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Nokia Time Warp VII: unpacking the Nokia N86, captured with the Nokia 808

I’ve been collecting quite some devices during the past few weeks, to continu what once started spontaneously, but is now becoming a series of posts: the Nokia Time Warp.

The Nokia Time Warp is all about unpacking classic Nokia devices as if they were really new, and capturing that with the Nokia 808 PureView – the camphone that wasn’t around in those days.

It’s not like any breaking news, it’s about fresh captured old memories, part of the Nokia passion – oh well, I’m sure you’ll understand.

It’s really hard to get those older devices in mint condition for a reasonable price, and this one I think really is a great find: the Nokia N86!

Except for the package the device is literally brand new: the owner received it because his original N86 couldn’t be repaired. Waiting for the repair he bought a new smartphone and never used the N86 Nokia sent to him.

Two more shots from the box:

Opening the box… yes, it’s the white version! Notice the screen protector is still in place.

First, what’s underneath…

Lots of promo material for Ovi Store and N-Gage

The headset looks pretty neat! 

The flash was blowing out some of the shots though (like the one above…), so most of the rest of this Time Warp is without flash.

The N86 was under the kitchen lamp which is not as bright white as I’d like, but going outside was not an option (and I don’t have studio lamps at home). So here it is: though not as white as in real life, the N86, without the back cover and battery.

Same shot, more or less, lens cap opened (it will start the camera, by the way)

Another point of view…

Battery inserted. It’s the BL-5K you’ll also find in the N85, C7, X7 and C7.

Next, a few close-ups of the (closed) device without flash. You will see the mint condition of this N86 in the reflection…

Opening up…

The keyboard from different angles…

Next, two shots I completely forgot to make in the first place! Sliding the upper part in the other direction… Don’t ask me how I could forget, I don’t know.


In my hand, to give you an impression of the size of this charming smartphone.

Connecting People…

To finish, some shots of the Symban S60 menu.

In fact, the last shot shows you best how white it actually is. Like I said the lamp in my kitchen isn’t as white as I’d like to for a shoot like this, but I think gave you a good impression of what the N86 looks like, and I hope I’ll have brought back some sweet memories with some of you.

I’ve just recently fallen in love with this small N86. I never owned one before and now, years later, I discovered it to be a very charming device. And: it has a pretty good cam too.

As a friendly farewell to this Nokia Time Warp VII , here’s a snapshot the N86 made of the white Nokia 808 PureView :-)

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28 Responses

  1. Masteryates

    Still using mine day in day out. Had the sense to buy the GF another so when mine packs in, the replacement is on hand.

    Even in this day, for video in low light, cant find anything that competes. 808 is too big.

    Compared the N86, nexus 4 & iphone for mp3 playback. N86 blew the others away.

    Still loving it.

  2. suyog

    Great post, loved this time warp series.
    Hopefully someone can do similar for Eseries phones. E61/2, E71,E72

    • suyog

      And I got N86 :) because of this post.

      • Marc @PureViewClub

        That’s so cool! Probably will need to sell mine though, but I’m trying to keep it as a crucial part of the Nokia imaging history.

  3. Mimi

    Gawd, all those timewarp are makeing me want to seach ebay for old Nokia phones. Especially the good old Xpress Music, the model before touchscreen became all the rage. I had one in blue and one in pink (or was it red)? And yes, I checked my mails and surfed the internet with this thing. (That’s why I never got the point of the iPhone when it became fashionable). Oh, the good old time.

    • Mimi

      I also remember having the Nokia 5100. A very sturdy model that you could hardly kill.
      I also found the model number of my xpress music: 5310. Sigh.

  4. David H

    *Interesting factoid* The keys were clear plastic, and printed from the underside, meaning you could never scratch the paint off

  5. Victor

    THank you very much for these time wrap series.Love it for bringing the good old memories back in time.Couldn’t resist buying nokia 808 red version as the last symbian phone and loving it so far.

  6. David H

    Like other people here, I decided to bypass the N97 and opt for the N86. I was fast on it. Then I went straight to the 808.

    Of interest, the next version was going to have an optical navigation key with the name N87. But it got canceled in development

  7. Vinicius

    Such a beautiful piece of tech.

    I would like to have one, even today, actually.

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      If you have enough patience, you can even get a new one for a very reasonable price. ..

  8. Phil E Phenau

    Ahaha! This is now my backup camera, just in case my N8 then would ran out of battery, or 808 now since my sister ‘snatched’ the N8.
    Yep, it’s a trusty phone.. Had lots of photos and videos.. It can stand on its own so I can just prop it up anywhere,and it has a kickstand too. Mine still works though dropped it many times. Still love it..

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Kickstand… I can’t believe I missed that in my shots. Maybe I should check with all of you guys before I start anyway ;-) Some more shots coming up soon!

  9. I had only given up on my N86 last year when I got an 808, , I only gave up on it when the camera packed in, I had dropped it down a storm drain six months earlier though, also the USB charging port got so temprimental after a couple of years I ended up buying a desktop charger. I still miss the form of this phone though,I like buttons! I got it working this afternoon and took a photo, excuse the cracked screen I dropped it in a gravel car park in the dark and trod on it. I might put it on ebay if anyone is interested, the sat nav, fm transmitter and phone still work ;o)

  10. Navvarr

    Brilliant phone, owned one and loved using it.
    It was a worthy update from my trusty N95.

    I have a lot of fond memories of the N86.


    Woww nice to see the Old chunk. wait, i have one with me :)

    absolutely stunning camera phone. trust me it beats my xperia S hands down in aspect of camera…

    the wide angle lens make it great for portrait snaps

  12. Pawlee

    Growing quite the collection you are! You really need an N82 and N93 and you got all the camera stars!

    I loved my N86… the form factor was absolutely perfect, it was such a comfy phone to hold, and was one of the best Symbian non touch phones out there.

    When everyone was falling to pieces of the sham that was the N97 I dodged it and decided to get this instead, my god how happy I was I made that decision! By the time I finally got involved with Symbian touch (the N8) they had got it right!

  13. Mukhthar Ahmed

    Loved the phone!! Maybe you forgot it can slide downwards too

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Mukhtar, you are SO right! I totally forgot! Just like the N95 (still looking for a good 8GB version) Will have to add some pictures, thanks for the tip!