Even though Nokia isn’t exactly disappearing, the fact that Microsoft’s acquisition of the Finnish firm has just been finalized means that it will, at least, be losing some of its identity. Given that most of us have, at some point, used at least one Nokia handset, it’s rather sad to see the famed brand meet its demise, and here – through one or two tears – we look back and pay tribute to some of the undeniable classics that the company has churned out over the past couple of decades.
Nokia 3310 (2000)
Ahh, the 3310. My personal favorite device of all time, and even if you don’t agree, you’ll surely have only fond memories of this little wonder. Interchangeable covers, a battery life of days, Snake II – that was the life – and before all this smartphone business, it really was the mobile phone to own. A true classic, the iconic handset is probably the one that Nokia will best be remembered for, and rightly so.
Nokia 7650 (2002)
This was Nokia’s first Symbian (S60) smartphone to pack a sliding keypad, and it was a decision that paid dividends. Released back in 2002, the keypad dropped to reveal the rear-facing VGA camera, and even though this doesn’t seem like much, back in 2002, it was very James Bond. In fact, it was used heavily in promotion of the film Minority Report, which surely helped with its mystery-man-gadget overtones, and even though it’s a bit of a brick now – I still have one lying around – back then, it was the epitome of style.
Nokia N-Gage (2003)
A gamer’s dream, this was the first mainstream handset to really try to offer a legitimate gaming experience on a mobile phone. From what I can recall, the standard was pretty decent at the time, even giving the Game Boy roster a run for its money, and with the follow-up N-Gage QD bringing a slick, rounded form factor, the N-Gage still has a fairly strong cult following.
Nokia 6600 (2003)
This handset was really the ultimate business phone, combining a slick, pocketable form factor with some robust features including expandable storage, media player and Bluetooth connectivity.
Nokia Communicator 9500 (2004)
Even though the 6600 was great for business, it was preceded by some real heavyweights. The Communicator 9500 was more of a small notebook than a phone, folding out to reveal a full keyboard and sizeable screen, making it easier for professionals to send email on-the-fly. At the time, it was wonderful, but looking back and knowing what we know now, the whole concept seems rather ludicrous!
Nokia N95 (2007)
There was a time when cameras in mobile phones were considered a gimmick, but the N95 put those notions well and truly to rest. With a flash-enabled 5-megapixel sensor, it still continues to take good pictures even to this day, and its slidey, large-displaying form factor was a real departure from the tiny screens we were accustomed to prior to its release in March 2007. But we all know what happened later on in that year.
Nokia XpressMusic 5800 (2008)
As well making a concerted push in the photography stakes, Nokia also made a song-and-dance of the audio capabilities of its devices, and at no point was this more apparent than with the 5800 XpressMusic. One of the first Nokia releases to pack a touch screen, it also offered expandable storage, enabling users to pack as many songs as they wanted, but despite a design flaw that saw the earphone jack cease to function after short-term use, Nokia still managed to shift over 8 million units of this candybar marvel.
Nokia N9 (2011)
The Nokia N9, which burst onto the scene back in 2011. Running on the MeeGo "Harmattan" software, many commentators have suggested that had Nokia opted to succeed Symbian OS with MeeGo rather than Windows Phone, things may have worked out a lot differently. Commended for its beauty, the N9 was discontinued as quickly as it appeared, but will always have a special place in the hearts of those who believed in it.
Nokia Lumia 800 (2011)
Running on Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7.5, the Lumia 800 was lauded as a design marvel, and gave us all a taster of the new direction of the Redmond’s mobile software. Even though subsequent handsets have brought better features and tech. specs, the design hasn’t deviated too much from the Lumia 800, which is a testament to how well thought-out the Lumia 800 was.
Nokia 808 PureView (2012)
Nokia already outlined its intention to evolve camera tech with the Carl Zeiss optics of the N95, but it wasn’t until the Nokia 808 PureView – with a 41-megapixel sensor and full-HD video – that we realized how serious the company was about revolutionizing camera technology in the modern smartphone era. Two years on from its release, it still boasts a great shooting experience, and deservedly finds its place among the ten most revered Nokia handsets.
So, there you have it – our round-up of the ten greatest Nokia exports of all time. Sure, this list could have been doubly as long, with the 3210, 8210, 6630, N900, N90, 7600/7610, 7280, 7710 and 6100 among the many more that deserve an honorable mention. But in the end, we whittled it down to just the ten, and I think you’ll agree that each entry – in its own right – is justified.
Of the list above, which did you own? Do share your comments below!