back to article The Camel: Nokia unveils user designed phone

Nokia's Designed By Community project has reached the sketch stage, with three designs being put to the public vote to decide what the perfect Nokia handset should look like. Nokia's project - inviting the general public to vote and debate what constitutes the perfect mobile phone - has created a specification with all the …


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  1. Graham Bartlett

    "The camel"

    I'd like to order a hump, please.

    Vibrate mode? Well, I suppose that'd do as an alternative.

  2. James Hughes 1

    What's wrong with asking users?

    After all, although most of the ideas will be exactly as described ( a bit pants), there is always a possibility that someone, somewhere, comes up with a really good idea. Lets be honest, there are more people who don't work for Nokia (or any other manufacturer) , than do, so there is always the million monkeys chance.

    Out of interest, what do the Reg commentards want in the next gen phones?

  3. TeeCee Gold badge

    Interesting to note.

    The pencil design sketch at the top of the Nokia page has a slideout, QWERTY keyboard, yet none of the actual designs do.

    Dumping a real keyboard in favour of such lunacies as USB3 (yeah, didn't see the 250Gb of internal storage to make *that* worthwhile) and dolby surround sound (and where are you going to put the rear speakers, smartarse?), very clever I'm sure.

    I also note that none of the proposed designs has an obvious, easy to insert/remove, memory card slot (a rather better idea than USB3).

    It's not a camel, a camel is a horse designed by a committee. This is a phone which appears to have been designed by people with camel-like levels of intelligence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'd just like an E71 but with a capacitive touch screen. i.e. same size, same 3+ days battey life, bigger screen, no keyboard but physical accept and reject calls buttons. Changing the headphone jack to 3.5mm wold be good too,

    2. Argh

      Dolby surround sound

      Before you insult people, you might want to do some research.

      The Nokia N8 already provides Dolby surround sound. It takes effect when you use the HDMI output.

  4. Dunstan Vavasour

    They discontinued the perfect phone

    My 6310i is still the perfect phone: I can make calls and send texts, it talks to the bluetooth kit in my car, and the battery lasts almost a week because it has none of the stuff which drains them - camera; big colour display; touchscreen; whizzy operating system and apps. The nearest equivalent today is the "accessibility" phones, but they are expensive and don't have bluetooth.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you don't know what's with your phones now you never will.

    Stop mucking around with endless consultation, grow some bloody balls and release a UI that actually works Nokia. For goodness sake put every available engineer onto this instead of a handful of geeky perfectionist "trolls".

  6. David Edwards

    Homer Simpsons Car Design

    Classic Episode, Homer meets brother who owns car company. Brother listens to Homer as voice of working man and allows him to design a car.

    1. frank ly

      Me Too

      "My 6310i is still the perfect phone:"

      I've got two, and two spare batteries. I can't think why I'd need anything else.

      If I made a small effort, I could set them up to send and receive e-mails, but I can't be bothered because I have a netbook with a broadband stick for that.

    2. Identity

      Taken from history

      The (in)famous Edsel was created by polling people as to what they wanted in a car. Thing is, I understand by all accounts (I was WAY too young to drive), it was a pretty good car — it's just that no one bought them!

      1. Nexox Enigma

        Not the only one

        """"The (in)famous Edsel was created by polling people as to what they wanted in a car."""

        The Pontiaz Aztec was supposedly designed in much the same way. It's widely regarded as the ugliest thing on four wheels. And it sold miserably.

        But it had a pop out rear-hatch tent option/attachment, because some portion of a committe realized that everyone that owns a lumpy SUV must use it for actual sport utility purposes, not just buying groceries.

  7. l3v5y

    Looks like...

    ... WM handles some of those complaints. WM does proper multitasking (unlike iOS ever will, and unlike Android does without some tweaks). Problem is, WM has a lot of bad press for no real reason.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    unlimited multitasking?

    I assume it will be subject to a fair usage policy :-)

    1. Rosco

      Real reason

      The real reason WM has a lot of bad press is because it has a catastrophically abysmal UI. It makes me want to scream with fury whenever I have to use one.

      I suspect that you will not agree. The reason everyone else in the world thinks differently to you is that you have learned to live with all its deficiencies and don't notice them anymore.

    2. AlexV

      Windows Mobile is great for PDAs, not so much for phones

      I love Windows Mobile 6. I wouldn't touch 7 for the same reason I wouldn't want iOS (which it seems to be a copy of), and have misgivings about Android.

      But then what I want is a PDA or small computer, not a phone. Sure, it should be able to make phone calls too, but that's secondary. For this, Windows Mobile is the best available - it's designed for small touch-screens and low power devices that are always on standby, but must turn on in sub-second times (unlike full Windows). It doesn't sacrifice useful UI to awful fat finger poking capacitive accuracy, a stylus or fingernail can produce much better results.

      It's a real shame that it's now reached the end of it's development life.

  9. Charles King

    Where's the THX 7.1 Surround?

    'Dolby Stereo Speakers' ON A PHONE

    My WTFmeter just went into meltdown.

    1. James Hughes 1

      C'mon- trying thinking before commenting

      The surround sound goes out via the HDMI socket, and plays back on your television. Which may or may not have the requisite speakers - but you have that option.

      There, that wasn't difficult, was it.

      1. Nexox Enigma


        """The surround sound goes out via the HDMI socket, and plays back on your television."""

        If you look at the sketches on Nokia's page, you can see that each of the three designs has an arrow pointing to a speaker grill which clearly states "Dolby Stereo Speakers."

        I agree with the OP - fantastically useless.

        They just need to break down and make the nPhone, which would be an iPhone, but with a Nokia logo on it, and a fully working antenna. Which seems to be what the #3 sketch is.

  10. Cameron Colley

    My Ideal phone?

    An E71 with a faster chip, more memory and the bugs removed from the OS. Or, alternatively, an N900 in a more Blackberry like package.

  11. Eric Hood


    A 12MP camera in an 8mm thick phone without extra space for the lens will be a total waste of time. Pixel cross talk will be atrocious, 6 to 8MP would have been a better choice, the CZ lens choice is not going to help much.

    1. Chris Harden


      So......a blackberry then?

    2. Neill Mitchell

      So that's..

      An E72 surely ;)

      1. Cameron Colley

        Possibly a Blackberry...

        But last I hear you couldn't watch YouTube on them and, the last time I used it, the browser was more clunky than even the S60 one. Oh, and apps are a little harder to come by(PuTTY and some others).

        As for the E72 -- I hear that IMAP support is borked and, other than that, it's not changed. Though, yes, in an ideal world the E72.

  12. Steve X

    Ask customers

    "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse."

    Henry Ford, on the subject of the Model T.

  13. Arctic fox

    OK guys but can't we at least.....

    .....give Nokia kudos for trying to talk to their customers? Even if we are not amazingly impressed with what those customers have said (and God knows I am underwhelmed).

  14. IR


    It's a floor wax and a dessert topping!

  15. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Ask the BOFH

    He knows users *never* actually know WTF they want....

    I'd like a phone with just the basics and two week's worth of battery, too, but you know what? I'd probably never *buy* one, because I'm limited to one phone and I want all the Android goodness too.

  16. Andrew Garrard

    Publicity stunt and nothing else

    I looked at the design by community polls early on and rapidly decided to ignore it. You can't make a single device please everybody - hence all the people that complain "pixels are too tiny", "nobody can see PenTile sub-pixels", "having a keyboard makes it too bulky", "anything beyond a 3210 is pointless", "I want a 5-inch screen" etc. Nokia didn't even start by getting people to define the type of phone they wanted to design. You can't make decisions on what screen, keyboard, material, keyboard, etc. are suitable without deciding it all at the same time - if everyone pulls in different directions and there's insufficient technical information available (W007 - let's build in a Playstation, that'd be kewl), it's unsurprising that you end up with a horrible mish-mash (which looks suspiciously like a Droid X).

    As for Windows Mobile, even if it hadn't been dead-ended by the retrograde move to Phone 7, I can vouch for two WinMo phones that behave terribly. Maybe it was the manufacturers rather than the OS, but that can't be entirely it. My Portege G900 needed a BIOS flash so it wouldn't crash when you charged it, needed additional registry hacks, and it still crashes if there's too much blue in the frame if you take a photo. My Touch Pro 2 crashes when sending text messages, the GPS won't work, it no longer displays photos, takes three attempts to open a web browser and doesn't tell me I've got an SMS until I explicitly unsuspend it. Whatever Android's deficiencies, it's just not that slow or unstable, and I'd have jumped long ago if there'd been WVGA alternatives sooner; I can't imagine that Nokia will fine WinMo appealing at this stage. That said, I was considering an n900 right up until Nokia ruled out MeeGo as an official option.

    There are plenty of things that I'd like to see in a phone. A decent, non-PenTile, screen resolution (720p at 4.4" perhaps, or XGA at 4"), preferably with a switchable 3D overlay; a picoprojector (854x480 would do, 720p would be better - with shutter-specs 3D support if the main screen doesn't have it); a Celluon-style laser keyboard; gesture recognition; a longitudinally-mounted camera lens so there's actually room for a decent one (okay, it can swivel if need be); a rim around the screen so it doesn't scratch when you put it down face-down (cats are the reason I don't put phones down face-up); enough memory to run a web browser properly; dual-boot Meemo/Android... Oh, and a touch-screen with haptic feedback (by which I mean configurable bumps, not a vibrator), but people have been trying to do that for years.

    Phones are getting there - at least we've got WVGA (or more, if you can stand an iPhone), multi-touch, motion sensors, (some) 3D acceleration, (some) user ability to skin the thing and cope with a broken gui, Swype and some speech/text interchange support. A bit of polish and there might be something usable.

    I agree about the Dolby, btw - but remember that the yoof of today seem to think of a phone as a media player that makes phone calls, whereas I think of one as a web browser that makes phone calls. Or I would, if my phone would browse the web or make phone calls properly. I wouldn't turn down HDMI or USB3 for interacting with other devices, though - the latter mainly for dumping some HD content on the phone in a hurry. (Of course, that's only useful if you actually put in an HD display, but resolution - the thing I care about most - seems to be missing from the spec list.)

    Excuse my seething. I'd really like an opportunity to put a requests list to a phone manufacturer, but this Nokia publicity opportunity wasn't it.

  17. Midnight

    It's the phone built for Homer.

    "When it rings, you think the world's coming to an end. And it has three ring tones, and they all play 'La Cucaracha'".

    "You know that little ball you put on the antenna so you can find your phone in a big pile? That should be on every phone! And some things are so snazzy they never go out of style — like removing the battery! And cup holders! And side talking!"

    "All my life, I have searched for a phone that feels a certain way. Powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a Nerf ball. Now, at last, I have found it."

    What could possibly go wrong?

  18. Neil 7

    N8 Anyone?

    Can't help thinking the first one looks a fair bit like the aluminium encased N8.

    As for the competition - it's a bit of fluff, could have produced a gem of an idea but it obviously didn't so no biggie.

    Nokia do need to come up with some ground breaking (or at least innovative ideas) in their next batch of top-end phones - wireless power charging (I know Palm got there first but hey), free cloud syncing, NFC and I did like that tip-up/push-down concept that surfaced form a London design college.

    Personally I _really_ don't care about HDMI out and I bet 99.5% of buyers do too, but then if Nokia grasped the whole "mobile computing" nettle and produced a powerful mobile phone that could transform into a "desktop" computer for basic tasks (email, web etc.) simply by dropping it into a dock connected to a keyboard, mouse and monitor then I think they could be onto something. With storage in the cloud the mobile phone could become the only computing device many users require.

    Then again you can see Apple coming up with some of this same stuff and the world+dog goes absolutely ape shit, but if Nokia do it nobody would care, or worse some out-of-touch hack like Orlowski would slate them for it.

    1. Johnny Tremaine

      A mobile computer that is dockable?

      The iPad says 'Hi'.

      1. Neil 7


        The iPad isn't a realistic form factor for this kind of device, the iPad is not something that you can carry with you everywhere despite what the iDevice fanbois try to make you think. In addition, it's a horribly locked-down and bespoke software design so doesn't tick any boxes when it comes to general purpose computing - want the full web experience, good luck with that; want a different/better web browser or email client? Forget it.

        I'm thinking of something more in line what what IBM envisioned at the turn of this century with their Metapad concept - general purpose computing on the move, dock it to transform from fully portable to desktop. Nokia just need to make the leap of faith with their future designs (hardware and software) and finish what IBM started.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Call me sometime

    Would have been far easier to email Steve for suggestions

  20. moiety

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    It needs to run full-fat Ubuntu; last for 2 weeks without a recharge and be waterproof.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    didn't anyone

    send them a picture of an iphone?

    1. mafoo

      they did

      it is: concept drawing 3, just as concept drawing 2 is Sony Ericsson (esque) an 1 is HTC

  22. ted frater

    No one bothered to ask me.

    I know exactly what phone I want.Its not made otherwise id have bought it.

    1.I want a flip phone, to protect its screen when its shut in my pocket . along with keys, coins etc.

    2. it has to have a keyboard from the Nokia commmunicator 9210i, because im a farmer, engineer with BIG hands so i can text without having to use a stylus.

    3. it needs to be the size of the HP jordana thats 3inwide by 5.25in long with a big bright screen on one sideof the flip so I can see it in bright sunlight on the tractor.

    it must have a battery thats the size of the body and 1/4in thick so it will last at least 14 days on standby and run all week .Weight not a problem

    4.A decent speaker so I can hear it over machinery noise.

    5.well engineered, no thin flimsy plastic preferably all metal construction. anexternal aerial for areas of poor reception.

    6. a back prop so when texting with it on a flat surface it doesnt fall over.

    so thats the minimum need. The money is there , so wheres the phone?

    7. it should recognise the callers no and then speak to me to say, Ted, Alison is calling you, or whoever, instead of me having to open it up , to listen to who is calling me.

    I dont spend lots of time chatting to folk. too much to do but these requirements are essential for isolated workers like me.

    There are 1000's of folk like me who need this spec. Why on earth havnt the phone makers bothered with this market?





  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of "The Homer"

  24. crayon

    ...give Nokia kudos for trying to talk to their customers?

    They don't need to "talk" to their customers. They just need to monitor and take on board on the comments and address all the complaints on their forums. Instead, whenever you post something that has the slightest hint of expressing discontent with Nokia or their phones, the effing moderators jump in to censor your post and slap on their standard warning "This board is monitored by Nokia but the best way to give feedback to us is to contact your local Nokia support..."

  25. Def Silver badge

    Dear Nokia,

    For Christmas I would like a phone that actually works as advertised.

    Let me clarify:

    I don't want half finished features that only work on Sundays.

    I don't want a phone that takes three+ seconds to respond to my button presses.

    I don't want a phone that compresses the fuck out of my photos with no options to disable it.

    I don't want a phone with a retarded blue flashing light on the front which forces me to always place it screen down on my desk.

    I don't want a phone that periodically decides the SIM card has gone missing.

    I don't want a phone with some proprietary connector interface that *never* works properly.

    I don't want a phone that doesn't let me listen to the radio through the speaker without headphones plugged in to the aforementioned proprietary connector.

    I don't want a bazillion utterly utterly useless apps that I would never use in a million years preinstalled - unless I can uninstall them.

    In other words, I don't want another N73.

  26. KayKay

    I want a phone that makes phone calls EVERY time

    and a screen that is visible in sunlight

    and large enough text to be able to SEE the actual contact's name

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