Mobile phones are around 45 years old. Are you surprised? – You are not alone. However it has only been 10-ish years since everyone has started to carry smartphones around. Before the smartphones took over and started controlling the planet, there were simpler more innocent mobile phones that once roamed the planet Earth.
The general shape and feel of a smartphone is standard. However, before all that happened, mobile phones were a lot more “interesting”.
Looking back at times gone past, in collaboration with Swift Contract Phones we have discovered that some smartphones (touchscreen and button less) were as ridiculous as anything.
So here it is; seven strangest smartphones we have ever seen.
(Warning: you cannot un-see this)
People love playing games on their smartphones. But instead of providing them a good mobile phone that could let users play games conveniently, Nokia went for a disastrous approach. They tried and successfully created a mobile phone and gaming console hybrid. It was awkwardly designed with strange shape. The screen was of average quality.
But the biggest drawback has to be the lack of games available and having to put small cartridges of games in your mobile phone, like memory card style. The phone was expensive, uneasy and non-functional.
Nokia N-Gage was a complete flop, the manufacturers morphed N-cage into a gaming platform. However, that discontinued in 2010 as well.
Danger Hiptop was actually a popular phone of its time. Many people now this phone as T-Mobile Sidekick (yep, even the manufacturers marketed it with that name). It was manufactured by Danger (brought my Microsoft now) in 2002.
The phone came with both black and white and a colored version of the LCD. The design was unique; it featured a sliding screen that brought forth the keyboard.
Sometimes it is not the sliding keyboard or ridiculous shape that let’s phone down. Sometimes it is the marketing and branding that demolishes an otherwise OK smartphone.
Don’t you think it is patronizing and misogynistic to release a “cute” phone for the ladies? – Remember the pink bus debacle for the Labour Party in last UK’s general elections (why don’t people learn).
Later, HTC and Verizon denied that it was for the ladies, but HTC Rhyme clearly, undoubtedly and unmistakably was! The TV ads were “pro-ladies” styled. The color was pinkish purple.
How can Motorola Flipout not make this list?
It is tragically funny that phone designers of early to mid-2000s often seemed to think that young people and teens will like low-quality QWERTY keyboards. Such devices were created and marketed to young people who were addicted to their phones.
Nokia X5-01, Microsoft Kin and the HTC ChaCha all require an honorable mention but Motorola Flipout takes the crown. It was a bright square that looked more like a pencil sharpener than phone. It had a flip-out keyboard that made the phone very thick and uneasy to carry.
Kyocera Echo was actually a good smartphone that had potential to be a trendsetter. The double screen idea was quite popular around 10 years ago. Echo took it further; it had two 3.5inch screens that formed one 4.7inch screen when in tablet mode.
Some apps would use both screens whereas user also had the option of multitasking where separate apps would run on each screen. It was undoubtedly a novel idea but users didn’t like it. The smartphone had low rating and the concept didn’t catch on.
Is it a bird, is it an MP3 player? – It is Samsung Juke.
Flip open phones were quite common about a decade earlier. Samsung came up with an I-Don’t-Know-What-To-Call-It idea; instead of flipping one, Juke’s front display would swing to left or right to display keyboard. The front display had music controls and the phone looked like an MP3 player.
However, when you swiveled the front display an atrocious phone would peep through. Samsung Juke was a monster that is now extinct and we are thankful.
Nokia 7650 – World’s first camera phone
The concept may seem elementary to the point of mundane these days, camera, when did you last see a phone without camera? Phones without cameras may seem like an artifact from Dark Ages these days but in 2002, when Nokia released its first camera phone Nokia 7650, the concept was new, strange and brilliant.
The front portion featuring a colored LCD and joystick slid upwards, revealing a keyboard.
The phone itself is long forgotten after 15 years, but Nokia 7650 was the strangest and most brilliant phone when it came out – the legacy lives on.