Nokia is probably best known for its camera phones – Lumia 1020, 808 PureView, N8 and others still carry a spark of nostalgia for longtime fans. But it all started with the Nokia 7650, the first model from the Finnish company to have an integrated digital camera.
It took 640 x 480px still images, which were saved in the 4MB of internal memory. Before taking a photo, you had to open the keyboard because the lens was normally protected behind the slider. It spoiled the sleek form factor (for the time) somewhat, but it was new to it.
The 7650 had one edge over competing designs – the Ericsson T68 (which we discussed earlier) had a camera add-on, purchased separately. This add-on also had a simple optical viewfinder, which wasn't great to use. In contrast, the Nokia came with built-in camera hardware and could display a live view of it on the screen.
This screen measured 2.1 inches diagonally, had a resolution of 176 x 208 px and was capable of displaying 4096 colors. It was good enough for the time and did its job well. In addition to your own snapshots, you can view photos that are sent to you by e-mail or relatively recent MMS. This phone had 2.5G connectivity, aka GPRS, which could reach speeds of 40.2 kilobits per second.
The Nokia 7650 was also the first consumer smartphone to run the Symbian operating system – the 9210 Communicator was the first, technically, but it was a niche device. Additionally, it used the Series 80 user interface instead of the more familiar Series 60, which debuted with the 7650.
The operating system ran on a 32-bit single-core processor (based on ARM9), clocked at 104 MHz. Users could load applications written in Java or those from the older EPOC operating system (which was Symbian's predecessor).
But back to the camera, which brought us to this phone in the first place. A single 640 x 480px photo (captured in JPG format) took up approximately 33 kilobytes of space. This is a pretty heavy compression, but remember you only had 4MB of storage to work with (and no memory card slot). There were two additional shooting modes – portrait (intended for caller ID photos) and night (which improved the ISO of the sensor).
While viewing the photos you've taken, you can zoom in for a closer look and rotate them as needed. Soon, however, you will need to connect the phone to your computer to upload the photos and make room for new ones.
When the Nokia 7650 was introduced in Barcelona in November 2001, then-CEO Jorma Ollila called it the most significant launch of the year. Indeed, Symbian has helped Nokia conquer the smartphone market and its passion for photography has been a key driver. This is why the 7650 deserves a place in the Mobile Hall of Fame.
The phone came out at the end of June 2002 and cost € 600, cutting edge technology always comes at a price. The following year, the more affordable Nokia 3650 was introduced – it ditched the slider design but had almost the same hardware (same camera, same screen, and same processor, but now there was a memory card slot. ).
PS. as with other phones we remembered from the Flashback series, the Nokia 7650 was featured in a big Hollywood movie – two, in fact, Minority report and Tomb Rader: the cradle of life.