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


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.

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Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
Nokia N9 gets countdown clock to September 23 release
nokia debuts n9 the first and last meego phone 1200 06

Nokia is building up some hype for its Nokia N9 by posting an official countdown clock. Of course this clock can only be found on the company’s Swedish page, so it is hard to tell as of right now if that means the device will be launching just in Sweden or globally on September 23. We will have 49 more days to for the exact details of the launch to come out.
It is pretty curious to see Nokia bring some attention to its misfit Meego device. When the N9 was first announced, it was showered with praise for several reasons. Not just for how stunningly-beautiful the device was, but for its fresh take on user interface. Not counting the volume and power buttons, there are no buttons on the N9. All interaction with the phone is done through the touch screen, and utilizing the swipe movement. You will notice on the countdown page that it talks a lot about swiping, even in Swedish.
The reason it’s interesting to see the N9 getting attention is that it is a platform that really has no future with Nokia. Nokia is placing its smartphone future in the hands of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. About the same time, the N9 was soaking up all that praise, there also just so happened to be a video “leaked” showing off Nokia’s first WP7 device. Nokia is calling the WP7 prototype the "Sea Ray," but we don't think that name will stick to production.
Even with all of the hype around the beautiful device and simple UI, it is hard to imagine the N9 being an overly popular phone. This is unfortunate because it looks amazing and MeeGo looks simply elegant. Hopefully there will be lots of early adopters and developer support so we can see Megoo thrive.

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Nokia ‘Sea Ray’ Windows Phone surfaces in leaked video

Microsoft and Nokia's partnership is a chance for both companies to start over and redefine themselves in the smartphone space. So far, we like what we're seeing. Windows Phone Mango is shaping up quite nicely and one of Nokia's first phones running Microsoft's OS will be the 'Sea Ray,' which this video gives us a good look at, courtesy of wpcentral. While there's nothing earth shattering about the phone's design, it looks pretty sleek and should stand out among the hordes of big-screened phones that dominate the U.S. market.

This video, which is unverified in origin and authenticity, was likely shot in a development factory in China or Hong Kong and shows a version of Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) that looks to be close to a finished release. This is build 7710, according to wpcentral's sources, which include a foreign message board called wpxap.

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Hands-on with Intel’s line of Atom-based tablets, including the MeeGo WeTab
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The cellphone revolution of the last 10 years has been amazing and the influx of smartphones and tablets that now crowd our shelves are challenging the ways we compute. Unfortunately for Intel, all of these new devices are powered by ARM processors, not Intel chips. Sure, Intel is still dominating when it comes to PCs, but PCs aren't the growing market anymore. At Computex in May, Intel debuted 10 new tablets, all running on its Atom chip architecture. Some of these tablets were on display in at the CE Week Line Show in New York yesterday, where I took a gander at Intel's best stab at tablets. The most notable manufacturers in the bunch are Fujitsu and Viewsonic, followed by Motion with its CL900, which was a bit thicker than I remembered, though its built for the outdoors. Sadly, I don't think having Intel Inside will save many of these tablets.
I am fairly convinced that none of the 10 tablets shown will make a big splash in North America. Perhaps elsewhere, but not here. If Intel's goal was to show off the range of devices that can run on its chips, then mission accomplished. Devices ranged in size from tiny 7-inch models to the monstrous 11.6-inch WeTab. Operating systems also varied. Android, Windows 7, and MeeGo tablets were shown. One of them can even dual-boot Android and Windows, if that's the kind of thing you think you might be into.

The MeeGo WeTab is particularly interesting. MeeGo can take many shapes, but this one is different from any other operating system I've seen. Like Windows Phone, it has a square grid of tiles that you can scroll through. These aren't Live Tiles that animate and show relevant information; they're just static square shortcuts, but there are a lot of them. The tablet is designed for two-handed use. You can scroll through the icons by sliding your right thumb down the right sidebar, which has a miniature version of the homepage on it. Other buttons for the Internet, Keyboard, Manual, and other options are also on the sidebar.
Once you enter an application, its custom controls appear on the left side of the screen. It's a very neat idea, but the overall execution is lacking. The screen was unresponsive and the experience felt almost too flat. Everything I would ever want to do was on the screen. It was a strange feeling. There's no such thing as digging through this computer. Everything is on the surface. Or that's how it appears at first use, at least. The Intel representative goes through some of the MeTab use model in the video below.

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