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Retro 5|10: January 2004 and 2009

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 Retro 5|10 11th January 2014

In recent years the CES show in Las Vegas has provided rich pickings every January, but it wasn't always the case. This a look at what was grabbing our attention five and ten years ago this month.

January 2004

In our opinion the Sony Ericsson T630 is one of the nicest looking handsets ever which combined clean Nordic design with Japanese know-how, although it had a hard job replacing the even more iconic T610. Also competing for the same customers was the Sagem MyX-7, something that never quite captured the public imagination.

 Sony Ericsson T630
Sony Ericsson T630

 Sagem MyX-7
Sagem MyX-7

If the Sagem and Sony Ericsson were too expensive for you, then the ultra-basic Motorola V150 clamshell phone might have been a device to consider. It might surprise some people to know that ten years ago you could get a 3G touchscreen smartphone with GPS, but then the Motorola A925 was a chunky, clunky thing that is quite unlike the smartphones of today.

 Motorola V150
Motorola V150

 Motorola A925
Motorola A925

January 2009

Five years ago the struggling Palm company reinvented itself with the Palm Pre, a smartphone that was arguably better than anything else on the market, but Palm couldn't get the market share it needed to survive. In the end, Palm ended up being bought by HP and then shut down, however the WebOS operating system on the Pre lives on.. in LG smart TVs.

 Palm Pre
Palm Pre

This month in 2009, Nokia announced the China-only Nokia 6208c feature phone with a touchscreen, joining the N97 and 5800 smartphones as the only touchscreens in Nokia's range. Nokia always had an eye for elegant design, and the Nokia 2700 Classic and Nokia 6700 Classic are two good examples of devices that were unmistakably Nokias.

 Nokia 6208c
Nokia 6208c

 Nokia 2700
Nokia 2700

 Nokia 6700
Nokia 6700

Back in 2009, Motorola was another company trying to come up with an answer to the iPhone, and the Motorola MOTOSURF A3100 was one such attempt.. but in hindsight it isn't hard to see why it didn't succeed. Although most mobile phone companies have made efforts to reduce their environmental impact in recent years, the Motorola W233 Renew was unusual at the time for the use of recycled plastics.

 Motorola MOTOSURF A3100
Motorola MOTOSURF A3100

 Motorola W233 Renew
Motorola W233 Renew 

The rugged Motorola Tundra VA76r combined a clamshell device with handheld satnav in a phone that looks quite alien to us five years later. The Tundra wasn't the only chunky-looking phone to be announced this month, with the odd-looking Telstra T165i which was designed to bring 3G coverage to rural Australian customers.

 Motorola Tundra VA76r
Motorola Tundra VA76r

 Telstra T165i
Telstra T165i

With a name that could only have been thought up by a marketing department after a particularly convivial lunch the HTC Touch Cruise 09 (also called the HTC Iolite) sold itself on its geolocation abilities. T-Mobile didn't do much better when they rebranded the HTC Touch Viva as the T-Mobile MDA Basic, although we suspect that their lunch consisted of undercooked potatoes and grey rubbery schnitzel.

 HTC Touch Cruise 09
HTC Touch Cruise 09

 T-Mobile MDA Basic
T-Mobile MDA Basic

It looked for a while that Hyundai Mobile would become a player in the UK market with some cheap but quite interesting phones including a watch phone, but when Hyundai's marketing partner collapsed the plans were cancelled. For some reason back in 2009 and for several years afterwards there was a feeling that putting a projector into a phone was a good idea, and the Logic Bolt was an early product that tried to bring these features to market - although in retrospect it was a feature that almost nobody wanted.

 Hyundai MB400
Hyundai MB400

 Logic Bolt
Logic Bolt

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