Hello Mobotniks. Today we continue our look at some of the worst mobile phones ever to hit the market (and some that didn’t quite make it that far). If you missed it, check out part 1, in which we looked at – among others – an ill-fated dual-LCD effort, and two rather hideous handsets that pushed the £1,000 mark.
Part 2 is somewhat of an impromptu Nokia special. We feel kinda bad ‘cause they’re not doing so well at the moment, but hey – it’s all in good fun, and we're certainly not yet at the bottom of the rather unpleasant barrel of rubbish phones. So chin up, you crazy Finns.
Nokia 2115i Shorty
# Go shorty
It’s your birthday
We gonna party
Like it’s yo’ birthday #
Truly inspired lyrics from Mobot’s favourite rapper, 50 Cent, there, and an equally dull offering from Nokia in the 2115i Shorty. This tiny little handset featured a two-tone grey screen, measuring a mere 1.25in diagonally. To give that figure some context, the HTC Desire HD’s 4.3in display is more than three times that size. We’ve come a long way, baby.
To be completely fair, the phone was incredibly compact (as intended) and sported a handy flashlight. Which is important when you're a shorty.
The Nokia 3600/3650 had the distinct honour of being the first phone with an integrated camera (a whopping 0.3MP - count 'em) to be delivered in North America.
It was also unique for its circular keypad, which divided users; some argued that it made text messaging more efficient, while others craved a more conventional keypad.
The Nokias 3600 and 3650 were eventually succeeded by the 3620 and 3660 respectively, both of which adopted regular keypads.
I suppose you have to hand it to Nokia for trying to think outside the candybar box, but with the Nokia 7380 – part of the L’Amour Collection – they leapt outside said box, set it on fire, and danced around it like a drunken maniac.
The Nokia 7380 looked more like a high-tech TV remote than a mobile phone, and incurred much critical wrath by failing to include a physical keyboard, instead adopting a touch-sensitive wheel akin to the iPod. Messaging was notoriously difficult and, to make matters worse, the ridiculous screen (which also doubled as a mirror) was nigh on impossible to see in direct sunlight.
On the plus side, the Nokia 7380 did feature a 2MP camera and MP3 player, though users had a tough time trying to cram photos and songs into the monumentally useless 52MB of unexpandable storage. Oh dear.
2003’s Nokia N-Gage aimed to combine portable gaming with mobile communication, but failed categorically on both counts.
Though graphically similar to Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, the expensive N-Gage was hampered by poor software support, and boasted a ludicrously convoluted 21-button layout. Nintendo didn’t lose much sleep over the N-Gage.
Since the design was primarily tailored towards the gaming side of things, making calls on the N-Gage felt rather awkward, and made you look like a bit of a tool, really.
Rounding off the list of terrible Nokia handsets, we have the Nokia X5-01. Marketed predominantly at social networking-addicted teens, the handset was available in several striking colours and featured a squared-off design with sliding keyboard.
While the Nokia X5-01 initially looked quite intriguing, closer inspection revealed its design to be quite impractical. The screen, for example, was a mere 2.36in across with no touch capability.
The Nokia X5-01 also included a gimmicky “gesture recognition” feature. Shaking the unit displayed unread messages, while spinning it (no joke) played a random music track. Oh, and throwing it on the ground... er, broke it.