A walk down memory lane: Our favorite phones from the past
Usually, such memories are closely related to emotional moments in our lives and people close to our hearts. But can an electronic device like a phone trigger similar experiences? Of course! Today we take a walk down the memory lane with our favorite phones from the past, that etched little memory fragments deep inside our brains.
I’ve asked my colleagues to share their most precious memories, regarding their favorite phones of the past. “Lead by example”, people say, so I’ll be the first to share in.
Mariyan Slavov - Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray
It was my first smartphone that I bought with my first salary as a writer back in 2012. I remember opening the box and thinking:
Wow, this thing is really pretty!
I still have the phone today and it’s still operational. And I’ve embarked on a journey to find a similar compact phone today and relive the feelings of my youth, but it’s been fruitless to this moment.
Victor Hristov - iPhone
But while it may sound cliche, the phone that really strikes a nerve with me is the original iPhone.
There was just nothing quite like it before
I couldn't afford it back then, so I actually got a used one after a couple of years. It had a broken display, but still worked just fine, and I would use that phone for years and to this day I still keep it on my desk as a reminder of the past. It was truly a monumental change in smartphones and one that still blows me away when I think about it.
Iskra Petrova - Nokia 2720 Fold
I really wanted a clamshell phone back then because I was inspired by Japanese TV shows that I was a huge fan of
On the first day, this baby was in my home, I was watching my favorite Japanese TV show while drinking a cup of hot green tea. Then, I accidentally dropped the poor phone in the cup… my heart sank. I thought it was gone. I got it out of the tea with tears in my eyes, just to realize it still worked. I will never forget this.
I used it happily for a couple of years after that, with no issues whatsoever, and loved snapping it shut when finishing a call. I don’t know how much it cost, though. I was a daddy’s girl back then. I guess I could google its price… but maybe I don’t want to ruin it by putting a price tag on it. It’s priceless because it made me very happy, it was pretty, elegant, and it worked. I am looking forward to foldable smartphones getting better and more future-proof and I, for sure, am gonna spend some savings on one.
Radoslav Minkov - Sony Ericsson Zylo
It even showed a Walkman-like cassette-playing animation during music playback
Georgi Zarkov - Nokia 3330
Back then, having a phone without a visible antenna was a major plus
The 3330 was also my first taste of customization, both physical and software. Aftermarket panels for the Nokia 3310 were abundant and cheap and, of course, they worked with my 3330 as well. I remember that for a long time I had the stock white panel on the front and a third-party one with some car-themed graphic on the back.
Inside, I had managed to replace the carrier logo on the home screen with a drawing I made myself. I also changed my ringtone to a song I liked back then. That meant I had to manually “compose” it while looking at the notes online and the result was a vague monotone resemblance of said song. That was pretty much the extent to which my customization skills extended.
And lastly, what’s more nostalgic than playing Snake on your Nokia phone? I always played it at the highest speed and after one point, started using the phone’s up and down arrows for controls instead of the keypad. That made things slightly more challenging.
Radoslav Slavov - Apple iPhone 4
Someone really wanted to create something special with this product
The design, the technology, the execution, the business impact... I have no idea how such grand projects walk the path from vision to reality, but the fact that it's possible makes me love humanity more.
Not much more to say. Bought mine second-hand; enjoyed it for a few years, got numerous major OS upgrades. Everything went smooth & fine. That's why I'm looking forward to the iPhone 12, which is expected to return to an iPhone 4-inspired design. We haven't seen that specific kind of look for many years, and I'm eager to find out what a modern reimagining of this breakthrough product is going to be like.
Preslav Kateliev - Sony Xperia X1
That very sliding mechanism is probably why I feel such a connection to this phone. Since the belt cable (on my unit) had a tendency to pop out of its socket after x amount of slides,
I've probably taken it apart around 5 times
The device was kind of wobbly and the keyboard wasn't actually satisfying to use. The stylus it came with was kind of necessary because it was often hard to tap precise points on its resistive touchscreen. To my dismay, I found out that it would disconnect from Wi-Fi every time you put the phone in standby. It turned out that I should've listened to my friend, who was heavily suggesting I go with a Symbian phone instead.
I can't really say I miss it. I like it, but that's probably due to it reminding me of the feeling little wide-eyed me got when I was holding what looked like a mini-laptop in my hand. I still have the unit at home, but can't boot it up — my last repair of the belt cable connection didn't go so well.
Joshua Swingle - HTC One X
The HTC One X was ridiculously quick at the time
This phone represented a massive upgrade over the crappy LG KP500 Cookie with no Wi-Fi support that I was using before. It was also pretty unique, at least here in Spain, and constantly caught the attention of others due to its ‘big’ 4.7-inch display.
The HTC One X was ridiculously quick at the time and, unlike Samsung phones, it didn’t slow down dramatically over time or after major Android updates, which is partly why I loved it so much. The camera was impressive too. Nothing like the ones you see today, but one of the best on the market in 2012 and surprisingly fast.
I owned the HTC One X for two years and I loved it no less the day I upgraded. If it wasn’t for me spending months researching it, a process that kickstarted my passion for smartphones, I probably wouldn’t be writing this today.
Cosmin Vasile - Benefon Delta and Sony Ericsson T68i
The Benefon Delta was the most valuable thing that my estranged father gifted me in the late 90s, and one of the few objects that I got from him
Florin Troaca - Sony Ericsson K770i
I loved this phone for its nice, comfortable design and great build quality
The K770i was a Cybershot-branded phone. In other words, one of its main strengths was its photo camera. Nowadays, the 3.2MP rear camera of the K770 is something to laugh at, but I really liked the images that I was able to take with it back then. I also loved the sliding mechanism that protected the camera when not in use.
I wish I had kept my K770i with me - for nostalgia's sake - but I gave it to a friend when I switched to a touchscreen smartphone, and never saw it again.
Peter Kostadinov - Nokia E52
Despite its humble hardware specs from today’s point of view, back then it was literally the stepping stone between traditional desktop computers and phones, a device embodying the strengths of both
I wonder if I perceived the Nokia E52 as a big device back in the day, because it certainly isn’t one today; actually, the phone itself covers barely half of the display I’m currently using. Still, it’s a phone that still brings back tons of memories as well as the sweet taste of nostalgia, which isn’t something I can say about nowadays’ phones.
Sadly, the days of the E52 and the rest of its kin were numbered with the unstoppable advent of iPhones and Android-powered devices. Still, I used the Nokia E52 up until late 2013, and it[s actually still sitting in a drawer, a bit broken and scratched, but still completely functional.
Anam Hamid - Nokia 5700
The lower part of the phone was twistable and as soon as I saw its ad, I knew I wanted it. In fact, my best friend got one too!
It was as cool as it got at that time, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart
Swivel the keypad once, and it would let you take a selfie with its primary shooter that doubled up as a front camera because of the phone’s unique design.
And that’s not all, as rotating that part twice made the phone more of an MP3 player. Needless to say, it was as cool as it got at that time, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart.