Phone nostalgia

Given the discussion I sparked in the What’s the latest tech you bought thread, I thought I’d start this thread. What phone did everyone have their eye on in the past, and what was your favourite phone before the market became iPhone vs Samsung (with a few other Z-list manufacturers trying to stay afloat)?


My favourite pre-smartphone handset was the Nokia 6150, which I had on Orange. It was dual-band so supported both GSM 900 and 1800 MHz bands which made it great for roaming. It just felt good in your hand and looked good, too.


Had a Nokia 3210 (I think or something similar), back in the day while still at high school. It’s still my favourite non smartphone phone. Also had a few Sony Ericssons, before the iPhone 4 and then iPhones ever since.

It isn’t iPhone vs Samsung. It’s Apple vs Android.

And with that in mind, considering I’ve only owned/used an Apple iPhone once (the 3G) for 6 months, my favourite pre-iPhone/Android phone would be…? OMG, where to start - I have a ton…

Without listing 5h1t-loads of phones which I’ve used since 1990, let’s go with the game changers:

Nokia 7110 on Orange - WAP here we come!

Sony Ericsson T19 - global flip-phone in the palm-of-yer-hand

Motorola StarTAC - the game-changer in mobile design. Had this in early 2000’s (US) and loved it, it was the step before the RAZR (which I had and still have the SLVR-US hardware version!)

Sony Ericsson T610 - candy-bar goodness

Nokia E63 - Blackberry challenger, at a time when Blackberry was challenged.

Nokia N95 - the ultimate pre-current-platform(s) phone. Outstanding.

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It sort of is though. Yes the two don’t quite make up 50% of the market but – especially in the West – the rest are such small fry these days that for all intents and purposes it’s Apple v Samsung in the smartphone market.


Respectfully disagree. The platforms are massively offset. How many iOS users versus Android (not Samsung, but ‘Android’) users worldwide? Be honest:

Android vs. Apple Market Share: Leading Mobile OS (2023).


What percentage of those android users are on a Samsung device though?


I’m not debating that (if you look at the graph above that also confirms your numbers). The point I’m making is, in the West, it’s Apple and Samsung. Maybe people will have heard of Pixel but most Android manufacturers are so small and insignificant here that for most people Android = Samsung. Much of the market share for the other brands comes from outside North America and Europe.

But I won’t try to take my own topic off topic any longer.


And to circle back on topic, some of my favourite phones have been the HTC Radar which I mentioned; as well as:

  • 5310 XpressMusic (I loved the quick access music controls and how slim that phone was)
  • the fluorescent green Lumia 620 (God I miss Windows Phone)
  • Nexus 4 (I loved the glass back, and it was the first time Google cared about affordable phones with good performance)

Only the iPhone X has made me feel the way those phones made me feel at the time…

Samsung devices natively* use Android and so they contribute to the ‘Android users’

*Samsung devices can be configured to use alternative OS’s

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Bought my first mobile in 1995 (on the old Cellnet analogue network), and have never once owned a Nokia – way too common.

The best phone I ever owned from the pre–smartphone era was my Motorola V3688, which weighed in at 83g, on one2one. Sleek as f••k and such a satisfying snap shut.

And for scale:

Still have it somewhere. I’ll dig it out.


That’s what I used to think about Motorola :laughing: Well, at least until I owned a Nexus 6.

My very first was a Vodafone analogue handset (I think it was actually Vodafone branded so can’t remember the actual manufacturer).


So many to mention. Some of these were in the days when I still dabbled with android :scream:

Nokia 5110

The OG. I’d still probably use one of these now if I could. Simple and absolutely bombproof. I was running once and I saw it from the corner of my eye fall down, hit my shoe, and be propelled into a distant tree. It did more damage to the tree!

Sony Erricson

This was a strong contender. If I remember correctly you could plug a small keyboard in the bottom to write text messages etc. with. My first phone.


Obviously a Motorola Razr. One because for a while they were my favourite brand and two that design. The “click” will always have a space in my mind.


The others are what I think would be common but who owned one of these? I remember looking at the original iPhone and thinking “virtual keyboards are just rubbish” and picking this instead. If I recall right the gold part was a mouse which also doubled up as a fingerprint reader for unlocking


And obviously a BlackBerry. I mean who didn’t want one of these back in the day.

There were many others. The Sony phones which were exceptionally well designed but broke just by looking at them. The iPhones which bent over time. And of course the Samsungs which exploded in your face. I still wanted to buy the note two but never got around to it.

Since the IPhone 6 tho I’ve been apple only for the most part.

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Thought I was the shizzle with this in school.

V100 Motorola.


I had one of these. Loved it.

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Had to have a headset to take calls :upside_down_face:


Then this beast was my favourite. Used to sit in O2 WAP Chat as it was free back then all day in and out of school :joy:

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Like @mikez, I also had a 6150 back in sixth form and felt very superior to hoi polio with their mass market 3210s.

But my favourite non smartphone was the 6210 I had in my first year of uni.


My favourite phone/smartphone ever was the Orange SPV C500, made by HTC.


I’ve never been so blown away by a gadget. It was so far ahead of any other phone I’d seen in functionality. I spent far too much of my time on coolsmartphone and modaco learning all about Window Phone and everything it could do.

Also remember hundreds of commutes spent watching divx encoded tv shows and movies on the tube. Often with people staring at me in amazement.

It was the future, long before the iPhone released and brought it to the masses.


I was always a Nokia boy until my first iPhone. I don’t remember the exact order in which, but I know I have had all these

6210 (LOVED!)
8310 - so small!
7210 - colour screen, wow!
E61 or E62

I remember at college that EVERYONE had a Nokia 5110. We had a dummy version which was made of really dense foam, and it was great fun asking to borrow someones 5110 then playing catch with it and dropping it (which we had by then switched for the foam model of course!)


Yep, had one of those, too :grin:

my first phone was a Samsung Tocco Lite which was a pass me down, then MY first phone was a Vodafone 354

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