Intriguing and compelling swivel phones from the distant and not-so-distant past

At this point, one thing is certain - some 99% (or more) of all upcoming smartphones will be employing the rectangle-ish candy bar form factor. We wouldn't argue that compared with their once-popular rivals - flip phones, slider phones, clamshell phones, and others - the candy bar-shaped devices have withstood the test of time and the consumers' approval alike. Frankly said, the candy bar shape has always been the prevalent one in the industry, but in the era that preceded the reign of iOS and Android, quite an impressive amount of devices strayed away from this uniformity. The square-ish BlackBerry Passport is one of the upcoming devices that will try do to so, too.

That said, we decided to delve into our vast database and once again search here, there, and everywhere for some curious retro devices. This time we decided to make a pick of some phones that make use of a pretty uncommon form factor - we are talking about swivel phones. Even back in the day, these were considered as peculiar and odd. Swivel phones might be considered a "subspecies" of slider phones, as they also require a slight hand motion so as to reveal either a hidden a keyboard or another feature that is hidden from the naked eye.

Bear with us as we cover some distinctive and unusual swivel phones.

Danger Sidekick 3.0


Running on the exotic Danger OS mobile platform, the Danger Sidekick 3 is a truly fascinating device. When folded, it looks like your regular 2006-ish phone, but just push the display from the side and it uncovers a hidden QWERTY keyboard. At this point, the device becomes extremely convenient for texting. The Danger Sidekick 3 also came with a useful trackball and microSD card slot, which made it a well-rounded phone. 



Nokia 7373


As the market dominator on the phone market roughly a decade ago, Nokia could afford to experiment and release whatever phone it desired without the fear that it would affect its financial stability. Hence a plethora of the most bizarre phones in the world have the Nokia logo printed at their fronts. Such is the case with the Nokia 7373 - one of the former giant's rare journeys into the land of swivel phones. As you can see, this Nokia handset from 2006 was mainly intended for the ladies out there, due to its floral motives. Sliding the upper portion of the phone to the left made it swivel, revealing a classic Nokia keyboard below.



Motorola Flipout


Enter the square-shaped Motorola Flipout, which surely turned a lot of heads back in the day. The device flaunts a full QWERTY keyboard below its upper swiveling segment, which has probably been loved by the heavy texters. You'd be surprised that the Flipout got released back in 2010, which is not so long ago after all.



Samsung SGH-X830


This Samsung device from olden days flaunts a pretty memorable and outstanding design, which is hardly ever seen in the giant's products. When folded, the phone comes in a pretty elongated rectangular shape, but swipe it right and it will reveal its mystery - an odd, two-column keypad, which surely gave texters a hard time. Navigating through the menus on the SGH-X830 was possible thanks to a circular button at the front. Samsung made sure everyone knew the SGH-X830 had Bluetooth support, as it shipped the device with its logo just above the circular key.



LG VX9400


LG had quite the peculiar devices back in the day, and the VX9400 is no different. What looks like a regular handset at frist sight could quickly transform to a T-shaped device that was capable of... playing TV. That's right, it was but the second phone that employed Qualcomm's MediaFlo broadcast technology. Apart from the notable support for TV playback, the LG VX9400 also toted a microSD card slot, a big loudspeaker, and stereo Bluetooth. It was even used by Tony Stark/Iron Man (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) in the eponymous 2008 Marvel title. 



Sony Ericsson W550


You might say a number of things for the Sony Ericsson W550, but thin would most probably not find its way among them. Measuring the whopping 0.89 inches (22.5mm) thick, the W550 "needs a personal fitness trainer", as our cons list for this 2005 phone jokingly suggests. We guess that was the price Sony Ericsson had to pay for implementing the swiveling mechanism inside the W550. Endowed with the Walkman audio-centric capabilities, the W550 could store a plethora of songs on its internal memory, which as a sufficient reason for Sony Ericsson to promote it as a device, suitable for teeneagers.



Nokia 7705 Twist


Nokia makes yet another entry into our pick with the downright bizarre 7705 Twist. Apart from its square-ish shape and swivel form factor, this not-so-long-in-the-tooth device also sported a... hole at its front. If we think hard enought, we would probably list several reasons why this has been necessary, but numerous reports on the Internet claim that said cavity was extremely handy for securing the phone standing - just put a pencil inside it and you were good to go! Well, not that we complain, but nowadays' phones can hardly come with something that would impress us as much.



Motorola Aura


The Aura is one of the most beautiful and compelling devices from the last decade, and we have often lauded it for its eye-catching design. It's a swivel phone with a disticntive circular display, made of sapphire crystal. The remainder of the phone was made of equally-premium materials, too - the body itself is made of stainless steel, while the buttons make use of anodized aluminum. The one-of-a-kind textures on the front are mechanically etched and the swiveling mechanism was often lauded as being extremely durable.


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22 Comments

1. Derekjeter

Posts: 1466; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I still have 4 of these phones with its box and mint condition. My favorite was the LG VX9400. Second favorite was the Moto Aura

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I remember the Sidekicks. Those were the rage in NYC back in the day!

6. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Good old skool days phones.

7. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

You must love phones? Wow you still have them, and collect them. I had the Samsung twist, but it was to thick, but very nice looking device,..

10. Derekjeter

Posts: 1466; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I love phones. I have every Verizon smartphone since the original droid. All of them in the box and most in mint condition. My brother is the regional Manager of several Verizon stsores in California.

11. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Wow lucky you I love phones to

14. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

can he hook it up with a job? what region? socal i hope

3. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

I wouldnt mind designs like these coming back but greatly approved. honestly have grown sick of the same rectangle phones

5. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

It's going to happen. The rectangle phones will start to get some funky flair especially with these new bendable displays that are literally around the corner!

4. dil2abu

Posts: 315; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Love that W550i.. My first Sony Ericsson mobile..

8. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

We need more phones like these, especially the Motorola Aura, these phones can be considered as innovation. Notice how manufacturers used to make uniquely designed shape phones with unique features in the good old days but after Apple made the first iPhone, all of these unique things were gone.

9. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Motorola Aura is on the same league as the Nokia 8800 series.

12. ack68

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 16, 2014

You forgot the SE s700i. That was one of the first phones with a CCD camera sensor.

18. romeo1

Posts: 814; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Exactly the one i was hoping to see. Brilliant phone at the time

13. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Aaww my Samsung X830, very nice phone. My friends teased me with it, they always asked where my lipstick was, now I think they were just jealous.

15. p51d007

Posts: 702; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I had a Sony S710a, swivel phone. LOVED IT! Mostly because it had a BIG SCREEN, and the 2.0mp camera was killer for the day. I've always liked big screen phones, explains why I'm in love with my Huawei Ascend Mate2

16. TechDork

Posts: 402; Member since: May 10, 2010

I still have all of my Sidekicks! Sidekick 2, Sidekick 3, Sidekick 3 D-Wade Edition, Sidekick I.D., Sidekick Slide, Sidekick LX, Sidekick 08 (you know, the one with the changeable shells), Tony Hawk Sidekick LX, and....the last REAL Sidekick LX by Microsoft. Yep, all sitting in a box in my closet. I'll never give them up.

17. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

The JUKE phone was the only coolest phone back then. the AURA IS THE UGLIEST over price phone Motorola have ever done.

19. crazymonkey05

Posts: 188; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

Didn't LG make a phone like the Samsung sgh-x830!!!! This is eating me alive!!!!!

22. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

http://www.phonearena.com/phones/full#/phones/full/?f[58]=275 Nothing like this in our database, at least.

20. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I really like Motorola Flipout :D I wish I had it hehehe

21. 8logic

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

Motorola v80!

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