After wowing crowds at the CommunicAsia show in June, Nokia’s “all screen” smartphone is coming to a shop near you as probably the only one to run the Meego operating system.
The 16GB version of the N9 costs S$799, while the 64GB model will go for S$899 at all three telcos here – SingTel, StarHub and M1 – with “attractive” operator subsidies, according to Nokia Singapore today. It comes in black, cyan and magenta.
Back in June, the N9’s single-piece polycarbonate design surprised many industry watchers with its clean lines (we thought it’d bring Nokia’s mojo back). Along with the design, the 3.9-inch AMOLED screen is scratch-resistant and offers some of the best contrast in small screens.
There’s also an 8-meg camera, along with near-field communications (NFC), should any service provider decide to work with Nokia to enable the phone to pay for burgers or even train tickets, for example.
That’s, of course, a little far-fetched considering that Nokia is going on Windows Phone in the coming months and the N9 is likely the only smartphone you’d see running Meego (there’s another slider version, but only developers have it).
When we tested the N9 in June, we were impressed with the smoothness of the Meego OS, which was put together through a partnership between Nokia and Intel last year. The bad news is Meego probably arrived a year too late.
Should you buy the N9 then? We’d say it is a reasonably priced phone with great design and a whole lot of gear thrown in. But if you are into downloading the latest apps, as many smartphone users are, then Meego is clearly a dead-end for users.
You’d be better off waiting a few months for Nokia to launch similar-looking phone running Windows Phone. Or, if you can’t wait, perhaps a Samsung Galaxy SII or HTC Sensation might fit the bill better.