My Favourite Mobile Phones

Today’s phones have a mindboggling array of features, but I still miss my Nokia 6110 and Sony CMD Z5.

Wired recently ran a slideshow called ‘The 12 Cellphones That Changed our World Forever’ in honour of the mobile phone’s 40th birthday in April 2013. Maybe those are the most historically important, but I didn’t see my favourites, so I wanted to pay homage here.

Even though I started working in the mobile industry in 1996, I didn’t get a phone until 1998, I was mainly working in countries where the first mobile networks were being built out. So, my first phone was the Nokia 5110.

Since then, I’ve had a lot of phones from pretty much every manufacturer, and even a few pre-production models, including an Alcatel WAP-capable phone, and an Ericsson T68 running a firmware upgrade that added MMS.

My favourite phone? That’s a tossup between two contenders. The first is the Nokia 6110, for which I rather geekerly created my own operator logos (using the incredibly expensive Nokia data cable). It was also great for playing two player Snake with another 6110 owner via an infrared connection.

The second is the Sony CMD Z5. It was tiny (almost Zoolander tiny), looked cool and just worked. It also had Email and  Mobile Explorer 2.0—the ‘real web,’ which was amazing for the time, if very slow. It also had a jog wheel that every Blackberry user would feel very at home with.

That said, there’s always room in my life for a new favourite. In fact, I’m currently very, very tempted to get my retro vibe on with this retrofitted Motorola StarTAC 130 from Lekki. It’d be perfect for my next visit to Williamsburg or Portlandia.

Any other old favourites out there?


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