Nokia debuts N9, the first — and last — MeeGo phone

Nokia-N9-feature

Nokia today unveiled its new N9 handset at the Nokia Connection event in Singapore. The stunning device runs on the Nokia-made MeeGo operating system. But with the Finland-based phone-maker set to move entirely to the Windows Phone 7 OS later this year, the N9 will be both the first and a last MeeGo-based device from Nokia. Fortunately, the sleek and nimble N9 lets MeeGo come in and out with a bang.

The N9 boasts unibody design, meaning the case is all one piece, and is made “from the best in polycarbonate material engineering today,” says Nokia. (Read: plastic) The N9 sports a 854×480 AMOLED display that measures 3.9 inches — slightly larger than Apple’s iPhone 4, but nearly half an inch smaller than some of the behemoth Android-based handsets we’ve seen arrive in the past year. Nokia offers the N9 in three colors: black, cyan and magenta.

Nokia-N9-tallNokia is marketing the N9 as a “pure touch screen” device, with no front-facing buttons whatsoever. (There are various buttons on the side.) Instead, the N9 makes full use of MeeGo’s swipe-based user interface, which Nokia says “is an intuitive way to use all the different features and functions.” To return to the home screen, for instance, users simply swipe their finger across the edge of the phone’s screen; to unlock it, just tap the screen three times. Nokia has also given the N9 a new web browser built on WebKit 2, with “wide” HTML 5 support. And a new version of Nokia Maps is included, with built-in turn-by-turn navigation, as well as directions for public transportation.

Inside, a 1GHz TI OMAP 3630 processor powers the N9, and a PowerVR SGX530 graphics card gives it some moderate gaming guts. In other words, it’s not the most powerful phone out there — the GPU is used in the Droid X, Droid 2 and Pre 2, for instance — but it’s not underpowered either. A 1450 mAh battery gives about seven hours of talk time. The N9 also comes with either 16GB or 64GB storage capacities.

What it may lack in dual-core goodness, the N9 makes up for in other ‘superphone’ categories. Its 8 MP camera comes equipped with a wide-angle (28mm) Zeiss lens, which allows for HD video caputre. Nokia also claims that the N9’s camera is faster than any other on the market, “from launch to focus to capture.” (Unfortunately for Nokia, the N9 may lose that title when Apple releases iOS 5, which is supposed to greatly reduce iPhone camera load time.) The N9 also sports Dolby Headphone and Dolby Digital Plus support for some sweet surround sound enhancement. And the N9 comes NFC-enabled, making it possible to enjoy in the next-generation “digital wallet” payment systems that are slowly gaining momentum here in the US.

Release date and price of the N9 have not yet been announced.

Photography

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…
Mobile

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?
Mobile

Apple sends out invites for October hardware event, new iPad Pro expected

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.
Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Mobile

Sams's Club offers $100 gift cards for iPhone XR pre-orders

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.
Product Review

Amazon’s child-friendly tablet is the complete package

Kids are tough on electronics and it’s difficult to police screen time and manage what they’re doing. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition could be the affordable answer to your prayers, with a rugged case and worry-free warranty.
Mobile

It’s about time! A USB-C magnetic charger for the Apple Watch has finally arrived

While most of the buzz surrounding Apple has been about the iPhone XR, the company also introduced a new Apple Watch accessory. Starting October 24, a USB-C magnetic charger will be available for purchase.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Mobile

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs. P20 Pro: Which 2018 Huawei flagship is best for you?

If you're tempted by Huawei's latest flagship, the Mate 20 Pro, but you're uncertain how it differs from the P20 Pro which Huawei released earlier this year, then we have you covered. Find out exactly what sets these two phones apart.
Product Review

Simple, smart, and affordable, Google’s USB-C earbuds are a must-buy

Google’s follow-up to its wireless Pixel Buds are the wired Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. It’s the simpler route, but the earbuds are still smart, deliver good sound, and -- best of all -- they’re affordable.
Mobile

Strapped after your latest smartphone purchase? Check out our favorite MVNOs

Looking to switch from a major carrier to something a little more affordable? Luckily, there are a ton of great MVNO options to choose from. Check out our guide to the best MVNOs, from Boost Mobile to Google Project Fi.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the iPhone XS, Apple’s finest camera phone yet

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max feature the best cameras yet seen on an Apple smartphone, ready for you to get out and take great photos. Here's our guide to help ensure each shot you take is a winner.
Mobile

If you're light on memory, these are the best lite apps for Android and iOS

Looking to save data, storage, and reduce performance issues? Lite apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are the best options. Here's our roundup of lite apps and PWAs for all the most popular apps on the market.