Sony Ericsson W508

Launched: 2009

Released in 2009, this was a handset that epitomised the confidence of Sony Ericsson as a brand. Using the meaningful “Walkman” moniker, this was characterised as a handset for the masses that nonetheless contained a handful of premium features.

Boasting a roomy 100MB (expandable to 16GB with a M2 card) of internal memory, it sported physical music controls on the outside, a relatively advanced 3MP camera for the price, head-turning design and more.

At a time when smartphones were beginning to take hold, this proved that flip-phones still had what it took to compete at the high-end, and for a much lower price-point.


Motorola Pebl U6

Launched: 2005

The current trend for our phones is to get increasingly bigger, but the exact opposite was true in the noughties. Miniaturisation was still the hot tech of the moment, and packing the same components into ever tighter spaces was considered a hallmark of great design work.

The Pebl U6, boasting a lovely hinge and pebble-smooth exterior, was about taking this philosophy and adding comfort, aiming for a natural look and feel.

This notion clearly caught the attention of the public, with the handset selling in the millions, showing that success lies as much in little details as it does in grand sweeps.


Sony Ericsson Z520

Launched: 2005

If there is one audience that marketers love to court but never really ‘get’, it’s the youth. With the Z520, Sony came pretty close to achieving that lofty goal.

Released in 2005, it was the first quad-band device produced by the company (real “kidz” [spelled with a ‘z’ for added ‘freshness’] in those days couldn’t get enough of good call reception), sporting swappable front plates in a variety of different colours.

With a 0.3MP VGA camera, and a secondary display on the front, it proved to be a popular, and stylish accessory for achingly trendy young things to cause acute envy among their socio-economic inferiors.


Motorola Razr V3

Launched: 2004

For many people the world over, when thinking of flip-phones it is Motorola’s Razr series that springs to mind. Some of the best-selling handsets ever, these slick, beautiful pieces proved that phones could be premium as well as comfortable.

The V3 was the epitome of the range, selling more than 130 million units, ranking in the top ten most successful phones ever released, even to this day.

Released in late 2004, it sported a thin aluminum body that immediately set it apart from the competition, along with a keypad made from a single sheet of metal. It was arguably the first phone to fuse tech with fashion, resulting in an iconic handset that was extremely stylish.


Nokia 7200

Launched: 2003

It was in the first half of the 2000’s that the public really began to start purchasing mobile phones en masse. To counter this new demand, a sea of devices was released by various manufacturers. To stand above, something special was always required.

And none did ‘special’ better than Nokia, and the 7200 is a perfect illustration of this. Sporting a highly unusual, textured design utilizing several different types of fabric throughout, the 7200 felt like no other device at the time (or since).

It was an oddball, but a truly memorable classic nonetheless.


Sanyo SCP-5300

Launched: 2002

It was in Japan, as with many crazy trends, that the idea of the camera-phone first surfaced. DSLRs were only really beginning to hit the mainstream, and the public still had an infatuation with film.

With the release of the Sanyo SCP-5300, the first camera-phone to be released in the US, things began to change, as convenience overtook consideration.

Here was a camera that could be carried at all times, putting the power of a 0.3 MP sensor in the hands of the masses. Though image quality was poor, a powerful idea had been planted, and flip-phones continued to lead the charge.