Clinton Jeff, of ZOMitscj managed to corner a Nokia engineer to provide a brief demonstration of the Nokia N9 at the Nokia Connections event in Singapore.

The UI is indeed quite unique and the responsiveness of the device is very good. I think the UI brings something new to the table. The N9 has the distinction of being the first smartphone to have a fully touch based UI. iOS and Android still require the use of physical buttons/button to navigate the OS. Yes, one could argue that the latest Android smartphones have capacitative buttons instead of physical ones. That is true. However, the Android OS depends on these buttons, capacitative or otherwise, to navigate the to the home screen, bring up menus etc. The version of MeeGo (ver 1.2 ) on the Nokia N9 in combination with Nokia’s Harmattan UI requires tap, touch and swipe finger gestures to navigate the device. The phone’s front fascia is all screen.

This, I believe is the next step in the evolution of touch screen interface gestures. I think iOS will get there at some point when Apple negates the use of its central physical home button.

I am rather surprised that Nokia decided to go with Windows Phone as their primary mobile OS and relegate MeeGo to a co-starring role in its OS portfolio. It is perhaps that MeeGo does not have a verdant ecosystem and it will probably be Nokia’s long term plan to build a health mobile ecosystem for MeeGo.

The N9 is probably the first step in the right direction.

Watch the video courtesy of zomitscj.