Top notch flagship phones are all very well. But do you ever get the feeling that they’re all the same? Sure, it’s pretty awesome having all that processing power, but we do get a little tired of the same old black rectangles. It just sometimes seems that in the past we had more innovation… And on that note, here are some of the coolest retro phones that we really wish would make a come back.
The Good News: The Nokia 3310
If we’d have started this list a couple of months ago, then the Nokia 3310 would probably have been right at the top. Actually, it’s still right at the top, but only as a special mention. The original 3310 was one of the best selling phones of all time, and with good reason. It had ultra long battery life, was practically indestructible, and you could play Snake. For people of a certain age this was the first real mobile that they had, and it’s one that still sells for hefty prices on eBay.
The good news? An all new remodelled version of the 3310 is about to hit shelves. That’s right, you can get your hands on a slightly modified 3310 any time now. It even still comes with Snake. You’ll get a colour screen this time round, and some amped up internals, but other than that, this is the 3310 that you know and love. And rumour has it that it’s gonna be a very affordable option too!
The Stylish One: The Motorola Razr
Launched in 2004, there was nothing quite like the Motorola Razr. Sleek, fashionable, slimline, and very, very cool. Really, have you ever felt cooler than when you flipped that panel up at the end of a call? And the flat, silver keypad looked like something from the future. For a while there, this was THE phone to have. Sadly, the original Razr left our shelves in 2007. That doesn’t mean that we still wouldn’t buy a stylish flip phone though.
Don’t despair though, there are still a few flip phones around. If you lust after the sexy lines of the old Motorola Razr, then you might want to check out ZTE’s Cymbal-T. Its razor sharp edges and metallic keypad are reminiscent of the Razr. Plus, you get a full Android 5.0 operating system, 4G, a colour touch screen, and 5 MP cam, along with a full 1 GB of RAM. Not bad at all. Plus, of course, you get the cool flip…
The Affordable One: The LG Nexus 5X
This may be a controversial choice, since the Nexus 5X was discontinued only a few months ago, but this really was one of the best buys of all time. With a 5.2 inch display, hexa core processing power, 2 GB of RAM, and a 12 MP cam on board, what was most surprising about the Nexus was that all these top end specs came in at under £400. Sadly, with the release of Google’s new Pixel line, the Nexus was the last affordable Google phone option. And boy, do we long for a great phone with great specs that won’t make us go bankrupt.
If the Nexus 5X was really your thing, and you can’t bring yourself to justify the huge price of a Pixel, then you really need to check out the One Plus 3T. It comes in at just around £400, and it’s got some serious top end specs. A 5.5 inch display, a massive 6 GB of RAM, quad core processing and a 16 MP camera set (that’s 16 MP at the front AND at the back)? Yes please! The One Plus 3T is the only worthy successor of the old Nexus 5X.
The Business Choice: The BlackBerry Curve
Blackberrys are so passe these days that they’re barely worth mentioning. And yet just a decade ago the Blackberry Curve was THE business phone to have. One of the best selling Blackberry models, and full of business friendly apps, the Curve looked and felt professional. No latter day Yuppie could be without one. Why do we miss it? We miss the awesome compatibility with our PCs, we miss the easy to use interface, we miss the full physical keyboard that made typing so easy, and we miss the cool factor of owning a Blackberry. Sadly, Blackberrys are no more, so what can you grab instead?
Unfortunately, there really aren’t many decent options here. That full keyboard was really what set Blackberry apart. And you might still be able to pick up the latter Blackberry models (the Passport or Priv) with some operators. Other than that though, your best bet is a decent Android and a Bluetooth keyboard if you really need that QWERTY action.
The Slider: The LG Chocolate
Slider phones were just the epitome of cool for a while. And we were tempted to make this entry about the Nokia N95, one of the first real sliders. But the LG Chocolate, with its stylish design and included music player capabilities just pipped the Nokia to the post. Why did we love it? Well, we have to admit that we liked it mostly because it looked cool. The Chocolate was pretty pricey for its time and didn’t compete incredibly well when it came to specs. But the feeling of sliding that phone shut, and the awesome audio quality more than made up for that…
And what about a modern day replacement? Sadly, there really aren’t any modern sliders. The closest you can probably get your hands on right now is the LG Optimus F3Q, though that’s a 2014 model. Plus, the Optimus has a horizontal slide out keyboard, rather than the cool vertical slider of the Chocolate. Still, if a slider is your thing, then the Optimus is going to be your best bet.
With the iconic Nokia 3310 making its comeback, we’re hoping that there’s going to be a trend for retro mobiles. Not that we hate all modern phones, but we would like to see a few more options on the market. In the meantime though, you might want to check out some of our alternative options above, for at least a little retro feel…