The Nokia N9 is finally available here in New Zealand, and I must say it looks amazing. I haven't seen one in the metal (plastic?) but from the photos and videos I've seen of it I'd say it's the best looking phone on the market today - better than the iPhone 4S even. I've said it before - Nokia makes some truly great hardware, it's always in the software that they struggle with. But this time it looks like they've hit it out of the park on the software front too with a beautiful fluid Qt4 backed user interface that is fresh and unlike any other I've seen (not just another iOS copy cat!).
The problem is despite all the great reviews the device is getting there is a great big cloud hanging over it - Nokia (or at least their head, ex Microsoft man Stephen Elop) have said that this is the end of the line for in house designed consumer phones, from now on they are placing all bets on Windows Phone 7. This is such a shame as it was said that Nokia didn't have the time to come up with a new OS so going with Windows would be faster but ironically the N9 has shipped before any Windows Phone 7 devices. I can't help but wonder how good this platform could have been, but seeing as this phone (and the developer focussed N950) is the only one to ship with MeeGo I can't see many app developers jumping on the platform so anyone who buys one will only have what it comes preloaded with (and whatever Nokia can add down the road). Thom Holwerda over at osnews.com sums up nicely how I feel about the whole Nokia/Windows Phone deal: "And now, this beautiful platform is stillborn. This breaks my geek heart. Have fun being a Microsoft OEM, Nokia."
Engadget and This Is My Next both have great reviews up. I can't help but feel cheated - this is the first platform I've seen that I would trade my beloved webOS for and it turns out it has just as much of a future... None :-(