Above about N96 control and keyboard.
The block of controls is remarkable for the use of dedicated media buttons, unlike N85 those are operable outside the player mode. You can use them to switch tracks or start/stop playback at any moment in any menu, which is immensely handy. The buttons aren’t of the touch kind, they are mechanical and very responsive, bringing no trouble at all.
A Navi Wheel is traditionally available, remaining active in all menus and lists. The sensitive area of the wheel is limited to a thin limbo running along the perimeter of the navigation element. Moving your finger clockwise or counter-clockwise allows for rapid playlist browsing in a corresponding direction. The light indicator sits right in the center of the Navi Wheel and can be easily turned off. It doesn’t carry out any special functions like a message or a call reminder, a feature still available on some older Nokia models.
In addition to the dedicated media buttons located around the navigation button, an extra set of controls are found on the moving aprt of the slider. The functions and corresponding button markings change depending on the current mode: in the player mode, those turn into four rewinding and switch buttons. In games, only two buttons remain active.
The numerical keyboard is made from a solid piece of plastic; the buttons are very flat, yet have a great feedback and pose no practical inconvenience. The large size of the buttons eliminates the possibility of stray keystrokes. The keyboard backlight is of a bright white color, visible in any environment.