The rumoured Nokia N97 "Mini" just got a whole lot more real as images of the device have turned up in US blog Engadget's inbox.

Supposedly a cut-down version of Nokia's flagship Nseries device, the touchscreen N97, the N97 Mini was outed by a Vodafone Ireland staffer earlier this year.

A moderator on the Vodafone Ireland forum then wrote, in reply to a customer enquiry: "Vodafone Ireland will not be launching the N97 but will be launching the N97 Mini later this year. Due to the N97 Mini's competitive pricing, we feel that it will appeal to a wider segment of consumers".

The post was swiftly removed and all parties have since remained tight-lipped on the existence of the new device.

The emergence of these images - that show the supposed N97 Mini next to its full scale big brother - reveal the rumoured handset as smaller and slimmer with a different camera.

We will keep you posted on developments.