Nokia faithful and Linux fans, rejoice. Despite Nokia's recent deal with Microsoft that made WP7 their primary operating system, the has-been manufacturer just released a powerful and sleek smartphone that doesn't use Microsoft's OS.
The device, called the N9, certainly has pretty hardware. It follows the common "keyboardless bar" design, but a decision to forgo buttons on the front of the device, capacitive or otherwise, makes it more unique. Power, volume, and camera buttons are still included on the side of the devices. It remains to be seen how well this will work out in actual use, but it certainly looks sleek.
Good looks are not the only thing the N9 brings to the table, it also boasts a somewhat impressive spec sheet. Behind the 3.9-inch 854 x 480 AMOLED display, you will find a 1GHz TI processor, 1GB of RAM, SGX 530 graphics, and a 1450 mAh battery. The N9 also has dual cameras (8MP and 1MP) along with WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.
If this were an Android or Windows Phone 7 device, it would not be big news. Its hardware is sleek, but it is not a powerful dual core or a fancy new 3D phone. What makes this phone special is that it is the first commercial MeeGo device.
MeeGo, the result of collaboration between Intel and Nokia, is a Linux-based OS made for running on smartphones. Nokia had plans to make MeeGo hardware, but many thought they were abandoned after the company's deal with Microsoft. Obviously, the plans were not abandoned. However, there are still important questions about this new OS. Will Nokia support it? Will there be another device with MeeGo, or is this the end? Can MeeGo really compete with iOS and Android? I fear the answer to most of these questions is no, but I still have some hope the MeeGo platform may take off.