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19th May 2016

8 weird and ludicrous Nokia phones we wish they’d bring back

Remember when we had square phones? And Snake?!

Carl Anka

Hold the phone – it looks like Nokia is making a comeback.

Newly-formed Finnish tech company HMD has been given license to develop new Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets for the next decade in a deal thought to be worth $500 million (£346m). The new Nokia phones will run Android’s operating system and will hopefully see a return to form for the much-loved tech company.

During the ’90s and early 2000s, Nokia was undoubtedly the king of the mobile phone market, boasting a range of state-of-the-art, fashionable phones that were bursting with cutting-edge technology.

That they had battery lives that lasted the best part of a day and were almost indestructible added to their appeal too.


Many a mobile phone owner will have fond memories of their time playing Snake 2 on their Nokia 3310s. Or how space-aged the Nokia N95 seemed when it came out with GPS mapping and a slidable keyboard.

Nokia made amazing phones that all your mates picked up.

They also had a bunch of weird releases for the lovable eccentrics out there.

We’ve taken a look at some of the weirder and wilder designs that Nokia have released over the years. Because while a jazzed-up Nokia 1100 with Android would be lovely, wouldn’t an updated retro re-release of the square Nokia phone be more fun?

Nokia N97


A sequel to the N95 and released in 2008, the Nokia N97 was one of the earliest smartphones. With a lovely slide-out QWERTY keyboard and intuitive user system it proved a happy medium between Blackberrys and iPhones in the brave new world of 3g and smartphones. It even popped up in a Black Eyed Peas video and had a MySpace widget, in case you were wondering how cool it was.


NGage I & II

The NGage was Nokia’s brief flirtation with the handheld gaming market in the 2000s. Wanting to get into the GameBoy’s turf, Nokia released a taco-shaped phone and a range of pumped-up games to go along with it. The NGage was released to huge fanfare back in 2004, but its execution was a little lacking. Games ran of cartridges that you had to switch off your phone to swap, and in the original NGage, for some reason you had to hold it sideways to your face to make a call. Like this.


Nokia fixed many of these problems with the sequel phone the NGage II in 2007 and eventually shelved the system. Still, many owners who picked it up have fond memories of holding a phone in such a goofy way, and with mobile gaming a massive market, it might be worth Nokia dipping its toe back in the market.


Nokia 3650

It might look a little blasé now, but back in the day, the 3650 was a phone sensation. For starters it had one of the cleanest colour screens we’d seen in a phone to date, and there was a snazzy VGA camera (shut up, that was a big deal back then) on the back to take snaps. There was a fun little advert series to match this phone and its funky circular keyboard.


Nokia 7600

Released in 2004 in an attempt to be “down wif da kidz”, the Nokia 7600 was a bizarre tear-shaped mobile phone that had sightly undercooked 3G and was hard to use quickly thanks to its weird button placement. BUT what the 7600 lacked in tech, it more than made up with in cool factor. Unorthodox and we loved it.


Nokia 6810

The Autobot of the Nokia phone world, the 6810’s trick was you could unfold it to get a full QWERTY keyboard for your messaging. Meant for the businessperson on the go, the bizarre Transformer phone managed to support Blackberry email too. Imagine unpacking that on a train.


Nokia N90

Looking like a camcorder with a phone key attached, the N90 was a decent forebear to the smartphone video era, where everyone’s a potential YouTube star. An updated version with a stonking great camera and recording features may work well for the cameraman on the go.

Nokia 3220

Nokia 3220

The 3220 hoped its flashing lights on the side would distract you from the fact it was a bit rubbish. It worked.

Removable covers and a decent FM radio made this a phone to be seen out with, rather than to enjoy using. Bring it back Nokia, and give us an optional lighting setting so we can take selfies.


Nokia 7280

Nokia’s ‘lipstick’ phone was delightfully absurd. Instead of having numbers and letters the device had a scroller you used to get the symbols you wanted. There was a mirrored screen that we imagined allowed you to check out how you looked when in the club and a quick access camera. You could pop out and swap SIM cards easily in the 7280, giving it the impression it was designed to fix easily in your pocket when you were out partying. Bring it back. We’d like having a second phone designed just for shenanigans.