The Verge: For its era, what was the greatest smartphone of all time?

| September 12, 2014 | 38 Replies

Nokia N95

In a recent article over at The Verge, Chris Ziegler declared the Nokia N95 as the best smartphone of that era. What era? Roughly 2006 – 2007 and I’ll throw in 2008 for good measure. A quick glance through the comments shows that smartphone newcomers or users that began using smartphones either at or after the launch of the iPhone may not be able to understand why Chris chose the N95 even though he provided reasons in the article:

Many would give that honor to the original iPhone, and for very good reasons: capacitive multi-touch; compelling design; the use of metal; the fast, fluid operating system; so on. (Some would also argue the first iPhone wasn’t a smartphone since it didn’t have the App Store yet, but I’ve moved on from that tiff.)

For me, though, the honor goes to the mighty Nokia N95. This little brick was announced in late September of 2006 — eight years ago! — and it was basically unstoppable. Symbian was still a major threat at the time. The trick slider moved in two directions, revealing a keypad in one direction and dedicated music controls in the other. It had 3G, integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, and a 3.5mm headphone jack at a time when none of those features were guaranteed. And the incredible camera, 5 megapixels with autofocus, was light years beyond everything else on the market. The N95 was the first phone I owned where I said, “I could carry this instead of a point-and-shoot,” and actually believed myself.

Even after Chris stated his reasons, one reader responded with this comment:  UPDATE: RaLX’s comment was in response to another user that stated that the Galaxy Nexus was the best of that era. RaLX was not referring to the Nokia N95. Thank you rxc13 for the clarification.



What? That was just an average device with many shortcomings…


There wasn’t anything average about the Nokia N95. The average smartphone didn’t combine everything that the N95 did into one device, nor did other smartphones do what the N95 could do as well. Other smartphones may have had a camera, may have played music, may have a web browser but it wasn’t like the complete package that the N95 provided.

Chris’s article reminds me of one that I wrote about the mindset that smartphone users that missed out on the Symbian ruled smartphone era and how their view of Nokia, Symbian and Symbian devices is drastically different. In that article I wrote:

I have also noticed that almost ALL of the internet trolls that bash Nokia at every opportunity, never experienced Nokia when they were #1 in almost everything. Most trolls have started using smartphones in the last few years, most even well after the iPhone, HTC G1 and Nokia N97 and they simply don’t have an OUNCE of love in their heart for Nokia. They also cannot relate, remember or have any experience with the iPhone when it didn’t have an App Store at all, when it couldn’t do Copy and Paste, could NOT send a MMS and when Android phones had screens with only 65k colors, could NOT record Video AT ALL and the best games on Android Market were games such as Tic-Tac-Toe…..made by an unknown developer..usually by 1 guy or girl…..with crude 2D graphics and 8-bit mono sound.

They never experienced any of the great things that WERE (not just could be) done at the remarkable high level of quality that Nokia provided in the SAME POINT IN HISTORY. By the time many of the current smartphone users got into the Smartphone arena, it was Nokia that was battling for 2nd in many, most and sometimes ALL areas. So, they have no love for Nokia. I understand that. Nokia never earned their Love nor their respect (especially with the media’s blasting around the same time they began using smartphones)

I don’t think RaLX is trolling with his comment, he Some users don’t have the same experience as Chris or that some of have and without that experience, they won’t have the same admiration for Nokia or their devices from that era and that is ok.  My paragraph above really rings true to any user (not just trolls) that never experienced Nokia’s devices and services in the early days of smartphones where Nokia commanded over 70% of the global smartphone market and made the most advanced devices and provided the best user experiences as Chris mentioned. For some, the iPhone or Galaxy S was their entry into smartphones and that is all they knew and loved.

The best smartphone of the N95 era for me was the Nokia N82 as the Xenon flash was the deciding factor for me. It was a little over 2 years ago that I took a stroll down memory lane about the Nokia N82 and my sentiments echoed what Chris mentioned in his article on the Verge:

In this day and age of superphones, HD screens, Quad and Dual-Core CPUs, millions of polygons per second GPUs, unibody construction, 5+inch screens and 41MP monster cameras and nearly a million apps across OSes, I almost wonder how did we make it in the “dark ages” of mobile technology a few years ago.

…I remembered why I loved Nokia in the first place, because they created a device that at the time was like no other device before it. A delicious soup of memorable experiences with LASTING photo quality that impresses to this day.

Chris begins to close out his article with this comment about the N95:

Basically, it trounced everything in those heady pre-iPhone days.

Just as Chris asked, what phone do you hold head and shoulders beyond every other that was ever released? It doesn’t have to be a Nokia device or even a Symbian device, we would like to hear your thoughts and your story. Taking it a step further if I may, what device do you now hold head and shoulders above anything released thus far in this era? What is your opinion?

Thank you for continuing to support MyNokiaBlog and have a great day,

Demitrius Harris

Source: The Verge

Thanks goes to Alvester for the tip!



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Category: Editorial, iPhone, Nokia

About the Author ()

Good day everyone! My name is Demitrius Harris and I am a fan of all things true. I currently hold a position in the IT Department at a college and I teach various classes when the opportunity presents itself. In the past, I was a Special Education Teacher and a Technology Education teacher at an elementary school and have held titles in the Financial industry. What does that mean for you, our dear readers? It means that I love to write and communicate as accurately as possible! It is my hope, that I will always be able to provide factual information concerning all things related to Nokia (even when the Nokia brand isn't printed) and anything else in the scope of technology that fits within the purpose of MyNokiaBlog. I humbly thank you all for reading my posts (and the MNB Team) that sometimes contain THOUSANDS of words. You all are the best and most respectful blog supporters in the world! Thank you for choosing! Sincerely, Demitrius Harris. Favorite phone of all time: Nokia N82 - Black