Flip phone concept aims to inspire creativity with Nokia, Nothing aesthetics

It may have been criticized for flooding the mobile phone market with dozens of confusing designs, but Nokia’s seemingly eccentric designs sometimes hit the right marks when it comes to uniqueness, aesthetics, or usability. From the XpressMusic to the N-Gage to the Communicator, there are times when those designs felt far ahead of their time, which didn’t do their sales any favors. There has been a great deal of interest in revisiting these designs, most of which, however, only make sense for non-smart feature phones like the ones HMD is offering. One particular design, however, might find a place in this modern world that’s obsessed with taking photos and recording videos, especially if it gets a little Nothing-inspired facelift.

Designer: Viet Doan Duc

Flip phones or clamshell designs are nothing new, even if the recent generation of foldable phones has given birth to their renaissance. The Nokia N90, however, did more than just open up in a stylish way to reveal a bigger screen and a large T9 keypad inside. It could also twist its top half so that you could hold it like a camcorder and feel more like a proper content creator. That was 20 years ago, even before the word “influencer” or even “YouTube” came to light. Now smartphones are pretty much pocketable cameras, and this concept design tries to give the Nokia N90 a second chance, with a bit of a twist.

The Nokia N90 design is obviously outdated by today’s standards, so this revision borrows some inspiration from Nothing’s now iconic translucent glass design. The concept focuses on three main concepts: mechanical precision, the spirit of exploration, and minimalist language. The mechanical aspect can be clearly seen from the smartphone’s industrial appearance, revealing details of precision circuity and clear edges. At the same time, however, it still manages to embrace minimalism by keeping the details down to the essentials, eschewing the noisy details that pervaded Nokia’s design language.

The Nokia N90 x Nothing concept is clearly a design that encourages exploration and creativity with its core design gimmick, turning the upper half around for a more immersive photography experience. Not only does it try to convey the feeling of using a camcorder, it also makes some difficult angles more feasible because of the degree of freedom the mechanism offers.

On the technical side, the dreams of some of the best hardware features that the mobile industry has to offer, and not just with the camera that’s installed on the phone’s hinge rather than its back. The physical keypad, for example, is replaced by an E Ink display that combines customizability and power efficiency, while a touch-sensitive D-Pad above it offers more precise control. All these, however, make the Nokia N90 x Nothing even more of a pipe dream, but the design itself is something that could definitely spark interest, and hopefully sales, among today’s generation of design-conscious creators.

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Retro phone designs bring modern features minus the distractions

As powerful as our smartphones might be, it’s hard to deny that they can also be too powerful for their own good. They can do almost anything these days, which unfortunately also means they can be sources of any and all kinds of distractions. Not everyone needs all those capabilities, especially people who just need to make calls and send text messages via good ol’ SMS technology. Unfortunately, even the most basic smartphone can still tempt them with social media pings and Web browsing rabbit holes, while the newer crop of minimalist smartphones does promise fewer distractions but at the price of, well, their price tag. Sometimes, what you need is a non-smart smartphone, in other words, a feature or “dumb” phone, which is what the two latest Nokia-branded devices are trying to offer, blending nostalgic design with relatively more modern features.

Designer: HMD Global

Before it quit the mobile market, Nokia was pretty much the king of mobile phones. It is notorious for flooding that market with innumerable and often confusing designs, but, to its credit, it managed to appeal to almost every sector and niche with that same variety. Some of those designs have gone down in history as beloved icons of a time long gone, but HMD, licenses of the Nokia brand, has been reviving some of those, much to the delight of a few.

The Nokia 6310 (2024), for example, bears a soft, curved design that transcended genders and generations, offering a distinctive shape that is probably alien to today’s phone users. Make no mistake, this is as basic as phones can get, with a 2.8-inch QVGA (that’s 320×240 pixels) screen and a 0.3MP “VGA” camera on its back. That large screen and physical T9 keypad, however, are intentionally designed for better accessibility when it comes to reading and typing out text. This 2024 model differs from its predecessor from 2021 with a larger 1,450 mAh battery and a USB-C port that thankfully simplifies your charging life.

Perhaps more interesting is the design of the Nokia 5310 (2024), the latest to inherit the old Nokia XpressMusic DNA. Granted, it doesn’t differ much from the earlier 2021 model save for the larger size, a larger 1,450mAh battery, and the same USB-C upgrade. Fortunately, that also means it still has those iconic physical media playback buttons on its right side that gave the XpressMusic phones their fame. And yes, it also has a 3.5mm headphone jack to really drive home the old-school music listening experience.

Unfortunately, that simplicity does also come with a hidden cost, that of compatibility. These phones can only connect to 2G networks, a technology that is already being phased out and shut down in some countries. That said, markets where these two old-school Nokia phones will be sold mostly still support that old-school network, so it’s really a matter of choosing your compromises.

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From Phones to Drones: Nokia’s New Hexacopter Targets Industrial-use with RGB and Thermal Cameras

The iconic phone maker unveiled a new logo this year, signifying a switch from consumer tech to actual infrastructure and business-focused solutions. Their latest product, a 5G-capable hexacopter drone drives that message home with its enterprise and industry-focused approach. The massive copter is designed to carry a variety of payloads, from cameras to scanning devices to even loudspeakers or modems. It’s crafted with robust materials, is designed to be reliable and repairable… but most importantly, it’s designed and manufactured entirely in the EU, offering an alternative to businesses and governments looking to shift away from China-developed drone technology.

Designer: Nokia

Nokia’s drone isn’t your average DJI or Parrot-style flying machine. It’s much larger, covering a span of at least 3 feet in diameter when resting on the ground. Designed for industries, construction, safety/security, emergency services, transportation, or even smart-city monitoring, the drone comes with its own docking station, dual gimbal cameras, and edge cloud processing using Nokia MX Industrial Edge (MXIE). “By connecting over public and private 4G/LTE and 5G networks, customers will benefit from the highest reliability,” Nokia’s team mentions. “Beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations with real-time kinetic (RTK) positioning improves situational awareness. Dual modem connectivity allows Nokia drones to simultaneously connect to multiple networks, complying with system redundancy that is commonly required by aviation regulatory bodies.”

The drone comes with a 6-rotor design that’s made for effective navigation no matter the situation, weather, or environment. For drones, this one is built like a tank, sporting a carbon fiber chassis that keeps the drone light but sturdy, and an overall construction that’s water, dust, and wind resistant. Dual modems ensure the drone stays connected through its entire journey, and if the connection ever falters, the drone has its own return-to-launchpad protocols built in that allow it to make its way back to its docking station while avoiding no-fly zones.

A highlight of the drone’s design is its modular lower platform that allows you to mount a variety of accessories that transform the drone’s purpose. You’ve got a dual-camera module with a Thermal and an RGB camera capable of 30x zoom, but undock the camera and you can swap it for a LiDAR sensor instead, allowing the drone to 3D scan objects and environments instead. Nokia offers other modules too, including a powerful spotlight for rescue missions, or a loudspeaker for delivering messages/warnings/alerts. If you’ve got a custom requirement, Nokia’s Payload Development Kit lets you build your own module to mount onto the drone, making it serve your mission/project’s needs.

The Nokia Drone Networks solution offers remote operation capabilities for search and rescue missions and damage assessment in hazardous environments. These drones can also be programmed to conduct autonomous flights for tasks like enhancing security at major events or conducting regular equipment inspections in remote locations. The docking station not only safeguards the drone and its payload, which may include sensor devices or a dual gimbal camera, from external dangers and severe weather conditions but also remotely charges the drone in preparation for its next flight.

Given its enterprise/industry-focused approach, the Nokia Drone isn’t available to consumers. For businesses looking to place orders, there’s an Enquiry button on Nokia’s website.

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This nostalgic Samsung smartphone is handheld gaming and entertainment hub in one

Smartphone designs have lately got monotonous if we keep out exorbitantly priced foldable phones out of consideration for this discussion. Perhaps the right opportunity to go a full circle and revisit the old phone form factors of the early 2000s.

This Samsung phone design is the perfect amalgam of a mobile device, handheld gaming gadget and entertainment hub for the young generation. Freshening up the boring landscape with a nostalgic form factor that everyone will love to use.

Designer: Mark Choi

Reviving memories of the Nokia N-Gage, this smartphone comes with a 3.5mm jack for purists who love to listen to audio in the purest form. Dubbed Samsung Young Entertainer, this mobile device implements the basic phone functions, topped with the GUI (Graphical User Interface) to accelerate learning in a fun way. When it’s time for pure entertainment, the device can play most of the current generation graphics-intensive games like Genshin Impact, Grid Autosports and Call of Duty Mobile. Of course, moderation is prime here and the device comes with an in-built time-out alert if you engage in gaming for long hours in one go.

The phone connects seamlessly to the big screen to enjoy content or gaming. In this mode the menu options can be easily navigated with the joystick, the shoulder trigger buttons and the D-pad buttons. How this gadget will make itself stand out from the likes of Steam Deck, Nintendo Switch, Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go? Well, the integrated phone function. If it can deliver a smooth UI and the ability to play future titles with ray tracing, then there is a compelling reason for this one to materialize into a commercially available Samsung product. Whether the South Korean electronics giant has any plans to foray into the steeply growing mobile gaming market is still a burning question.

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How the Nokia G42 5G takes smartphone sustainability to the next level

Smartphones are one of the biggest constants in modern life, with almost everyone owning at least one. At the same time, however, they are also sometimes the biggest risks and gambles that we make, especially if they’re the more expensive ones that are almost ironically also the more fragile options. You’d think that by now, smartphones would be more resilient, or at least easier and cheaper to repair. Unfortunately, the current market setup doesn’t exactly encourage that, especially when it comes to rolling up your sleeves and doing the grueling work on your own. That has served to increase the harmful effects of hastily discarded smartphones on the planet as e-waste continues to pile up in landfills. Fortunately, a few companies have started to be more conscientious in how they design their smartphones, and the new Nokia G42 5G is pushing the envelope of sustainability in a way that more people will be able to appreciate.

Designer: HMD Global

There’s a reason why smartphone manufacturers are often accused of what has become known as “planned obsolescence,” which is to say that they were intentionally designing their phones to be easy to break and hard to repair. After all, they will be able to sell more pieces that way, especially if consumers have become hooked on their platforms or services. Although the market hasn’t completely made a turnabout, some companies, especially bigger brands, have started to take on a more responsible position, including HMD Global which makes the modern Nokia phones.

Following the Nokia G22 from earlier this year, the Finnish company is launching the Nokia G42, adding a few upgrades, most notably support for 5G networks. Like its predecessor, the focus is squarely on how easy it is to repair the phone even on your own. Let’s be honest, few of us will probably dare to take the plunge, but the fact that the company isn’t blocking attempts is a significant improvement over the status quo. Even better, guides and some replacement parts are available, the latter for about five years from the phone’s launch, though these are limited to the battery, the back cover, the screen, and the charging port. Coincidentally, these are also the four parts of a phone that get damaged the most.

HMD Global is also quite proud of its other accomplishments in the name of sustainability. That replaceable back cover, for example, is made of 65% recycled plastic. The box it comes in is also made from an FSC-certified mix, which means it uses more sustainable materials. The phone is also made to last both in hardware and software, though there will definitely be some worries caused by its lower-than-average water resistance rating.

The Nokia G42 5G is hardly the best of class, but what makes it notable is how it makes all these things more accessible. For around $255, you will be getting a serviceable smartphone that will last you a lot longer than more expensive brands, especially since the phone will have replacement parts available until 2028. Plus, it actually looks good, especially with the So Purple colorway, so it won’t be cramping your style despite its low price and replaceable parts.

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Nokia G22 takes sustainability to heart, comes with a small but important caveat

Today’s smartphones are beautiful pieces of technology, but their power and appearance come at more than just a literal price. To ensure their durability and secrecy, they are closed shut to ward off people trying to pry them open, even if those people are just trying to repair the phone. Those old enough to have seen the early days of mobile phones might fondly remember handsets like those from Nokia that let you easily swap a dead battery for a fully charged one. The original Nokia has long stepped away from this industry, but HMD Global has resurrected not only the brand but also some of its most iconic models. Its latest trick now is to also revive what made the old Nokia phones, specifically with a new Nokia G22 that is meant to be easily repaired, unlike most other phones today.

Designer: HMD Global

Smartphones have gotten a lot more complicated these days, so it’s not exactly surprising that they wouldn’t be easy to fix. At the same time, however, the industry has made it too expensive and restrictive to get these devices repaired by authorized service providers that some people are willing to take the risk with third-party shops. Phone makers have also been very careful in protecting their image and intellectual properties that they penalize even well-meaning people who just want to prolong their phone’s life.

Although things seem to have slowed down a bit, that status quo has slowly started to change for the better, with smartphone makers easing up on those repair restrictions. Unsurprisingly, the bigger brands like Apple and Samsung are still extremely cautious, but HMD Global is making a huge leap instead. The new Nokia G22, for example, was designed right from the start to be easy to open and repair, and the manufacturer even partnered with repair expert iFixit to sell replacement parts and provide guides.

Of course, not every part of the phone is repairable, with only the back cover, battery, screen, and charging port provided with replacements. Using a plastic guitar pick and a screwdriver, however, is exponentially easier than heating the phone’s back to loosen adhesives. The battery can also be pulled out with some effort but without having to use some alcohol to also loosen the glue. Replacement parts will be available for five years, potentially making the Nokia G22 the company’s longest-lasting phone.

The catch is that, in terms of hardware, the Nokia G22 isn’t exactly noteworthy, except for its large 5,050mAh battery. Replacing the battery still involves a bit of work, but HMD Global says that the alternative would be to have a smaller battery and a thicker phone. We’re still far, far away from having a premium flagship be this easy to repair, and it’s doubtful we’ll reach that point. Thankfully, some, like the Fairphone and this new Nokia G22, are offering alternatives to those who care more about the environment than having the latest and flashiest model every year or so.

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Someone revived the Microsoft Lumia brand as an action cam and I have to say, it looks pretty dope…

Microsoft Lumia Action Camera

With GoPro practically flailing, and DJI and Insta360 both being under scrutiny for their Chinese origins… there’s truly space for another homegrown action camera company. What better time for Microsoft to revive its Lumia brand (under their Nokia acquisition) as an action camera behemoth? The Lumia’s always had a great reputation for stunning camera optics, especially given its continued partnership with Carl Zeiss. The Lumia Action would be a wonderful idea and would give Microsoft yet another domain to expand its hardware chops, after gaming and computing! Plus the Lumia brand practically markets itself.

Designer: Dmitry Lyubimov

Microsoft Lumia Action Camera

For now, the Lumia Action is purely a fan-made concept, but it presents an interesting idea. What if Microsoft jumped into the action camera race? The company, which produced arguably some of the best camera phones in the early Android vs. iOS vs. Windows days, is well suited to take on the task. Microsoft’s camera department is rather dormant, but a great product would revive the category and reinvigorate the space, stealing thunder from DJI and Insta360.

Microsoft Lumia Action Camera

Microsoft Lumia Action Camera

Designed by Dmitry Lyubimov, the Lumia Action is a nifty, colorful action camera with the same format as the GoPro, and the block-ish round-edged design as Microsoft’s Lumia-edition phones. The block-shaped design owes itself to the block-ish lithium-ion battery that sits inside the camera, which can be detached and swapped out for a new battery. You’ve got a single wide-angle lens on the front, and a large touchscreen display on the back. The Lumia Action charges via USB-C, and records video and image footage onto a MicroSD card.

Microsoft Lumia Action Camera

While the Lumia Action isn’t real (and it doesn’t seem like Microsoft intends on even making cameras), the thought experiment in itself is a rather interesting one. For starters, the Lumia brand, while rejected because of the windows mobile OS, was loved as a design language. The iPhones were chunky 12 years ago, as were Android phones. Microsoft (or Nokia) Lumia phones, on the other hand, were loved for their vibrant design and their rejection of standard norms that blocky phones couldn’t look beautiful. In a lot of ways, action cameras fit within that same paradigm. Current cameras look unmemorable (apart from GoPros), and are all extremely chunky and block-ish. Instead of portraying sleekness, the Lumia Action embraces its geometric brick-shaped design, and comes in colors that instantly grab the eye and make you fall in love. Heck, this concept even supports accessories like selfie sticks… what’s not to love?!

Microsoft Lumia Action Camera

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This phone houses its own wireless earbuds so that you won’t lose yours

There was a time when Nokia was the Samsung of its era, the household name when it came to mobile phones. It flooded the market with a confusing array of handsets with indecipherable digits as their name, covering many sizes, shapes, and features to cast its nets wide. After undergoing a few changes of hands and guards, the Nokia brand is being revived by HMD Global with seemingly the same intent to hit every market segment, both smartphones and feature phones. The new owner is even reviving old names, like the camera-centric “PureView” and the musical “XpressAudio.” Of course, it also puts a modern twist on those names, with the new Nokia 5710 XpressAudio representing its strangest and most curious one yet.

Designer: Nokia

As its name clearly points out, the Nokia XpressAudio puts the focus on music. Back in Nokia’s golden age, personal music players were quite the fad, and using phones for those was still a revolutionary concept. Back in those days as well, such phones not only played music stored in 8GB of internal storage or micro SD cards but also tuned to FM radios. The newest member of that lineage does that and more, housing its own earbuds and charging case for those earbuds.

The Nokia 5710 XpressAudio has a rather unusual design where the top part of its back slides down, which reveals its most unique feature. A pair of Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds is hiding inside, charging so that they’re ready to jump into action the moment you take them out. The buds are Nokia branded, of course, so there’s no telling whether they’ll sound as great as your favorite pair.

It’s a rather ingenious and creative design that solves some of the biggest problems of owning wireless earbuds. Either you forget to put the buds inside the charging case, or you forget everything somewhere. You might also forget to either charge the buds or the case itself. With the Nokia 5710 XpressAudio, everything is in one package, so you’re less likely to forget things, though you could still forget to put the buds inside the phone.

This kind of convenience is only possible because there’s plenty of room inside a feature phone, sometimes pejoratively called a dumb phone. This 4G handset has the basics for phone calls and SMS, as well as a few apps, particularly for playing music. The screen is only a 2.4-inch QVGA without any touch capabilities, so you’ll have to retrain your fingers and your brain for good old T9. There is a camera on the back and even an LED flash, but the 0.3MP probably won’t satisfy anyone.

When it comes to design, the Nokia 5710 XpressAudio continues the polycarbonate DNA of its distant predecessors. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a traditional candy bar phone design hearkening back to the glory days of Nokia, with the addition of dedicated buttons for playback controls flanking the display. It may be a very dated look, but the clever inclusion of built-in earbuds shows that there’s still room for innovation even in this space.

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This Nokia steering Wheel revives nostalgic memories of 5300 ExpressMusic phone!

Steering wheels and phones don’t have much common in them, but only to the unassuming eye! For a designer with an associative eye, they are two separate entities that can be intertwined in a way no one else could think of. Yes, that’s what the Nokia Wheel by Tadas Malinauskas is all about – a creation that elegantly adapts the design of a gadget into an automotive part. Tadas got inspired by one of his favorite phone designs, the Nokia 5300 ExpressMusic, and adapted it for a steering wheel that looks absolutely badass. Coincidently, the Nokia 5300 ExpressMusic phone was the first colored display screen phone I happened to own, and reason enough to feature it here on Yanko Design!

The cool-looking steering wheel, which I’m assuming is going to be a Bluetooth-enabled accessory for all your gaming needs, also doubles as a storage box for everyday essentials. The rear section of the wheel has space for keeping keys, coins, stationery, or anything else that fits. Who knows maybe it could even take the role of a dual-duty steering wheel that steers your car, and then, later on, can be taken out to play games on the racing simulators. That is a possibility since Fanatec has also designed the Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 and Bentley Continental Pikes Peak GT3 steering wheel which are both usable in the respective cars and the racing sims too!

The Nokia 5300 ExpressMusic elements are apparent in the steering wheel design – starting off with the dialer keys and the home navigation button below the display area. I particularly like the steering wheel’s simplistic design aesthetics matte black finish in the middle and the textured fabric on the outside for a better grip at high speeds. To put it precisely, the steering wheel brings back cherished memories when smartphones were like your priced toys!

Designer: Tadas Malinauskas


From Apple to Android, these framed disassembled smartphones make for a worthy designer gift!

When you buy a new phone, all that’s worth appreciating is the design engineering of this little gadget that rules our lives. Disassembling your phone and then preserving it in a picture frame is not an everyday affair, but some creatives have made a skillful enterprise from this. Not a long while ago, we saw Indie art studio GRID amaze us with the iPhone 5 Framed Edition. And now we have a featured artist with a massive collection of teardown smartphones and tablets well preserved in photo frames for generations to appreciate – because why should iPhone users have all the fun!

Computer engineer Kevin, inspired by Todd McLellan’s Things Come Apart series, went on to dissemble popular phone models right from the nostalgic Android Blackberry and Nokia models to the much modern ones like the Apple iPhone 8 and Honor 6 Plus. It all started with his first iPhone that was taken apart and then framed in his living room. Then he couldn’t stop himself from dismantling his old gadgets, including iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and Sony rx100m2. On posting the setup on social media, the pictures attracted fans who also wanted their gadgets to be framed for cherished memories on their living room wall or bedroom desk. This fueled his passion, and Kevin ultimately opened his own Etsy shop that goes by the name FEIPPO. The idea is to keep your keepsakes safe – maybe it was the first gadget you bought with your own salary, a gift from your spouse, or just because you love watching the individuals that make up these complicated gadgets. This is a great way to memorialize your device instead of having it collect dust in the corner of your desk.

The taken apart mobile devices are meticulously preserved in glass frames with the optional frame choice in chestnut, tan, black or white. These decorative art pieces for any desk setup are absolutely hypnotic, especially how all of the disassembled parts are explained in detail with accompanying text descriptions. Since Kevin’s collection is enormous, we have handpicked our favorite Android and Apple devices for you to enjoy. If you are also thinking of framing your old gadgets in this manner, you deserve a hi-five from me!

Designer: Kevin

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