Nokia N920 Concept – How Nokia should approach a QWERTY keyboard?

| September 12, 2009 | 17 Replies

Nokia N920 Concept

RX 920

This was just a 20 minute MS Paint job I did a while back. I have NO skill in photo editing, as is evident in the images – it is just a raw idea.

The AIM was not to design a phone, but to show that within a given (compact) space, you can have a decent 4 Row configuration keyboard that Nokia seems rather averse to making. The name is not important either, it’s just something to refer to.

There is obviously no “out of the box” thinking – it is just a very standard QWERTY which took literally just 2 minutes to put together. The only difference for me is that this was designed from the keyboard first then the rest of the phone grew around it. After all, if you’re getting a phone with a QWERTY keyboard, you’d want a lot of focus on an optimized configuration.



  • It’s shorter than the N97, and of similar width.
  • Within that space we have a 4-row keyboard:
    • Dedicated Numbers Row
    • A more traditional offset QWERTY configuration
    • I haven’t included secondary symbols on all keys – that can be decided later whether they are needed and if so where they should be.
    • Basic punctuation is easy to get to. Full Stop, Comma, Apostrophe can all be reached by one button press.
    • Two shift buttons, left and right to get the secondary key
    • Space bar located in the middle.
    • Menu button
    • Standard Symbols button for additional symbols on touch screen
    • There’s a trackball instead of a D-Pad or a 4-way arrow keys.
    • The keys will not be flat. I have an extremely basic grasp of MS paint as it is.  They’d perhaps be similar to the N900
  • The keys are slightly larger than the Nokia N97’s
  • The entire keyboard occupies just over half of the given space – so the connection between the slide is still very solid, and also gives the option to increase the key size even further.
  • This can be stretched to the same length as the N97 to increase the size of the screen and space for the keys.
  • Other design faults perhaps in the shape/screen is not the focus here. It’s the fact that
  • Like the HTC Touch Pro2, the keys can be reconfigured around. ie. forgoe an actual row yet again so that the QWERTY part is uninterrupted – have the numbers in traditional alphanumeric alignment over the QWERTY keys.
  • Since this “N920 concept” is shorter than the N97, I guess it could be elongated to include a D-pad. Since it could have the same gaming capabilities as the N900, a D-pad may actually prove useful in this concept. Or some kind of flat joystick to optimize space.

Other Feature’s the N920 concept would have?

  • Screen around 3.5″ – At least 384k pixel res in some ratio.
  • N86’s 8MP camera – with shutter/gallery/cam-vid button
  • N82’s Xenon flash (perhaps even N86’s Dual LED?)
  • N900’s processor/RAM/Graphics card
  • N97’s battery
  • Capacitive Oled
  • N95’s stereo speakers
  • Any buttons on the phone, sensors/camera aren’t visible. Buttons, if any can just light up when applicable. Perhaps dedicated music controls or a gesture area?

I haven’t designed the back nor the sides, because frankly I can’t and don’t want to.

I do have intentions that it will be slim, and any ports/buttons will be flush/hidden with doors, except the 3.5mm jack


If I had 3D skills I’d so try and make a concept phone that looked slightly convincing. We’ve already seen how a concept device was cloned and manufactured by our favourite Chinese Rip-off artists.


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Category: Concept, Nokia, Rant, Suggestions

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]