The Nokia 7710 is an under appreciated legend. In the two years that I owned this smartphone I only met two people who also had this phone and about three that knew of its existence. The Nokia 7710 launched in 2004 and was way ahead of its time. I especially noticed this while watching Steve Job’s presentation of the original iPhone. Almost every time Steve said “Isn’t that amazing?” I thought to myself “The 7710 has been doing that since 2004”. For example the idea that you shouldn’t have too many buttons because a touchscreen is much more flexible. The Nokia 7710 is the only phone of its generation that has no fixed keypad. Both the iPhone and the 7710 have a 3.5 inch touchscreen. The iPhone has a resolution of 480 x 320 while the Nokia 7710 has a resolution of 640 x 320 pixels which really gives you a great view in the internet browser (Opera with Flash support) and other applications. The iPhone’s 4 GB or 8 GB internal storage is pretty nice but with the Nokia’s MMC card slot you can easily expand to an 8 GB card.
Still the Nokia 7710 never really broke through. This could have to do with Nokia’s low marketing attention to the phone and the fact that the relatively large phone was launched in a time where phones competed to be the smallest. It also had all the great office tools like a word processor, spreadsheet program and presentation tool that all supported the Microsoft Office file types, a PDFreader and even an HTML compatible mail program. But the 7710 was probably a bit too kinky and multmedia oriented for the real business user. It was also the only device using the Symbian S90 OS so the amount of third party software was pretty limited.
Whatever the cause may have been, the Nokia 7710 never really got the appreciation it deserved. Still, I do think it has had some revolutionary features we now see adapted by other manufacturers.
The iPhone is probably the closest to being the successor of the Nokia 7710. User experience and an intuitive interface are the keywords for the smartphones of the future, something Apple picked up really well (as we would expect them to do) with their iPhone. As developers stopped producing software for the S90 platform and retailers don’t sell it anymore the Nokia 7710 has never had the credit it could and should have gotten.