HMD Global, Please Revive These Legacy Nokia Phones And Save Us From Boredom

You can call Nokia many bad things during its lengthy run as the world's undisputed #1 handset maker -- but never "safe" or "boring".

In fact, the Finnish Giant had come up with some of the most unique mobile devices that challenged our pre-conceived notions of what a phone should and could be.

Nokia's breakthrough products of old, including the ultra-tough Nokia 3310 and the iconic Nokia 8110 Banana Phone, continue to inspire a new generation of mobile consumers -- so much so that HMD Global, which touts itself as the "New Home of Nokia Phones", has decided to revive them via re-imagined versions fit for today's world.

Now, here's the amazing part: Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8110 are just two of the many, many incredible products that the former world #1 had released through the years. There are still more than a handful of landmark Nokia phones that HMD Global would do well to resurrect and refine, some of which were already considered as smartphones during their time.

Let me share some Legacy Nokia Phones that I wish HMD Global would revive. (If done well, new versions of these models could become best-sellers in many key markets around the world.)

For avid mobile gamers: Nokia N-Gage

Released in October 2013, the first version of Nokia N-Gage wowed the public by combining the form factor of a gaming console with that of a cellphone. Powered by Nokia's own gaming platform where users could download titles, this model quickly became the gadget of choice by the rising breed of mobile gamers the world over. The company eventually released a more refined version of this product called the N-Gage QD, which had a larger screen and better designed keys.

How can HMD Global revive this properly? Think of the Nintendo Switch. Imagine if it were a bit smaller with with full-fledged smartphone capabilities. That's how I imagine the new N-Gage to be.

For vloggers and video creators: Nokia N90

Nokia N90, which was formally introduced by the brand in April 2005, was a true landmark model as it had an innovative swivel design that allowed it to transform into four different modes. The most popular of which was the "camcorder" shown in the photo above. Featuring Carl Zeiss optics, the N90 allowed the user to quickly switch from recording a video of what's in front of him or her to shooting a talking head clip simply by twisting the screen.

Is there a big market for a resurrected Nokia N90 Camcorder? With increasing internet speeds, video creation and consumption are becoming the hottest trends. And with Youtube celebrities like Casey Neistat and Peter McKinnon showing us the basics and challenges of vlogging, more and more people are thinking about doing exactly the same thing. If HMD were to re-create this model, I wish they'd work closely with Carl Zeiss to give the new version the most advanced video recording capabilities -- especially in terms of low light performance and autofocus.

For serious audiophiles: Nokia N95

One of the features that made Nokia N95, released in 2007, one of my favorite phones ever was its two-way slider which flawlessly hid the keyboard when I didn't need it and gave me quick access to the multimedia buttons for instantly listening to music. Although practically all phones today allow us to play our favorite songs anytime, anywhere, almost none have dedicated hardware keys for launching and listening to tracks with no hassles.

How can HMD recreate this well? Perhaps they can do an XpressMusic series of Android smartphones with hardware buttons like the ones in the photo and pair the devices with powerful headphones. That'd be the bomb!

For business users: Nokia Communicator

Way before BlackBerry launched its first business-centric phone with full QWERTY keyboard, Nokia already had the ultra-high-end Communicator Series for the enterprise market. On the outside, these devices simply look like bulky phones but they open in the middle - like a book - to reveal a full keyboard and a large display. One could argue that Nokia Communicator phones were the earliest smartphones as they allowed users to access the internet for sending emails and browsing websites as well as to create and edit documents. The first Communicator model - the Nokia 9000 - was released in 1996 and the last one - Nokia E90, shown in the photo above - hit store shelves in 2007.

What would make a great modern day Nokia Communicator? An ultra-mobile personal computer - with fairly large display, either Windows 10 or Android operating system, well-designed physical keyboard, and phone functionality - is certainly the way to go. Of course, it has to be able to fold to fit in the pocket too. Quite a challenge to create but I know that HMD Global (with the help of the old Nokia Communicator Team, perhaps) can do it.

These days, regardless of the brand or company that made them, almost all smartphones have taken on a singular look and form factor: Just a thin rectangle with a large display in front and a camera at the back. You go to the 'smartphones section' of the mall and that's all you see; All the units are practically the same. I guess this is why I still terribly miss the Nokia of old. The Finnish Giant was daring and undaunted; They released handsets that challenged convention and inspired the imagination. I wonder if HMD Global had indeed inherited those sterling qualities from the brand that they now represent. I certainly hope so and I'd love to see them prove it.

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