The best Symbian phones ever

Nokia has confirmed that the Nokia 808 PureView

was the last Symbian phone it will ever make. Are we sad? Not a jot.

But Symbian was once a great and majestic system, a smartphone OS that

people actually used in the days when the terms “feature phone” and

“camera phone” actually meant something.

As an ode to the doddery

old fellow that is Symbian, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite

Symbian phones ever made. Have great memories of an old Symbian

workhorse? Let us know yours in the comments.

Nokia 9210 Communicator
Released: 2000
Symbian phones
Arriving

before the days of the smartphone, the Nokia 9210 Communicator was

really more of a PDA that could double-up as a phone. It could change,

Transformer-like, from a 1980s Wall Street grade giant phone to a rather

more elegant miniature laptop – which was held inside.

These

were back in the days where convergence really came with a price – the

Nokia 9210 Communicator is really two devices smushed together. But open

the thing up and that Nokia Communicator magic is there. It had a

“high-resolution” 640 x 200 pixel 4.5-inch screen, offering just one

sixteenth the number of pixels you get with 2013’s top smartphones.

Madness,

isn’t it… but have we really come that far? You could download apps for

it – then known archaically as “applications” – heck it could even run

Doom, and all the basics we take for granted today.

Nokia 7650
Released: 2002
Symbian phones 7
Desperately

trying to cram PDA features into a phone shape, the Nokia 7650 was

released in 2002. It was huge for a phone at the time, but was among the

first phones to bring advanced features like MS Outlook integration to a

device that still looked and felt like it was made primarily to make

calls.

Nokia sold more than a million 7650s, and it was pitched as the

company’s first integrated camera phone. It ran the Symbian series 60

platform, had a 2.1-inch 176 x 208 pixel screen a vertically-sliding

keypad and – the height of fashion – a full VGA resolution camera. This

thing was cutting edge back in 2002.

Nokia N80
Released: 2005
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A

few years down the line, Nokia has really learned how to trim-down its

Symbian phones, leading to the super-popular N-series. Among the first

in this range was the Nokia N80, a phone that became the design

blueprint for top Nokias for years.

It hit the scene as phones

were starting to feature many more pixels, letting them fit much more

information on-screen. It had Wi-Fi, it had “super-fast” EDGE

connectivity, a mind-boggling 220MHz CPU and 259dpi pixel density – not

too shabby even by today’s standards.

 

Nokia N95

Released 2007
Symbian phones 5
Remembered

by many as the classic Nokia smartphone, the Nokia N95 was the phone to own before

the iPhone captured the phone market. It was only released a few months

before the iPhone, in fact, but long after it arrived, the Nokia N95

was still top dog in the eyes of the hardcore crowd.

It was far

better-specced than Apple’s first iPhone. The Nokia N95 had HSDPA 3G mobile

internet for one, as well as a decent 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and the

strong library of Symbian apps. The 2-megapixel, non-3G, App Store-less

iPhone just didn’t seem as good.  Heck, it wasn’t as good. Those were

the days, eh?

Nokia E71
Released 2008
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A

serious phone for serious people, at the time back in 2008, the Nokia

E71 was one of the best phones for business people money could buy. A

fantastic keyboard, ridiculously feature-packed, and with a gloriously

strong-feeling metal body, it merged desirability and a sort of

efficient studiousness.

It may not be what we generally look for

in a smartphone these days, but the Nokia E71 was a phone that proved

Nokia could still get an edge over BlackBerry at times.

Nokia 5800
Released 2008
Symbian phones 3
A

ridiculously successful phone, the semi-affordable Nokia 5800 was

perhaps Nokia’s most successful stab at the iPhone’s 2009 success. And that’s even

though tech experts could see that it showed the first signs that both

Symbian and Nokia weren’t moving with the times.

It had a

resistive touchscreen, when the iPhone and many fresh-out-of-the-gate

Androids used the now-standard capacitive type, and Symbian was creaky

compared to those fresh meat phones. However, it was a cracking, highly

accessible phone that was many people’s first experience with a

smartphone. Drop us a line in the comments if you were among the Nokia

5800 crowd.

Samsung Omnia HD i8910

Released 2009
Symbian phones 2
Nokia

wasn’t the only company to produce great Symbian phones. Sony Ericsson

and Samsung also had a crack at it. Our favourite of the bunch was the

Samsung Omnia HD i8910, a precocious phone with some specs so impressive

that they wouldn’t look out of place in a phone of today.

It had

a gorgeous 3.7-inch AMOLED screen, an 8-megapixel camera and a

fantastic internal video player.   The Samsung Omnia HD i8910 also has

the honour of being the first phone ever to be able to record 720p. It

was the sort of device that had people saying “if only it ran Android”.

Of course, that’s basically what the Samsung Galaxy S series became.

Nokia N8
Released 2010
Symbian phones 1
By

the time the Nokia N8 arrived at Trusted towers, it was already too

late for Nokia. Reviewing this flagship phone produced mixed feelings.

Its camera was fantastic – the thing even had a rare-as-dinosaurs Xenon

flash – it was colourful, the screen was stunning and the hardware

design was fab for the time too.

However, we just couldn’t get

over that even with the added gloss of the new Symbian^3 system, the

Symbian software was past it. A new lick of paint couldn’t disguise how

clunky the software had become compared to its rivals. It was the last

true flaghship phone to feature the Symbian OS.

Let us know your Symbian memories in the comments.