Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC SmartphoneFeature
Posted by Seth PlanckJune 21st, 2011 at 10:07 PM Filed Under Featured, Galleries, Press Release, Videos
Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone
Nokia has shown the world its second NFC Smartphone, the Nokia N9, which is the company’s first MeeGo phone. In case you find yourself saying WhoGo? MeeGo is an open source smartphone platform that has been built in a collaborative effort between Intel and Nokia. Stephen Elop, the head honcho over at Nokia, promised that the company would deliver a MeeGo Smartphone by the end of the year and thus it has appeared.
We must say the Nokia N9, which is also known as the Lankku, slab is easy on the eyes and will come in a veritable amount of bright colors as well as a really quite lovely matte black. In fact, these colors are part of the polycarbonate shell, so even scratches and dings only result in the uncovering of more of the same color because the case is colored all the way through.
Neither the C7 (Astound) nor the Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphones have secure elements
We will get to the specifications of the Nokia N9 in a bit, but we first need to address the nature of the NFC capabilities this phone has. Neither the Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone or its Symbian brethren, the C7, have secure elements, meaning neither phone has a area of memory moved away from normal working memory that stores delicate data, like credit card details or your mobile driving license, in a tamper proof environment. Nokia is supporting and actively pushing something it calls “Open NFC” applications which are applications that do not require the use of a secure element. Nokia sees authentication as only being relevant for applications that require information privacy and secure transactions. This does limit the usefulness of the NFC onboard to a degree as these phones are not capable of card emulation, or pretending to be an NFC tag. The Nokia N9 Meego NFC Smartphone does not even have software support for other forms of secure elements, like SIM based or microSD secure elements, so if you buy this phone you will have to accept the fact your Nokia N9 Meego NFC Smartphone will not be able to conduct secure transactions for the length of your contract. That doesn’t mean you cannot make purchases with your phone as there will be different options available that use cloud based authentication, or services like PayPal, but it does mean digital wallets are out.
However, Nokia doesn’t seem to be too worried about its omission of a secure element and in fact feels that two thirds of the profits that will be made from NFC will come from applications and services that do not require a secure element. To us that is still no reason to not build phones with secure elements which will be required to engage in mobile payments and to use their phones as digital wallets. We must admit whereas we hear what Nokia is saying with regards to the percentage of apps that will require a secure element from a company like NXP Semiconductors, we are left feeling that Nokia has simply been a little cheap in the engineering side of its NFC aspirations. We feel it is like going to buy a dining room table and chairs and being told you can’t have four chairs as you don’t have any kids and will have to make do with two. Come on Nokia, really? Have you been hanging around Microsoft too long?
If you are unfamiliar with the types of applications that would not need a secure element, let us explain. What Nokia is saying is true to an extend in that NFC is so broad in its potential uses, and in fact, many of those uses will not require a secure element (separate chip inside your phone that only gives authorized access to delicate data and then only when given the correct authentication). Applications like Groupon, Facebook, Foursquare or Bluetooth pairing, games, social media check-in apps or to simply download a coupon and store it. Reading a smart poster will also not require a secure element either.
Nokia N9, MeeGo NFC Smartphone features and specifications
NFC doesn’t entirely maketh the phone (we have a skewed view, we know), so let’s look at Nokia’s first MeeGo NFC Smartphone to see how they did. All in all, the Nokia N9 NFC Smartphone is really nice. As we mentioned above, it has that fabulous polycarbonate shell and has no physical buttons aside from the volume rocker / camera button. The user interface is super clean, polished and uncluttered and the overall look of the phone is aesthetically pleasing and well designed. The phone comes with storage options that include a 16GB or a 64GB option which puts it ahead of the game in storage capacity. The phone comes with 1GB of ram too, which is very welcome. As far as processor, the Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone skips along with the OMAP3630 1 GHz processor backed up with a PowerVR SGX530 to handle graphics. The Nokia N9 isn’t skating on LTE but does have GSM and penta-band WCDMA radios so data shouldn’t be like waiting for continents to shift.
As far as other connectivity specifications go, the Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone has Bluetooth 2.1, GPS and of course, NFC. The camera is of the 8 mega pixel persuasion and can capture wide angle shooting, capable of an aperture of F2.2 which is great for low light picture taking, which as we mentioned before has not been so great in phones up to this point. The camera has a dedicated camera button, so no waiting for an app to launch and is capable of shooting video at a true 16:9 ration in lovely jubbly 720p.
This Nokia N9 is growing on us as we explore its features and free GPS turn-by-turn navigation doesn’t hurt any, especially when it comes with voice guidance in maps and walk navigation. The other hardware specs include 802.11 a/ b/ n WiFi, an ambient light sensor, orientation sensor, microSD slot, tethering support, compass and a 3.5mm AV connector. The Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone comes in three colors which are cyan, magenta and as we mentioned above – black. Battery life is also decent, lasting up to 4.5 hrs of video, 50 hours of music and somewhere between 7 and 11 hours talk time. In measurements, the Nokia N9 is 116.45 x 61.2 x 7.6mm which means it will be quite svelte and will run along sweetly on MeeGo 1.02 Harmattan with apps being compliant with Qt 4.7 and HTML5 support bundled in.
Nokia n9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone Software
“Where are the Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone wares?” we hear you ask. Well, we can confirm it has them and we have checked and they are soft. As expected, the Nokia N9 comes loaded with Angry Birds Magic but also has other games to like Galaxy on Fire 2, Real Golf 2011 (it isn’t actually real so don’t throw in the club membership just yet) and supports OpenGL ES 2.0. When it comes to browsing, you will get to use a Webkit-2 browser and can enjoy pinch to zoom support. Social networking also comes built in with unified notifications for Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds in the events view. The N9 will also merge profiles and status updates in to your phone contacts so you will never forget to mention what your friends did with their kids this last weekend.
The MeeGo Ui is not as robust as Android or IOS, but then again people who would want a MeeGo Smartphone are not the tech savvy bunch of us who really get use out of either of the previously named operating systems either. MeeGo is a simple, no-fuss-no-muss type of an affair that provides all the basics, plus some really nice touches and will make many people very happy with their investment as they actually will get to use the features this little open source OS provides. This is also true on the Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone, where the UI is simplified into three views of home, events, applications and open applications – simple.
Nokia will produce Symbian NFC phones this year that, unlike the Nokia N9 NFC MeeGo phone, support secure elements
Nokia has said that it will be launching Symbian Smartphones this year that do include the much needed secure element, so it is not as if they are dumping and turning away from the digital wallet completely. Perhaps just with this phone and the Symbian based C7.
Nokia N9 MeeGo NFC Smartphone summary
It is a really nice first attempt at a simplified smartphone environment. It is a really nice design, and it has some great features. The lack of the secure element will probably go over okay to start with as many individuals are hesitant to embrace the digital wallet, but we feel the lack of the secure wallet mars an otherwise great little smartphone. We look forward to seeing other Nokias in the future that do include secure elements and can only hope they come with as much spit and polish as these little Nokia N9 NFC Smartphones do. As yet, we do not know in which countries or what carriers will get the Nokia N9 and we also have no idea of pricing but will keep you informed as we find out. See the Nokia N9 videos and press release below.
The Nokia N9: a unique all-screen smartphone
>Singapore – Nokia today announced the Nokia N9, built for people who appreciate a stunning blend of design and the latest smartphone technology. To learn more about the design of the Nokia N9 visit: http://swipe.nokia.com
One swipe and you’re home
The Nokia N9 introduces an innovative new design where the home key is replaced by a simple gesture: a swipe. Whenever you’re in an application, swiping from the edge of the display takes you home.
The three home views of the user interface are designed to give fast access to the most important things people do with a phone: using apps, staying up to date with notifications and social networks, and switching between activities.
The industrial design of the Nokia N9 is an example of extreme product making and craft. The body is precision-machined from a single piece of polycarbonate and flows seamlessly into beautiful curved glass. The laminated deep black display means that the user interface just floats on the surface of the product.
The Nokia N9 also packs the latest in camera, navigation and audio technology for a great all-round experience.
“With the Nokia N9, we wanted to design a better way to use a phone. To do this we innovated in the design of the hardware and software together. We reinvented the home key with a simple gesture: a swipe from the edge of the screen. The experience sets a new bar for how natural technology can feel,” said Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia’s head of Design. “And this is just the beginning. The details that make the Nokia N9 unique – the industrial design, the all-screen user experience, and the expressive Qt framework for developers – will evolve in future Nokia products.”
Innovative all-screen design
With no need for a home key, the all-screen Nokia N9 makes more room for apps to shine. The 3.9-inch AMOLED screen is made from scratch-resistant curved glass. The polycarbonate body enables superior antenna performance. This means better reception, better voice quality and fewer dropped calls.
Camera, maps and multimedia
The 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss autofocus sensor, wide-angle lens, HD-quality video capture and large lens aperture enable great camera performance even in lowlighting conditions. This makes the Nokia N9 one of the best camera-phones ever produced.
The Nokia N9 features free turn-by-turn drive and walk navigation with voice guidance in Maps. With the new dedicated Drive app, you can get in your car and start navigating to your destination right away.
You can watch videos in true 16:9 widescreen format. And because the Nokia N9 is also the world’s first smartphone with Dolby® Digital Plus decoding and Dolby Headphone post-processing technology, you get a surround sound experience with any set of headphones.
Touch just got better
Fitted with the latest in wireless technology, Near Field Communication (NFC), the Nokia N9 allows you to easily share images and videos between devices by touching them together. Pair it with Bluetooth accessories like the new NFC-enabled Nokia Play 360° wireless music speaker only once, and you get a great surround sound music experience with just a tap.
Colors and Memory
The Nokia N9 will be available in three colors – black, cyan, and magenta with storage options to accommodate plenty of content: 16GB and 64GB. The Nokia N9 is scheduled to be in stores later this year, with availability and local pricing to be announced closer to the sales start.
More information about the Nokia N9 can be found at: http://swipe.nokia.com.
Nokia is committed to connecting people to what matters to them by combining advanced mobile technology with personalized services. More than 1.3 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia, from our most affordable voice-optimized mobile phones to advanced Internet-connected smartphones sold in virtually every market in the world. Through Ovi (www.ovi.com), people also enjoy access to maps and navigation on mobile, a rapidly expanding applications store, a growing catalog of digital music, free email and more. Nokia’s NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, and Nokia Siemens Networks is one of the leading providers of telecommunications infrastructure hardware, software and professional services globally.
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