The Nostalgic Evolution of the Nokia Phone

Tech & Gadget Blog Awards 2017

The indestructible Nokia phone is no more.

Few months back, Microsoft finalized the acquisition of Nokia for $7.2 billion and later made announcement to drop the Nokia brand from future devices but will retain the “Lumia” moniker. According to a post on Techrez, Lumia 730 and Lumia 830 would be the last smartphones to be branded with Nokia.

Nokia, a hitherto household name used to be  know for  its sturdy hardware and early innovation in the mobile market, has had a long history in the cellular spotlight. From dominating the mobile market in the late ’90s to partnering with Microsoft in 2011 for the Windows operating system, the company has seen a couple generations of ups and downs.

Presented here are 11 Symbolic  phones from Nokia’s decades-long history.

1. Nokia Mobira Senator

The Nokia Mobira Senator (1982) was the first Nokia Mobile phone that hit the market paving the way for another nearly 30 years of success. To look at the Mobira Senator didn’t resemble what would be considered a mobile phone. The Mobira was heavy mainly due to the battery technology at the time (22 lbs or 10 kilograms)


  • Network: NMT-450 1G (VHF Band)
  • Introduced: 1982
  • Screen: Monochrome
  • Form: Box Type

2. Mobira Cityman

Shedding the Senator’s bulk, the portable Cityman was Nokia’s first handheld mobile phone. It weighed a little over 1.7 pounds and cost about $5,456.

The phone racked up headlines when then president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, was spotted using one. As such, the phone was nicknamed the “Gorba.”

3. Nokia 1011

The 1011, released in 1992, was Nokia’s first GSM digital phone. However, unlike its predecessors, the 1011 was the first GSM phone to go into mass production. It operated in the 900MHz band, which had been adopted by UK networks Vodafone and Cellnet – now O2. Orange’s phones operated in the 1800MHz band

4. Nokia 2110

Announced in 1994. It is the first Nokia with the Nokia tune ringtone.  The phone has only basic functions like SMS send/receive, and lists 10 dialed calls, 10 received calls and 10 missed calls. A later version Nokia 2110i came with a bigger memory and a protruding antenna knob, which was released in 1995.


5. Nokia 9000 Communicator

The Communicator of 1996 was the first all-in-one phone of Nokia’s kind. It had email, web browsing, fax, word processing and spreadsheet capabilities, writes Richard Baguley. This was well before the era of Sidekicks, Blackberries and smartphones in general. However, all those capabilities came with a hefty price tag, around $800. Yikes. It never caught on as a result. The phone had “hit the market too early,” according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

It didn’t hinder overall success at the time, though. By 1998, Nokia was the largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world.

6. Nokia 3210

The 3210 ushered in one of Nokia’s most lucrative periods. Released in 1999, the phone, which came in six different colors, had picture messaging, extra ringtones and 4.5 hours of phone talking time (for comparison, the new iPhone 6 lasts about 12 hours). The phone was praised for its sturdiness (i.e. it won’t crack if you drop it) and phone call consistency. About 160 million units were sold, making it one of Nokia’s most successful phones ever.

7. Nokia 6650

Nokia released the 6650, the world’s first 3G phone, in 2002.

The following year, the company released the 1100, a relatively inexpensive phone that retailed for $136. It sold over 200 million units.

8. N-Gage

The 2003 N-Gage was a cellphone that also tried to engage (wink, wink) the gaming community. The attempt at versatility, though ahead of its time, didn’t yield good results, as the $299 device only sold 3 million units.

The following year, the company warned investors that “second quarter earnings would be below market expectations.”

Two more major blows came in 2007. First, the company was forced to recall 46 million phones due to malfunctioning batteries. Second, Apple unveiled its iPhone.

9. 5800 Xpress Music

This 2008 release was Nokia’s first all touch smartphone. However, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android were dominating the smart market at that point.

Within the next two years, the company slashed about 3,500 employees, despite reported growing sales.

10. Nokia Lumia 800

In 2011, Nokia debuted its first Windows Phone, the Lumia 800. Reviews were generally warm to the phone, The Nokia Lumia 800 is the first Windows Phone handset to spring from the Microsoft / Nokia tie-up announced

11. Nokia Lumia 920

The Nokia Lumia was released in 2012 to much excitement.It was Nokia ’s third attempt at launching the definitive Windows Phone


Originally adapted from Mashable

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One Reply to “The Nostalgic Evolution of the Nokia Phone”

  1. ikechi

    Hmm I remember the powerful Nokia that was the champion in Nigeria. How the mighty have fallen. Nokia is not the same anymore. Sosad.

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