Nokia Launches MeeGo-Powered N9

Nokia has launched its N9 smartphone – the only one of its handsets that will run the Linux-based MeeGo operating system.

MeeGo, announced in February 2010 as a collaboration between Nokia and Intel, was laid aside a year later in favour of Windows Phone 7 in a wide-reaching deal between Nokia and Microsoft.The N9 is a replacement for the comapny’s Linux based tablet series, which includes the Nokia N900, and has previously only been seen in leaked photos.

Windows Phone

Even as it launched the N9, Nokia made it clear that observers should keep their attention focused on the future Windows Phone strategy, with chief executive Stephen Elop telling a conference in Singapore that the first Windows handset is due this year.

Supposed N9 leaked photo included a keyboard

“I have increased confidence that we will launch our first device based on the Windows platform later this year and we will ship our product in volume in 2012,” Elop said, according to a Reuters report.

The deal means that developers wanting to target the N9 will have to write applications solely for that device, since Nokia’s other handsets will all run Windows Phone 7 or Symbian. MeeGo also runs on the N950, a developer-only handset.

N9 applications will be available from the Nokia Ovi application store. Nokia said applications for social networks such as Twitter are available.

Among the N9’s features is a polycarbonate casing, something Nokia said will improve the phone’s reception, a 3.9-inch curved AMOLED screen with a 480×854-pixel resolution.

‘Swipe’

The phone has no buttons, with users returning to the home screen via a ‘swipe’ gesture, Nokia said.

The handset uses a 1GHz processor with 1GB of RAM memory. Some recent high-end phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S 2 or HTC Sensation, use dual-core processors.

The N9 features an 8-megapixel camera with a maximum aperture of f2.2 and a dual LED flash, improving low-light images. The handset can record 720p video.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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