Nokia spent a few years under Microsoft’s wing as the company tried to compete in the lucrative smartphone market by relying upon Nokia’s iconic branding. It did churn out a couple of good handsets but they never really caught on. Microsoft took a hit on the Nokia deal and is now trying to completely shake up the smartphone industry, but that may take a lot of time. Until that happens, we can feast our eyes on a canceled Windows Phone 7 handset that features a physical keyboard.

This prototype device is believed to have been made around 2012. It doesn’t have a name but is referred to as the Nokia RX-100. The handset’s physical keyboard immediately stands out, it’s very similar to the keyboards on BlackBerry handsets.

However, the prototype doesn’t have any of the sleek looks of other Lumia handsets that were actually released by Nokia, so it was possibly a very early prototype. Images suggest that the RX-100 is running a developer preview version of Windows Phone 7.

It’s unclear what happened to this project. Nokia hasn’t said anything about the devices it was working on and never ended up releasing. We can’t expect it to spill the beans now that it has all been said and done.

It would have been interesting to see where this project would have gone had Nokia decided to pursue it to a logical conclusion. There weren’t a lot of keyboard-toting Windows Phone 7 smartphones on the market after all.

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