It only takes a quick look at the Nokia 206 to know that something new, different and exciting is going on.
You could be forgiven for thinking that you’re actually looking at a Lumia – the 206’s striking colours and sleek curves have taken inspiration from Nokia’s acclaimed smartphone range.
The Nokia 206 is the first mobile phone to feature the same design language as the Lumia smartphones and this step was a radical departure says Ruth Ng, of Nokia’s Colour and Material Design team in Beijing.
“Part of how we look at it is, how do we build the device in a better way? How do we simplify the form?” Ruth tells Conversations.
“Giving the classic alphanumeric keypad a new look, because it has real heritage for Nokia and has been an iconic form factor, means there are a lot of questions. How do we keep the heritage, yet refresh it to make it more appealing to the young and aspirational consumers?”
Using colours such as cyan, black, white, magenta and yellow is one way of making the Nokia 206 more appealing to young people.
“We realised the importance of making a strong brand statement and being really proud and confident about it,” says Ruth of the colour scheme.
It made sense, she adds, to align the colours for the Nokia 206 with those that are associated with Lumia.
These bold colours, combined with its subtle curves, grabs your attention and makes you take notice.
“It carries a very confident message. It is true to its form factor and it’s not trying to look hi-tech or be a full touch device. I think that’s the best thing about this design,” says Ruth.
“It makes a very bold colour statement and I’m glad that we’ve been getting positive responses, with people saying that it looks fresh because that’s what we intended.”
Just as important as the colour of the Nokia 206 is how it feels in your hands and what it is made out of. The aim was to keep it pure and simple, explains Ruth.
The entire front of the Nokia 206, with the seamless transition to the window over the screen, is of one piece and has a high gloss effect.
In contrast, the back, which is also the battery cover, has a matt finish so it doesn’t leave fingerprints and gives the stylish device a human feel.
The front and the back fit together perfectly, so the only difference in the matt and gloss finishes is what you feel in your hand.
“It gives a very nice contrast in textures, the gloss and the matt coming together. The whole device is matched in one colour so I think the end result is that it’s very beautiful, very simple and is something that people can relate to. It looks very fresh,” says Ruth.
Based on its looks, the Nokia 206 is a sure-fire winner. It can’t be easy trying to reinvent the mobile phone, but the Nokia 206 certainly stands out from the crowd. Ruth says that was always part of the plan.
“We are really proud that Nokia is seen as reliable and dependable but we hope that these new colours give a new statement about our brand and that it’s young, social, aspirational.”
Updated October 1, 2015 6:45 am