Top 10 best Nokia phones of all time

Did your favourite make the list?

  • Microsoft may be pulling the Nokia brand from Australia, but the glorious company will leave an indelible legacy. Here's but a glimpse at ten just examples.

  • 10. Nokia 7210 (2002)

    Colour had finally come to the Nokia mobile with the 7210. Nokia took advantage of the 1.5in, 128x128 resolution screen with an important accessory: an attachable camera.

    These two traits made the 7210 worthwhile as the phone was crippled by an uncomfortably keypad.
  • 9. Nokia N91 (2005)

    The N91 may be the ugliest phone ever manufactured by Nokia. The phone towered over alternatives and the screen was hideously bulbous in design. Stainless steel weighed the phone down and music controls were built into its slide. A series of software glitches caused the N91’s release to be delayed for almost a year.

    Nokia was pushing the envelope. Those keys at the front hint at the N91’s party-trick: 4GB of internal storage dedicated to music. No other phone packed such generous memory before the N91. Stock was limited and customers vied for a phone that could double as an mp3 player. The N91 proved such a hit that Nokia introduced an 8GB version dressed in black.
  • 8. Nokia 900 (2009)

    Nokia’s N900 was ahead of its time when it came out in 2009. The 3.5in smartphone had an interesting form factor, with a screen that would slide out, tilt, and subsequently reveal a landscape QWERTY keyboard. Coupled with its linux-based Meamo 5 operating system, the N900 proved to be a solid productivity machine.

    And when you tired of working, all you would have to do was slide it shut, flip open the rear kickstand and watch a movie. The N900 didn’t have mainstream appeal, but the people who bought the smartphone loved it tirelessly.
  • 7. Nokia 808 PureView (2012)

    The Nokia 808 PureView was a largely unspectacular phone. It was big and bulgy at a time when Apple’s iPhone was sleek and slender. The processor was slow and the screen, which although used an AMOLED panel, had a low 360x640 resolution. Worst of all, the 808 PureView ran an updated version of Symbian, which could not compete against Apple’s iOS and the emerging Google Android.

    Nokia did nail one feature so well that, till this day, its existing range of smartphones continue to reap rewards from the technology. The 808 PureView came with a whooping 38 megapixel camera that eliminated the competition on the photo front. No matter its shortcomings, the 808 PureView was the first phone to put Nokia on the map as a master of imaging.
  • 6. Nokia E71 (2008)

    Apple’s iPhone had been out for one year. BlackBerry was still the hallmark brand for business phones. Then Nokia launched the E71, a metal-clad phone distinguished by a QWERTY keyboard and a thin 1cm profile. No BlackBerry looked as good, and buying an E71 was a lot cheaper.

    The E71 appealed to people interested in work and multimedia, however, it leaned more towards work. Nokia made it possible to switch between two home screens so that its customers could have one for work, and another for personal use.
  • 5. Nokia 8210 (1999)

    Nokia miniaturised the technology in the 5110 and planted it into the 8210. This was a fully functioning phone that stood 10cm tall and weighed a defying 79 grams. Numbers like that don’t exist nowadays.

    Specs for the 8210 include a phonebook with enough memory to store 250 numbers, four games, interchangeable covers and 75 hours of standby time
  • 4. Nokia N9 (2011)

    The N9 could be the saddest story in Nokia’s illustrious past. On the one hand, it ran an evolution of the Maemo software found on the N900 called MeeGo. This was the follow up in which N900 fans waited a lengthy three years.

    News then broke the Nokia N9 would be the last smartphone developed by Nokia to run MeeGo. Nokia’s smartphone business was failing and the company had decided to back Windows Phone instead.

    Emerging from this sad tale is the bold design pioneered by the N9. Rounded corners, bright colours and polycarbonate plastic are all traits Nokia’s Windows Phone range inherited from the N9. Smartphones as recent as the Nokia Lumia 735 wears the N9’s design language.
  • 3. Nokia N95 (2006)

    The Nokia N95 is one of the most important phones, both in Nokia’s history and in the overall feature phone market. Nokia positioned the phone as the quintessential multimedia device.

    The N95 was built on a dual-hinge design, which allowed music controls to pop out on-top of the screen. A series of firsts were introduced with the Nokia N95, including a camera supporting 5 megapixels and GPS navigation.

    Customers bought the phone en masse and Nokia assuaged the demand with the release of the Nokia N95 8GB, a stunning black rendition of the popular feature phone.
  • 2. Nokia 5110 (1998)

    No other phone was as inviting as Nokia’s 5110. Everything about the phone was large, including the pictorial icons, the buttons and the battery life. A case could also be made for the 5110 being the first phone to be fun. Bright coloured cases could swap out the stock front, and speciality shops sold custom antennas that would light up.

    The real show-stealer was a simplistic game that appealed to children and pensioners alike. Snake is ingrained in popular culture in the same way people fondly remember Super Mario.

    The 5110 wasn’t just simple. It was simply perfect.
  • 1. Nokia 8810 (1998)

    Nokia’s most desirable phone was without question the 8810. The entire phone was encased in chrome, save for a plastic strip needed to let the signal pass. The metal body made the phone difficult to manufacture and caused stock to be limited. The 8810 did not only pave the way for its successors, but for all phones with daring designs.

    There’s more. The Nokia 8810 was the first phone to have an internal antenna. Having the antenna in-built taxed the battery life, but between its desirable build and limited construction, Nokia simply could not make them quick enough.
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