A long time ago we weren’t so bothered about the technical specifications of our phones… how they were designed – the look and feel of the things – was often more important. One common design feature was to make phones small and curvy, and the rival Nokia 6111 and Samsung E530 phones were certainly that.
The Nokia 6111 was the best known of the pair, one of a small number of slider phones from Nokia. With a diminutive size and heavily curved corners there was no doubt that the 6111 was a looker. When closed it measures 84 x 47 x 23mm and at 92 grams it was lightweight as well. On the back was a competitive 1 megapixel camera with an LED flash and rudimentary video capabilities. The 1.8” 128 x 160 pixel screen wasn’t all that great but as with all Nokias of this type it was incredibly easy to use. The was an FM radio built in plus a few games (more could be downloaded) and it supported Bluetooth too.
Although this was a GPRS-only phone, it did include a version of the capable Opera web browser.
The most popular silver and white version looked a bit “girlie” but there were darker colour combinations too which looked less so. Launched at the height of the slider phone craze in the mid-noughties, the Nokia 6111 was quite a success.
Although Samsung were the king of the slider market in 2005, for the Samsung SGH-E530 they returned to their rather more traditional clamshell market. The E530 was all about curves, from the gentle curve of the clamshell case to the gentle contours of the keypad inside.
Available in a much wider variety of colours than the 6111 – including pink, orange, white, purple, blue and silver – the E530 did lean more definitely to the “girlie” end of the market. The built-in apps reinforced this with a calorie counter, fragrance chooser, biorhythm calculator and shopping list.
In software terms, the Samsung wasn’t quite as polished as the Nokia but it was certainly very usable. You could use the Samsung as an MP3 player, even though like the Nokia, the Samsung lacked expandable memory but the E530’s internal 80Mb was much more useful than the paltry 23Mb in the 6111. Both came with four games included with other Java games available for download.
If you quite fancied the technical specs of the E530 but wanted something a bit less feminine then the Samsung E720 offered almost identical features but in a different package. Offering many variations on fundamentally similar handsets is something that Samsung still do today (with more than 500 “Galaxy” devices launched to date).
The Samsung E530 had better technical specifications and a more detailed design, but it was the Nokia 6111 that sold. Today the 6111 is commonly available for about £10 to £30 but with the rarer Cath Kidston versions coming in at rather more. The Samsung E530 is much rare and tends to range in price from £50 to £100. Either phone is a refreshing change from today’s identical-looking slabby smartphones however, and whatever you might think of the gender stereotyping they are both good looking devices.
Image credits: Nokia and Samsung