12 Nokia phones that changed the world (and 9 crazy ones that entertained us along the way)

We take a look at how the once juggernaut Nokia changed (and shocked) the smartphone industry

It's really happening, Nokia is making a comeback. Be still, our nostalgic hearts. 

To predict what we could possibly be seeing from them, it's best to look back. Thus it makes absolute sense for us to re-visit some of the iconic Nokia phones that will tug at your geek heartstring. Or maybe cringe at the abysmal design or absolutely ridiculous features. 

In any case, down the rabbit hole we go! 

Nokia Cityman (1987)

Available in “450” and “900” editions (named for the frequencies in MHz they used on the Nordic Mobile Telephony system), the Cityman was Nokia’s first mobile phone and regarded as a sleek, high-end and highly desirable product. How times change. The brick-like handset established the Finnish company as a major telephony player by 1988, helped Nokia secure almost 15 percent of the global mobile phone market.

Nokia 5110 (1998)

One of the many Nokia models that became near-ubiquitous in local universities, high streets and offices, the 5110 was nigh-on impervious to anything the world could throw at it, had excellent battery life and, of course, came with the beloved Snake on board. You could also pop off the front panel and swap it with one of several bright-coloured replacements because, well, customisation.

Snake charmer

This was my first phone. I loved the fact that you could customise it with tons of different covers, that it was built like a tank, and Snake: Oh. My. God. Snake. I felt like the coolest kid on the block when I bought a Nike tick to replace my operator logo.

Nokia 3650 (2002)

Equipped with a colour screen, a VGA camera able to shoot both stills and video and a what-the-hell-were-they-thinking circular keypad, the 3650 was the first Symbian Series 60 smartphone to launch in the US. It featured 3.4MB of built-in storage!

Understandably, Nokia was keen to talk up the 3650's video capture abilities in ads, resulting in the above TV spot which attracted – again, understandably – a considerable amount of criticism from cat lovers. It's about as tasteful as that circular keypad.