My past nostalgic material (about what the world was like during the time of Nokia 6630) caused a lively and generally positive reaction – it is immediately clear that the readers of our resource are pleased to once again plunge into the atmosphere in which there were practically no devices similar to each other. Today I would like to continue our nostalgic moods with you and recall the unusual controls that distinguished certain devices at different times. I think it will be interesting! Let's get started!
One of the most popular heroes from the past is the joystick. Do you remember how convenient it was to navigate the convoluted interface using this control?
Some manufacturers had joysticks with a rather soft stroke, while others had such that you could easily rub calluses on your thumbs in a couple of days.
Unfortunately, I cannot say in which of the devices the joystick appeared for the first time, but I remember for sure that in Sony Ericsson phones it was one of the most pleasant tactile and at the same time very tenacious. It was the reliability of the joystick that was the bottleneck, because of which users had to contact the service center. Sometimes cleaning saved, and sometimes the whole control had to be changed. I think if you had a phone or smartphone with a joystick, then you remember that perfectly.
As for the truly iconic joystick models, these are:
- the hit of its time, Sony Ericsson T610 / 630;
- the first Nokia smartphone with a camera – 7650;
- the legendary “barrel” of Nokia 6600;
- the popular youth smartphone Nokia 3230;
- as well as the entire 65th Siemens line (except for the junior model A65).
I could have forgotten something interesting, so don't blame me how much water has flowed under the bridge …
From one of the most popular controls from the past, let's move on to one of the rarest, but no less interesting – trackball. Its principle of operation was similar to a joystick, but instead of moving the plastic “fungus” it was proposed to rotate a small ball in the right direction, the prototype of which was probably the first “ball” computer mice.
Blackberry smartphones became famous for this control, the first of which was BlackBerry Pearl 8100.
Later models of “blackberry” with this control can be noted BlackBerry Curve 8900 and Bold 9000.
But Blackberry is not the only one, because the trackball appeared from more eminent manufacturers. Few remember, but the world's first Android smartphone HTC Dream had a trackball.
He was also the governing body in the first truly massive Android – apparatus HTC Hero.
After some time, both Blackberry and HTC abandoned trackballs and switched to optical sensors, where the control was carried out with the same movements, but without the help of a mechanical element: the touch surface began to respond to gesture recognition.
If you find a real Sony-boy 30 and older and ask him what was the coolest thing about Sony phones before the merger of the mobile division with Ericsson, then most likely he will remember about the Jog Dial. It could be twisted up and down to navigate, and by pressing to enter the desired menu item.
Although I have not yet changed my fourth decade, I remember well how special and crazy love the fans of the Japanese brand treated this control element.
For example, the legendary Sony CMD-Z5 and J5 “tubes” from the early 2000s.
After the merger of Sony and Ericsson, Jog Dial continued to live in the flagship line of communicators of the combined company, based on Symbian UIQ. For example, the legendary P800 and P990.
Surprisingly, the analog wheel control worked well with these devices with a full touchscreen display, and continued to be wildly loved by Sony fans!
The legend is a thing of the past with the latest Sony Ericsson smartphones based on UIQ – P1 and W960 …
Bold designer keyboards
If you want – agree with me, if you want – no, but no smartphones of today, be it Mi Mix devices from Xiaomi, iPhone X / XS from Apple, gradient flagships Honor or the exotic Essential Phone cannot match the beauty of the mid-2000s design solutions from Nokia and Siemens.
Here is a real legend and the once insanely popular Siemens SX1 smartphone with a keyboard on the sides of the display.
And this is the first attempt by Nokia to make a smartphone not for businessmen, but for young people – Nokia 3650.
An even bolder decision, which became an attribute of many celebrities in 2004, is the Nokia 7600.
Well, and the hit of sales Nokia 7610, which has become one of the most popular Nokia smartphones in the history of the company. According to the Russian version of Wikipedia, the Finns even had to resume production of this device due to a wave of requests wishing to purchase it, although I could not find confirmation of this information. But even without this, the life cycle of the model was already maximum – it was sold even after the release of several newer smartphones.
Of course, such keyboards were not comfortable, and you had to get used to them, if not months, then weeks. But the owners of these devices often just trudged from their “pipes”, because they were very, very cool. Is not it?
Musical key blocks
Today, you can find out about the musical orientation of a smartphone only by the list of characteristics, namely by the presence or absence of a dedicated audio chip. In the old days, a musical device could be identified by a special block of keys.
I really liked the way it was implemented in the Nokia 3250 and 5700: the bottom of the smartphone rotated 180 degrees, and instead of the standard numeric keypad, the music control keys appeared in front of us.
Nokia also had a premium music slider N91 with audio stuffing from Harman / Kardon, where a classic digital block was hidden under a sliding metal part with music buttons. It also had a real 4 or 8 GB HDD! Another legend – nothing more, nothing less.
Well, how can we not remember, probably, the last cult smartphone from the same Nokia – the N95 dual slider. We move the front half up – we get the usual buttons, down – the musical keys. High!
I'm sure I haven't recalled all the examples of interesting, unusual and bold controls that were attributes of phones from the past. Be sure to write in the comments what, in your opinion, could also be worthy of this material.
Today the touchscreen is everything. And, most likely, it was he who killed the design in the smartphone industry. Although soon another revolution is planned, the name of which is flexible displays. And I hope Samsung, which risks becoming a pioneer here, won't let us down! Otherwise we got bored for a long time …