Nokia Time Warp XII: unpacking the Nokia N90, captured with the Nokia 808 PureView

Another "Guest Time Warp"! After Mikko Suhonen's shots of the Nokia N73 Music Edition, I received some fantastic shots and a long background story from Richard Shepherd I'm very glad to share here at the PureViewClub. It's about the no less than epic Nokia N90 from 2005. You will see a few of his "unpacking" shots here with which I tried to illustrate his own words. Below you will find a video I realized with all of the results he got from the Nokia 808 PureView. Moreover you will see some of the really surprising results he got using the "just" 2MP camera of the Nokia N90 as well. This time, the stage is for Richard Shepherd from the UK. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 1 Prior to 2005 I personally had no digital imaging device of any kind. I had seen some of the first early camera phones and wasn’t too interested because the quality and resolution of the images didn’t seem too great. I consciously decided to wait for the first “good enough” camera phone to come out. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 2 In 2005, it arrived in the form of the Nokia N90. I can’t remember where I first heard about the phone, but it seemed like science fiction at the time, especially the image quality which blew away the competition. It was probably the first time I and many others said “Best Camera Phone on the market!”, but definitely not the last time in regard to a Nokia flagship smartphone. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 3 The specs included : A whopping 2 Mega-pixel camera 1600 x 1200 pixels (this is 8 years ago remember ) Carl Zeiss optics LED flash 256,000 colour display, pixel density of 259ppi on a 2 inch screen (main “inside” screen) This was 352 x 416 resolution, beating most previous camera phone res of 240 x 320. 3G and EDGE (for fast data) Bluetooth V2 31MB of internal storage with MMC card slot (I remember friends being stunned that I had a 1GB card in there! And then I got a 2GB card!) Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 7 Regarding the lens, it was the first collaboration between Carl Zeiss and Nokia and this excerpt from Nokia Conversations gives a lot of background into it: Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 4 Oliver Schindelbeck has been part of the Carl Zeiss team working with Nokia almost from the very beginning. He reflects on Carl Zeiss’ collaboration with Nokia, and why he thinks the partnership between the two companies is so strong. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 9 First steps: Nokia N90This was the first phone of the collaboration between Carl Zeiss and Nokia, and it was really important. We needed the two megapixel threshold to feel confident that we were bringing impressive image quality.” “The first contact between Carl Zeiss and Nokia was in 2004. We approached Nokia about the idea of using ZEISS optics in mobile phone cameras, and we found we were on the same page. We got into a discussion with Nokia very easily – and both companies had a common understanding of the benefits of a partnership. It took less than three months to get from that discussion to signing contracts.” "“It all started in the snow. The first meeting of the management teams was in January 2005. There were five people from Carl Zeiss and five people from Nokia. They met in Finland, and went up to a guesthouse in snow-covered Lapland.” Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 10The atmosphere was very open and trusting from the start. It was a good fit between people, as well as between companies.” “I joined the team in May 2005, and preparations for the N90 were up and running already. The N90 was very challenging for us, because we joined the process at a late point.” “It was the first phone we’d worked on at Carl Zeiss and we had a lot to learn. Obviously Carl Zeiss is known for working with large, high quality, lenses made from glass. The plastic used in small, camera phone lenses, was a new material for us." “We already had experience in working with miniature lenses. In fact, Carl Zeiss built a camera lens that small as far back as the 1920s, made out of glass. And, of course, Carl Zeiss is a world leader in producing microscopy lenses, which are even smaller than camera lenses. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 11What was really new for us was the scale and volume of production that was necessary for Nokia. We produce some of our bigger lenses in the hundreds, maybe in the thousands. Working with Nokia we were looking at producing millions of lenses.” I can only advise you to read  the full article - it's great and covers the N95, N8 and goes right up to the 808 lens. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 13 Most importantly the N90 had a unique form factor that allowed several ways of taking shots/ making videos. It initially seems like a clamshell form, but that’s just the first impression. There were 2 screens, one “inside” and one on the outside that allowed you to see texts etc when the phone was closed but also allowed you to take a photo/video when the phone was still in it’s closed shape. The real innovation was the unique hinge mechanism that then allowed you to twist the screen so you end up with a kind of camcorder form, lens facing forward and screen facing you. This is all much easier to see than to read about so see the photos. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 15 You could even sneak-peek around a corner without having to look around it yourself. You could get creative with videos and wiggle the camera module’s vertical angle for a kind of vertical pan, or get some interesting angle shots with still photos. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 14 You could actually twist the thing around until the lens and screen are facing you, so ideal for taking a selfie! Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 16 I personally think one of the best things to do with 2MP is close ups and the detail was astonishing. It clearly blew away the competition at the time as the 808 did last year and the 1020 does now. N90 Image200 3 Leg Frog 2 N90 Image241 As also shown in Marc’s N95 extravaganza, there were many accessories that came with the phone, every cable you would need, headphones and a charger and the software on CD for anyone who didn’t have a fast internet connection way back in 2005... There was a rather “unique” socket to hook up to a pc but again, the cable was supplied. Nokia Time Warp - N90 - 17 It says something about build quality (built in Finland, will we ever see that again?) that my N90 is still fully functional today and I can still take shots with it. Here are three more of my own personal favourite shots from that period. N90 Image373 San Marino N90 Image757 King's College, Cambridge N90 Image930 This was my first digital camera of any kind and it did not disappoint. After that I did what many people did with contracts, I didn’t get the next Nokia camera phone the N93 (although I did lust after it’s optical zoom), but I got an N95 and was again blown away. I leapfrogged like this, I didn’t get a new phone every year, so the next was N97 and then 808 PUREVIEW, just about the best small 41MP camera in the world, surely. When it comes to the UK I hope to get a 64GB 1020 :-) On YouTube I'd like to thank Richard Shepherd for all his shots and his interesting background story about the Nokia N90. I'm open for other Nokia Time Warps as well, please contact me if you would have one in mind: marc at pureviewclub dot com. Remember though, when you'd like to realize a Nokia Time Warp: just the device, the box and the accessories - there should be nothing else in the pictures. You’ll find all my previous Nokia Time Warps here…

1.  Nokia 7650 2.  Nokia 9000 Communicator 3.  Nokia 5800 XpressMusic 4.  Nokia N900 5.  Nokia N8 6.  Nokia E7 7.  Nokia N86 8.  Nokia N800 Internet tablet 9.  Nokia N70 10.  Nokia N95 and N95GB 11.  Nokia N73 Music Edition 12.  Nokia N90 13.  Nokia 8800 Sirocco Gold Edition 14. Nokia 5110