Nokia 2100 Series: The First Cellphones Made for Actual Human Beings

By Adrian Covert on at

The Nokia 2110 was somewhat unremarkable on the surface when it first appeared in 1994. It wasn't impossibly pint-sized, nor did it have an overly complex industrial design. But it had something that no other phone at the time had: software.

The software UI was more advanced than any other available cellphone. And with each iteration, it continued to improve (my 12-year-old self would lust after the 2160 pictured above). The LCD screen was Retina-esque for its time. There was the hierarchical navigation system with nested menus. There was an address book. There were ringer profiles. Multiple ringtones! And Snake! It established a standard that all handset makers would base their UI designs around until the advent of smartphones.

But more importantly than that, the 2100-series handsets were phones that felt personal. You invested time saving your contacts and customising the little aspects of the phone. You picked which contacts had special ringtones and who got saved to quick dial. It was the first step to our phones becoming a digital extension of ourselves.

Today Nokia introduced their latest phones, which will be the future of the company, and by all accounts, will be among the more desirable Windows Phones. It's nice to know that the Finnish company has the ability to churn out quality products now, just as they did 15 years ago.