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Retro 5|10: November 2003 and 2008

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 Retro 5|10 13th November 2013

We take a look back at some of the weird and wonderful handsets that were making the news five and ten years ago this month.

November 2003

One of the strangest (and arguably most beautiful) Nokia handsets ever and certainly one of the rarest, the Nokia 7700 was a deeply flawed attempt at a multimedia smartphone that looks quite unlike anything else ever made. This strikingly designed handset never made it beyond a handful of engineering samples. Nokia have never been big on clamshell phones, but the Nokia 7200 added a unique twist with the addition of fabric covers. The Nokia 3200 came with printable covers which enabled owners to make a completely unique designs.

 Nokia 7700
Nokia 7700

 Nokia 7200
Nokia 7200

 Nokia 3200
Nokia 3200

The Nokia 6600 was an advanced device for its time but was rather podgy looking. And with yet another unusual design, the Nokia 6810 and Nokia 6820 phones came with a fold-out QWERTY keyboard which never really caught on.

 Nokia 6600
Nokia 6600

 Nokia 6810
Nokia 6810

 Nokia 6820
Nokia 6820

3G phones were still few and far between, but the Motorola A835 was quite popular if only because it was actually available. Ten years ago manufacturers were still producing Windows smartphones with number pads, and the rather unattractive HTC-built Orange SPV E200 was one of them.

 Motorola A835
Motorola A835

 Orange SPV E200
Orange SPV E200

The Panasonic X70 clamshell phone is a reminder that this Japanese company was once a major player in the European market, and the Sony Ericsson Z600 was that joint venture's first attempt at a clamshell phone.

 Panasonic X70
Panasonic X70

 Sony Ericsson Z600
Sony Ericsson Z600

November 2008

Remembered now for being a notable flop, the BlackBerry Storm 9500 was RIM's first attempt at a touchscreen device, but it was poorly implemented and initial negative reviews dented sales. Rather more successful was the BlackBerry Curve 8900 which brought a useful feature set to a budget BlackBerry.

 BlackBerry Storm 9500
BlackBerry Storm 9500

 BlackBerry Curve 8900
BlackBerry Curve 8900

BlackBerry's influence was apparent in the Nokia E63 which competed directly against the Curve with an arguably better feature set. The rather anonymously named Nokia 6260 Slide brought N95-class specifications into an elegant sliding device. Designed as an inexpensive music phone, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic had front-facing speakers and an appealing design.

 Nokia E63
Nokia E63

 Nokia 6260 Slide
Nokia 6260 Slide

 Nokia 5130 XpressMusic
Nokia 5130 XpressMusic

The Sony Ericsson W705 was the 28th "Walkman" branded phone from Sony Ericsson, and in our view marked something of a crisis in the history of the firm. The Samsung Tobi was a colourful phone aimed at children, but at a time when the whole issue of mobile phones and children was becoming a hot health topic. Aiming a completely different market the Sonim XP3 Enduro was a pleasingly chunky and very rugged device designed for hostile environments.

 Sony Ericsson W705
Sony Ericsson W705

 Samsung Tobi S3030
Samsung Tobi S3030

 Sonim XP3 Enduro
Sonim XP3 Enduro

The LG KC560 was an unspeakably foul slider phone with gold accents, aimed mostly at Russia. Five years ago manufacturers were still trying to put TVs into phones, and the LG KB770 with DVB-T used the same standards as used in normal digital TVs, but takers were few and far between.

 LG KC560
LG KC560

 LG KB770
LG KB770

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