When Phones Were Fun: The QWERTY Phones (2001-2008)

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When Phones Were Fun: The QWERTY Phones (2001-2008) 5

In September 2008, Reuters reported that US mobile users had just reached a milestone: for the first time, they had sent more text messages than phone calls. Some were still laboriously tapping them out on numeric keypads with T9 word prediction; others were texting more easily (but also more expensively) on BlackBerries or Palm Treos.

In the wide gulf between these extreme ends of the mobile phone world, manufacturers saw an opportunity. What if they could cram a full keyboard into a phone … without packing in all the complexity and cost of making a true smartphone? The result was an avalanche of QWERTY messaging phones spanning the spectrum from sliders to dual-sliders to crazy clamshells … to a phone with a physical e-ink keyboard!

It was all par for the course, back When Phones Were Fun. Join MrMobile for the latest episode: The Messaging Phones (2001-2008)!



Avi Greengart, Techsponential President & Lead Analyst:



This is the seventh in a series of MrMobile videos exploring the mobile tech world's most vibrant period in design and experimentation. In “When Phones Were Fun,” Michael Fisher re-reviews cellphones from the golden age of mobile, the decade-long span from the turn of the century to approximately 2009.

When Phones Were Fun: Episode 7 features five devices: A Nokia 5510 and Nokia 6820 on loan from friend of the channel Martin; an LG Rumor and Samsung Alias 2 purchased from eBay; and a Pantech Matrix on loan from Avi Greengart (President & Lead Analyst, Techsponential). No company paid a fee or otherwise offered compensation in exchange for this coverage, nor did any company preview or approve this content before publication.


0:00 Welcome Back To 2008

01:05 Nokia 5510

02:33 Nokia 6820

03:44 LG Rumor

05:41 Pantech Matrix

06:52 Samsung Alias 2


US mobile phone users text more than they talk [Reuters]:

The Coolest Phone I Ever Owned [JerryRigEverything]:

Pantech Duo C810 [PhoneScoop]:

Review: LG Rumor [PhoneScoop]:

Review: Samsung Alias 2 [PhoneScoop]:

How Facebook Beats MySpace [The Guardian]:

How Mark Zuckerberg Turned Facebook Into The Web's Hottest Platform [Wired]:



#samsungalias2 #lgrumor #nokia6820 #nokia5510 #pantechmatrix #qwerty #whenphoneswerefun

💬 Comments

Those of you sad I missed your favorite model: watch till the end! You'll see I already have enough QWERTY phones in the library to do another installment of "Messaging Phones, " and more will follow!

Author — MrMobile [Michael Fisher]


God I love this series, such a nostalgic trip.

Author — Maker's Muse


“Cell phone in the streets, texter in the sheets.” 😂

I laughed a little too much on that one.

Author — ALittleSnowFairySaga


"The Best Camera is the one you have on you" - no truer words.

Author — Mark Hannelly


"everyone's racist old relatives" 😂 your videos are always so relaxing after work

Author — Lilly


9:18 - "The rise of the unremarkable slab smartphone" MrMobile is all of us 90s kids

Author — Hemanshu Kapadia


Oh my god why can't we have stuff like the Alias 2! Innovation for the sake of it but really fun.

Author — Akshay Anand


9:01 the captions say “Owlette” instead of OLED lmao...

Author — Bibble


That Alias 2: never heard of it. Want one now.

Thanks for this series, Michael. It shows how really hardware can sometimes be much more fun than software.

Author — Erick Bonilla


I remember when my dad worked on nokia and he designed those phones so we always got the newest phones and everybody was jealous in school bc i had the best phone at that time.

Author — Kk Kk


First phone: LG enV

Current phone: LG V30 Dual Screen

Guess some things never change

Author — Ben Valenzuela


You're like the LGR for those of us that came of age during the early formative cell phone days. Thank you for all of these videos

Author — Berke


The fact that you quoted The Queen JoJo makes me appreciate this even more

Author — Rob Saldaña


Okay but sliding your phone to text was a whole other level of addictiveness.

Author — Alejandra Esquer


Oh man all the memories!!!! I love this segment! I have owned or used most of these phones! Good times!

Author — iMikeTech


I remember friendster back then. That was my first social media account

Author — Cons Mercado


When every other tech youtuber is hyping up 1+

Author — Nobody


“Cellphone in the streets, texter in the sheets” 😂

Author — Nour Imam


The most exciting thing mentioned here is the idea for that Key3 🤩

Author — TheVisserthree


I very distinctly remember lusting after this thing In a Verizon store of the era, what a cool setup that was

Author — Ryukachoo