By Patrick Avenell (Follow me on Twitter)

SYDNEY, NSW: Nokia’s first MeeGo device, the N9, will launch through as yet unknown telcos in “August-ish” 2011. No pricing details were released at today’s launch in Sydney.

Called the world’s first ever “pure touch” phone, the N9 has no buttons on the 3.9-inch AMOLED screen, with absolutely all OS control through touch and swipes. There’s an 8-megapixel rear camera with 720p video recording and a front facing camera solely for video calls. There’s 1GB of processing memory.

At launch, the Black N9 will be available in both 16GB and 64GB models. An unknown time later, the magenta and cyan models will be launched. We know that the magenta model will only be 16GB but there is no news on what memory options will be available for the cyan model. None of these models will include a MicroSD slot for memory expansion.

Features of the N9 include Near Field Communication (NFC) for connecting wireless devices, such as Bluetooth headsets, and for enabling handsets to be linked for activities such as gaming. There is no NFC purchasing functionality. A range of Nokia accessories, including a wireless speaker, music speakers and headsets that can connect via NFC will be available at or around launch.

The N9 comes with free worldwide mapping, with international maps downloadable as required over Wi-Fi and 3G. There’s also native corporate and internet email apps; Twitter, Facebook and YouTube apps, and turn-by-turn satellite navigation. An amusing feature of the N9 is the ability to create app-style access points for general websites.

Nokia gave no indication about pricing or which telecommunications companies would be selling this device. After originally giving a Q3 2011 release time, product marketing manager Kurt Bonnici then adjusted this to “early Q3” and then to “August-ish”.

As reported earlier, Nokia Australia representatives did not accept questions on strategy or the general market at this press conference.

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After this demonstration, I was asked by a Nokia spokesperson for our thoughts on this handset. Having only been able to explore the N9 for around 15 minutes, it’s hard to be fully committed to a verdict, however, I did find this phone to be very robust in its design and stylishly presented. The full touch is a nice development and the AMOLED screen is only slightly less vivid than Samsung’s remarkable Galaxy S II screen.

The use of “squircles”, Nokia’s description of its square icons with curved edges, for its apps is very reminiscent of the iPhone, though just different enough not to be considered outright copying. The Nokia Store (nee Ovi Store) may not have the quantity of applications as Apple’s App Store, but assuming it has all the major applications to keep people happy, the N9 should also keep users happy.

The big sticking point, however, is pricing. This phone is not as impressive as either the Galaxy S II (RRP $899) or the Desire S (RRP $648). To that end, it should be priced accordingly. If it is released at around the RRP $500 mark, it would represent excellent value. Should it be placed in direction competition with either the Desire S or the Galaxy S II, it would fail such a test, at least in terms of value.

The upcoming Nokia N9 in cyan.

And in black with Angry Birds on the screen, just to prove the Nokia Store IS cool.