May 9, 2011 10:49 am

7 Nokia cellphones that changed the world

Once the pink option is available, the Nokia N8 will come in six vibrant colours, more than any other smartphone in the world. Will this lead to people demanding more colourful smartphones? Who knows, but it wouldn’t be the first time that a Nokia cellphone has altered our behaviour. Here are seven Nokia cellphone legends, which have already changed the world in seven very different ways.

Nokia Cityman

The Nokia Cityman was the world’s first handheld mobile phone for NMT networks. It had a four-level ring tone so that it could easily be heard from inside the leather briefcase that was supplied to carry it. Incoming callers could also leave messages, though what today we know as voicemail was, back then, an actual person taking notes. In 1987 it got the nickname the “Gorba”, when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was pictured using it to make a call from Helsinki. It totally changed the way people thought about communicating.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Nokia 8210

The tiny Nokia 8210 was launched in 1997 with the mantra of “small is best”. Despite its mininess, it had predictive text, voice dialling, and picture messaging, as well as 35 different ring tones to choose from. As well as setting the standard for the miniaturization of mobiles, it also forever changed the way people interacted with their phones. It was much easier to keep your mobile at hand when it was smaller than a wallet.

Nokia 6110

Also launched in 1997, The Nokia 6110 wasn’t tiny, but it was the first phone to come preinstalled with the legendary game Snake. Adapted for mobile phones by Taneli Armanto, who still works for Nokia, it’s now embedded in over 350 million devices worldwide, making it the most popular mobile game ever. The Nokia 6110 changed the way people spent their free time and made waiting for a bus a heck of a lot less boring.

Nokia 6110


Nokia 1100

Introduced in 2003, an eternity ago in tech years, the Nokia 1100 doesn’t do much more than make calls and text. But as the Foreign Policy magazine said the Nokia 1100 is “humanity’s most rugged, efficient calling machine.” Built to endure the less-than-ideal conditions for electronics in developing nations, it was designed to work for as long as possible, as cheaply as possible. The world’s best selling mobile phone, owned by an amazing 250 million people worldwide, has helped more people communicate than any phone in history.

Nokia 1100

Nokia 7710

The Nokia 7710 was launched in 2004 way back before touchscreen technology became popular. Its lack of keypad meant you used handwriting recognition or a stylus. One of its most innovative features at time was the ability to let you scribble a handwritten note and send it off to someone via MMS. It gave people a totally new insight into how they could interact with technology.

Nokia 7710


Nokia N95

When it launched in 2007, the Nokia N95 was the most technically advanced smartphone ever produced. Complete with GPS satellite navigation, a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, 3G video calling, and a host of other amazing features, it sold out immediately when it hit the market. Billed as what “computers have become” it made computing truly mobile for the first time ever.

Nokia N95

Nokia N8

Nokia is the world’s largest producer of cameras so it’s fitting that it’s produced 12MP camera smartphone. The Nokia N8 really has taken mobile photography and film making to an entirely new level. It’s has made everyone a potential movie maker and everyone a fantastic photographer.

Nokia N8

Think we’ve missed any phones out that deserve a mention? Let us know in the comments below.