Nokia introduced a gorgeous new touchscreen phone that hints at the kind of hardware that could come with Windows Phone software later this year.
The N9 unveiled at a conference in Singapore is running the Meego software that Nokia is phasing out in favor of Windows, but the real sizzle is its industrial design and specs. It has a 3.9-inch curved AMOLED touchscreen behind Gorilla glass, with a 1 gigahertz A8 processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM and 16 or 64 gigabytes of storage.
It has no physical buttons at all on the face, so you unlock the device by tapping on the screen.
Nokia has also given the device an 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss wide-angle lens that takes 720p video, plus a second camera for video calls. Its HSDPA radio is capable of up to 14.4 Mbps downloads.
Nokia’s going to release a mix of Windows Phone models by the end of the year, and it seems a good guess there will be an upper-end version based on this chassis.
(UPDATE: Nokia scheduled a big event for Oct. 26 in London and some are speculating that’s when the Windows Phones will debut.)
Meanwhile Nokia will begin selling the Meego-powered N9 “later this year” in black, cyan and magenta. Nokia said availability and pricing will be “announced closer to the sales start.” (I wonder if it will appear before or after the iPhone 5, which is rumored to be coming in September.)
The phone also has turn-by-turn navigation for walking and driving and a built-in “Drive” app for automotive use. Microsoft plans to use Nokia’s navigation technology as part of their partnership so perhaps this is another preview of what’s coming to Windows phones.
A Nokia spokeswoman declined to say whether the N9 hardware will be used with Windows Phone software, saying via email that “we have not provided further information on our first Windows Phone devices at this time.”
It also has NFC capability, for wirelessly making credit transactions, which will probably be a standard feature on smartphones pretty soon.
Here’s Nokia’s demo video: