At Nokia, a Stroll Down Cellular Memory Lane
While most of my time in Espoo, Finland, was focused on learning about what’s coming next from Nokia, I took a little bit of time to revisit a bit of cellular history.
In the center of its grand Nokia House headquarters, the company has a showcase for some of its long-ago devices, with many more showcased in the Nokia Lounge, a swanky conference room used to meet with important visitors.
All the greatest hits (and a few of the misses) are there.
Phones of all shapes and sizes are featured, from the nearly suitcase-sized 1982 Mobira Senator to the first Communicator smartphone, among the earliest to flip open to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. There are phones with circular keypads, phones with square keypads, and a few devices with no keypads at all.
Even the ill-fated N-Gage gaming devices are there.
While there is much to admire about the modern smartphone, the Nokia collection is a reminder that physical hardware design has gotten a lot more uniform — and, quite frankly, boring — compared to some of the wacky designs from days gone by.