Skip to main content
December 6, 2011

Review: a decade of the most abstract (& beautiful) Nokias (2001-2011)

Dion from the dgui blog has written a retrospective article charting the development of Nokia mobile phone design throughout the last ten years. Turning back the hands of time, Dion has gone back to the future and unearthed some hidden gems and vintage styles.

Dedicating a decade of mobile phone design to the various Nokia handsets that have evolved through time, here we have a compiled list charting some of the weirdest and most wonderful Nokia models to have graced the palms of people the world over.

To get to grips with such an eclectic range of handsets, we’re not going down the chronological route, but selecting and grouping our favourite models for their shapes, functions and features.

It seems sensible though, to start with the Asha 300 & 303 models – the youngest and most recent phones on the dgui list. The opinions here are varied; the 300 ‘attractive, yet weird’ and the 303 ‘modern and original’. But this is nothing compared to some of the other designs below!

Nokia 5510 via dgui

Bearing in mind the 303 features a  QWERTY keypad, it’s fascinating to look at some other QWERTY comparisons from years gone by such as the X5-01, then rewind a whole decade and look at the Nokia 5510, a phone that was:

“Way ahead of its time when you consider the fact that it had a 5 row QWERTY keyboard that was only used for SMSs”

The 5510 packed a whole lot more under the hood too, such as; MP3 playback/recording and 5 pre-loaded games, including the legendary Snake II.

Perhaps the most visually interesting handsets here are the more circular selection of phones Dion has looked at. Turn the clock back to 2004 and you’ve got the Nokia 7710 – a kind of oblong/rectangular shape with some sumptuous curves, more akin to the look and feel of a Formula 1 car steering wheel than a mobile phone. Sporting a 1MP camera and resistive touch capability it was an awesome thing to behold seven years ago.

via liewcf

We could imagine James Bond being the proud owner of the Nokia 7600 at one time or another. It looks like a space age eye, the screen resembling the eye ball sitting in the centre, the body not quite circular but boasting some bespoke curvature. The unorthodox button layout surrounds the phone screen on either side, rather like the Nokia 3650 which also has full circle keypad.

via logomanager

Then you’ve got the super quirky Nokia 3250 from 6 years ago, with a keyboard that:

“You could twist around and reveal dedicated music keys from the back”

The 7370 has a similar function, with a sliding cover that can twist round a whole 180 degrees to reveal the keypad underneath. Sporting some ornate patterning, it was a model for those itching for a bit more decoration on their handset, a bit like the futuristic 7500 – a model that comes from 2008, but could easily be from 2080, with a 14mm textured body surface made of jet black prisms shapes.


via newtelepon

We think you’ll agree that Dion has given Nokia designs from the past ten years a really thorough going over. He’s revisited some of the most innovative and forward thinking mobile phone designs of the past and it’s great to look back and see how design has changed and adapted over the years. From the Nokia 5510 to the N-gage, the Nokia 7280 to the Asha 303, there’s something for everyone.

Which design is your favourite? Let us know @Nokia_Connects.