Nokia has a rich history that dates back to 1860s. Finland, back then, was a part of the Russian empire. The company started off with a pulp mill on the banks of river ‘Nokianvirta’. That also explains how this iconic company got its name. The ambitious company soon ventured into multiple businesses such as aluminium, footwear, electricity generation machinery, cable works, tires, footwear, communication cables, capacitors, rubber works, robotics, plastics, and even chemicals. However, Nokia attained its hay days in 1980s after getting into the telecom business.
Nokia ruled the mobile phone business market for over a decade owing to its sheer brilliance in handset designs and its popular Symbian S60 operating system. Even when at the top of its game, Nokia didn’t shy away from experimenting with bold designs. Some of these designs were ridiculed whereas the rest went on to become icons. Let’s have a look at Nokia’s glorious history:
1. Nokia Mobira Cityman 900 (1987)
Nokia launched the Mobira Cityman 900 for Rs. 4,00,000 in the year 1987. It was launched in two variants, 450 and 900 which were essentially the operating frequencies in which they functioned. At a time when mobile phones tipped the scales at 5kg, the phone weighed just 800g. It featured a humble monochrome screen which could display eight numbers and a 1000 mAh battery which would provide about 50 minutes of talk time.
2. Nokia 1011 (1992)
This Nokia device was mass-produced GSM phone. Since it was launched on 10th of November, the model was named 1011. It could receive text SMS, but SMS forwarding or replying feature was not available. The phone featured a 2-Line, 8-character Monochrome LCD along with dedicated function symbols and a 900 mAh Ni-CD battery.
3. Nokia 9000 Communicator (1996)
At the time when manufacturers were figuring out simple feature phones, Nokia presented it’s very first business phone named 9000 Communicator. It was powered by an Intel 386 processor that clocked at 24MHz and had 8MB of flash memory. It was based on GEOSTM 3.0 OS developed by Geoworks. It could email, fax, and also let you surf the internet. It featured two grey scale LCD displays, and the primary screen was a 4.5-inch screen with 640×200 resolution. It had a full-fledged keyboard for enhanced user experience.
4. Nokia 8110 (1996)
The 8110 with its uber cool slide mechanism was a rage in the late 90s mainly because it was featured in a popular science fiction movie ‘Matrix’. To answer a call, all you had to do was to pull down the slider. The slight curve on the handset also earned it the nickname “banana phone”.
5. Nokia 8210 (1999)
Nokia engineers put certain things such as the external antenna under the knife to streamline its designs. It was one of the slimmest handsets during its time. It featured an (IR) Infrared blaster to exchange data or Vcards between similar types of devices.
6. Nokia 3310 (2000)
No other phone has managed to achieve the cult status of this tough guy from Nokia. The handset stands testimony to Finland’s industrial prowess. It featured a monochrome screen with 5-line text support, exchangeable front and back covers and a 1000 mAh battery which could last up to week on a single charge. It was also the home to popular games such as Snake and Space Impact.
7.Nokia 7650 (2002)
The Nokia 7650 featured a colour LCD screen and was Nokia’s first smartphone to feature a camera. It had a slider mechanism keypad. The phone was based on the popular Series 60, built on the Symbian platform. It featured an LCD screen with 4096 colours and resolution of 176×208. To put things in perspective, HD screens with 16 million colours are standard these days. The phone featured 4MB internal flash storage, Web browser, and Bluetooth.
8. Nokia 1100 (2003)
Following their slogan “Connecting people” Nokia, to cater to a wider audience launched yet another budget phone, the Nokia 1100. The compact phone featured a simple rubberized keypad and display with green backlight. Nokia even threw in a flashlight for consumers in developing countries. It not only holds the degree of the most successful phone but also is the best-selling consumer electronics device across teh globe.
9. Nokia 7710 (2004)
Released in late 2004, Nokia 7710 was the first attempt by the Finnish manufacturer to unsettle the touchscreen market enjoyed by Sony-Ericson, i-mate, O2, and HTC. It was a bulky handset with 3.5-inch resistive touch display, which could be operated with the supplied stylus. The phone UI only worked in the landscape mode. It was one of the few devices from Nokia along with the communicator series to run on the Series 90 UI. The 7710 featured a 1-megapixel camera and a memory card slot.
10. Nokia N95 (2007)
The Nokia N95 followed the Nokia 7650 design philosophy but with a twist. It had a double slider mechanism. It also had a front facing camera for video calling. It was an all-rounder in smartphones loaded to the brim with features such as a 5-megapixel rear camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 3.5G connectivity, Infrared port, and GPS. It was based on Symbian OS v9.2 based on Series 60th edition. It was the most sought after phone during its time and sold in huge numbers owing to the all in one entertainment package.
11. Nokia N9
Post iPhone, Nokia struggled to keep up with the competition. For a few years, the company tried to fight off the likes of Android and iOS with its dated Symbian OS. However, that wasn’t working out well for the organisation. Finally, in 2011, Nokia built the N9 based on the Linux-based MeeGo operating system. Although not a huge commercial success, the handset was praised for its swipe-based user interface. With its machined polycarbonate body and bold colours, the N9 is one of the best-looking handsets ever made.
12. Nokia Lumia 1020
After the Microsoft deal, Nokia went all out with Windows Phone operating system. In addition to the different UI approach, Nokia’s Lumia line-up stood out in the market with its camera capabilities. While Windows Phone devices could never match the popularity of the Android OS, the Lumia 1020 impressed a lot of tech enthusiasts with its 41-megapixel camera.