If you’re one of those old enough to have a mobile phone in the late 1990s and early 2000s, you’d know how prominent Nokia was as a brand. And as we finally bid farewell to this once great brand, I thought of giving tribute by having a trip down memory lane.
My first Nokia phone was when I was back in college with the 5110 (with the i, as in 5110i). It may not be high-end even at the time, but it was easily one of the most user-friendly phone then. Even I didn’t have any problem teaching my mom on how to navigate the Series 40 platform. Indeed, Nokia’s UI was just unmatched in terms of ease of usability.
During that time, the “ultimate” phone was the 3210. I loved it the first time I saw it, but it was too expensive for a student like me. It was the first phone I know of that had no external antenna poking out of it, and its curve was just “sexy.”
The next big thing was the 3310. It really looks chubby, but in a cute way. It was such a big hit that just about everyone who can afford to spend on a phone has one. Or two. And it was quite durable—I know of one that actually survived a full cycle in the washing machine! I never got the chance to have one, but eventually I had its not-as-successful successor, the 3350. It had one of the biggest and highest resolution screen on a phone at the time.
When 8310 arrived, I was again in love. Unfortunately, it was way beyond my budget for a phone so I didn’t have one, but I was fortunate that a similar and more practical 6510 was also around at the time so I had that. It was the smallest phone I’ve ever had and despite its size, it had one of the highest resolution screen in the Nokia arsenal. How I missed the time when smaller phones were the big thing!
Then arrived one of the biggest disruption from Nokia, the 7650—Nokia’s first colored-screen phone, and the first camera phone. This was also Nokia’s first smartphone, apart from the Communicator series, and it uses the Symbian Series 60 platform. This would be the turning point when mobile phones became more than just for calling and SMS. It was quite happy with my phone then so it didn’t matter that I didn’t have one.
The 6600 was again another successful phone from Nokia. It was just gorgeous despite its chubby curves, reminiscent of the 3310. I really, really wanted one, but I didn’t find much practical use for me then to really need one. In fact when I lost my phone at the time, I went back to basics with the 1100. And don’t get me wrong, despite being as Spartan as it can get, I loved it! The ease of use of S40, the flashlight, and the once-a-week charging are hard to beat. And it has the game Snake so I can’t complain!
It took a very long time before I actually decided to join the colored screen bandwagon with the 6260. It was such a fun phone because it changes form like a Transformer robot from a typical flip phone to a camcorder to a pseudo-tablet. The hinge was a bit concerning but I didn’t really encounter any issues.
My next phone was in the form of the 6233—one of my all-time favorites. It was my first phone to have a colored screen with quarter VGA resolution (320×240) which was the highest at the time! It was so fun and easy to use (you can compose SMS with it without even looking at the screen!) and it also had an SD card slot despite running S40.
Later on, the 6120 arrived. It was my reintroduction to Symbian and it was my first phone to have a front-facing camera. I really, really loved this phone as S60 had become much more “pleasant” during that time.
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Then, the first iPhone arrived. Mobile phones will never be the same again. Nokia was still the world’s #1 mobile phone manufacturer, but it was the start of its demise.
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The 5800 XpressMusic was my first touchscreen phone. Android had already existed at the time, but Symbian still dominates the smartphone world at the time and it is also the one that powers this phone. It was such a good looking phone, but the S60 running it was just really disappointing. There were no multi-touch, you can only use a stylus to tap onto screen items, and everything was just sluggish. Despite its shortcomings, I loved this phone that I bought it twice (since I lost my first one at the rest room of CWC during CamSur Marathon). When I lost it again for the second time, it marked the end of my love-affair with Nokia.
It was so sad to see the former leader of the mobile phone world suddenly lose the top spot and gradually fade into obsolescence. While iOS and Android continue to improve, Nokia stagnated with the ill-fated Symbian. By the time they tried to catch up, everyone was long gone.
Nokia may now be gone, but the good memories that I had with it through the years will never be. The mobile phone industry will never be what it is now if not for what Nokia had started. Thank you for the years of innovation! Thank you for all the fun memories! 🙂
* Photos courtesy GSMArena.com