Nokia yesterday announced its first Meego device called the N9. Built out of plastic which Nokia is touting as an industrial-grade polycarbonate variety, the phone looks spectacular, displaying none of the cheapness usually associated with plastic body phones. The main specifications include a 1GHz TI OMAP 3630 processor with 1 GB RAM along with a PowerVR SGX530 GPU, as well as 16 or 64 GB of inbuilt memory. It also features an 8 MP AF camera with F2.2 aperture for low light shots and real 16:9 720p video recording. The display is a 3.9 inch Clear Black AMOLED display with stunning viewing angles and more than sufficient outdoor legibility in bright sunlight. Comparisons with the Incredible S showed that the N9 more than held its own against the Super LCD equipped device, which has been much praised for its crisp display.
The phone is encased in a unibody shell which means that the 1450 mAh battery (quoted at 11 hours of GSM talk time) is not user replaceable. Also noticeably missing is a MicroSD slot, which has presumably been omitted in favor of inbuilt Flash memory. Surprisingly, Nokia has decided to go with a micro SIM slot (thankfully hot swappable) which is found only in the Apple iPhone 4 as of now. The UI is based on Meego 1.2, on top of which Nokia has added a theme called Harmattan. It features three homescreens, the first of which is a central application launcher, the second displays events and notifications (calls, calendar events and social networking updates) and the third is an application switcher. Each of these screens can be accessed by flicking the screen on either side. Tapping twice on the screen brings you out of an application back to the home screen.
What is surprising is that Meego 1.2 works exceedingly well on a somewhat dated Texas Instruments OMAP3630 processor, with fluid and slick animations and graphics without a hint of lag. Most analysts have been extremely impressed with the Meego UI, and many have questioned Nokia’s decision to go with Windows Phone 7 instead of Meego, which seems to have matured into an intuitive and elegant OS. Sources have also revealed an N950 developer device, which had earlier been touted as the first Meego device in 2009, also called the N9. Though the device was declared as shelved by Nokia a few months ago and never saw the light of day, it seems to have been converted into a developer device featuring a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Nokia said that the developer version is unlikely to ship, and if it does, will be a beta device only. Other features include a screen of 4.5 inch TFT LCD variety with 854×480 resolution, a somewhat inferior 1320 mAh battery and an 8MP camera.
Nokia expects to launch the N9 by the end of 2011 and will ship in three colours- magenta, black and cyan. With the radio expected to be penta-band WCDMA and quad-band GSM, the phone will work on all networks around the world.