THROWBACK: The Coolest Cell Phones of the 2000’s
Nokia 3310 - 2000
The iconic Nokia 3310 was released in 2000 and was one of the most successful cell phone launches in the world, having sold 126 million units worldwide. It’s predecessor, the Nokia 3210 was also very popular. Part of the Nokia 3310’s success was that it’s chat function allowed twice as long messages (459 characters) than the standard SMS texts at the time. It also had a calculator, a reminder function and a stop watch. It was pretty advanced for cell phones at the time. It was nicknamed the “brick” because it was pretty much indestructible. Accidentally dropping it was hardly an issue. In 2017, the 3310 was updated and re-launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain and costs 49 euros.
T-Mobile Sidekick - 2002
The origins of the Sidekick is a fun one. A modern day re-telling of the American dream. Former employees of Apple joined together to form a company called Danger Incorporated. Their goal was to bring internet access to cell phones. They wanted to create a mini computer that would fit in the customer’s pocket. They teamed up with T-Mobile and launched the Sidekick (originally named Hiptop) in 2002. The phone was an success, and became a status symbol to have among young people because many celebrities like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton promoted it. It even spawned the first digital celebrity hack where a person hacked Paris Hilton’s Sidekick2 and got her information, including notes, celebrity contact information and even nudes. They were quickly shared across the internet and prompted a FBI investigation. The phone went on to many more updated generations like the Sidekick 2, Sidekick 3, Sidekick id, etc.
Motorola Razr V3 - 2004
Originally marketed as an exclusive fashion phone, the Motorola Razr V3 was released in 2004. After it’s sleek modern design caught everyone’s attention, Motorola lowered it’s price for the regular cell phone consumer. It went on to sell more than 130 million units, making the Razr V3 the best selling flip phone in the world. Motorola went on making several generations of phones with the Razr brand throughout the 2000’s.
Sony Ericsson W800 - 2005
Also known as the W800 Walkman, the Sony Ericsson W800 was the first Sony phone to be made with the Walkman brand. If you don’t know what a Walkman is, it’s an MP3 player that was popular before the iPod took over. If you don’t know what an iPod is then you are probably too young to be on this website. What was special about the Sony Ericsson was it’s capabilities at the time. It had Bluetooth, a 512 MB memory stick, a USB connection, flight mode, a hands free head set and a 3.5 headphone jack allowing the user to switch to another headphone brand if they wanted to. Sounds really lame but that was a big deal then. It’s selling point however was that it had a 2 megapixel camera that could autofocus and capture video too. It was the latest and greatest cell phone camera technology at the time. If you wanna know how much that sucks today, an iPhone X’s camera has 12 megapixels and can capture video in 4k.
LG Chocolate - 2006
The LG Chocolate is a slider MP3 player-cell phone hybrid released by Verizon wireless in July 2006. The Chocolate was released in Korea and England before the United States. The phone became extremely popular worldwide for it’s aesthetic design and use of a touch panels and traditional buttons. The first LG Chocolate’s color was black and it was called Dark Chocolate. Later the colors green, white, pink and red became available as Mint Chocolate, White Chocolate, Strawberry Chocolate and Cherry Chocolate.
BlackBerry Pearl - 2006
Created by the company Research in Motion, the BlackBerry Pearl was released September 12th 2006. It was long anticipated because other BlackBerry devices were meant for businessmen and women for it’s capabilities. The BlackBerry Pearl was released for a more regular consumer. It was the first BlackBerry device with a camera and also had a MP3 player. It was called the Pearl because it had a small trackball that resembled a pearl, right in the center of the phone to scroll vertically and horizontally. It was a popular button on cellphones at the time, the Sidekick 3 also had a trackball.
iPhone (1st generation) - 2007
Released on June 29th, 2007, the first iPhone, or the iPhone 2G it was later referenced as, was the very first smartphone manufactured by Apple. Steve Jobs announced it as a “combination of 3 devices” , an iPod with a touch screen, a revolutionary smart phone and a “breakthrough internet communicator”. His vision for the future of cell phones was completely right. Now everyone has a thin, sleek, smart phone with only a touch screen. Jobs wanted a computer device with just a screen for the customer to interact on. Apple would also later come out with the iPad. The iPhone cost $499 for the 4 GB model and $699 for the 8 GB model. Many people camped out in front of Apple stores the night before it’s release and most stores sold out of their stock in the first hour. Time Magazine named the iPhone the Invention of the Year in 2007.
LG Voyager - 2007
The LG Voyager or LG VX10000 was released into stores on November 21, 2007. It cost $299 with a two year contract through Verizon wireless. The design of this device was innovative because it had two screens. One exterior screen that was a touch screen and had a wireless keyboard, and one interior screen that had a full QWERTY keyboard below it. The Voyager was also internet enabled, had a 2.0 megapixel camera, and could have up to 8 GB of memory.
HTC Dream - 2008
The HTC Dream, also known as The T-Mobile G1 , was released in September 2008 as the first smart phone using the Android Operating System. It was heavily integrated with Google, using it’s functions such as Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Google Contacts and Google Calendar. It also came with the Android Market to buy additional apps. The phone was popular because it’s operating system was Linux based and easily customizable. Users could “mod” their phone’s hardware and software due to it’s open source ability. It’s reviews were mixed because there were some problems with the software because Android was still in it’s infancy. But to the tech experts, Android was still considered to be a strong competitor in the market. A prediction that definitely came true.
Motorola Droid - 2009
The Motorola Droid, or commonly known as Droid 1, was released November 6th 2009 after Verizon and Google announced they would collaborate together to make smartphones on the Android OS. The brand name “Droid” is a trademark of Lucasfilm, the production company that made Star Wars, so Verizion had to license the name. This phone was extremely popular and is considered to be the device that launched Android into what it is today. The Droid had a 5 Mega Pixel camera that could also shoot in low light. That was very advanced back then. It was the first phone to have Google Maps preloaded on the phone for free.