Gadget history: Mobile phones

Nokia 6150This might turn into a series of posts. I thought it’d be cool to list the gadgets in a certain category that I’ve actually owned and used, and do a sort of short hindsight reviews. I’m pretty sure there are people out there who’ve used a some of the same devices and share (or disagree with) my experiences. First up: mobile phones.

I’ve had seven up until now, if you count the first one which I actually shared with my girlfriend. Cell phones, and the contracts that came with them were terribly expensive back then. Both the first and last ones are from Nokia, but that’s just about the only thing they have in common.

Nokia 6150

What it had going for itReasons for moving on
Virtually indestructable.The legendary Finnish brick, meaning it’s huge.
Top notch sound qualityNo features whatsoever. Just voice and SMS.
Came in multiple colors.Sharing a mobile phone is no fun.

Siemens C35i

Siemens C35i

What made me get oneNow you Siemens, now you don’t…
One of the smallest phones available at the time.Weird curvy shape and external antenna made it pocket-unfriendly.
It had WAP (but that was far too expensive to actually use).Tiny screen made using WAP a pain.
The first mobile phone I owned and didn’t have to share.Not very sturdy, made all sorts of squeaky noises.

Sony Ericsson T100


What made it coolThese are not the phones you’re looking for
Tiny, probably still the smallest phone around.The blue backlight made the screen hard to read.
Looked like a standard issue Star Wars Stormtrooper phone.Worst menu structure I’ve ever used
I got tired of the design pretty quickly.
By this time, color screens and camera’s were becoming standard on new phones. This had neither.

Sharp TM100

Sharp TM100

Very good high resolution color screen with perfect color accuracy.Slider mechanism felt a little weak.
I still quite like its design.About one megapixel short of perfection.
Perfect menu structure made it very easy to use.Oh, and no Bluetooth.

Nokia 6230i

Nokia 6230i

Bluetooth and a megapixel camera.The camera was crap. Unsharp even in full sunlight. VGA upsampled perhaps even?
Very durable, survived being dropped into a bucket of water.Removable covers made dust get everywhere, made it look cheap.
The MP3 ringtones were a lot of fun.The menu had all sorts of profile weirdness that I found overly complex for such a simple phone.
Worst color screen I’ve ever seen on a phone in this price range.

Nokia E51


Why I loved itWhy it’s currently for sale
Symbian.Text input limited to T9, which is no fun if you type a lot of URLs.
Made (in part) out of steel. Extremely durable.I didn’t like the design very much.
Wifi, making it a great phone for email, surfing, YouTube, etc…
Very flat and pocketable.

Nokia E71


Why I upgradedReasons for possibly moving on in the future
Still Symbian, newer version even.The form factor is a bit of a trade-off. Very thin though.
Made (in part) out of steel. Extremely durable.I still don’t think the E-series design is stellar.
Wifi + querty, making it a perfect phone for email, surfing, YouTube, etc…No real navigation software included, even though it has GPS.
Has not one but two cameras.Supports so many networks and interfaces I can’t possibly remember them all.


  1. Funny. Charles Stross, just had a similar themed posting over at his website ( about all the technology that had changed his life when he was younger. Is this ‘love your tech month’ or something?

    Comment by Joe — February 24, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

  2. i think its more like a “reminisce the olden tech month” LOL

    Comment by chumpman — March 1, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

  3. Got the same E71 LOL! But I was a mobile phone freak, had changed lots of mobile phone before. The first was… Philips 😆 Well, you can always get Garmin GPS system 🙂

    Comment by wong — May 2, 2009 @ 3:45 am

  4. e71 is great phone i just love it

    Comment by dave — May 6, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  5. The first cell phone I have was Ericsson A1018. It was like a “coffin with the beacon”, but it was really cool!

    Comment by New mobile — February 11, 2010 @ 7:07 pm

  6. In less than a decade, these phones have upgraded and innovated so much that the Nokia 6150 compared to the latest version seems a virtual relic!

    Comment by Beds UK — February 13, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

  7. Yeah….but a relic that works !!!

    Comment by Bill — March 21, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  8. great blog i think its more like a “reminisce the olden tech month

    Comment by laurens — May 19, 2011 @ 7:08 pm