Nokia has unveiled the N9, its first smartphone featuring the MeeGo mobile operating system. It has no buttons on the front, and features a curved polycarbonate body and a 3.9-inch AMOLED WVGA (854x480) display. The home button is replaced with a swipe gesture, taking the user back to the homescreen from anywhere in the menu. The N9 features a Cortex A8 1GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM, with a PowerVR SGX530 GPU responsible for graphics. It comes with either 64GB or 16GB of internal memory.

The Nokia N9's MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan mobile operating system supports three home views, enabling quick access to the "most important things people do with a modern phone," according to Nokia head of design Marko Ahtisaari. Those things consist of using applications, getting notifications and switching between activities. The first of those three is addressed by allowing the user to launch and organize applications; the second, by allowing them to view missed calls, incoming e-mails, text messages, updates from social networks, etc; and the third, by listing all running applications with the most recently used on top.

Everything is operated through touch only, including the swipe gesture.

The phone's polycarbonate body increases the quality of reception and voice, according to Nokia.

Its camera features an 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss autofocus sensor with dual LED flash and HD-quality (720p) video capture capability. GPS is also on board, facilitating the usual Nokia Maps-based free turn-by-turn drive and walk navigation, which is improved with a new dedicated Drive app. There's also a new web browser built on Webkit 2 technology, with "wide HTML 5 support." Connectivity includes pentaband WCDMA, quad band GSM/EDGE, HSDPA and HSUPA, Bluetooth 2.1, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n and NFC support.

The Nokia N9 will appear in stores "later this year," with no pricing announced at this point. It will be offered in three colors: black, magenta and cyan. The scratch-resistant AMOLED screen is Gorilla Glass protected.

It looks like Nokia has not abandoned the MeeGo project yet, despite inking a deal with Microsoft. The N9's success, however, is highly dependent on introducing more MeeGo smartphones or tablets - something that might or might not happen.

The video below illustrates some of the phone's features.