We are now 15 years into the 21st century. It’s kind of hard to fathom, especially for those who are of a certain age (i.e. not in our teens!), and, as we look back, both wistfully and nostalgically, we wonder, where did the time go?
Technology has come a long way since then. Back then tablets might have been in the pipeline – on the drawing board at least – but nobody really heard of them and smartphones, well, smartphones were still very much in their infancy.
The turn of the century was an important time for mobiles though. At the back end of the 90s more and more people were turning to these devices, which, within a few years would transform the way we communicate in so many ways.
With that in mind, we take a look back three phones from the noughties that defined the period. A mere glance at one of these models and we’re thrown back to a different age, one that saw us move to a more connected age. It’d be difficult to imagine a world without smartphones.
These days Motorola is keen to pioneer the “self-build” smartphone. Moto X, as it is known, is a simple idea – you design the kind of mobile you want, which takes into account aesthetics and hardware.
However, back in the day, it was defined by its superbly popular flip-phone – also known as a clamshell – the Razr. It was thin, colourful and, although this now sounds outdated, had the ability to fold in half. There was something fun about being able to flick open your phone to answer a call or send a text.
So popular was it in its heyday that between 2004-2008, Motorola shifted 130 million units of its Razr. However, with the advent of smartphones, it soon lost favour for an audience increasingly interested in more engaging devices.
BlackBerry used to be a giant of company, a leader when it came to smartphones, developing a successful brand identity that was, back then, very corporate, very business.
The first smartphone-esque BlackBerry device was released in 1999. The RIM 850 had a QWERTY keyboard – in some ways already an iconic BlackBerry design when concerning handheld devices – could send emails, had tasks lists, a calendar and, of course, an alarm clock.
Its 4MB seems outrageously low these days but data storage, the kind we’re used to, wasn’t yet that essential. It was merely enough to be able to send text and emails on the go.
Recently, BlackBerry announced that it was launching a Classic version of its iconic smartphone, which retains all the hallmarks of its historically successful models – in particular a physical keyboard – while delivering today’s technology.
Perhaps one of the best-know, best-loved mobile phones in the history, the Nokia 3310, which would go on to spawn various versions like 3315, 3320, 3330, 3350, 3360, 3390 and 3395, was, at the time, nothing short of perfect.
It was easy to hold, designed brilliantly, simple to use and purposeful. You could make calls, send texts and play, of course, snake, a game just as addictive as Tetris on the Gameboy.
The latest version is a sight to behold. The Nokia brand, which is now part of Microsoft, is alive and well, and this model is set to play on people’s nostalgia. The design is easy to identify but a notable change is the 41 megapixel camera.