Six phones you’ve probably owned before


Check out our smartphones

Kids these days have it easy when it comes to mobile phones.

Touch screens, internet capability and wireless connectivity are the norm for them.

But that wasn’t always the case.

Phones, like most technology, have become smaller, faster and more effective. They’ve come a long way since the bread-loaf-sized models with ugly green digital displays and giant batteries.

If you’ve been a mobile phone user for the past 10 to 15 years, there’s a good chance you’ve had one of these bad boys.

Nokia 3310


Photo credit: Ake Dalmans

Affectionately known as “the brick phone” because of its shape and indestructibility, this was one of the most popular mobiles on the market in the early 2000s. Its no-frills design and interface, coupled with long-lasting battery power, was a gentle introduction into the mobile phone world for millions of users. Before social networking and gaming apps, people killed time in waiting rooms trying to beat their high score in Snake. And let’s not forget that rad Trip Hop ring tone.

Sanyo SCP 5300

Picture this: a mobile phone that can capture images. Well, the Sanyo SCP 5300 was one of the first to allow users to do so. People flocked to the silver phone and its camera. The handful of tone settings and zooming options look silly now with the introduction of dozens of Instagram filters. But back in the day people came for the camera in droves.

Blackberry 5810

The Blackberry is viewed by some as the most popular precursor to the smartphone world we all live in today. The 5810 model from the year 2002 was Blackberry’s first foray into attaching phone capabilities to its traditional PDA device. Of course there was no speaker or microphone, so owners had to cart those accessories around separately.

Motorola Razr


Photo credit: Adrian Black

A stylish upgrade from Motorola made some waves in the mobile phone game in 2004. The Razr was the thin flip phone that stood in stark contrast to many of the other phones on the market at the time. The bright colours found on the outside shell and the larger screen appealed to those looking for a more aesthetically pleasing mobile phone option. The Razr concept has had some staying power, with the thin design being trotted out by Motorola in later makes and models.

Motorola ROKR


Photo credit: sxates

This was the first phone to allow users to plug into their iTunes library and jam out on the go. The initial version only held 100 songs, but that was better than nothing. This laid the groundwork and expectation that people could carry around their music collections via their phone.

Original iPhone


Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano

Can you believe it’s been seven years since the iPhone was introduced? Steve Job unveiled the flagship Apple phone in June 2007. Before too long it tapped into 3G technology, now a commonplace feature on smartphones of all types.

Everybody’s mobile phone experience has been different, but there’s a good chance you had at least one of these phones at some point over the last two decades. These makes and models laid the foundation for the fun, practical and essential smartphone features we all use today.

Did you own any of these phones? Or perhaps you owned another other iconic model? What features do you miss about them? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credit: Irita Kirsbluma


  1. Jeff says:

    I owned all but the Sanyo and Blackberry. Coming this far in 15 years is only the beginning though!

  2. Anonymous says:

    No Nokia 5110?

  3. Jamie says:

    Your list started way too late!

    I had an original NEC P3, then digital arrived with a Nokia 2110, then a 5110 (I think EVERYONE had one of those), then a 6110, 7110….Then a few more I can’t remember…. Then an iPhone 3GS, 4, 5 and a 6 on the way…

  4. You can not get a good simple clam shell phone any more like the Samsung GT-S5611t this was the best phone I have had M J Peden.

  5. Tony Potter says:

    I had one of these Motorola bag phone early 90’s as i was working on buildings and needed to call home a lot.

  6. michelle says:

    my husband and I had a Motorola bag phone in 1992/3/4 as we towed a caravan to Melbourne and lived in a caravan park while working down there.our fellow residents thought we were very high tech making a phone call from the comfort of our van. now we both have iphone 5s,6+. long ago memories