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

Nokia 6310 (2002)

Don’t let its basic (but admittedly gaudy) candybar looks fool you: the 6310 was a business-minded blower with such exec-friendly features as Bluetooth (for the ubiquitous headset) and a voice memo recorder.

The pic above is actually the 6310i, an updated model released a year later and equipped with a blue monochrome screen and triband reception. Famed for its outstanding battery life and feted for its compatibility with in-car phone docks around the globe, it still fetches decent prices on eBay. Indomitable.

Nokia E71 (2008)

The phone that out-BlackBerried BlackBerry and thumbed its nose at the iPhone’s vulgar touchscreen stylings was a one-time Stuff favourite. A truly smart (as in, well dressed) phone, its metal body, crisp(ish, for 2008) 320x240 screen and wonderful keyboard meant it spent as much time being caressed and drawing admiring glances in the boardroom as it did being used for actual work.

Because it was so focused on specific tasks, its Symbian S60 operating system seemed slick and functional: expectations were lower on this than they were on, say, the multimedia-centric N95. But it still had the toys - A-GPS navigation, a 3.15MP camera and an FM radio - and its battery kept on giving, too.

My how I wanted one

I never had an E71 - I was too busy playing with Windows Mobile at the time - but I was envious of those in the Stuff office who did. It was robust and beautifully made, taking the best bits of Nokia’s stainless steel Scirocco line and applying them to a business-focused template. Unlike Windows Mobile, it didn’t crash multiple times each day, and it didn’t wait and have a little think before reacting to commands. At the time it was a fine argument for eschewing those new-fangled, power-hungry touchscreen smartphones.

Nokia 7650 (2001)

A true pioneer for Nokia, the 7650 was the firm’s first phone to come with a built-in camera and the first to come with the Symbian S60 OS. The camera thing is a huge deal because, well, Nokia went on to make some of the best camera phones ever made (the N93, N95 and Lumia 1020 for starters) and S60 is significant because it quickly became the basis for the majority of the firm's more advanced smartphones.

What you can’t really tell from the image here is that the 7650 was a big old unit too, almost too big to be considered a comfortable phone. Watch the ad above and you'll get more of an idea of its bulk – as well as a bit of mild sexism courtesy of Nokia's ad agency.

Nokia 7110 (1999)

The firm’s first Series 40 phone, the 7110 offered a WAP browser: the perfect solution for anyone who wants to use Internet on the go and has a spare two hours to wait for a near-unreadable page to load onto the 95 x 95 pixel monochrome screen (we kid, we kid – the screen was actually huge and reasonably hi-res by 1999's standards). Billed as Nokia's first "media phone", it gave users hitherto unavailable mobile access to email and web services like news and ticket booking.

It also offered a clickable wheel to make scrolling easier, and the spring-loaded keypad cover/mouthpiece is something of a design masterstroke.

Nokia 7600 (2004)

If you want an example of how quickly trends have changed, here it is: the 7600’s teardrop shape was intended to make it appealing to fashionable young things – none of whom would be seen dead whipping out one of these oddities today.

Incredibly tricky to use and fairly underpowered for a 3G phone, it serves as a warning to manufacturers: thinking “outside of the box” doesn’t always pay off.

Nokia 8210 (1999)

Exceedingly compact and lightweight (a mere 79g), this candybar was compatible with Xpress-on interchangeable covers and featured an infrared port allowing it to wirelessly communicate with printers and PCs – a sort of massively primitive Bluetooth.

Angels and customisable ringtones

Made famous by its appearance in Charlie's Angels, the 8210 was tiny and feminine – but interchangeable covers mean you could win back those lost man points easily. Customisable ringtones were the whole reason I upgraded from the 5110, believe it or not.

Nokia 808 PureView (2012)

With the 808, Nokia introduced the 41MP PureView camera, which delivered some of the finest stills and videos ever produced by a phone at the time.

Unfortunately it was tied to Symbian 3 – by 2012 clearly an operating system without a future – and priced at £500, so was never going to be a success.

Nokia 8800 (2005)

A slick slider (it used ball bearings to deliver a smoother action) with a stainless steel outer shell, the 8800 was billed as a premium device – and the MP3 playback, scratch-resistant screen and build quality lived up to that billing.

Sadly the battery life was more of a bargain basement-type situation, with many users discovering that multiple charges were required every day. We suppose that at least had the benefit of getting them ready to deal with the all-too-brief battery life of today's high powered smartphones.

Nokia 7280 (2004)

Ah, Nokia - this is what we'll really miss about you. The 7280, one of Nokia's Fashion Phone line-up, was as gorgeous as it was gloriously impractical. Why select numbers and letters with buttons when a scrollwheel can make the process so much more difficult and long-winded?

It was a tiny device, hence its being nicknamed the 'lipstick phone'.  And, acknowledging that only a friendless hermit (or perhaps someone with a slave they could get to do the data entry) could possibly use it as their primary phone, the SIM was uncharacteristically easy to access - you just popped it out of your daytime phone and slapped it in the side of the 7280 for the night's activities. It even had a mirrored screen for checking one's mascara, and a VGA camera for taking candids at The Ambassador's Reception.

An occasional dress phone, then. For the BAFTAs and whatnot. Brilliantly bonkers.

Nokia Lumia 1020 (2013)

Now this is more like it: a 41MP PureView camera tied to a decent OS (Windows Phone). The Lumia 1020 is, in our humble opinion, the finest camera phone ever made – and was Nokia’s last ever flagship device before the company was sold to Microsoft.

And that was that - until HMD bought the rights to the Nokia name. 2017 should be the year Nokia's smartphone expertise lives on in the next generation of HMD-created devices.

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