The smartphones that everyone wants now are great, but by and large, they’re all pretty similar. Bright screens, powerful internals, slim silhouettes, impressive cameras — you can have a lot of fun with modern flagship phones. But as far as the inherent fun factor goes, today’s most desirable smartphones are no match for the iconic cellphones we all wanted in the early 2000s. Most of us have probably long forgotten about those cellphones, but you can take a walk down memory lane by checking out our favorites ahead.
1. Nokia 3310
Cellphones may have been a few years off from reaching the pinnacle of cool at the time, but when the Nokia 3310 was introduced in 2000, it was known as a long-lasting and indestructible cellphone. It was a bestseller thanks to its compact and sturdy build, and it also boasted a few unusual features like a calculator, a stop watch, and a reminder function.
2. T-Mobile Sidekick
The Sidekick, which T-Mobile introduced in 2002, was the phone that all the cool kids had. It had a QWERTY keyboard and put features like AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, email, web apps, and a web browser in your pocket. It was a heavy phone that was more than an inch thick, but its swiveling screen and big keyboard gave it a distinctive look — a look that everyone wanted.
3. Motorola RAZR
While most of the cellphones that came before the RAZR were thick and clunky, the RAZR was a flip phone that was thin and futuristic. Introduced in 2004, the RAZR was the cellphone that everybody wanted thanks to it flip phone form factor, its color screen, its camera, and its selection of ringtones. It was one of the best-selling clamshell-style phones, and just about everybody knew someone who had a RAZR.
4. Motorola Rokr E1
The Motorola Rokr E1, introduced in 2005, was also known as the “iTunes phone” thanks to its integration with iTunes. It could only store 100 songs in its limited memory, and it took an excruciatingly long time to transfer music. But it had a dedicated button to open iTunes, and plenty of iPod fans were eager to have a single device that accessed iTunes and placed calls.
5. BlackBerry Pearl
The BlackBerry Pearl, which was introduced in 2006, was a coveted device thanks to its full QWERTY keyboard, a trackball for pre-touchscreen navigation, and the ability to check your email on the go (which was a pretty big deal at the time). It was also the first BlackBerry to feature a camera, which offered a new kind of diversion for the cellphone-toting crowd.
6. LG Chocolate
The LG Chocolate was introduced in 2006 and traded on the appeal of its ability to slide up and reveal a keypad. Plus, it doubled as an MP3 player and was offered in colors like “white,” “dark,” “strawberry,” “mint,” and “cherry.” That made it a favorite among consumers who wanted a stylish device that was just as much an accessory as a piece of technology.
7. LG enV
The LG enV was one of 2006‘s most anticipated cellphones. With screens both on the inside and the outside (and the external display served as the viewfinder for the device’s 2MP camera), this flip phone offered a QWERTY keyboard for text messaging. Its “phone book” had room for 1,000 contacts, and the enV also featured a vibrate mode, voice commands and dialing, instant messaging, email, wireless syncing, text-to-speech dictation, plus the option to download a variety of Verizon apps.
The original iPhone was unveiled in 2007, and showed the world that touchscreens were the way forward for smartphones. It was only introduced after years of rumors and speculation, and was created through a collaboration with AT&T. The iPhone was introduced by Steve Jobs, and thousands of people waited outside of Apple and AT&T stores for the device’s launch.
9. LG Voyager
The LG Voyager was another Verizon phone, introduced in 2007, that featured a touch-enabled external screen with a virtual keyboard and buttons, plus an internal screen for use with the full QWERTY keyboard. This was the phone to buy if you wanted text messaging, email, web browsing, a camera, and a portable media player all on the same device.
10. Nokia N95
The Nokia N95 was introduced in 2007 with a slick two-way sliding mechanism that revealed either a numeric keypad or media playback buttons. The device also included a GPS receiver with maps and turn-by-turn navigation, a 5MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics and video recording capabilities, a portable media player and FM radio, a web browser, plus email and basic productivity software.
11. Samsung SPH-M620
The Samsung SPH-M620, also known as the Samsung UpStage, was introduced in 2007. The device featured a bar design with two unique sides. One featured a numeric keypad and a small screen for making calls and sending text messages, while the other featured a touch-sensitive menu pad for playing music and browsing the internet. To switch between the sides, users had to press a “Flip” button on the side of the device.
12. Sony Ericsson W800i
The Sony Ericsson W800i was unveiled in 2008 and was the first “Walkman” phone. The device’s main appeal wasn’t its brick-like form factor, which was something of a disadvantage at the time, but its integration of an MP3 player and an FM radio. Plus its dedicated music playback buttons made it an attractive choice for music fans.
13. T-Mobile G1
Also known as the HTC Dream, the T-Mobile G1 was unveiled in 2008 and was the first commercially released smartphone to use Android as its operating system. Many conversations about the device revolved around its use of Android, which was criticized for its lack of functionality and third-party software but praised for its integration with Google’s services, its notifications system, and its open nature.
14. Motorola Droid
The Motorola Droid, introduced in 2009, was the phone that took Android mainstream. With a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and features like Wi-Fi connectivity, an interchangeable battery, a headphone jack, and a touchscreen, it was not only well-received by consumers but attracted more developers to the Android ecosystem. It was also the first phone to ship with Google Maps Navigation installed.