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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