As the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus go on sale on this side of the international dateline, a little history is in order for you punk-ass kids: 10 years ago this month Nokia announced this then-beast of a handset, the N95.
The modern smartphone enthusiast might gaze upon these buttons and shake their head in dismay, but for old-timers who were active on the forums back then the N95—and the 8GB version that came after it—were a very big deal.
The first generation iPhone wasn’t announced until January of 2007, and wouldn’t be a likely candidate for anyone considering the N95, which launched in March of that same year. Yes, the iPhone had the superior UI which would go on to attract millions of new smartphone users and revolutionize mobile computing, but the Nseries Nokia was the pinnacle in what we now recognize as the era of PIM phones.
The N95 was notable for its unique dual-sliding chassis, 5MP autofocus Carl Zeiss rear-firing camera, onboard GPS with a full maps suite, onboard office suite and a healthy ecosystem of third-party apps. What I remember most was the keypad—I was a qwerty guy back then but even I could appreciate that the N95’s squishy T9 keys were just about perfect.
Through an archived forum post I managed to find this 2008 video of Howard on Canadian TV, talking about the forthcoming iPhone 3G vs. other devices of the time. Guess what phone he pulls out of his pocket at the end and names as his personal device of choice?