Nokia was a name one always trusted, a few years back. There was no other brand so trusted and noted for a feature phone, and then even for a smartphone. That was when Nokia had held the edge and held the highest market share. It was a status symbol at one point, until the game changer Android OS made its way into the world of smartphones along with the iPhone. Since then, each of us has seen Nokia going down, and the major reason for it was the Microsoft deal which kept Nokia limited to the Windows Phone OS for the smartphones.
Nokia is struggling right now, and each of the tech enthusiast knows this. The Nokia-Microsoft deal was finalized on April 25th, and the name too could be gone, as there are speculations that Microsoft Mobile could be the new name for the same company. Let us take you back to the golden period when Nokia was dominating, and which were the Iconic phones from Nokia, when no other brand could make such pieces of excellence.
This was the device which introduced many to the mobile phones and its technology. Released in 1998, the Nokia 5110 was one of the early phones, which came with easiest and simplest functions, and the world famous game “Snake”, and this was the first phone to have that game. A very rugged design, this phone gave the users no worry about the damage even on multiple slips and accidental dropping of it. The front frame was customizable, i.e. the faceplate could be changed. What else would a user have wanted back then?
Many might not have heard about the 5110 device we talked about above, but the Nokia 3310 was one of the most famous phones from the iconic brand. 126 million units of this were sold till Nokia finally gave a full stop and stopped manufacturing it. When you talk about the number of sales, this still can hold the title for being one of the most successful phones in the mobile history. After the Snake in 5110, this phone had the Snake II game. It too was a sturdy phone with no effect on dropping, and a successor/variant to this, the Nokia 3315 gained some popularity for the SMS feature which was still something new back then.
The Symbian OS was being used and modified till the recent times, but the phone which was the first to have this, was the Nokia 7650. Along with that, the users saw an integrated camera in a phone with the introduction of this phone, and this is when in 2002, Nokia gave the world a message about the designs it could produce. It took a step ahead with features such as Emails, proper messaging and there was some internal config such as 4MB RAM, 16MB ROM and it was running on the ARM-9 series CPU which had a speed of 104MHz.
The concept of smartphones was in the beginning, and Nokia was already in the race with one of the most popular smartphones then – Nokia 6600. The 6xxx series from Nokia was all about the business class of devices, and the 6600 did the same, with the Symbian OS based Series 60 platform, and the presence of a camera, the Bluetooth connectivity. It was one of the very much popular devices, which Nokia launched in 2003, but the actual production ran till four years, before ending in 2007.
A smartphone could do more than the calling and emailing functions. This is why Nokia attempted to come up with a device which gives the users a complete gaming experience. This phone too was with the Series S60 platform, and it was released in the same year when the Nokia 6600 came in. The phone was in land scape mode, with a few dedicated keys for gaming, alongside the keypad on the right, and there was a good battery life, a loudspeaker and Bluetooth connectivity. The N-gage although didn’t get much applause, Nokia understood what went wrong, and came up with a new version soon after it, and after all, got what it wanted – the sales and the name. The Nokia N-Gage QD, successor to the N-Gage was one of the best designed devices from Nokia.
A phone close to my heart. At least a symbol of status for me back then. We had this N95 and were claiming to have one of the best technology products in the hands. Sliding both the sides, the phone could expose either the keypad or the music function keys. There was a brilliant 5MP camera, and there was GPS for navigation, a flash compatible browser and it could do a lot more. Still one of the best designed phones from Nokia, this phone was copied by several Chinese phone makers, and once this was priced around Rs. 30000 in India (US $730) while the Chinese copied ones were available for a just around $100. But this was one of the iconic phones ever. We eventually lost the phone at the Airport, and so this remains close to the heart.
The Symbian 3 was the new OS version from Nokia, and the N8 was the first smartphone to have this. Released in 2010, the phone had a whooping 12-megapixel camera and there were some excellent features such as the USB OTG support (and we are still wondering which Android phones have this), Wi-Fi, HDMI-out, and the beautiful 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with the Gorilla glass protection and multi-touch. There was 256MB RAM supporting the 680MHz ARM11 processor, and Nokia managed to sell around 4 million N8 handsets, and this was one of the highest pre-ordered devices in the history of Nokia. How good was that?
A special mention – Nokia 1100
No one can forget this device. You might have had one of these if you are one from the time when mobile phones were introduced. The Nokia 1100 has garnered over 250 million sales. i.e. 25 crore phones. i.e. 20% of total population in India! That’s not a small number at all. It was the most simplest, yet the best phone for many who preferred calling and messaging over listening to music, playing games and emailing.
There was a lot more expected from Nokia after that, but the deal with Microsoft although might be good for both, didn’t impress the users and the huge fanbase of Nokia, which expected something different and innovative, but it was the plethora of Windows Phone devices which came with beautiful designs and cameras, but not an interface which would impress many.