Although these days Nokia spans the globe, it’s called Finland home ever since engineer Fredrik Idestam first launched the company in Tampere way back in 1865. It’s no surprising then that Finland (or Suomi in Finnish) and its culture has had such a important influence on the way the company crafts its smartphones. Take the Nokia Lumia 920, a smartphone jam packed with innovation all within a stunningly unique design. It’s the result of worldwide collaboration, but if you take a closer look you can see some distinctly Finnish touches.
Low light winters
In winter in the far north of Finland the sun doesn’t rise for three months. Imagine ninety long days of darkness. Even in Espoo, where Nokia’s headquartered, in mid-winter the days are only light for a few hours. When you live for a quarter of the year in a state of semi darkness, you want a smartphone camera that can take great pictures in low light. Thankfully, the Nokia Lumia 920 and now the Nokia Lumia 925 have unique PureView technology with Carl Zeiss lens, which do just that…regardless of when the sun’s next up.
The chill factor
Finnish winters are not only very long and they’re also very cold. Minus twenty is nothing unusual. At that temperature your eye-lashes can freeze together and your hands get very numb very quickly. In weather like this the Nokia Lumia 920’s touch screen, which is so sensitive that you can use it with gloves, make a lot of sense. But that’s not the only way Finnish winter has been influential. Historically, because of the harsh wintery conditions, the original basis for all design has been function. In the past, if a product’s design didn’t help you survive, it was no good. Use only what is needed, make its function clear and its form simple. You need simply hold the Nokia Lumia 920 to appreciate this philosophy.
The flip side to the long dark winters is a summer time with days that just go on and on and on. In Lapland the sun doesn’t set for three months. Further south, in mid-summer, the sunshine lasts twenty hours a day. The contrast is intense and so are the colours. The sky is a lush blue. The forest a verdant green. Helsinki’s vibrantly building are breathtakingly colourful. A yellow Nokia Lumia 920 perfectly reflects the intensity of the sunshine. Spend a day in the capital on a hot summer day and you’ll see where inspiration for the Nokia Lumia’s glorious colour scheme came from.
The art of craft
Nokia mobile phones have a reputation for being incredibly hardy, popularized by the internet meme the Indestructible Nokia. The basis of this comes from the fact that Finland, along with the other Nordic countries, industrialized a lot later than most of Western Europe. Consequently, the mass production, which kicked off between the two World Wars was on a much smaller scale. Happily, this meant Finland was better able to preserve its traditions of craftsmanship and integrate it into commercial production. The result has been called industrial art. Whether it’s the slight curved bevel around the edge of the glass or the 4.5’’ PureMotion HD+ display, the craftsmanship in the Nokia Lumia 920 is easy to see.
Finland may be a small country of less than six million, but next time you marvel at your fantastic low light photos or the colour of your Nokia Lumia 920, remember it’s partly thanks to super Suomi!
Image credit: Wstryder + My Nokia Blog + Pete Birkinshaw