Flush with the success of its new flagship phone N8 last year, mobile handset maker Nokia unveiled its new smartphone N9 early this month and said another one in the series N950 is on the cards.

Though Nokia dominated the market as a leader for a decade, it had to make way for Google Android smartphones that topped sales worldwide. Today, Android smartphones hold a 36 percent market share in the first quarter of 2011 as Nokia's share fell to 27.4 percent.

However, Nokia's new flagship smartphone model N8 trumped the market during the fourth quarter of 2010 by selling close to 4 million units, thus, catapulting Nokia into a new league. Nokia and analysts expect its new models N9 (also known as Lankku) and N950 may change the market dynamics in the smartphone segment.

Not to be left far behind, Nokia is also working on a Series 40 handset with 1 GHz processor and a ClearBlack capacitive touchscreen display. This handset is expected to feature 512MB of RAM, QWERTY keypad, Wi-Fi, HSDPA and an application store to download apps.

In fact, Nokia N9 and Nokia N950 are the handset maker's first MeeGo OS-based phones.

In February 2011, Nokia had announced a partnership with Microsoft for mobile handsets and the departure of Nokia’s MeeGo team manager Alberto Torres led to speculation regarding its future participation in developing MeeGo. But MeeGo, which is a Linux-based open source mobile operating system, has survived. MeeGo is actually designed to act as an operating system for hardware platforms such as netbooks, entry-level desktops, nettops, tablet computers, mobile computing and communications devices, in-vehicle infotainment devices, SmartTV / ConnectedTV, IPTV-boxes, smartphones, and other embedded systems.

Nokia has introduced a new design where the home key is replaced by a simple act of a swipe in N9. That means whenever, you are in an application, swiping from edge of the display takes you home. With no home key, the Nokia N9 has more room for apps to fit into the display screen.

The Nokia N9 handset has received mixed reviews from different tech enthusiasts. Also, Nokia will face the real test when they release new models using Windows Phone 7 operating system. Nokia N9 is getting accolades for its ease of use without any home button to compete against iPhone and other rivals but few others are skeptical about the MeeGo operating system.

Nokia N9 has a dimension of 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm and weighs 135 grams. The device enables users to link it to dedicated accessories such as headset or speakers by simply touching the phone against them.

Paul Krystoszek, the operations and marketing manager for Australian Satellite Communications, said “Being a user of Apple, an iPhone, this is light years ahead of what iPhone 3G does.”

And Nokia’s new handsets are not looking bad against Samsung Galaxy S2 and Motorola Photon 4G.

Nokia N9 comes with 3.9-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display and Nokia N950 features a 4-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 854 pixels. The Galaxy S2 and Motorola Photon 4G has 4.3-inch displays. General notion is that 4-inch is the ideal screen for a smartphone compared to a bigger screen display.

When it comes to internal memory, Nokia N9 boasts of 16/64 GB of storage and 1 GB RAM, although N950 specs related to memory and RAM are yet to be revealed. Motorola Photon features 16 GB storage, 1 GB RAM, 2 GB ROM, while Galaxy S2 comes with 16GB/32GB storage and 1 GB RAM.

In terms of camera, N9 comes with a 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus and dual LED flash. And N950 may come with a12-megapixel camera that is likely to be similar quality to that of N9. Both Galaxy S2 and Motorola Photon 4G have 8-megapixel camera.

Meanwhile, Nokia N9 claims to be the world’s fastest camera phone. Nokia's N9 scored an impressive 2.6 seconds of latency for the whole procedure, slightly faster than the 3 seconds that the same set of operations took using the iPhone 4.


Nokia N9

“Once you press the on-screen camera key, the image is taken immediately. It’s the fastest image-capturing phone on the market,” said Jens Wilkes, PM of Nokia. On the other hand, iPhone 4 became the most popular camera on Flickr.

Nokia N950 is likely to have same hardware components as that of N9. Hence similary ARM Cortex-A8 OMAP3630 1GHz is also expected in N950. The Galaxy S2 boasts of 1.2 GHz processor while Motorola Photon comes with 1 GHz processor.

The battery featured in Nokia N9 is standard Li-Ion 1450 mAh (BV-5JW) battery while N950 is expected to come with a 1320mAh battery. The Photon 4G has Li-Po 1700 mAh and Galaxy S2 comes with Li-Ion 1650 mAh.

Moreover, N950 will have physical QWERTY with slide tilt screen while N9 will come with unibody. The N950 has an aluminium body, Bluetooth2.1+EDR and there is no NFC support whereas N9 will have Polycarbonate body, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC support. Other smartphones that are expected to feature NFC support are Samsung Galaxy S2, Google Nexus 4G and iPhone 5, which makes Nokia N9 handset unique among others.

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