Remember when mobile phone design got really, really weird?

Nokia phones
(Image credit: Nokia/Future)

Smartphone design is nothing if not predictable these days. The iPhone 14 looks exactly the same as the iPhone 13, which looked almost exactly the same as the iPhone 12, which looked – you get the idea. 

What about before? People tend to remember the time before smartphones as a world of brick phones like the Nokia 3310 – but there was a strange wilderness between these eras when thing went a little... weird. And now, Twitter is digging up some of the strangest phone designs to grace the mid-naughties. (Check out the best iPhone 14 deals if you're looking for something a little less wild.)

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Most of these phones really don't appear to have been designed with a normal hand in mind. From square bodies to things that flip in all sorts of directions they shouldn't, there's a catalogue of design crimes on offer here. And almost all of them come courtesy of Nokia. Check out some of the weirdest examples below.

Still, it's impossible not to feel a twinge of nostalgia when looking at these weird and wonderful designs – like all of the best Y2K aesthetic gadgets, at least they're fun! Which is more than can be said for the silver/grey rectangles we have to enjoy here and now in 2022. That said – the iPhone 14 Pro does come in a rather fetching purple.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).