Back when we reviewed the Nokia N900 we really only wanted a few major improvements. A faster SoC, slightly thinner and more compact hardware, and more of Maemo Linux. It's been a long wait since then, and Nokia has changed its lineup, canceled the original N900 successor, taken on a new CEO, and rebooted itself under the Windows Phone 7 umbrella.

Those of us that wanted a smartphone running real bona-fide linux seemed destined to be waiting forever. Today however, Nokia officially announced the Nokia N9 and N950 at its Nokia Connection event in Singapore. 

The N9 runs MeeGo, which as you likely know by now is the combination of Nokia's Maemo and Intel Moblin. MeeGo in smartphone form has something we've been waiting patiently for. The N9's industrial design looks nothing short of stunning, though all of the photos of the device so far appear to be renders and not actually physical hardware.

What's unique about the N9 is that the front of the device is buttonless, virtually everything is accomplished by tapping on the capacitive touchscreen, including unlocking the device. There's still volume, power, and camera buttons however. 

Nokia really seems to have spent a lot of time working on UI for MeeGo as evidenced by an interesting three home screen design, emphasis on using the swipe gesture to change applications, and pinch gestures for getting a multi-window view. The three home screens are purpose-designed for launching applications, viewing open applications and multitasking, and managing events such as news and messages. 

The N9 is polycarbonate plastic and unibody construction, and is sans-keyboard. Its cousin is the similarly-specced N950, which is a non-retail developer device that looks like what remains of the original N9. There are anumber of small differences between the N9 and the N950, chief among which is inclusion of a hardware QWERTY keyboard and aluminum construction, thanks again to Simon for finding these differences and tipping me on them. 

Nokia Device Specifications
  Nokia N9 Nokia N950
Height 116.45 mm (4.58") (?)
Width 61.2 mm (2.41") (?)
Depth 7.6 - 12.1 mm (0.3" - 0.48") (?)
Weight 135 g (4.76 oz) (?)
CPU TI OMAP 3630 @ 1 GHz TI OMAP 3630 @ 1 GHz
GPU PowerVR SGX 530 PowerVR SGX 530
RAM 1 GB LPDDR 1 GB LPDDR
NAND 16GB or 64GB integrated 16GB or 64GB integrated
Camera 8MP Carl Zeiss 16:9 F/2.2 with Dual LED flash and 720P video capture, Front Facing (?MP) 8MP with Dual LED flash and 720P video capture, Front Facing (?MP)
Screen 3.9" FWVGA (854x480) AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 4.0" FWVGA (854x480) LCD-TFT
Battery 1450 mAh Integrated(?) 1320 mAh
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n
NFC Yes No
Sensors Accelerometer, Compass, Proximity, Ambient Light "N9 has a slightly more sensitive magnetometer and ALS"
OS MeeGo 1.2 Hartmattan MeeGo 1.2 Hartmattan

The two devices also have pentaband WCDMA support and quad band GSM/EDGE support, though there's no word on what cellular baseband is at the core of everything. In addition, the N9 includes NFC support, though Nokia hasn't specifically stated whether all three NFC modes are supported. In all likelihood this is assumed now given NFC chipset maturity. 

Though the SoC seems dated for a device that still isn't released yet, it's a definite improvement over the N900's 600 MHz OMAP 3430. 

Nokia N9/N950- Network Support
GSM/EDGE Support 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA Support 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
HSDPA/HSUPA Speeds HSDPA 14.4 / 5.7 Mbps
Baseband Hardware (?)

The device looks solid, though there's no word on a specific release date or pricing, just "later this year." Nokia has provided a quick specifications PDF, and more information on their conversations blog and website

POST A COMMENT

39 Comments

View All Comments

  • Sarveshvara - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    I have Nokia E72 and the battery lasts more than 10 days on standby. Reply
  • pandemonium - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    Buy a new battery maybe? Reply
  • theinvisibleduck - Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - link

    My N8 lasts almost a week if I have it on power saving mode. Of course then I have to deal with 2G which isnt so fun. Reply
  • halcyon - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Because Nokia has been the king of missing launch cycles for the past 4 years or so.

    It was supposed to come out in Q3/Q4/2010, not in Q4/2011, what it is going to be now.

    Yes, OMAP3 is very outdated, but in Q3/2010 it might have been ok.

    A year later, it's a sad excuse for a SoC, esp. the GPU part - Maemo or no Maemo.

    If you look at the demo videos closely, you'll see that even the 3D scroll in Nokia maps is awfully choppy by modern days standards.

    ...

    And to the person who thinks Nokia is the king of the hill on battery run-times.

    That's ancient history.

    Take a look at any recent Nokia mobile phone test and you'll see that that they clearly lose out to iPhone, best of WP and best of Android phones in video playback, gsm talk times and overall run-times.

    And all this with so much lower speed CPUs.

    Nokia has really mediocre battery run-times these days. Far away from the best.
    Reply
  • aldiswilson - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link


    ONLINE STORE :
    www styl eown com
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1) More pictures available on our website --
    3) Perfect quality, small order accepted .
    4) 100% safe door to door delivery, within 5 - 7 days air express for small orders .
    5) We have lots of jerseys in stock
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    www style own com
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6) Letters and number are sewn on b2cshop body, 100% embroidery
    7) Size: .48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 60
    8) Delivery by UPS, DHL, EMS door to door
    9) Delivery in 5 - 7 days
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NFL,NBA,MLB all are 18usd!!!!
    Reply
  • aalbionthomas - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link


    ONLINE STORE :
    www styl eown com
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1) More pictures available on our website --
    3) Perfect quality, small order accepted .
    4) 100% safe door to door delivery, within 5 - 7 days air express for small orders .
    5) We have lots of jerseys in stock
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    www styl eown com
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6) Letters and number are sewn on b2cshop body, 100% embroidery
    7) Size: .48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 60
    8) Delivery by UPS, DHL, EMS door to door
    9) Delivery in 5 - 7 days
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NFL,NBA,MLB all are 18usd!!!!
    Reply
  • juuvan - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    sure we have open alternatives. Just not very well known.

    http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Main_Page

    and it has quite powerful hw update in the works too

    http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/GTA04
    Reply
  • microlithx - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    OpenMoko is a stillborn project. The N900 was as close as we've come to an open handset, an N900 with MeeGo N900CE even closer. Reply
  • juuvan - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    care to back up this with something?

    Colleague of mine is running Freerunner Neo as his work phone, and I'm planning to buy one of the kits based upon GTA4 when those come available. Neo can be obtained for 200€ with hardware JTAG support.

    Only one's creativity limits what you one do by it. It's not for app writers nor marketplacers, but for serious developers or people who want to be sure their mobile is not phoning home every other second.
    Reply
  • microlithx - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Because the Freerunner hardware is ages behind what is otherwise available on the market. GPRS for data at best, which is sad, and lackluster battery life.

    The GTA04 has yet to see the light of day, and at their current pace -might- have EDGE support.

    The N900, combined with the MeeGo CE, is a device whose OS is fully in control of the owner, and has been on the market for the better part of two years.

    I'll be amazed if the GTA04 ever gets off the ground, and even more amazed if it's anywhere near equivalent to phones from two years ago.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now