My top T9 Nokia smartphones.

Having shown you my top five Nokia qwerty smartphones yesterday I should, as a recent T9 convert, follow up today with my top picks for T9 devices.

Note that I’ve purposefully limited the results here to E and Nseries handsets — if I included S40 mobiles the list might well be too long to publish!

Nokia E90

5th Place – E90

Sure it was a beast, even two years ago when I trialed it… but a benefit of all that heft is a nice, big number-pad with evenly-sized buttons.

The E90 is also worthy of my top five because my personal T9 guru Jon Bruha used to rock one.

Nokia N86

4th Place – N86

Only 4th place?! Well, I didn’t want to show any favoritism towards my current sidearm of choice…

I actually prefer the number-pad on my #3 pick, but only just — the N86 scores big points for buttons with good travel and a satisfying click, with the added bonus of some real estate in between them.

Nokia N95 8GB

3rd Place – N95

That’s an N95 8GB in the photo above, but all the N95 variants share the same awesome number-pad. What makes it so good? The big keys help, but really it’s the perfect balance between stiffness and squishy-ness. I can’t be more specific than that — if you’ve ever had the pleasure of using one you’ll know exactly what I mean.

But I did have to deduct some points for those sharp edges on either side of the housing — ouch!

Nokia N93

2nd Place – Nokia N93

Now here’s a blast from the past…

Though I’ve never actually used a working model I can tell you that the keys on this dummy N93 have that same magical balance as on the N95, plus they’re big and square.

And check out that massive lens barrel — I wish Nokia had kept up with this form factor. A 3x optical zoom would go great with my Qik account.

Nokia E51

1st Place – Nokia E51

What can I say? If it’s good enough for Mrs. Phones Show it should be good enough for you. Steve eventually handed over his E51 to his wife if you didn’t already know…

Early production runs of the E51 shipped without on-board cameras, but that wouldn’t bother you in the slightest if your thumbs were to make contact with these wonderful keys.

I’d be interested in knowing if the new E52 has the same squishy buttons — it looks to me like they might be more shallow and stiff.

And what of Nokia’s, um… less than successful keypad designs? Don’t worry, I’m on it!


  1. Haven’t used any of the other phones from Nokia, but the N95 definitely set itself out from the rest of the pack. Loved it while I had it. The best thing I loved about it was as you said the perfect keypad. But I also enjoyed the fact that 8GB of internal storage was good for storing movies and music to be enjoyed on the go.

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