that this build allows superior antenna performance resulting to better reception and voice quality as well as reduced drop calls. And it’s a really stylish phone you’ll be proud to show off.
As for the MeeGo OS, it still has a lot of room for improvement on the UI. Do note that it’s still in the infant stage so expect some bugs and a lot of updates. At least it covered the basics, Facebook and Twitter integration, Skype, and Nokia Maps.
So what do you think of the Nokia N9? Are you excited about it? Or should Nokia stick to Symbian while their WP7 phones are still cooking?