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.
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.
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!
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.
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!