The Keepin' It Real Fake
industry has become so good, so fast, so well-tuned to market trends that we knew it was just a matter of time before it'd be consistently beating the real phones to market. What we didn't
expect, necessarily, was for Nokia to start making its own fakes. We can't tell what's going on exactly, but it appears that the twisty E81
that we saw a while back could've very well been a genuine article -- either that, or it was scooped up well ahead of release in China and cloned ages before Nokia had intended the phone to be announced. Anyhow, this thing is launching as the Twist for Nokia, the bizarre swivel phone that's been rumored
for a while now. Alongside the Surge
, the Twist proves that Espoo's committed to releasing totally customized gear for US carriers, and we'll be especially curious to see how well the swivel works in practice here. It'll run $149.99 on a two-year deal before rebate, featuring a 3 megapixel autofocus cam with flash, full HTML browser, so-called "Habitat Mode" (like the Intrigue
before it), EV-DO Rev. 0, and a full QWERTY keyboard that swivels away to turn the phone into a near-perfect square. It also features replaceable faceplates and is said to have some sort of lighting arrangement around the swivel ring that's user-customizable -- perfect for your next fog-filled rave. The interwebs and "select NYC locations" all get it on September 13 with everyone else following on come the 21st, so go ahead and make some square-shaped room in your pocket right now, why don't you?
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.