Top 10 most coolest/innovative mobile phones (2020 edition)

There’s been a lot of mobile phone designs throughout the years, but IMO the coolest and innovative ones came from the 2000s. A time when mobile phones started becoming popular and trendy and manufactures started experimenting with different designs. A time before the iPhone and Android phones homogenized the way that phones look into a singular black slab. Here are just a few designs I found quite interesting:

10. Nokia 7600 (2003)

Nokia 7600 (Dengan gambar) | Ponsel, Teknologi, Mobil

I mean, just look at it. It looks like a leaf. Now this phone wasn’t going to win any awards for usability but it certainly was a unique design that’s for sure. So just for that creativity I put it at this spot here.

9. Nokia 7280 (2004) Review GSM phone Nokia 7280

Another ‘what is that’ Nokia design. It has a lipstick form factor, and you can see the tiny buttons on the side of it for dialing. I mean, just wow how did Nokia come up with designs?

8a. Nokia N93 (2007)

Nokia N93i specs, review, release date - PhonesData

Get used to seeing Nokia on this list. They made ALOT of cool devices. The Nokia N90, N93 and N93i were phones that were basically camcorders, and used a swiveling display. This phone could be used in landscape mode and as a video camera, and is rather unique in this design. Only the Samsung Alias 2 tried something similar (but wasn’t exactly the same since it didn’t focus on video recording)

8b. Samsung Alias 2 (2009)

Samsung Alias 2 SCH-U750 (Verizon Wireless) review: Samsung Alias ...

The Alias 2 has a similar form factor the N93 except instead of being a camcorder, it has a unique e-ink keyboard which shifts and displays different text depending on the application and the context, which is very cool. So Samsung solves the problem of needing different keys very elegantly and in a way that hasn’t really been replicated since.

7. Nokia 3250 (2005)

Nokia Body Housing Replacement For Nokia 3250 http://shopperstech ...

Another phone with a really cool and usable form factor, the 3250 and the Xpressmusic 5700 after it had a twist design that let you switch between the different functions – as a music player, camera or phone. Again with Nokia and their out of this world designs.

6a. Nokia E70 (2006)

Nokia E70 Reviews, Specs & Price Compare

Really this entire list could be just Nokia phones, but the E70 had a unique flipover keyboard design that lets you use the phone as a text messenger in landscape mode. I have to say – another one of Nokia’s truly unique design choices.

6b. Sony Ericsson P990 (2006)

Throwback Tech Thursday: We Revisit the Sony Ericsson P990i ...

Tied with the Nokia E70 and released the same year, is another phone that shares the E70’s unique way of incorporating both a numpad and a physical keyboard. The P990 does it by having a numpad on the front of the phone and then peeling it back to reveal a qwerty keyboard underneath. Very cool.

5a. Samsung Exclaim (2009)

Samsung M550 Exclaim - Wikipedia

The first non Nokia on this list. The Exclaim along with the Pantech Matrix and Helios Ocean, packed not one, but TWO sliders into the device with different keyboards – one with a qwery keypad and one with a numpad. Again – remember how the days of non multi touch phones had to think of inventive inputs? 

5b. Motorola Flipout (2010) 

Motorola FlipOut pictures, official photos

Tied for the number 5 spot is another interesting phone, the Motorola Flipout – just look at the size – is a small mini phone that also has a mini qwerty keyboard that flips out! very neat

4a. TMobile Sidekick 3 (2006)

Sidekick 3: More features, smaller footprint - Technology ...

Looking more like a handheld gaming console than a phone, the Sidekick 3 had a display that swivels out, and d-pad and directional buttons for navigation. It also had a great keyboard for texting and messaging. Definitely a unique phone for unique times.

4b. Nokia E90 Communicator (2007)

Nokia E90 Communicator - Wikipedia

Another Nokia device, this one was the last in a long line of Communicator devices, and carried the ability to open up into a secondary display on the inside. Again very cool retro-futuristic design that we haven’t really seen since. Wish Nokia would revisit this series sometime. 

3a. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (2011)

Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY Sim Free Smart Phone with 8GB: ...

This one is a TIE because both these devices are not even trying to be phones at all even though they are – but they are more like handheld gaming devices that also took a phone call. The Xperia play was like a PSP Go that ran Android. 

3b. Nokia Ngage (2004)

Flashback: Nokia N-Gage - the gaming phone ahead of its time ...

The Ngage was just a device that didn’t look like anything before or since and also looked like it had an identity crisis – like a gaming console that sprouted a numpad. 

2. Motorola Aura (2008)

Motorola Aura pictures, official photos

Motorola’s swivel display here made of swiss bearings, was a luxury device that hardly anyone really saw when it was released and obviously still rare today. But what a unique way of opening the phone, it’s a phone that could be considered more of like jewelry than actual electronics

1. Samsung Galaxy Fold (2019)

Yes the most modern device on this list is also #1. Why? because of the pure technology of it. When have we ever thought about a phone with 2 different displays that also turns from a phone into a tablet? It’s just amazing what this device has heralded. A new category of foldable computers. Along with the Huawei Mate X, Z Flip and Motorola Razr Fold, a completely new category of devices has emerged, and I think that’s pretty incredible.

Samsung Galaxy Fold passes all testing with flying colors, re ...


Interior design for retro/modern styled electronics/speakers

When it comes to furniture and electronics I’m actually quite interested in how things look and are placed. That’s why I like playing The Sims a lot just for the ability to design your own home and place all the furniture and stuff. When I first got my SF apartment I carefully selected the right furniture from IKEA. I wanted to have to a sofa with the one section being a section you could lie down on and convert into a bed. I think I’ll get a massage recliner in the future so that I can pair it with my various HMD headsets for the ultimate relaxing experience.

Since I’m a gadget geek I like to imagine the style and placement of my electronics too. At the moment, the style of my electronics are ‘retro’ styled. What this means is most of my electronics look like something that could be from the 1970s or 1980s. Retro designs, black or woodgrain finishes, etc. There’s also another design aesthetic I like which is modern-futuristic design. I’ll show a few examples of what I’m talking about.

Klipsch The Three – current (retro) wireless speaker (matches well with a record player)

The Klipsch Three Wireless Stereo System - Home Audio That ...

turns into..

BeoSound 1 - Wireless music system « B&O |

Bang and Olufsen Beosound 1 – (modern/futuristic) wireless speaker

Polk Audio Hampden – current (retro) computer speakers

Polk Audio Hampden Desktop Speakers - Hey Gents

turns into…

Creative T4W – (modern/futuristic) computer speakers

移动端接入 Creative T4W无线2.1蓝牙音箱_天极网

Denon MM400 – current (retro) headphones

Denon AH-MM400 Test: Over-Ear-Kopfhörer | MODERNHIFI

turns into…

Porsche Design Space One – (modern/futuristic) headphones

KEF x Porsche Design Space One |

Yamaha B72 – current (retro) alarm clock

turns into…

JBL Horizon – (modern/futuristic) alarm clock

JBL Horizon Alarm Clock » Gadget Flow

AudioEngine B2 – (retro) wireless speaker

Audioengine B2 Walnut Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ...

turns into…

Naim Audio Mu-so – (modern/futuristic) wireless speaker

16 Best High-End Bluetooth Speakers for Unchained Troubadours

Even for smart speakers, you can get retro styled or modern styled ones

Sony S50G – current (retro) smart speaker – good for kitchen use

Sony's smart speaker gives Google Assistant a more capable ...

turns into…

Panasonic GA-10 – (modern/futuristic) smart speaker

JMtech: Así es el Panasonic SC-GA10, el nuevo altavoz ...

LG WK9 – current (retro) smart display

LG Smart Display ThinQ WK9 Review: Hand-on with the Echo ...

turns into…

JBL Link View – (modern/futuristic) smart display

Best Android announcements at CES 2018

Lenovo Thinkpad 25 – current (retro) laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 review: An anniversary gift for ...

turns into…

Microsoft SurfaceBook – (modern/futuristic) laptop

Microsoft Surface Book Unveiled | Gadget Review

There’s lots of cool and interesting designs for other speakers as well like

Harmon Kardon Allure (modern/futuristic) smart speaker

Harman Kardon Allure smart speaker Review

Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless (modern/futuristic) wireless speakers

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Review - ...

Porsche Design Gravity One (modern/futuristic) portable speaker

KEF Porsche Design Gravity One Speaker Price in Pakistan

Definitive Tech W9 (modern/futuristic) wireless speakers

Definitive Technology W9 Enceintes sans fil - Son-Vidé

Devialet Phantom (modern/futuristic) wireless speakers

Test Devialet Phantom : présentation : notre avis - CNET ...

Sony LSPX-S1 (modern/futuristic) speakers

Image result for SONY LSPX-S1

Jamo by Klipsch (modern/futuristic) speakers

Image result for jamo DS6

Master & Dynamic MW60 (modern/futuristic) headphones

Master & Dynamic Unveils MW60 Bluetooth Headphones

I think we live in a time where the choices for speakers and headphones and design is endless so we can model our furniture and electronics setup however we like, and that’s great. These are just a few ideas I have. Right now my home is more ‘retro’ styled than modern but that may change in the future.


What are some of the most incredible technologies that became lost in time?

Palm Pilots / PDAs – before smartphones, people carried these around to take notes and keep track of appointments

iPod Classic. When I first saw these I was amazed that such a small device could fit so many songs – and the clickwheel was magic – it moves the navigation when you move your thumb around it how amazing is that!

VCRs. Back in the day you could put in a blank tape, and whatever you are watching on your TV be it your favorite movie or TV show, can be recorded onto your very own VHS tape. You can even schedule it to do that when you are at work or school. That’s amazing isn’t it? I don’t think DVDs or Blurays have that capability these days – at least not standard in those players

Sony Walkman.. before the Walkman came out, people listened to music at home through LPs and a record player. They could not carry that with them when they were outside. The Walkman changed music listening habits forever

Car Phones. Before cellphones, how else could you contact someone while you were driving?

Typewriters. Before computers, this is what people used to submit their homework.

Film Cameras. Before digital cameras, you had to take your film to a dark room to be developed. You had no way of previewing the image like you do now.

Portable DVD players. Replaced by iPads now.

Portable electronic dictionary. Replaced by smarphones now

Portable GPS. Also replaced by smartphones

Ball mice

CRT monitors

Pagers – used to be all the rage in the 1990s

8 track tape – ask your father

The venerable floppy disk which has now just become the save icon on your menu bar

Record player.. this is not entirely obsolete but lets just say its now a *niche* item

Payphones.. replaced by cellphones now

Slide Ruler – replaced by calculators

Instant Messengers – replaced by mobile messengers now

all these technologies will be lost in time… like tears in the rain