11 of the most iconic phones we've loved and lost

Before Apple and Samsung dominated the mobile market, these were the phones to which we pledged our allegiance

You might be packing the latest Apple or Samsung device, but once in a while, your mind wanders back to a time when phones looked very different.

Could be there is still a Nokia 3310-shaped hole in your heart, or maybe a particular soft spot for the Motorola Razr. The specs of those phones might barely register on today's tech scale, but yet they continue to resonate with us. Get ready to get sentimental. 

Nokia 9000 (1996)

The first in Nokia’s Communicator series, the Nokia 9000 was considered a mobile powerhouse for its time. Packing a 24MHz Intel processor, 8MB of memory and a grayscale display, it was considered revolutionary back in the day. It looked like a typical phone, but open it up and you were presented with nothing less than the future - a full QWERTY keypad and internet connectivity (with a dedicated button). Amazing.

Motorola Razr (2004)

Hello, Moto. Back when being thin was still a huge rarity, the Razr exploded onto the scene and became the de facto "it phone" of the moment. For a clamshell, it had the slightest silhouette for its time - just 13.9mm. Initially positioned as a fashion phone, Motorola also teamed up with Dolce & Gabbana for a limited edition gold run. At least they foresaw one of today's trends: gold. 

Nokia 8250 (1999)

During its heyday, the Nokia 8250 was the most compact phone of its time, weighing in at just 79g. It fit perfectly into most school uniform pockets and couldn’t be detected by teachers on the prowl. What’s most memorable, however, was probably that blue backlight glowing under tables as your classmates furtively texted one another. 

Nokia 5110 (1998)

What’s so special about this phone, you ask? Plenty. It was one of the first to feature swappable faceplates - everyone’s only option to customise the way their phones looked back then. But more importantly, it was one of the first phones to feature everyone’s favourite time-killer: Snake.

BlackBerry Bold 9000 (2008)

It might be difficult to imagine BlackBerry ruling the mobile scene but, truth be told, it wasn’t all that long ago when everyone - from the coolest kid in the club to the suits on the trading floor - seemed to be using a BB. That trackball and QWERTY keyboard were what people used to BBM one another. And it was cool back then. Now? Nobody gives a damn about BBM. It’s tragic how swiftly the BlackBerry name has become synonymous with irrelevance.