Top 13 Phones, That Shook The Nigerian Mobile Market (part 1)

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The mobile phone industry as been a thriving and ever-growing industry since the  emergence of Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) in 2001. Over the years, a staggering amount of phones have roamed our markets, ranging from top manufacturers like Nokia, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, RIM to the budding manufacturers like Tecno, G-tide, etc.

We may have seen the rise and fall of so many handsets over the decade, only a handful of these handset really made landmarks in popularity and market penetration, of these devices, the top (according to internal Naijaspecs’ staff poll) 16 devices that really shook the nation out of the pool of so many mobile phones in these remarkable hall-of-fame are: ,

13. Nec (E616 and E313):

Nec E313 and E616
Nec E313 and E616

These were 2 very popular phones that really stole the hearts of youths in Nigeria. E313 and E616 were released in the early 2004 and late 2003 respectively but didn’t make their way into the Nigerian market till late 2004 to early 2005. They packed such nifty specs and features, so much that when looked back upon, they were a little ahead of its time. The E313, very long candy-bar phone, with a rotatable camera (180 degrees). Spotting a 65k colour screen, 3G mobile network, VGA camera, with expandable memory (Sony MemoryStick Duo), support for 3gp videos and MP3, and text copy-paste function :D, it really impressed (you can even place shortcuts of files or bookmarks on the desktop/home-screen :O ). E616  was a similar device but with a Flip/ Clamshell form.

12. Nokia 5130 (Express Music):

Nokia 5130. image from: chandigarhcity.olx.in
Nokia 5130.
image from: chandigarhcity.olx.in

Nokia’s brand of Xpress Music mobile phones, were a real hit in Nigeria, noteworthy is the Nokia 5130. It was very portable, very affordable, brightly coloured (although peels off quite easily 😦 ), has a very good audio  output via both the main speaker and stereo headset, built in support for  mp3, 3gp, java and stereo FM. A rich 2 inch display with 256k colours,  Its highlight is the up-gradable memory, which supports upto 16GB memory!!! Real deal for Nigerian music enthusiasts.

11. Sony Ericsson P800 and P-9X series:

SE: P800
SE: P800

The P800 was a pioneering phone of the P-series of UIQ based Symbian touchscreen devices. They were very high end devices with the p800 sporting a processor clocked at  156MHZ, it resistive touch input based made it stylishly elegant among the other phones in it’s era. It was very expensive back then, a real sign of elegance and stash, with lot’s of advanced features (Bluetooth and infrared). What can we say, it was what we had before the Iphones got here :).

10:  Blackberry Curve 2 (8520):

BB Curve 8520. image from: www.tudocelular.com
BB Curve 8520.
image from: http://www.tudocelular.com

RIMs entrance into the Nigerian market was at first, ” A rich and business man only” type, until they slowly started eating up the market, by the time Blackbery became Viral, Curve 2 was it’s most trending device among youths, adult and students. It was very affordable, although not mass market stuff. With the insurgence of “London use” and Blackberry fever, this phone swarmed the markets and city stores. It packed quite a punch, replacement of the trackball was very well received by fans and followers. 256k colour, 320 * 240 resolution on a ~2.5 inch screen was ok enough to produce quality displays (although far from retina-clear images :D). Sports a 512MHZ processor, 256MB internal memory which can be upgraded to 32GB (microSD card) giving multimedia savvies the chance to get as much space as possible (relative to that era) to download and entertain themselves. It had only one shortcoming, lack of a camera-“Flash”.

Yeah, one more feature,  it still PINGS! /kping/

9.  Sony Ericsson WT180 (Walkman)

SE: W800
SE: W800

The very first of the Walkman brand of devices from Sony Ericsson, released in 2005. It features incredible media capabilities, a 2MP camera, video recording and flash. It’s volume can be increased so high, you would think it can be increased infinitely. It’s speakers are very loud, data exchange via Bluetooth and infrared, 3.5 mm headphone jack,  and support of upto 2GB storage memory expansion via Memory Stick Pro Duo card. It’s java capabilities was also very good, it’s shortcomings were the very annoying joystick, kind-of ugly case and very difficult to configure GPRS settings (it almost seemed like no Nigerian carrier had an auto-settings for it).

Many Nigerians fell for the Ikeja fufu version of the phone then, it’s actually can be said to be the second of the most reported cases of fufu incident, second only to the K750.

8. Nokia 6600

Nokia 6600. Image: www.evermotion.org
Nokia 6600.
Image: http://www.evermotion.org

Launched mid-late 2003, it was a very high end phone making several cameo appearances in music videos and movies. It was a show stopper, it’s specification was top-notch (for it’s era 😉 ). It also was loved by both casual users and techies alike, powered by the Symbian OS, 104mhz processor, 6MB RAM (for it’s time top notch, now, that’s almost same memory my phone’s launcher uses 😀 ), which for it’s era permitted multitasking, housing lot’s of application in it’s memory. It was one of the fore-runners of Symbian O.S’ Golden-Age.

7. Thuraya, Fable or Real?

Thuraya
Thuraya

Yeah, Thuraya, the dream phone of the Nigerian Stereotypical  dad, it was heavily coveted by Nigerians of a 50 years and above demographic. They are set of satellite mobile phones produced by a UAE based international mobile satellite service provider. Providing voice and data service to even areas not covered by GSM networks. Lately, they’ve been manufacturing phones that can work both in GSM range and satellite range. Many Nigerians till date still think this phone is a myth. Even I have never seen one before except for the ones featured in their CNN adds.

6.Sendo-X

Sendo X
Sendo X

yeah, this mobile phone should way close to the top-three phones, had it been it was apealing to class of ages. One of the most adored phone by tech-enthusiasts, the mobile phone featured the same features a high end phone of that era would feature at half the expected price, it marks the switch from Microsoft mobile OS platform to Symbian platform by Sendo hence, was powered by series 60 Symbian O.S 6.1. Supports both Bluetooth and infrared connections. 32MB internal storage memory expandable via a MMC/SD card.

It’s firmware updates were easy to perform, download so much that a novice mobile user can perform while sleeping. It’s O.S was very stable, albeit prone to getting hot when used for long periods with data turned on. It played most 3d games very well.

We loved it, I loved it.  It was LEGENDARY!.

It’s only shortcoming was the absence of a stereo output module via either the headphones or speakers, claims are that it outputs stereo quality via Bluetooth  I actually never got to confirm that 😦 .

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