Remember your first Nokia? Here's what it would look like today

As Microsoft brings the curtain down on Nokia, check out these classic Nokia and Ericsson phones reimagined as smartphones.

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Old meets new: the classic Nokia 3310 reimagined as a modern-day Lumia smartphone. Curved/Labs

Do you remember your first phone? For many of us it will have been a Nokia or Ericsson -- but what would classic phones like the Nokia 3310 and Ericsson T28 look like if they were made today?

Cast your mind back through the mists of time, to an era before the iPhone, before Samsung, before Android. Hard to picture, I know, but pierce the veil of nostalgia and you'll no doubt remember the Ericsson T28, a flip phone with a distinctive aerial introduced in 1999 that was at one point the best-selling mobile phone in the US. The Nokia 3310 debuted the following year, replacing the equally iconic 3210. With Snake 2 built-in, the curvy 3310 went on to sell 126 million units worldwide.

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A revamped Nokia 3310 in signature Lumia colour. Curved

And now German site Curved Labs has brought these classic phones bang up-to-date, reimagining the Nokia 3310 with Windows Phone on board -- complete with a monster 41-megapixel PureView camera -- and the Ericsson T28 with Android on its instantly-recognisable monochrome green screen.

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The Ericsson T28 reimagined with Android inside. Curved

Nokia was until a few short years ago the biggest mobile phone company in the world. Even after the iPhone transformed the phone market by making smartphones mainstream, Nokia managed to hold the crown largely thanks to all the feature phones it sold in emerging markets like India and Africa.

But as smartphones got cheaper and feature phones started to become obsolete, Samsung overtook Nokia by offering its Galaxy range of phones in all shapes and sizes -- and at prices to suit any pocket.

Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson, giants of the industry before Apple turned everything upside down, reacted slowly to the iPhone and have in the last few years been overtaken by upstarts such as Samsung and HTC, driven by Google's Android software.

Instead of joining the Android pack, Nokia in 2011 opted for Microsoft's Windows Phone instead. That relationship led to Nokia's phone business being sold to Microsoft.

This week Microsoft sadly announced 18,000 job cuts, the majority of which see former Nokia employees losing their jobs. The new owners have also ditched Asha and Series 40 feature phones as well as the short-lived Android-powered Nokia X range. (And which some of us think is a good thing.)

As it attempts to establish Windows Phone in the smartphone market Microsoft has also decided to quietly erase the Nokia brand from its phones, bringing the curtain down on one of the most iconic mobile phone brands ever -- certainly for phone fans in Europe and around the world, even if it's never been quite as recognisable in the USA.

Meanwhile Nokia continues as a company selling telecoms equipment, but not phones. The Finnish company has been through some big changes since it started out making rubber boots in 1865 -- check out the fascinating history of this venerable brand in our video made just before Nokia adopted Windows Phone...

Tags:
Phones
Nokia
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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