The Evolution of Cell Phone Design Between 1983-2009

Cell phones have evolved immensely since 1983, both in design and function.

From the Motorola DynaTAC, that power symbol that Michael Douglas wielded so forcefully in the movie “Wall Street”, to the iPhone 3G, which can take a picture, play a video, or run one of the thousands applications available from the Apple Store.

There are thousands of models of cell phones that have hit the streets between 1983 and now.

We’ve picked a few of the more popular and unusual ones to take you through the history of this device that most of us consider a part of our everyday lives.

We have tried, wherever possible, to include the most popular phones and the phones that were “firsts” for a particular feature, but may have missed out on your favorite phones due to the sheer number of models that are out there.

We invite you to post your faves in the comments section if they are not listed here.

Mobile phones are just now beginning to be as vital to North Americans as they have been to Asians. You can always see what is coming to store shelves in the next six months to a year by looking at the models that are currently available in Japan.

North America also had a spotty 3G network that has only really been revamped recently in order to deal with increasing demands for faster loading speeds from mobile customers, whereas Asia and most of Europe have had proper 3G networks in place for some time.

This has led to a revolution in 3G phones from 2007 until now, with more due to come out in 2009.

The list does not include any phones that were not portable handhelds. Car phones and some handhelds that were the size of a small briefcase were in use in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but since this is more about design than function we chose not to include them here.



Motorola DynaTAC 8000X

Analog Motorola DynaTAC 8000X Advanced Mobile Phone System mobile phone as of 1983.



Motorola MicroTAC 9800X

The first truly portable phone. Up until its release, most cellular phones were installed as car phones due to the inability to fit them into a jacket pocket.



Motorola International 3200

The first digital hand-size mobile telephone.

Nokia 1011

This was the first mass-produced GSM phone. It was produced until 1994.



BellSouth/IBM Simon Personal Communicator

The IBM Simon was the first PDA/Phone combo.



Motorola StarTAC

The first clamshell cellular phone. Also one of the first display screens featured on a cell.

Nokia 8110

Alternately called the “banana phone”, this phone was popularized in the first Matrix movie.

Nokia 9000 Communicator

The first smartphone series, driven by an Intel 386 CPU.



Nokia 9110i

This iteration of Nokia’s Communicator series significantly reduced the weight of this precursor to the smartphone.

Nokia 5110

This cell phone was the most popular consumer model at the time of its release and for some time afterwards.



Nokia 8210

This phone was loved for its customizable design, but hated for its screen fade.

Nokia 7110

The first mobile phone with a WAP browser.

Nokia 5210

This phone was known for its durability and splash-proof interchangeable casing.


Benefon Esc!

This was the first instance of a GPS being integrated into a mobile phone, and was sold mostly in Europe.

Samsung SPH-M100 Uproar

The Uproar was the first cell phone to have MP3 music capabilities.

Nokia 3210

The internal antenna and predictive T9 text messaging sold approximately 160 million of these phones.



Ericsson R380

The R380 featured a black and white touchscreen, partially covered by a flip.

Nokia 3310

This popular phone sold 126 million models, and was particularly popular in Europe.

Ericsson R320

One of the first phones with a WAP browser. A version of this phone was released in China that allowed Chinese character SMS.



Nokia 5510

This phone featured a full QWERTY keyboard. It could also store up to 64mb of music.

Nokia 8310

This phone contained premium features not normally found on handsets of the time, such as Infrared, a fully functional calendar and a FM Radio.

Ericsson T39

This tiny handset was the first Bluetooth-capable phone.

Ericsson T66

This diminutive entry from Ericsson was the height of a cigarette.

Ericsson T68

This was Ericsson’s first handset with a colour screen.

Siemens S45

Siemens’s first ever GPRS mobile phone with 360kb of internal memory – high at the time.



Nokia 3510(i)

The first Nokia phone to bring GPRS internet services to the mass market. The 3510i, pictured here, was a more advanced version with a colour screen.

Nokia 7650

This was the first Nokia set to feature a built-in camera and was featured in the movie Minority Report.

Sony Ericsson P800

This smartphone featured a touchscreen and up to 128mb of memory.

Nokia 6100

This model sold from 2002-2005. It featured an LCD screen and internet connectivity through GPRS.

Nokia 6310i

The 6310i quickly gained popularity in the corporate world for its simplicity and long battery life.

Sanyo SCP-5300

The first camera phone. Despite the low quality images it produced, it was the first.



Nokia 1100

This extremely popular design has sold over 200 million since its introduction in 2003. This phone is rumoured to have sold for up to $32,000 in online criminal communities due to its ability to intercept one-time banking passwords.

Nokia N-Gage

Nokia’s answer to the Game Boy advance, this phone/games system had a couple of award winning titles before it succumbed to its clunky interface design.

PalmOne Treo 600

One of the “it” gadgets from 2003-2004 until BlackBerries overtook them in popularity. Three or four days between charges and a successful merger of phone, PDA, and camera made this the business tool of choice.

Nokia 2100

This design was available in a wide range of colours and featured a monochromatic screen.

Nokia 6600

Considered very advanced at the time of its introduction due to its Symbian OS-based Nokia Series 60 platform. Released in the US market as the Nokia 6620.

BlackBerry Quark 6210

Research In Motion’s first integrated phone/PDA.

BlackBerry 7210

BlackBerry’s first colour screen.

Nokia 7600

One of the first 3G smartphones by Nokia, still one of the lightest and smallest.



Motorola Razor V3

When this was introduced it set the standard for sleek design in the industry.

Sony Ericsson P910

An attractive flip smartphone with full internet connectivity.

Nokia 7610

Nokia’s first smartphone with a 1 megapixel camera.

Nokia 3220

The first entry-level Nokia phone that offered full internet access.

Nokia 6630

The first cell phone to allow for global roaming.

Nokia 7280

Listed by Fortune Magazine as one of the best products of 2004. Also referred to as the “lipstick” phone.



Nokia 1110

Released as a low-end GSM phone, and widely used in developing countries.

Nokia 6680

One of the first 3G phones, the Nokia 6680 was considered to be high end at the time of its release.

HTC Universal

This was the first 3G Pocket PC phone at HTC and the first to come with Windows Mobile.

Motorola RAZR V3 Magenta

This hot pink phone gave the fashion set something to talk about – and on.



HTC TyTN 100

This model was sold as the Orange SPV M3100 in the UK, keeping with HTC’s tradition of private labelling for individual carriers.


Nokia N73

This immensely popular smartphone has sold millions of models worldwide, and is still in wide use as of 2009.

Motorola Q

The “BlackBerry Killer” from Motorola.

BlackBerry Pearl

The first design-conscious entry from RIM, the Pearl is still being offered on the market today.

KDDI Penck

A fabulous design available only in Japan.

O2 XDA Flame

The XDA Flame is the first dual processor PDA-phone in the 02 line.

LG Chocolate KG800

One of the first well-designed phones made for mass market use.

Samsung i607 BlackJack

Research in Motion sued Samsung over the name of this phone. The lawsuit was settled out of court.

Nokia E62

Originally released to target business users in the European market.




The original iPhone was released in June 2007 with an auto-rotate sensor, a multi-touch sensor that allowed multiple inputs while ignoring minor touches, a touch interface that replaced the traditional QWERTY keyboards, and many other features that helped to give Apple an almost instant healthy market share on its release.

LG Prada KE850

Touchscreen phone that took home a Red Dot Design Award for “Best of the Best” in 2007.

LG Voyager

This design was touted as LG’s take on the iPhone.

HTC Touch

HTC’s answer to the iPhone with its own multi-touch interface and a high screen resolution.

Motorola RAZR2 V9

The solid steel hinge and the metal case make this sleek design feel luxurious and durable.

Motorola Q9H

This fine-tuning of the Motorola Q was released in Italy and the US in 2007.

Nokia E90 Communicator

This update of the first smartphone launched the fifth generation of the series.

Nokia N95

Nokia’s popular smartphone features a slider to access multimedia buttons and a numeric keypad.

Helio Ocean

Work on this “ultimate messaging and talking machine” began before Helio was a company.

LG Shine

This phone won another Red Dot for LG in 2007. Also released in Gold and Titanium Black.

Motorola RAZR2

This phone features the Opera internet browser and CrystalTalk technology.

Palm Treo 755p

The Treo 755p is a smartphone developed by Palm, Inc. It was released on May 14, 2007 as the first CDMA Treo without an aerial antenna.

LG Viewty

A phone firmly focused on visuals. DivX Certified playback and 5 megapixel digital camera with Schneider Kreuznach optics are just a couple of the features of this simply designed phone.



iPhone 3G

The iPhone 3G was made even more desirable by all the apps that could be purchased for it in the AppStore when it was released in July of 2008.



The LG Vu was one in a series of phones that included the LG Prada phone.

T-Mobile G1 Phone

The G1 phone was the first phone to be released with the Android operating system designed by Google. Also known as the HTC Dream. One million devices have sold as of April 2009.

Nokia N96

This GPS-enabled entry in Nokia’s smartphone line features a sleek, compact design.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

This phone was featured in The Dark Knight.

LG Secret

The outside of the LG Secret, a 3G slider phone, is constructed from carbon fiber. Also features the world’s slimmest 5.0 megapixel camera on a smartphone.

Samsung Instinct

The Instinct was introduced as the “iPhone killer” from Samsung at a low price of $129.00.

BlackBerry Storm

Designed to be a direct competitor to the iPhone 3G and other 3G smartphones; RIM’s first device to do away with the QWERTY keyboard and incorporate a touchscreen.

BlackBerry Bold

Blackberry’s “middle ground” solution for those who wanted a 3G phone and a QWERTY keyboard.

Samsung Behold

Cell Fanatic found this entry by Samsung offered superior image quality over the Apple iPhone 3G and the BlackBerry Storm.

Samsung Gravity

The Samsung Gravity is their first to feature a slide-out keyboard that has proved popular in other brands.

Motorola Krave

The Krave design features a transparent flip that acts as a secondary touch surface to access additional features.

Samsung Omnia

The Samsung Omnia features a simple touchscreen interface and a speaker on the back.

Nokia E63

Billed as the budget business smartphone.

LG Dare

The handwriting recognition and simple touchscreen styling of the Dare is enhanced by the easy-grip back.

Sony Ericsson W760i

Includes the “Sensme” music feature, as well as all of the other features from the Walkman phone brand.

Nokia N79

The Nokia N79 has a Naviwheel, GPS, a 5 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss Optics Tessar lens and more.

HTC Touch Diamond

This attractive smartphone featured a resistive touch screen which is better for Asian character recognition.

LG KC910 Renoir

The LG Renoir has an 8-megapixel camera with xenon flash and Schneider-Kreuznach optics.

Nokia E71

The steel frame of this sleek smartphone from Nokia fits into your palm.



Prada II or LG KF900

The second iteration of the Prada phone designed by LG. The sliding QWERTY keyboard is new, as is its 3G capability.

LG Arena

The first phone with LG’s 3D S-Class user interface. This UI reorients with the rotation of the phone and allows you to scroll film-reel style through available apps.

BlackBerry Curve 8900

Released in February 2009, the Curve features an improved trackball and a higher resolution screen. Still a 2G.

LG Versa

Comes with an attachable QWERTY keyboard and a virtual keyboard on the touch screen.

Sidekick LX 2009

This 3G incarnation of the Sidekick includes improved support for social networking applications.

Samsung Magnet

The Samsung Magnet is a cheap alternative for pricier smartphones with much of the same functionality and a cool design.

LG Xenon

Another slide-out QWERTY keyboard and compact design. Comes with AT&T’s Navigator, AT&T’s turn-by-turn GPS service.

HTC Magic

The next HTC entry to sport Google’s Android operating system. No US carriers have yet been confirmed for this model, but T-Mobile has been rumoured to be the carrier of record. Vodafone has exclusive rights to the phone in all markets that they service.

HTC Touch Diamond2

HTC made the LCD display screen as large as they could at 3.2″ for their next incarnation of the Diamond.

Samsung Propel Pro

The sliding QWERTY keyboard and slick design make this an attractive entry by Samsung.

LG Rumor2

Built for e-mail, the Rumor2 supports Lotus Notes where its predecessor didn’t.

Motorola Renew

This eco-friendly phone is the world’s first carbon-neutral cell phone. Made with recycled water bottles, cheap, and an abundance of features for the low price.


Coming Soon

Palm Pre

This phone launches June 6 in the US through Sprint. It will feature the ability to keep multiple apps open at once.

Nokia N97

This phone will be available in June of 2009.

Omnia HD/Samsung i8910

This phone promises the first high-definition video recording when it is released July 1st of 2009.


Only Available in Japan

Here’s hoping that some of these sleek designs make it across the pond eventually to North America. For more Japanese tech goodness, check KDDI’s English page.

Hitachi WOOO Ketai H001 Phone

This phone promises a 3D display. Ubergizmo predicts that it will be a Japan-only handset.

Panasonic P001

3.1″ increased resolution screen, impressive design, global roaming capabilities and one-push open make this an object of desire.

Walkman Phone Premier3

This phone opens up to reveal a 3″ screen and a stylish keypad.

Casio 001

This sports model features a touch panel for interactive gaming and music.

S001 Sony Ericsson Cyber-Shot

This phone screams elegance. Oh, and it has the world’s first 3.3″ full OLED WVGA display and an 8.1 megapixel camera. Not that we’d want all that fancy stuff in North America.

Toshiba T001

Princesses and fashionistas everywhere will go gaga over this design. Advanced video functions and a 5.1 megapixel camera put a little spike in this phone’s heel.

Kyocera K001 Junior Phone

Those of you with children will know how hard it is to put parental restrictions on anything electronic. This phone gives you the ability to track your child with a GPS locator, lock out questionable website addresses, and more.


If you have half an hour to kill and really want to get into the evolution of the cell phone and its cultural impact, check this full-length documentary from CBC.

For a more detailed history of the cell phone, we recommend Cell Fanatic’s history page.

Feature photo by Shutterstock

Please leave us your memories of your cell phones of days gone by and your critiques of what is currently available in our comments section.

  • divyasharad

    Superb info!!!!!!!!!!

  • Morten

    Excellent post! We will probably make fun of the iPhone in 25 years…

    • JP

      I don’t think we’ll have to wait that long! Not that there is anything wrong with the iPhone (i don’t own one), but my 2 year old iPod is looking a bit steampunk these days. I would say within 5 years to be walking around with an iPhone circa 2009 will be like wearing bell-bottom jeans (that’s, “flared trousers” for you brits).

    • Adamuu

      actually, we make fun of it since apple show it for the first time;p

  • Ryan

    LOL! I still have my blackberry 7210 and it still works.

  • Sanchit Thakur

    So many advancements. What was that Nokia phone used by Keanu Reaves in Matrix?

    • Dougbowski

      It was the Nokia 8110

  • Danh ba web 2.0

    wow, great post. Thanks a lot !

  • Jørgen

    This was really enjoyable, keep up making these compilations!

  • plankton

    Nokia 8310 current my mobile

  • Rob MacKay

    Really good! hehe

    You missed the n-gage from nokia though, full 3d games on the move! (ok ok I was given 2 of them to review for a web mag lol)

  • Deanna

    Wow, brings back memories of my Dad’s first cell phone back in the 80’s!!! fun to see the evolution over the years, thanks! :)

  • kuba

    great compilation, but two mistakes:
    photos of 5800 and n79 are wrong, sorry :)

  • Christofer

    hahaha…I had the Motorola MicroTAC 9800X, this list realy takes you back down the memory lane :-D.

  • Qrin

    There is a picture of a fake phone from China instead of real Nokia N79..

    • Walter

      Sorry about that, I’ve updated the image.

  • marcho

    Damn man !! look at the nokia N79 ?? on the photo is probably NOKLA chinese fake of NOKIA, and the second fail 5800 XM, with photo of n85 below…

    More competency at next time

    • Walter

      Check now, it should be fixed. Thanks for letting me know ;)

      • marcho

        Much better :)

    • Mikael

      “More competency at next time” ???? Do it by yourself next time!! Stupid idiot

  • rsstudio

    Great and enjoyable post as always!

    I also got hold of the Nokia phone evolution from 3210 (1999) to my current 5310 Music Xpress edition.

    I believe you also have a post of futuristic designs and I remember the Nokia’s concept on the future phone (using nanotechnology) was on the list. Hope we can see that in the near future as well. Keep posting!

  • Crowd

    Very interesting. I’m still a Mototrola & Nokia fan trough. Since the Siemens software failures.

  • Fit lehti

    Nice list, but missing some important ones. Like “the matrix phone” Nokia 8110 :)

  • liam

    Anyone else think that the Nokia 3310 still looks cool. I think it looks much nicer than a lot of the phones to come after it.

    Sweet post though!

  • Adam

    It’s amazing how they’ve gone from simple black and white pixelated interfaces to complete multimedia devices.

    I remember first having the Nokia 5110, then upgrading to the amazing 3210! Even my current phone looks outdated compared to some of those. I’d love to have the new Blackberry.

  • Subsist

    Good info but lacking a lot.. where are Nokia 6680 which was cleary one of the best 3g mobiles for couple of years? And where are the newest mobiles? (touch d2, touch pro2, omnia hd, android phones ect?)

  • Luis Eduardo

    A lot of souvenirs with some of those pictures, most from Nokia an Sonny Ericsson.
    But the best is the first Motorola

  • Gisele

    Great post! Felt in a “time tunnel” and had several of the old models mentioned!!

  • Sathish

    Great post!!

    Nice to see my first phone. Nokia 3100. There is still no phone to beat the ease of keypad it had.

  • diego \ Durmiendo Afuera

    the half of the cellular ones I didn’t know

  • Alex

    Great post! Thanks a lot, it’s very interesting to see the history of cell phones. I remember that almost everyone I knew in Germany had the Nokia 3310. Now I have a LG but I miss my old Nokia cell phones.

  • Jake

    I would say that the phones changed from being actual phones into being micro-computers, which I for one am a huge fan of.

  • orphicpixel

    nah! nice collection you got here, until now i am using this nokia 5210, check my footer on my blog, there is a pix of my long time buddy nokia 5210

  • Raveendran

    What a collection is this!!! Really I admired lot..

  • SlicedCate

    This is wicked! Look how huuuuuuuuuuge the first phones were!

  • Brian Cray

    LOL! Funny to look back and see all the pieces of crap I used to think of as cool.

  • David

    It will be a LONG time before any other company makes anything close to the iphone. It’s really more about OSX’s brilliance on the iphone that no other company can come even close to.

  • prafuitu

    You should have used Nokia N95 instead of the N96… I think it was a greater step for Nokia than the N96, that was just a slightly improved and redesigned version of the N95…
    It featured a built-in GPS module, WiFi, 3G, powerfull Internet browser based on WebKit, an Accelerometer (the same “revolutionary” sensor certain phones came with later), 5 MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens, 1.3 MP camera for video calls, TV-Out, the N-Gage platform, etc. – A N95 microsite

  • tkf

    Great article. There are many things that i didn’t know before. But why is HTC Universal ( forgotten. It has original form factor

  • Markus

    The picture for the HTC Touch shows the HTC Touch Dual. And the Touch was released before the iPhone not afterwards.

    You should have added the HTC Touch Diamond 2 which is probably the most polished ones of the Windows Mobile Phones beeing sold today.

    In Germany there was a Siemens phone which did display 3 different colors while all other phones were monochrome. But I can’t remeber it’s name.. :(

  • Greg

    Interesting list, surprised the Helio Ocean was overlooked while so many bland candybar Nokias were given so much love, and two identical versions of the RAZR (only difference being colour)?

  • Mike

    Fantastic post; you must have been working on this for hours just gathering the pics! What a walk down memory lane that was; I saw way too many phones that I have owned over the years!

  • David Rivers

    What’s with all the non-innovative Nokia phones? Do they really ALL deserve mention?! (You also skipped between Palm Treo 600 and 755p with no mention of intermediate versions.)

  • LA YIN

    The japanese phones obviously have more of fashion touch, why they don’t make to the West? Very puzzled.

  • Alex

    You forgot the Nokia N95 – One of the most popular and best selling phones in recent times, particularly in Europe.

  • someone

    What about the Sony Ericsson Idou the first phone that comes end of this year with 12 megapixel? The Omnia HD with HD Video?

  • MikeE

    Superb post. Not sure what it’s got to do with Web design though ;)

  • Vinko

    All my goodness!

    I have most of them prior to 2004, none of the BlackBerry and nothing after I bought my iPhone in 2007.

    Although, since I live in HK, the place where there is an average of 3 – 4 mobile phones per person, I do not feel that bad.

  • John Anthony Evans

    Hi, you missed a really important phone. The Nokia 7650.

    First s60 phone.
    First Nokia with a color LCD I believe.
    First phone with, email, web browser, MMS and a camera all in one. It even shot video. Not bad for 2002 :)

    Also the Nokia 1100 is the most popular phone of all time, the Nokia 3310 is the second.

    Good list thought :)

  • Paul Saunders

    Congrats .. some Amazing high res shots .. someone did their homework .. and a trending topic too … but lets a peek at the ‘video’ i-phone ??!!

    pls can u link me to the plugin below for anti spam? does this save approving in anyway?

    cheers Paul

  • Bold User

    I have a Bold, and it doesn’t have a touchscreen.

  • Sid

    Fantastic. Thanks.

    I used the Nokia 3310 for some time. It was fantastic. Of course, we just used to make calls from mobiles back then. :))

  • pocketeer001

    Nice review,I can feel the next beyond

  • Micky

    Great trip down memory lane, but you missed out one of the most important phones to date. The Nokia N95, not only did this handset shape the way the mobile is used today, its won several awards too.

  • ivv

    I’d also include T-Mobile’s Sidekick for its swiveling keyword.


    i love this post!

    i have just bought me th 8310 again, brand new… it needs a charge once a week! :D

  • aldrin

    When I’m back on my high school year 1998 days, i was ask what to expect in 2010, and my answer is someday the cellphone will have a multitask and multi use where it people will only have to watch tv, listening music, research in the internet, payment options and of course for communication only on 1 device.. and i can’t really imagine it’s already true now.. to you after 2020 what do you expect? :D


    You missed the NOKIA 3310…The best cellular phone in the firts years of new millennium! ;P Now I’ve got a BlackBerry Storm..really good.. Nice post!!!

  • bgr

    no N95 ?

  • Rikki

    Hmmm, good artcile but LOADED for 08 and 09 phones that offer nothing new.

    Would have been better with 2110, 232 etc from NOKIA, CMH111 / 333 from Sony, Ericcson EH237 and other stand out models – Motorola Flare, first customisable handset at low cost etc. Plus hackables like the NEC P3 (Italian ROM) and BT Cellnet Philips with its replacable PIC chip for a constant £10 of credit every time you turn the phone on.

  • Shahin – Rolam Shahin Designs

    Great post! Now I now I could have been proud of being an owner of the first ever antenaless phone back in the iceage :D

  • N95USER

    Y el N95, esta lista está mal e incompleta si no menciona al NOKIA N95 ¿Lo pueden agregar?

  • Walter

    Thanks for all the comments so far and your feedback.

    When making compilations like these it’s impossible to cover every single model as there are literally thousands.

    We’re going to take your suggestions and add some of the ones mentioned in the comments over the next day or so.

    Thanks again for all the input! :)

  • Juan Antonio

    Excelentes pinturas… xD

  • james (mjelly)

    You missed the Ericsson T68 – first colour handset and the last ericsson ever before it became sony-ericsson

    but – great work!

  • Anthony Alexander

    This wasn’t very well organized, I would have liked to seen a better distinction between the technologies that made each phone a milestone. After color screens, games and browser functionality they should have stopped calling them phones. It’s like calling a caterpillar a leg.

  • Andreyco

    massive article

  • Mike McNamara

    Great article, only ever had four mobiles from 1985 to today, all listed above.

    Latest is Nokia E71, four weeks on on from Sony Erisson 910i, but E71 great leap forward for me.

  • Walter

    Some readers are pointing out that this article doesn’t appear to be web design related and I thought I’d explain this a bit.

    As web designers, it’s my belief that we need to get inspiration from everywhere. If we limit ourselves to strictly looking at other websites as a source of inspiration, we would be missing out on too much inspiration that we can draw from other sources.

    That’s why you’ll find many articles on WDD dealing with ‘design’ subjects and not ‘web design’ proper, yet they’re both closely linked.

    Thanks for the input! :)

  • martin sanders

    nice post, features all my past phones and including the latest, Samsung Omnia :)

  • Murid Rahhal

    I currently have an iPhone 3G, but I still think the NOKIA 3310 was the best phone ever!!!

  • Coupon Fan

    oh wow! the mobile phones have gone a long way. I noticed you did not include much from siemens. i think it was them who launched the first shock proof mobile phone – or catered to the outdoor people. But Im not really sure though.

  • Varun

    Awesome post !

    Some phones are missing like the upcoming N97 ;-)

    Good Job !

  • carlos mv

    Great post

  • Andy

    Wow! How the technologies changed durng the last 26 years! Very incredible!

  • Chandradip

    The NOKIA 5110 was the first cellphone I saw firsthand in 1999, although I didn’t own one. My first buy was c35i from Siemens. Followed by a j70 from Sony (they hadn’t tied up with Ericsson yet). Then by a Sony Ericsson P800. A Nokia 5110. A Sony Ericsson z600. A Sony Ericsson T610. A Nokia 3310. A Nokia 3100. A Nokia 6610. A O2 XDA Atom. A Sony Ericsson K810i. And now a Nokia E63. In just a decade. Whew!

  • Jones-Keeping Up With Mom

    I have a Motorola MicroTAC 9800X in grey. Yesssssss!!!!!!!! Why am I required to do math to leave a comment on this site lol ;-)

  • Mr. Viagra

    Great phone super article wow but the most powerfull mobile is Samsung

  • Dan Sullivan

    Awesome collection. Technology rules the world. I can’t believe that we’ve gone so far in the past few years. Now, I guess the revolution has started again in the search world. It’ll be either done by the search giant Google or other small players like It’s the real-time world today and real-time search is taking off now. My favorite is that shows the hottest pages on the web.

  • Ashely Adams : Sticker Printing

    I’ve been a user of mobile phones for the last 15 years or so, and I could clearly remember most of those early models. It was a nice trip down memory lane. Some have become true classics, like the Nokia 3310 and the Communicator. There was also a Siemens model that had generated its very own cult following (can’t remember the model number). While the latest touch-based models are great fun to use and are very sophisticated, some of the older models still pack a punch. Nice post.

    • Binu Jacob

      Is this the C 55, which I used to use around the same time..very handy and the shape was so good that one would feel quite comfortable holding it..inspite of the smaller ones making their headway into the market..


  • chiw

    kewl post!

  • Julia

    That was awesome :) Wow, we’ve insanely evolved. :P

  • Daniel Errante

    My first phone was the Nokia 3310 back when I was 16 and just got my drivers license! That was in 2003, not too long ago right?

  • Timster

    I feel somehow out of touch, I’ve only had 13 of the phones listed. And missing one of the most important ones already mentioned previously – N95. Two absolute favorites of mine would be Nokia 8210 and iPhone 3G. What a superb article. :-)

  • ywz

    My first phone was the Nokia 1110 and it still works.

  • Neo

    How many of you thought “That’s the phone form the matrix!” ?

  • Allison

    Awesome info! I just got a camara phone a year ago so I’m behind.

  • michael


  • Jamal Ahmad

    I had… an old Vodaphone make phone (My first), Motorola flip, Nokia banana phone, Nokia 5110, Nokia 8210, Nokia 3210, XDA1, just to name a few

  • Alex Vorn

    Where is the Nokia E51?? Should be in this list too!

  • Angela Davis

    Im pretty sure I have a nokia 5110 laying around the house somewhere, and there’s a black berry pearl that i found on the side of the road laying on the floor next to my foot.

  • Frank

    what a fabulous collection of mobile phones. I am looking forward to the Nokia N97

  • anon

    Too much nokia phones imo.

  • kawrohdey

    Somehow I’m missing the Sony Ericson K750i and the Xperia X1 :/

  • Amir

    What about the earlier “car-battery” phones?

    What about the up-and-coming iphone revision 3? (NOT 3G)

    What about openmoko?

    • Walter

      We didn’t cover car phones as explained on the opening paragraphs. Also, the upcoming phones have not been covered as there are no images for these yet, at least, not official ones.

  • Frank Polenose

    Glad you skipped the Sony X1 – truelly awful phone!

  • dave

    You forgot the very iconic Motorola Wings Series – V3866, V3690 & later the cheaply manufactured v50

  • ruipelo

    You missed the best phone nokia ever made, the E70, with a flippable full qwerty keyboard. Perfect for accessing your shell server on the move.

  • Dusan

    This post takes me back. I still have my old Motorola StarTac. I wonder if it works…

  • Shane

    I was fortunate to work with mobile phone WAP-driven software development from 2001-2004. Even in this relatively short period of time, the progression of handset design and features was impressive.

    The company I worked for always got the latest phones, so we could test our software delivery (JAVA-based stuff) and WML page rendering.

    One of my favourite phones was the Siemens SL45(i).

  • graphic design

    Nokia 3310 the best cellphone ever.

  • Nicole Foster

    A very nice evolution list; the computer evolution article was my favorite. It is always fun to see how technology evolves.

  • Jack K.Goodrich

    I have a Samsung “Jitterbug’ that has a nice large screen and dialing keys. I use it “on the road ” only as an emergency item–NEVER Driving. Nuff said.

  • Antoine E Butler Sr

    Wow, trippy. Nice list. Hard to believe that so many phones were so ugly for so long. In fact I still see some of those 2000 designs now a days. Here’s to the next decade of technological evolution.

  • Donovan Glass

    I remember using the Motorola International 3200 in my dad’s car on the way to the first year of high school! Crazy!

    Love my iPhone 3G

  • Justo

    Why no mention of the Sony Ericson T616 or T632? They were popular in both Europe and in North America, and for awhile was the cash cow for SE.

  • Ashley

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have a really hard time with choosing the right mobile phone for myself. This helped a bit.

  • Marc

    Nice article but too long and some stuff irrelevant. Of course the iPhone should be on the list but the 3G? Virtually no different in design at all, a few minor tweaks and software updates. Same for many of these phones — many are really _very_ similar and features include slightly bigger storage or better cameras or are simply competitor’s versions of the leader’s ideas. The last 3rd of the list could easily be cut in half!

  • Alessio

    …where’s the new INQ?

  • Jen @ Eco-Office Gals

    Wow I came in on the Nokia 5110 remember when it was all about the different face plates you could get at the mall kiosks? Oy veh! What a fun read!!

  • Valerie Babin

    Nice post!

  • manicho

    amazing post !!!

  • Pavel

    Very nice post. A real history!

  • Oliver

    Nice article. Interesting how concepts of what looks good and what doesn’t changes so dramatically over time. Seems weird to think that we’ll ever shun the designs we like so much today. *not the iPhone, dont shun the iPhone!*

  • Twain

    You forgot 2 smartphones that are impressive: xperia x1 and htc touch hd.

  • bocachica


    How did we ever live without cell phones?

    I dumped my land line and got out of my cellphone contract when the company changed its terms. (Did you know that if they do that, it voids the contract?

    They don’t tell you that, but I saw it on the Consumerist site and it worked! No termination fee too. Haha.)

    Anyway, I got a prepaid Net10 phone and everything is 10 cents a minute… even International calls which is great since my son is traveling right now.

    But the best thing about this is that there aren’t any bills and I know what my costs are because I pay upfront for my calls. It’s great!

  • djlender

    Yep! I had the Nokia 5110! Nice phone. Fond memories…. ;-)

  • Eva

    very good post

  • Data Recovery Software

    How can i learn this photoshop

  • Flashtoons

    What a collection, It’s amazing and nice, Thanks

  • Henrik Stenmann

    It must have take very long time.

    Thank you for sharing this to us.



    BTW. very cool blog – very

  • Amir Reza

    that was nice.

  • Asterion

    Brilliant post. Being from Brazil, I wasn’t aware of many of those phones. Thank you for the effort.

  • Andy Vančo

    There is a mistake in the name of the phone NOKIA 8810 (thaht is the different one that is shown on the picture). The correct name for “banana phone” as is shown on the picture is Nokia 8110.

  • Le Rageux

    Interesting to begin with… then Nokia propaganda, don’t understand why some of their failures are this remembered (anyone recalls about xelibris ?) and in the end it’s all bullshit : why featuring hundreds of iphone clones…

    And missing quite a few items, anyway I guess that’s all what you US guys had

  • Alex

    Nice research ;)

    We keep asking about the next generations and tendencies on cell-phones and looking back is an easier to figure it out. I’m gonna show it to mine, it’s like his family album! Very inspiring! Congrats.


  • courtney

    wow thats cool. I can not believe out of all of those phones Im to picky and, only found 14 I would want. But thanks for posting that it really helped with my power point slide at my work.

  • courtney

    Also, I have the samsung gravity I wish I had a better phone. : )

  • angelika

    I think that Nokia is a winner. They have most phones which were extraodrinary and most favourite

  • angelika

    Sorry for posthunting, but I am not able to edit my previous comment…

    and what is most funny? I had all of them.. Nokia 3310, Nokia 3200 (not mentioned), Nokia 6681 (6680), N73 and now 5800..

    Thumbs up :)

  • Jackie Chia

    This is amazing…
    Great post…

  • Mark Jenkins

    Great collection, but a few more corrections:

    1) Research In Motion’s first integrated phone/PDA was the 5810 not the 6210. Also unique with this phone was that an earbud was REQUIRED to hear callers.

    2) The BlackBerry 7700 series was shipped the year before the first 7200 series BlackBerries shipped. That makes the BlackBerry 7780 Research In Motion’s first BlackBerry with a color display.

    3) The Ericsson I888 (I for International) shipped more than 4 years before the Nokia 6630 making the I888 the first global cell phone.

    4) The HTC Universal may be the first 3G Windows Mobile phone, but the first phone with Windows as the OS was the Toshiba/Audiovox Thera in 2002.

    Sorry to be picky, but history is riding on this ;-)


  • WebChecker


    Awesome info. This would be definitive guide for GenNext.

  • Northern_Eagle

    I’ve had three of these phones :) but can’t help feeling you missed out the HTC Monet/Virgin Lobster 700TV, the first phone to have simulcast TV, the only one to use DAB-TV format and if you saw it you’d understand – go on google image it, I dares ya

  • Easy to use cellphone

    A few too many phones on this list, I would’ve cut it by maybe half to really hone in on the biggest cellphone upgrades from year to year,

  • Secret Agent Sami

    Nice! It was pretty cool to see where the cell phone started. those big phones r crazy! i remember my popa having something like the Motorola MicroTAC 9800X but just a little different when i was a kid. crazy how fasts cell phones improved in 20 years! and im sooo glad they did! id hate to have one of those big phones. it’d be embarrassing!

  • .

    shopped… i already own ALL of these phones

  • mores

    You forgot to mention the SonyEricsson P1i which was a huge improvement to the p990 and is still being used by a lot of people.

    Me included :)


    This is a great info page really tells u wats going on and its easy to understand

    well done its aan awsome page

    lol….. yeah

  • venkat

    The great Information about the Evolution of cellphones ..

  • Patricia

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  • Samuel!!

    You overlooked one of the greatest phones ever the Sanyo S750! had the largest kind of screen in a phone at that time and played films really well!!
    not as good as an n97 tho… or be it the n95-8gb still better than the n97 i recon!!

  • Batch

    Cool…. how about tough and rugged phones like the Sonim XP3

  • bluquar

    Good article, however the majority of these phones are Nokia models, many of which could have been left out, as so many other companies’ models were left out.

  • Happy Reader

    WIN post

  • Avery

    nice blog,the best post I ever seen before.

  • cipek

    nice phone

  • leaflet design

    had to laugh…

    I still have a Nokia 7110…

    and you know what…it still works just fine and I have used it twice in the last year when my own phone was A. lost. B. Left at a clients office from an appointemt over 100 miles from our office base!

    Pity you dont have a facility to upload images, as I would have loved to have uploaded a piccy of the phone.

  • piet

    You should include the motorola V3688. Here in Europe, it was revolutionary because of its size…

  • Navarro Parker

    What the heck is an infrared calendar?? Nokia 8310

  • JobSAdvisor

    Wow! found it, i gotta have one! Great post!

  • :)

    Thanks this really helped me!

  • Jake

    Great post, Well Done.

  • Ravikumar V.

    reallly superb . but where is my cookie ?? !! (LG kp 500)

  • Web Design Manchester

    Jeez, this takes me back. Made me remember a phase where I was in school and everyone had a pager (before mobiles went mainstream)

  • web tasarım

    This was really enjoyable

  • senior phone

    Wow, it’s crazy how much cell phones have changed in just a few short years, although I have noticed they have gotten harder and more complicated to use.

  • Tsulusun

    wow amazing and complete review unfortunately you forget siemens M series …i enjoy read this article

  • mrak911

    Simplement classe, auteur ))

  • pantone804

    I think Motorola’s V70 and AURA definitely deserve a place in history.

  • Henrik Stenmann

    I think you need to update this blog post — every 1 month lol…

    Cool blog


  • Web Design from Lyons Solutions

    I remember those good old Brick type cell phones that my dad used to have. Too heavy to lift when I was a kid, so I guess that saved my dad some money from buying me one lol.

    If only we had what they have these days! hahaha

  • psp screen protector

    I have relived the whole era of two decades. It is really a great journey for the communication technology.

  • iphone killer Fr

    Amazing evolution !

  • cesc

    i still have the nokia 3010 and it works well.

  • cheap nintendo r4

    Very interesting post. I would like to link back to it….

  • martinbrumana

    Muy bueno !!! 10 quintines!

  • Durilko

    Where is my Samsung i710 ???!!!

  • WebCatch

    Bring back snake!! thats what i say, its amazing how far we have come on the design of these phones, what about the N95 tho?

  • Web Analyzer

    If only we had what they have these days! hahaha

  • Web Analyzer

    If only we had what they have these days! hahaha


    And what about Motorola A760/A780? Motorola MPx? Alcatel OneTouch?

    Anyway, nice collectio, with a little to much nokia inside.


  • Andy Speed

    Wow thats a great list, Think I have owned at least 6 of them, some are classics and love them. thanks for the list.

  • James

    real phones

  • francomur99

    Hello, very interesting post but unfortunately you forgot the Samsung D900, the Nokia E65, the Sony C902, The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, the Htc Hero, the Motorola Droid/Milestone I have all of them ….all fantastic mobile phone and they should be in the list.
    Then there is Google Nexus One, Xperia X10, Htc Legen, Htc Desire, Htc Incredible……Supersonic ecc ecc.
    Can you please Update the list.
    Many Thanks

  • francomur99

    The Htc Diamond 2 is the only mobile phone in my possession that you insert in the list. C’mmon man, I am sure you can do better then that.

  • Bobomurod

    Nokia N91 was the first model with Hard Disk drive

  • 0PP0$1T3

    Not good, SIEMENS SL45 – mp3 & MMC (first in the world), SIEMENS S10 – first color display, SIEMENS S10 Active – first protected phone, SIEMENS SL10 – first slider, SIEMENS A35 – cheap, very popular, SIEMENS MC60 – very popular with camera, SIEMENS SL55 – popular, can record voice, SIEMENS SX1 famous smartphone with non traditional keyboard, SIEMENS SK65 – cross-to-type form, uniq in the world

  • Jesse

    That’s a great list, I’m looking forward to something about web design on the phone.

  • Lilly-anne

    Oh myy this takes me wayy backk i remember when my dad had the Nokia 5110 was only 7 years old haha..

    I have the blackberry Bold 9000 and i absolutely love it!

  • jameguilin

    very very great list. thanks you . its very importand for my paper.

  • K850i

    You made my day with this, just looking at the bricks has given me a good giggle of what we have come through.

    Thanks for the list, I’m gonna pass this to my buddies.

    Stumbleupon thumbs up

  • Issac

    Great and classic! I miss my Nokia phones in the early ages! They really dominated the market during that time! :)

  • http://facebookXD hubble and skippster

    I like Them Big

  • mrak911

    Sorry for the question, but I am very interested in how CMS operates a blog?

  • Injury Claims London

    What is easier to use when comparing WordPress admin area and cms, or am i missing a point?

    I have used Joomla in the pass as i believe that is a cms system but still not as friendly and easy as wordpress.

  • Ryan

    This is a fantastic article. It is amazing to see the advances in technology arriving so fast! I wonder how this trend will continue in the distant future.

  • dana

    wow nice post!!
    hard work….

  • Kiran

    Nice to see the evolution from a brick that is only used for making calls and recieving calls to a multi-functional 3G phone with a touchscreen interface, lots of features and internet.
    One problem though – this is terribly outdated, i mean comon, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and the Nokia N8 and Nokia X6 have come out that beat the crap out of the Samsung i8910.
    Soon, we will be having phones that can play COD 8 and NFS World Online in SHV, that can also make videos in SHV and pictures upto 40MP. Phones that have an internal memory of a typical computer expandable to 4TB. Internet that streams videos at 50Gbps and there will still be the old fasioned Samsung i8910 here!!!

  • Avery

    Yes, the design of cell phone has been changed a lot in the past a few decades.

    • mkb

      umm about that of course they have changed douche

  • katalog tasarim

    My favourite O2 XDA. Because very handsome… thank you..

  • John Huszagh

    Hahaha. Currently on the original Droid. I love how all these companies made “iPhone Killers” which look worse than roadkill. The first thing to really challenge the iPhone well was the Droid. And now my friends and I with Droids and iPhone 3Gs feel out of date with iPhone 4 and DroidX.

  • Kiran

    I am now in the middle of a long term project of a time lapse of the evolution of cell phones from 2000 to 2020!! Also, Laptops, Netbooks, notebooks, Toughbooks, GamingTops, eReaders and Tablets! This is all going to finish in 2020 or around about then, but I will probably finish earlier due to the bore of the situation. It will probably be published on Youtube which will probably have HTML 6 and a 1 hour limit! See you then!

  • paul alexander

    Excellent Article!

  • Vincent D.

    Hmmm…… out of these, my family and I have had:

    -Nokia 1011
    -Motorola StarTac
    -Nokia 5110
    -Nokia 3310
    -Nokia 6310i
    -Motorola (MOTO) RAZR V3m/S
    -LG Chocolate (II) (VX-8550)
    -LG Dare (VX-9700) (Still in Service)
    -Motorola (MOTO) Renew (w233)

  • flyer templates

    I remember when the price of a phone was a fortune. But who had one was in another league.

  • Craig

    Wow, The nostalgia came flowing back when I saw this post, haha I remember the days of the original bricks and the YUPPIE, Thanks!

  • Amanda

    Wow I forgot how many Nokia phones I have owned! They really dominated the market for such a long period, they were amazing for battery life before 3G!

  • Lisa Thomason

    Fantastic article. It is amazing to see the advances in technology arriving so fast! It seems to be advancing now quicker than ever before! LT

  • phones design

    Wowwww, very complete phones generations. My first Mobile is StartTac, is very strong gadget, and powerfull.

  • error fix

    What’s with all the non-innovative Nokia phones? Do they really ALL deserve mention?! (You also skipped between Palm Treo 600 and 755p with no mention of intermediate versions.)

  • http://google glenn

    Brilliant list,has just helped me with my course work and i hadnt realised how much phones had evolved.

  • Samsung Galaxy S vs. iPhone :P

    Wouldn’t you mind if I suggest that you should post the Samsung Galaxy S a.k.a. Samsung Vibrant! It killed iPhone! =)) and I own one! :D omg. I LOVE THE PHONE :P you’ll do too.. :))

  • antron

    Great run-down. Missing the T28s though. One of the best phones I ever owned albeit the OS hanging up occasionally.

    Also the early Sony mobiles were something of design marbles. Especially the iconic CMD-Z1.

  • Outdoor BBQ Grills

    I wonder what will happen in next two three years

  • Leszken

    Very well done.

    But some important models are missing:

    Siemens S10 – featured first colour (red green blue black) display.

    Siemens S25 and Ericsson T25 – most cutting edge 90s phones they made names for S and T series.

    Siemens SL45 – first “multimedia” phone with mmc card slot and mp3 player

    Alcatel one touch – cheap, colourful and popular phone that break black or silver mobile phone stereotype

    Xelibri X1 – first “design” exclusive phones.

    Nokia 7370 – one of the most interesting Nokia music phones

    best regards.

  • Shazi gul

    This is great… evolution of cell phones is presented in a nice manner. I love it…

  • Ryan

    Fascinating article and well researched. I remember watching Wall Street last night from the 80s and the cell phone used in there was like a brick. It is amazing how technology is moving forward. You just wonder what the future holds. All the best.

  • Nilabh Bhat

    Nice info!! This helped me for a research essay!

  • Lourve

    Brings back the memories of the cellphones we used… So nice!

  • Stelios

    It is one of the most interested subject I have ever read about Mobile Technology!

  • swabay leftnut (the fashionably late)

    i like the game treadmillosaurus-rex because it pleasures my mother in ways that you cannot describe through words. i also like this post.