Today's phones may be more sophisticated than those of a decade
ago, but older phones could certainly be more interesting to look
at. Ten years ago Nokia announced the cute-as-a-button Nokia
which featured lighting effects, customisable covers and
an attractive design that made it immediately appealing, in a compact
and lightweight design weighing just 86 grams.
Meanwhile in Japan there were some quite different ideas afoot,
and we looked at the Sharp
V602SH and V402SH
clamshell phones that featured novel technologies
such as an autofocus camera, FM radio, analogue TV tuner and.. err..
a dog bark translator.
Nokia announced six devices in May
2009.. but not a single one of them had a touchscreen. Among
the more interesting ones, the Nokia
E52 was a business-oriented Symbian smartphone in a traditional
monoblock design, the elegant Nokia
2730 Classic was Nokia's cheapest 3G phone to date, the Nokia
6600i Slide looked attractive but its lacklustre specifications
seemed to show a general malaise in product design. The Nokia
6730 Classic (which was exclusive to Vodafone) caught our eye
because of the startlingly white colour scheme.
The strikingly-designed Sony
Ericsson Aino was a touchscreen phone with a slide-out numeric keyboard,
but despite the very smart physical design the handset failed to
live up to expectations.
We rarely cover CDMA phones, but the Samsung
Alias 2 stood out from the crowd because of its unusual electronic
ink keypad and a dual-hinge design. Despite having plenty of wow
factor, this idea never really caught on.
We also looked at the Garmin-Asus
nüvifone G60 which had been announced in a wave of hype
in early 2008 but only got to the market 20 months later by which
time it was irrelevant, and the Garmin-Asus tie-up was killed off
the year after.