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How Nokia N95 almost returned as a sliding phone running Android

Nokia N95 reboot
(Image credit: MrMobile)
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In recent years, HMD Global has revived some of Nokia’s most popular smartphones from the past by equipping them with the technologies of the present. The most iconic return could’ve come in the form of the Nokia N95 reboot — but the project was cancelled due to technical limitations.

Launched in 2007, the Nokia N95 was in a league of its own in terms of performance and the feature set. It was one of the earliest smartphones to exist with a proper operating system, an app store, actually being able to multi-task, along with support for Wi-Fi. It also had an interesting sliding design that revealed the keypad when slid up and media controls when slid down. Of course, the launch of the iPhone in the subsequent months rained on its parade, but few will argue that the Nokia N95 wasn’t one for the history books.

In the latest episode of “When Phones Were Fun!” by MrMobile on YouTube, he explores why the Nokia N95 was so loved and even calls it “the last of its kind.” While taking us through the phone, he also shares an exclusive glimpse at a non-functional prototype of what would have been the revival of the Nokia N95. 

Just like its namesake forefather, it has a sliding mechanism (now, sideways) to reveal two front-facing cameras, an LED flash and a large speaker grille. The camera bezel on the back can be swung open to act as a kickstand for video calls, watching movies or even a smart bedside clock.

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Nokia N95 reboot

The various sliding mechanisms that were explored (Image credit: HMD Global)
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Nokia N95 reboot

The kick-stand (Image credit: HMD Global)

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, shared further insight into the project. If successful, the phone would have a truly bezel-less facia as the front camera and the earpiece would be hidden. 

With the objective of usability in both landscape and portrait orientations along with comfortable single-hand use, some other options were also considered. The craziest one would slide up and outwards at a 45-degree angle. These permutations were to meant to ensure that the cameras and the speaker could be accessed at the same time. 

As things stand currently, the Nokia N95 reboot has been shelved with no word on if it will be revived. It is still nice to see manufacturers share details of products in consideration or in the pipeline openly, for a change.

Aakash Jhaveri

Aakash is the engine that keeps TechRadar India running, using his experience and ideas to help consumers get to the right products via reviews, buying guides and explainers. Apart from phones, computers and cameras, he is obsessed with electric vehicles.