After Nokia’s phone business was acquired by Microsoft in 2013 and the brand name retired a few years later, fans are beyond themselves with excitement over the once great Nokia’s comeback, even if it’s a shell of the company it once was.
Online in the comments section of GadgetMatch.com, I’ve tried to explain how the new Nokia, under Finnish company HMD Global, is no longer the same team behind all-time favorites like the 3210 or 7650, but fans will not have it.
Having grown up using Nokia, I can understand the fervor. Nokia was known for phones that were sturdy and reliable; they looked great and performed well. And now with Android at its core, what could be better?
But before we begin to tell the story of Nokia’s next chapter, let’s look back at our five most favorite phones from Nokia’s golden age.
Nokia 3210 (1999)
One of the most successful Nokia phones of all time, the 3210 was the first mass market phone with an internal antenna. The 3210 was my first Nokia, and I remember marveling at the fact that its antenna did not protrude like most phones of that time.
The 3210 was very customizable. You could swap both its front cover and keypad allowing for a whole new level of personalization. It was also the first phone to support 8-bit picture messaging and a ringtone composer. Back in the day, being able to replace your carrier logo with a picture was the closest one could get to a wallpaper.
Nokia 8210 (1999)
The Nokia 8210 was the phone that made tiny phones popular. At the time of its release, it was the smallest Nokia phone and it literally fit the palm of your hands (in fact, you could probably fit two if you wanted). It was also one of the lightest at around 79g. Although most of its features were similar to the 3210’s, this smaller phone came with the option to change its Xpress-on covers to six different colors of the rainbow.
Nokia 7650 (2002)
If there was a precursor to the modern-day smartphone, it was probably the 7650. The phone was the first to run Nokia’s Symbian operating system, it featured a colored display, and had circular app icons reminiscent of the smartphones of today. Its headline feature, however, was its VGA camera, making it the phone that sparked the cameraphone revolution.
Nokia 1100 (2003)
The best-selling phone of all time, the Nokia 1100 went on sale from 2003 to 2009 and sold up to 250 million units. This bare bones phone came at a time when phones with color screens were all the rage, but its low price points kept it uber popular. Unlike its hard-shelled siblings, the Nokia 1100 came with a waterproof soft shell keypad and was much loved because of its built-in flashlight.
Nokia E71 (2008)
Reacting to the threat that was BlackBerry, the Nokia’s E71 featured a full QWERTY keypad for those whose business it was to send emails all day long. The E71 was a business phone and supported multiple profiles: one for work and one for play. I loved the E71 and its sleek and premium all-metal build.