It was therefore viewed as being rather strange when Nokia released its first widely available flip-phone, the 6102 in the States. Suddenly, it became apparent that the world's most recognizable mobile brand was capable of more than just brick-like durability (and aesthetics). The N-Series was the highlight of the brand's push away from stodginess and normality, spearheaded by the N95... a phone which you can still see quite commonly in Europe. But there were other phones that were truly design masterpieces, the N90 pictured above being one of them. (Obviously, my N90 has seen much better days, otherwise there would be no tape holding it together.)
Then there was the smartphone boom. And by that, I mean Apple came in and redefined what we as consumers expected from a smartphone. Nokia's ship began to sink and for some reason it was unable to do much about it but try to adapt N-Series innovation to match trends, versus buck them like the original N-Series devices tended to do. There were dozens of ill-suited touch-based Symbian devices that all seemed to have been built with old parts and duct-tape. Sure, trademark Nokia features such as excellent Carl-Zeiss cameras were still present, but they felt more like a band-aid that had been applied to a near-mortal flesh-wound.
Finally, Meego arrived on the N9 and the world couldn't believe their eyes. A polycarbonate body, absolutely unique OS and interface that hadn't been seen before. This handset donated it's structural DNA to the Lumia 800, a device which was seen as a less-impressive version of the N9. I believe this to have been a good decision, as I find that the Windows Phone keyboard is quite simply second to none, regardless of make or manufacturer. Then the Lumia 900 arrived, a revamped version of Nokia's WP flagship designed to pave the way back into the US market. It was accompanied by its younger brother, the 710, which is a device I have happily used as my main handset for quite some time now. Having already become a convert to Windows Phone with the much-underrated Dell Venue Pro (admittedly a terrible camera and small battery, but...), I am now convinced by the operating system's ways. For me, it's different than the general flock (iOS), all that I want but not over-the-top features that I'll never actually use. I don't need my phone to tell me more information than I actually need.
That's what makes me so excited about the new Lumia phones. The 820 is a really cool piece of kit, though I gotta admit I'm definitely aiming for the 920 right now, just so long as the price isn't ridiculous. Software I like and hardware that is finally going somewhere nobody else has yet ventured. This should be fun. Welcome back to the game, Nokia. It's good to have you back again.