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Launched by Nokia in fall 2004, the physical device itself was not dashing or game changing, but the design of the keypad was swish and elegant. The Nokia 7260 was a candy-bar phone with curved upper-left and lower-right corners that felt comfortable to hold in one's right hand, but the phone's designers forgot that 15 percent of the global left-handed population found the device difficult to hold and 'sharp' to feel.
But the main buying factor for the phone was its beautiful design. The phone itself was not particularly strong or stable, but the spiraling keypad remains simple and sleek, but beautiful by its sheer simplicity.
Nokia 9210i Communicator
Nokia's second attempt at a flip-open QWERTY-keyboard device was released in 2002. When the device was snapped shut, it was like an old school brick-like device that was almost eclipsed the side of a person's face. But when flipped open horizontally, the keyboard would emerge and a separate screen would appear above, similar to how a laptop works but with a much smaller screen.
A true business and enterprise-focused phone, it was powered by an 52 MHz ARM 9 processor and operated Symbian 6.0 on a Series 80 user interface -- a design unique to the Communicator range of phones. But it was thick, heavy, and if dropped could probably register somewhere albeit low on the Richter scale.
This was Nokia's first dual touch-and-type device, designed primarily to bridge the gap between the two kinds of devices that were emerging at the time of its launch in 2010. But it didn't come with multi-touch capabilities and the screen resolution was the same as the old Nokia Series 40 devices -- 240 x 320 pixels. However, the device came with Facebook and Twitter applications and boasted a 5-megapixel camera -- at the time it was rare among low- to mid-end smartphones -- and contained powerful for-the-time hardware to keep the device ticking over.
While many devices with a physical keyboard nowadays offer the touch-and-type capability, such as the BlackBerry Bold 9780, at the time many found it confusing, as you would have to literally touch-and-type. You couldn't use one or the other, and many found this too complex. Plus, Nokia's implementation of the dual-input methods left little to be desired.