MNB RG: Niko Salminen’s history of @Nokia Phones


A nostalgic look at Niko Salminen’s history of phones along with some pictures. I began uploading some of the images Niko shared, and then I looked at the official images from google and finally came across our own gallery. Each time I saw a new model, it reminded me of the first time I saw the phone on a TV advert, first time it was in my hands, first time I saw it in the shop, and when I got into blogging, first time I heard about rumours of such devices 😀 and the usual cycle of rumour, launch, wait, wait, (x100), reviews, unboxing, playing :D.


In a true Nokia fan’s fashion, here’s my take on 28 Nokia phones I’ve owned through 15 years (the year in parenthesis is the one when I got the phone).
Here’s to variety!



Nokia 3210 (1999)
A true classic released in a time, when ringtones and changeable covers were the hottest thing around. In schools everyone played the famous mobile game Snake between classes. The 3210 had some heft to it, but it was so cool handset in many ways that I couldn’t complain. Mobile phones became a mainstream commodity in Finland around the time the dot-com bubble was about to entail. The hype resulted in a booming IT sector: in 2000 Nokia’s shares briefly climbed to 65 euros.






Nokia 5510
The first time I had a phone with inbuilt MP3 playback. 5510 could only store 64 megabytes (about 20 songs) of MP3s – expandable memory in mobile phones was an unknown concept then. That’s why I had to make each song really count! The 5510 had the family resemblance and internals of 3310/3330.The 5510 is a good instance of Nokia trying out different form factors, which is very characteristic for Nokia before the touchscreen smartphone era.




Nokia N-Gage (2003) 3
The 2.1” 4096 color display looked so big and vibrant then! First smartphone at that day’s standards I used internet with. Also my first Nokia with a color screen. Strategy games such as Pathway to Glory and High Seize made my day(s). N-Gage cost 299 euros at launch and I made a rare exception buying it immediately with my hard-earned summer job money – which didn’t really pay off because a considerable discount was introduced soon. N-Gage’s shortcomings were the side-talking feature (search it for a comic relief), small game catalogue and ultimately a bit small screen – 2.5” would’ve been much better.


Nokia N-Gage QD
An improved revision of the original N-Gage: upgraded battery life, compact design and a hot-swappable memory card slot at the expense of stereo output. As opposed to the original N-Gage, the QD retained a conventional way of making phone calls. No more talking via the side of the phone.




Nokia 2600 (2006)
A basic candybar phone, the type of a phone with Nokia made its fortunes in the first place. It was solid performer – though nothing particularly stood out.







Nokia 3250 (2006)
A capable multimedia multitasker, but the camera lacked a LED light. Mobile phone cameras began to reach lower end of smartphones with the likes of 3250. The display resolution of 176×208 was a bit insufficient.




Nokia N70 Music Edition (2007)
N70 was the phone with Nokia started to seriously invest in mobile phone camera technology: it featured a 2 megapixel camera with (Carl) Zeiss optics and a LED light and a secondary camera for video calls. N70 was originally released in 2005 as a part of premium smartphones dubbed Nseries, which became Nokia’s spearhead in mobile phone camera technology. It was also one of the first mainstream smartphones to feature a 3G connection.



8Nokia N91 (2008)
Nokia focused prominently on music experience with many Nseries smartphones – N91 had music buttons on its sliding mechanism. It also incorporated an inbuilt optical hard drive of 8 GB, but luckily flash memories became the industry standard – due to the fact they generate no noise and are much more energy-efficient. The N91 was built like a tank!





Nokia N80 (2008)
N80 had an exceptional resolution of 352×416 and it looked quite sharp on the display size of 2.1″. Good trend, but the N80’s resolution remained a curiosity as Nokia chose to remain at 240×320 for most of their candybar smartphone lineup.




10Nokia 5320 XpressMusic (2008)
5320 incorporated a dedicated chip for processing music output. Suffice it to say it performed like a champ in that front. On top of that the keypad was extremely comfortable to use.



N96Nokia N96 (2009)
Probably the turning point for Nokia in terms of state of the art smartphones – N96 ran low on RAM memory and featured a low-clocked processor at 264 MHz, a stark contrast to the famed N95 before it (i.e. 369 MHz). The good side was that the N96 had Wi-Fi and a really big screen at 2.8”, especially considering it had navigation/call buttons as well.


Nokia 5530 XpressMusic (2009)
Equipped with a stylus and a resistive touchscreen. You can’t go wrong with that. Sarcasm aside, the 5530 featured one of the most illuminant touchscreens I’ve ever seen.




Nokia 3410 (2009)
I got this grayscale-screened phone from my mom to serve as a backup. It was originally released at the beginning of the millennium as the successor of the blockbuster-hit 3310. Anyway, life’s good when there’s a Nokia at least as a backup 😉



Nokia E52 (2010)
The E52 mixed the best of traditional candybar phones with smartphone capabilities, resulting in exceptional, slim build quality and a long battery life. Camera technology wasn’t the Eseries’ strongest sides, so that’s why the E52 featured only a 3.2 megapixel fixed-focus camera – which technically-speaking tries to keep everything focused at the same time. But macro-shots aren’t possible with fixed-focus modules, because they can’t keep objects less than 1 meter in focus.

Nokia N97 mini
I appreciated the compact design, QWERTY keyboard as well as the 5 megapixel camera with autofocus. The N97 mini was a much needed revision of the original, reputation-wrecker N97. But too little, too late, as trends started to exceedingly favor Apple and Samsung and their respective ecosystems.


Nokia E5
One of the last smartphones Nokia released without a touchscreen. The keypad’s feedback was excellent and it possibly rivals with some Blackberries. The screen was somewhat washed-out, because as opposed to E52’s (and E72’s) transflective display Nokia opted for a cheaper transmissive one. The E5 had 256 MB RAM, so not every aspect was cut down.


video e7Nokia E7 (2011)
Albeit a bit heavy, E7 was a classical communicator device from Nokia with a large screen accompanied by a hardware keyboard. It succeeded the lineup, which had deputed already in 1998. The E7’s aluminum construction was top-notch. It was my first smartphone with a capacitive display, which is much better to be used with fingers than a resistive one – mainly because it demands no pressure. The screen was very vivid and the keyboard featured an excellent tactile feedback.




Flash Nokia N9 MyNokiaBlog(11)

Nokia N9 (2012)
An unique OS with a highly user-friendly swipe interface. No hardware or on-screen navigation buttons needed, because all navigation can be carried out by swiping to different directions (though it would’ve been nice to have a camera button). The N9 features most likely my favorite hardware design ever due to its timeless simplicity as well as material choices and striking colors. It definitely raised the bar for originality in design and UI for the whole smartphone market. The N9’s compact size, astounding display and fresh take on phone UI are aspects I’ll always remember.






Nokia E6 (2012)
E6, while robust and equipped with a stellar QWERTY keyboard, ultimately had too small display size at 2.46-inch. All in all, QWERTY phones seem to be heading to extinction in the smartphone world. Perhaps there’s still demand to a degree, but most manufacturersseem to be unwilling to release them.


 Amazing Weather Nokia Lumia 800(5)


Nokia Lumia 800 (2012)
First Lumia and Windows Phone smartphone I got. The Lumia 800 carried mostly the same design language as the N9. I was pleasantly surprised with the OS’ smoothness and easiness of use. The Lumia 800 lacked in camera department and some basic functions (that became the Achilles’ heel for Windows Phone until WP 8/8.1). Also as a tidbit: it was the last phone to be compiled in the Finnish manufacturing plant and Nokia’s factory in Hungary became the sole one in Europe. The sign of times.


Nokia 701 (2012)
The sleek and stylish 701 was one of the last Symbian smartphones released. Despite the fact that Nokia’s smartphone lineup had always featured variety form factor and OS-wise, the one constant had been a dedicated hardware camera button in smartphones (there are a few rare exceptions). And in that field the 701 was no exception.
In my opinion it’s more ergonomic than using on-screen buttons when trying to capture a perfect moment.




Nokia Lumia 900 (2012)
Basically just a bigger screen Lumia 800 at 4.3-inch. Ironically, whereas in the beginning of the millennium it was trendy to build smaller and smaller handsets, industry trend had evolved – instead of minimalism, it was trendy to feature bigger screens and device sizes with each new iteration. The game of specs had begun.

Nokia Lumia 820 (2013)
My first Windows Phone 8 device.
The 820 had a vibrant AMOLED display and even though some might argue AMOLEDs have over-saturated colors, I like the fact they pack more punch. Further, in AMOLED displays black is truly black, not any greyish variant such in traditional LCD screens. The downside is that white is a bit unnatural.


 Red Nokia 808 PureView(48)

Nokia 808 PureView (2013)
The last Symbian smartphone and the last with an in-house smartphone OS from Nokia, equipped with a spectacular camera and a xenon flash! Never underestimate the power of xenon as it freezes movement much better than any LED light.


 520 720 signapore


Nokia Lumia 720 (2013)
I was a bit disappointed with the dull screen and processing quality, but nonetheless a decent midrange smartphone. One of Nokia’s long traditions had been to release phones using a stand-out color palette, as opposed to typical black and white. That’s why my 720 was a unique cyan one.

electric pikachu yellow nokia lumia 920 wireless charging(1)

Nokia Lumia 920 (2013)
Culmination of Nokia’s Lumia devices: the quality design, the camera with optical image stabilization (prevents shaking and blurriness) and the OS work in a wonderful parallel. A definite proof there’s life outside of the Android/iOS duopoly!


 MNB WP_20130814_002925 HELSINKI




Nokia 925 (2014)
Ever since Nokia announced the strategy shift to Windows Phone, they started to manufacture new smartphones mainly using colorful polycarbonate plastic. Besides being highly durable, the idea behind such material is that no matter how much the cover would get scratched, it would only reveal the same color that is used on the surface level.The Lumia 925 was however built with a hybrid design in mind. It featured an anodized aluminum rim surrounding the display and a polycarbonate back cover all in an ultra-slim chassis at 8.5 mm. The design was made in Salo, Finland.


Nokia Lumia 1020 (2014)
I bought the 1020 just a day before Nokia D&S was officially sold to Microsoft, perhaps it tells volumes about my passion towards Nokia. I could praise the camera, the smooth OS and so forth, but you know all that already. In all its essence, the 1020 features the same durability and stand-out colors that Nokia is known for. The backside is my favorite – it’s simplistic and really makes a statement on its own!








Fellow fans, which Nokia phones have you owned through the years? What stood out? Please, share your thoughts 🙂


Category: Nokia

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