The Nokia N9 was supposed to herald a change for Nokia. It's the first MeeGo handset, and is Nokia's first smartphone designed to take advantage of a brand new touchscreen OS. Unfortunately, Nokia has decided to kill it before it's even born, switching instead to Windows Phone, and the N9 won't be shipped to the UK, US or most other countries. You can still import it, however, so read on to find out if it's worth buying via online retailers.
The front of the Nokia N9 is absolutely dominated by the display, and it's one of the best panels currently featured on a smartphone. Colour reproduction is absolutely amazing, with vivid hues and blacks that are completely black, helping the screen to blend into the surrounding edges. The menus look great, but films, photographs and websites even better.
Following years of software that's predictable at best, old fashioned, unresponsive and ugly at worst, we had high hopes for MeeGo. The Nokia N9 doesn't disappoint, either, with the OS looking contemporary, attractive and proving easy to use.
This phone isn't just about the operating system, either. We absolutely love the slimline design, with no clunky styling features to spoil the sleek lines.
The camera is one of the Nokia N9's best features, with Carl Zeiss optics and an 8-megapixel sensor producing results that rival the Nokia N8. That helps to make the N9 one of the best camera phones currently on sale.
The Nokia N9 has one big problem in most countries, and that's a lack of support. This, in turn, leads to a lack of applications, and a lack of community. Because the N9 is going on sale officially in relatively obscure locations, available in the UK and US only through retailers that have imported them, very few developers will be creating apps for the Nokia N9.
It's a shame, as Nokia originally designed MeeGo so it would be easy to port apps from Symbian ^3 straight to the company's flagship OS. Unfortunately, with Windows Phone on the horizon, Symbian ^3 is also playing second fiddle, and looks like being dropped completely in the future.
As such, apps for the Nokia N9 will be limited, with nowhere near the same choice that you'll find on the Apple iPhone or Android devices.
The bottom line
With one of the nicest designs on any current smartphone, an operating system that's modern looking and easy to use, and one of the best cameras on the market, there's loads to like about the Nokia N9.
Unfortunately, the fact Nokia isn't selling it here in the UK is a major disappointment. The lack of support means you'll find a very limited pool of apps, we can't imagine there being many frequent firmware updates, and the lack of contract choices also makes it a very expensive smartphone.
Despite all that, if you don't care about apps, and the cost doesn't put you off, it's still tempting.