LONDON, England – My relationship with mobile phones is one that has lasted 11 years and will without doubt go on for many more. I’ve spent most of my adult life working with them on a professional basis and in particular, the devices made by Nokia. It’s always been simplicity and style that has attracted me when deciding what phone to go for, and my short list below reflects that. The phone that first earned my love for mobile tech was the Nokia 7110, and is the first device in my list of Three Favourite Nokias. Ever.
The year was 1999 and I sat down to watch the film The Matrix, where this phone was projected in full, wide-screen, cinematic glory. The phone rang, Neo held it in his hand and the slide swooshed open. Ok, so the phone on screen was a modified Nokia 8110 but nobody knew that at the time, and then came the arrival of the Nokia 7110 which was subsequently nicknamed The Matrix phone. Its two-tone paint job and large square screen instantly grabbed my attention as it seemed (at the time) to be the epitome of cool. This phone was ergonomically designed, crafted for my hand, with my thumb in perfect position to scroll the navi-roller key in the middle, and my index finger poised over the small, silver button at the back, that when pressed would bring the phone to life, open the slide and allow access to the keypad. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realised this was a WAP enabled phone, the world’s first, that allowed me to browse the web on the move. Albeit a very slow, black and white, pixelated version of the web, it was still impressive and something to boast about at the time. Remember, it was 1999.
Two years later, my new toy was the Nokia 7650. This phone laid the foundations for future smartphones. Before this, most phones were fairly rudimentary, and did an excellent job of making phone calls and providing SMS. This new ‘smart’ phone offered MMS. This also meant there was a built-in camera to take photos before sending them on to friends, which for me was my first experiencing of owning a digital camera. With this phone came the first appearance of the Symbian S60 OS, which gave me the freedom to install my own applications and modify the phone software by downloading from The Software Market, which was a predecessor to the Ovi Store. Even back in 2001, it seems, Nokia was looking at ways to deliver personalisation into people’s hands. Apps on a mobile device? Yep, in 2001.
But my favourite phone to date is the Nokia N900. One thing I love about this device is the operating system. With the Maemo 5 OS at its core, this phone has never let me down and continues to run as smoothly today as it did the first day I got it out of the box. I am able to download my contacts from the social network sites I use and have them populated in my contact list, along with their photo, the URL of their social network profile and, most importantly for me, their birthday. Not wanting to be the typical man who forgets these occasions, having the details of my friends’ and family’s birthdays automatically added to my calendar means I never forget another important day.
It’s been tough picking only three devices that should make it onto my list, as each phone I’ve owned, I’ve enjoyed for many reasons. Today, it’s not just all about looking cool, a phone has to make my life easier in some way. I also want productivity from my device. I want my computer in my pocket and the Nokia N900 is just that.
Adam Fraser is the newest member of the Conversations editorial team. Previously he worked in Nokia Care and is a regular on the Nokia Support Forums.