Nokia N9 – The World's first Pure Touchscreen Smartphone

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The Nokia N9 has been announced at the ongoing Nokia Connection 2011, and we present you the full specifications here.

  • Networks: Pentaband WCDMA 850, 900, 1900, 1700, 2100, Quad band GSM/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • Speed: HSDPA Cat10: 14.4Mbps, HSUPA: Cat6 5.76Mbps
  • Display: 3.9” WVGA (854×480 pixels) AMOLED display with curved Gorilla glassTM, no air gap, anti-glare polarizer
  • OS: MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan
  • Memory: 1024MB RAM, 16GB/64GB storage
  • Camera: 8Mpix auto-focus Carl Zeiss, wide-angle lens, 2x LED flash, Video capturing MPEG-4 SP 720p @ 30fps, 2nd camera for video calls
  • Size / Weight: 116.45 mm x 61.2 mm x 7.6–12.1 mm (L x W x T) / 76 cm3/ 135 g
  • Connectivity: BT 2.1, GPS, A-GPS, WLAN 802.11abgn, NFC, 3.5mm AV connector, micro USB connector, USB charging
  • Processor: ARM Cortex-A8 OMAP3630 1 Ghz, PowerVR SGX530
  • Audio: MP3 player, Audio jack: 3.5mm, Supported codecs: mp3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, FLAC.
  • Battery: 1450 mAh
  • Web Browser: fast browser based on Webkit2 technology and HTML5 compliant
  • Miscellaneous: NFC-enabled. Qt-based UI. Unibody design. No front buttons at all. Latest Nokia Maps. Dolby sound. Wi-Fi Hotspot turns your Nokia N9 into a mobile modem.

The lack of a front button is interesting, making the N9 the world’s first pure touchscreen smartphone. Everything is done with a swipe. To leave an app and go back to the home screen, the user swipes from the edge of the screen. Head over to swipe.Nokia.com for a demo.

Another first on any mobile phone is Dolby Headphone and Dolby Digital Plus support which turns regular stereo audio into personal surround sound on any headphones. Music buffs should try this one out.

Nokia also claim that the “N9 has the fastest camera on any phone ­– from launch to focus to capture. As great moments come and go in an instant, this means you never miss a shot.” This camera is one that I am looking forward to trying out.

Availability and Pricing?
Nokia say it will be available “later this year”, which is not saying anything, really.

In the meantime, I love the specs as presented here. I love the design of the phone. The N9 is sexy, has great hardware, and seems to have an amazing user interface.

How about you? What do you think of the N9?

41 comments

  1. One thing going for the Nokia N9 is it’s design. This is a beautiful phone. Nothing wrong with being able to make a fashion statement with a smartphone.

    On the specs side, while quite a number of them are new for Nokia, I do not think that this will disrupt anything industry wise. If anything is going to disrupt the industry, it is the S40 phone also just announced.

  2. ‘The lack of a front button is interesting, making the N9 the world’s first pure touchscreen smartphone’

    This minimalist design approach is smart.

    Apart from the ‘menu’ button on my Nokia5800, I hardly ever touch / use the other physical buttons present on the phone (call, end, camera, screenlock/unlock and power).

    They are largely redundant for me.

    I make use of software to auto-power off, and auto change profile, lock/unlock the phone.
    The screen menu option is used to invoke the camera, activate / end a call.

    Less buttons, less weight/cost, less things to go wrong,
    Good thinking, Nokia !

  3. Dayo,

    Don’t focus on the specs, because we are in an age in which it’s not specs that cause disruptions. The focus is the UX. The iPhone was bare on features when it launched, but had a good user experience.

    The N9 is one up the iPhone, which Steve Jobs praised for having very few buttons. This one actually needs no buttons for navigating the UI.

    I read a report of how an NFC-compatible Bluetooth headset was paired with the N9 by touching the headset to the body of the phone. Touching it again unpaired it. What? That’s magic.

    I’ll find the links and put up more info, but I think that bit was from GSMArena’s report.

    The N9 is not going to disrupt the industry in terms of sales – we all know that, but the N9 is an example of the direction that the future of mobile is heading. Hopefully, Nokia will be able to implement this same fluidity and advancements on their other products.

  4. I totally love the specs of the Nokia N9 and the fact that Nokia hasn’t totally abandoned the Meego OS. I was kinda hoping that Nokia had a WP7 device to announce and maybe changes to the S40 OS as speculated by a few tech sites.

  5. Their is something I have noticed about Nokia that they changed the hardware features when they launch a new model but the software features remains the same and this is kind of annoying. I think this cell phone will based on something like iphone which is a totally app based cell phone.

  6. Yes, Eyebeekay, Nokia isn’t dead. This is a good one. But let’s see how fast they can put it on the shelves for sales.

    Another point to note is that Nokia is now finally catching upo with other manufacturers on the Specs on their phones. IGB CPU and 1 GB RAM? That’s Huge in Nokia terms! and it should nicely translate to fast and lovely UI. Good way to go!!

    1. wont this stepping up to the realm of 1gig ram/ CPU affect the always admired battery life on nokia devices? just saying with the opportunity to throw in more apps, running then simultaneously , may reduce the battery life to btw 4-5hrs of heavy use.
      there is an app for the swipe action on android devices, though its good to see it implemented in meego here.
      the next generation nexus phone, nexus s 4G is also expected not to have any button . but I must confess, nokia is really stepping up their game in the touch screen arena. the N9 will not distrupt the market but will be mentioned amongst top devices of 2011. my only worries are with meego apps , how many are there?

  7. Sure Nokia isn’t likely going to cause any disruption in the mobile space, but they certainly can slow down the rate at which they are losing market share to other big players.

  8. This what I have been waiting 4. I didn’t go 4 N8 cause I had de feeling dat something bigger is comming. Now I can say de wait was whatt it. The rainy days r over and harmattan is here. I will my best to lay my hands on dis phone. Furnish us with de price whenever it is available.

  9. Yomi,

    Kindly confirm. I am reading that the N9 will use Micro SIM card instead of the normal one. Also read that there is no Micro SD card slot for expanding the memory.

    If this is true, someone please help us tell Nokia that this is not an IPhone.

  10. For me, this gats to be Nokia’s best designed phone to date. Just when I was thinking of making the C7 my last Nokia phone before the release of Nokia’s WP7 devices, this MEEGO of a guy showed up. Just hoping the cost will not be on the high side when released.

  11. I love this phone but my main problem is the mising hardware qwerty and the micro sim, for the qwerty i feel we have been compensated by the usb on the go but for the micro sim i can only hope mtn and thier rivals will allow us purchase the sim with out a bundled device.
    Before anyone ask i know about the developer device and i wish it was also finalised for consumers.

  12. for me the N8 with its 12mega pixel is still the love for multimedia geeks like me,how ever the N9 is a dangerous spoiler,not with its NFC-oh my God,NFC can i live with out the convergence of the e-life.the N9 indeed shows that nokia chose,deliberately the broad way.i know yomi would be smiling.that reminds me,does this meego lady accepts symbian?yomi pls

  13. Yomi its shayman not shaman :)……lets wait and see what happens…interesting developments cause even if nokia announces a WP7 Today, its gonna ve this same specs or thereabout…so the ultimate choice for people will be the OS not the hardware since its same nokia!

  14. Gentlemen, please don’t throw stones at me, but I maintain that touch screens are not made for Nigeria. The screens always malfunction after 6 months and naturally, good luck finding who can fix it. I will stick to the old fahioned keys and joystick anyday. Touch screens are too fragile, can they stand falling down, an occasional swim in our beers or glass cups or Junior’s bite. I forgot the common one which is being sat on. I have another one will it stand the harmattan dust lol.

    1. Emeka, it just means you’ve experienced only phones with inferior touchscreens!! A phone with a quality touchscreen will work well anywhere in the world.

      I used a full-touchscreen Samsung Wave from September 2010 to February this year, and sold it without any cracks or scratches on the screen.

      I’m currently using the Nokia N8 with a 3.5 inch touchscreen, and it has yet to experience a scatch on the screen, despite falling down at least once a week.

  15. @Emeka, there are at least THREE statements you made up there that I can argue with till eternity, but I won’t !

    If I am good at throwing things, I probably would throw a BOULDER at you 😉

    You said,

    ‘…The screens always malfunction after 6 months…’

    Mba! ALWAYS? I have been using one (Nokia5800) for about two years. Still serving. My wife had been using a Nokia 5230 for close to that long. Still ok!

    ‘…good luck finding who can fix it…’

    I know for a fact that my touchscreen is about N3, 000. Can be replaced in10 minutes, bro! Dead easy!

    ‘Touch screens are too fragile, can they stand falling down’
    Yes, they CAN, and they DO. You would be surprised (I would not know about other makes / brands o)

    ‘ will it stand the harmattan dust ‘

    Yes, sir – they do. Those screens are haemetically sealed. Not a speck of start can get in.As for sitting on it, which phone is designed to be SAT on? If you sit on your phone, be ready to spill some CASH!

    As for going for a swim with your phone on you, maybe the phone manufacturers will do something – waterproof phones, PLEASE! Why not?

  16. Well gentlemen, it appears my arguments have one basic flaw, all the phones you mentioned are manufactured by Nokia while the phone that made me make that post is the Blackberry Storm 2. I appologise to my fellow Nokia fans, but for the Blackberry Storm 2, I stand my grounds. No phone is designed to be sat on, but many of us here will make that mistake before August this year.

  17. i love the nokia n9 good design extremely great concept nokia has just shown the way to the future of mobile communication the world is watching good work nokia you guys are still the best and yet unbeatable

  18. Gestures, swipes and touch seem to be the increasingly prevalent way to control devices these days.

    See http://goo.gl/byQVC for an imaginative use of the accelerometer.

    You can shake a phone to do almost anything you wish through software (say- change music track), use the proximity sensor for anything you fancy (say – lock/ unlock your phone screen),.flip over a phone (to silence a call)

    There could come a time when an application / OS feature – would be developed that allows the user to define what to do with these gestures and swypes.

    Some Symbian examples of imaginative use of the accelerometer are ‘ Angle Neter’, Level Touch’ , .SeismoGraph’ (all developed by Offscreen Technologies.

    ‘Phone Lock’ makes ingenious use of your proximity sensor to nsure your never touch your phone_lock_switch again..

  19. @eyebeekay, thanks for the link. Quite enlightening . Guess the N9 and other meego devices up coming are going to have loads of apps available easily. Makes it more attractive to me.
    @Emeka, why would you for any of the bb storms if interested in a touch screen phone? Didn’t you read reviews or even gather user opinions before buying? They are just terrible. Try any phone with super amoled screen, you will be glad you did.

  20. @Eyebeekay, sadly there will be very few meego apps available because from what I understand, that Operating system’s development has been truncated by the marriage between Microsoft and Nokia. I even heard that the head of development for Meego quit because of that ‘unholy union’ Many who worked on the meego OS have either been laid off or been reassigned. Rather than promote this OS (Meego), Nokia decided to hit the self destruct button.

  21. @Emeka >> ‘…., sadly there will be very few meego apps available because…’

    Well, users of Meego devices will just have to make do with the retrofitted Android apps, I suppose!
    Meego is basically for nerds, looking to attempt the ‘impossible’ – for kicks!

    Besides, Nokia may change its plan about decapitating Meego (I think Meego represents thei Plan B)… What Microsoft or Nokia eventually decides they ate strange bedfellows? Divorce is a fact-o-life!

  22. The unveiling of the n9 revealed something to us all. Elop has not been truthful about the true state of MeeGo. we were made to believe that it was not ready not fit for purpose and buggy. but from review and the very positive reception the device is receiving even from traditional Nokia critics, we now know someone in Nokia spread FUD about the state of MeeGo so as to discredit it as an option. IMHO There is no way elop can claim not to be working in the interest of MS.
    The release of the N9 cancelled out every reason Nokia had to go for WP7.

    Cost of R & D:

    The meego team has always been small, highly motivated, (and sometimes even a fanatical bunch) These was the team that produced the N900 even though on tight budget, and next to zero marketing yet were able to bring up a decent (albeit geek centric device) The N9 was even produced by an even smaller team, with an even smaller budget. in an atmosphere where motivation was hard to come by, with the resignation of key developers, team managers. and the Announcement of the Obituary of their platform even before the world got to see the fruit of their labour. In anything the spirit exhibited by the meego development team is one which is needed by Nokia in this trying times. The N9 has proved that going meego does not require the huge amount of R & D budget. Mainly you are working with open source tools. webkit, telepathy, linux kernel, Xserver, Qt etc. all the components have active free (libre) software projects have active communities of hackers working and developing them (independent of Nokia) everyday. Nokia just have to tap from that fountain for building its platform.

    Fit for Purpose:
    One of the reason given my Elop for dumbing meego for wp7 was the fact that meego was just not ready for prime time. we were made to believe it was buggy, crashy and just not ready for the average consumer. This FUD was first disproved by a meego hacker in his post “Committed to Linux ” he started (among other things) that

    ” I cannot understand what’s the point of saying that MeeGo will be an R&D project when it’s not.. it’s like taking a teenager and trying to squeeze him into a baby’s cradle. Either you kill him more or less explicitly, or you take him out, let him grow and give him a chance to be a hero. We are going to have the best phone in the market this year. It might not be perfect, …but all the premises for a brilliant future are there. And people will love it” http://blog.mardy.it/2011/02/committed-to-linux.html

    And he was right. There has been an avalanche of praise for meego since its release of the N9. everyone from Engadget, to thisismynext, to gizmodo, to gsmarena just name it. Not since the release of the N95 (some 5 years ago) has any nokia product been met by this kind of iphonish enthusiasm and price. I am yet to meet someone who has got to preview the n9 and has something bad to say about meego. which brings me to the question: How could Elop have seen all thise awesomeness and still preached the meego is not ready message? If the device very much in development can be this good, one can only imagine how good it would be when it is released sometimes in September.

    In ability to Innovate and Differentiate speedily on meego: Today the N9 is the only touch only device out there. the first and only device without any button. One of the key selling factor of the iphone when it was released was it having just one button (compared to nokia symbian devices of that time which cramps in as many buttons as possible) The N9 went one further than the iphone and got ride of all buttons. You have a device with a very unique UI paradigm. A UI that brings a whole new meaning to keeping things simple and easy to you. Built using Qt and in under 9 months? What else can we ask for? Imagine shipping meego with the N9 UI on a tablet? pure awesomeness. Yes the N9 proved that Nokia can indeed innovate and differentiate with meego more so than they can do with wp7. meego has allowed them to differentiate with their own skin layer. Their own unique user experience. I can not remember the last time Nokia a now UI experience got unanimous praise from often cynical tech press.

    Ability to Downscale to mid Tier.
    One of the argument used by Elop again meego was the ability to bring meego devices down to the mid tier market. The question I would love to ask is, what defines a high end device? where is the line btw high end and mid tier? is it hardware design and features? is it processing power? or is it software offering? comparatively (to what is going on in the android world) the N9 can hardly be described as a high end device. Its built with plastic (yeah even if polycarbonate) It comes with an 8 megapixel camera (Nokia’s current flagship the N8 ships with 12mp) It comes with 1ghz CPU, when latest highend android device are talking about dual core CPU (The galaxy 2 has dual cpu clocked at 1.2ghz and word on the street is that there is a 1.4 dual core galaxy S2 in the pileline) The N9 comes with the same GPU as the 2 year old N900 (at a time where everyone is going Nvidia Tegra). To put things in perspective, the N9 shipped with the processing power equivalent of the iphone 3GS. Yet most reviewers were blown away by the share speed, and smoothness of the device ( which is no surprise since much of the software is native code and not harmpared by the resource overhead of managing a runtime (cough Android, Java). . Replace the 8 megapixel with 5 non carl zesis optics, replace the gorilla glass with something normal, use normal LCD in place of amoled, take out the curve glass. maybe even downclock the cpu to 800mhz and you have yourself a mid tier device. The Nokia N8, N7 and N6 have essentially the same processing power, even though each is targeted at different tiers of market. I don’t see anything stopping Nokia from shipping meego at least in the mid tier market and in different device configuration. I am not alone as Felipe Contreras (A meego developer) hold same view http://felipec.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/my-disagreement-with-elop-on-meego. We should also remember that MS already have a strict minimum hardware requirement for WP7 devices which by its self restrict the amount of flexibility an OEM has to push the device further down the market.

    Ecosystem:

    The kernel for moving to wp7 by Nokia was to join a better ecosystem. I find this very ironic because if you want a better ecosystem then one would expect nokia to gravitate towards android. wp7 since it’s release last year has just about 3.5 million devices (world wide) and the app store is still under 10,000 apps (I stand to be corrected) in fact if the best thing to have happened to your ecosystem is having Nokia agree to ship your OS after you paid them about 1 billion dollars then you know you have a problem. The recention of wp7 has been lukewarm to say this list. IMHO Meego as a platform stand a better chance than wp7. For one meego is based on Qt which is the best toolkit for creating cross platform applications. Nokia already developed QML the Qt Modeling Language, based on javascript QML aim is to allow developers an easy way to create great UIs for mobile phones. The good thing about Qt is that it is supported in both symbian, meego, windows (PC) Mac and Linux, and we are now hearing of plans to bring support for s40 phones. Nokia already created QT Quick,the UI creation kit. Many developers who have tried Qml have been amazed at the easy with which it allows for the creation of great and fluid touch interfaces. Considering the range of support and the else of application creation. Meego did stand a chance at having a much bigger ecosystem compared to what you have with wp7. At least Nokia would have their fate in their hands.

    I personally don’t think Elop even tried to consider meego as a viable option for nokia, he came to nokia with a midset of bring in wp7. Meego as it stands today even in pre release form already does more than what you can get with the over a year old wp7. gsmarena discribed it as having the best copy and paste experience they have ever seen in a mobile OS, and many have discribed the way multitasking is implemented as phenomena. And that to the way notification is handled, and the mind blowing swipe UI. all of which is running in an open platform which would give users the freedom to get under the hood and make the device “theirs” It is sad to see the first OS to give android a run for its money thrown under a bus.

    Even though I don’t see Nokia changing their mind about meego anytime soon (lots of brigdes as been burnt, developers thrown under the bus, and trust lost) I still will get a meego phone. I know at the very least the community will raise up to the challenge has they have done with the N900, and the N810 before it. That would be enough for me.

  23. Nokia N9 is going nowhere in a smartphone world dictated by iOS and Android operating system and lightning fast dual core processors! The new Nokia trash is like a brainless beauty with a weak heart.

    1. The N9 does not have the same opportunity that has been given to iOS and Android, so its hard to make such comparison.

  24. (
    Ade: The new Nokia trash is like a brainless beauty with a weak heart.
    )
    Are you not being a bit melodramatic?

  25. I just tweeted some links saying that the N9 will arrive in Sweden on sept23. Less than 2 months. This its definitely a truly-geeky phone to possess. I hope it enters Nigeria by October. I hope to buy it as a birthday gift to myself, the way I bought my N8 as my Val’s day gift.

  26. “The new Nokia trash is like a brainless beauty with a weak heart.”

    Quite harsh, don’t you think?

    I believe that the N9 is an intelligent Beauty but with a weak heart on account of Elop. Because no matter how well it fares amongs its contemporary, the Doctor (Elop) will ensure that it fails with no offspring to carry on its name or title.

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