20% off Everything At FandangoNOW

Check Out Prototype of Never-made Nokia Star Trek Phone [VIDEO + Pix]

Wouldn’t you like a mobile phone that was built to resemble a Star Trek communicator? Mobile phone maker Nokia, one of Paramount’s promotional partners for the 2009 Star Trek movie, actually built some prototypes of such a device. Below we have more details, video and photos of one of these very rare prototypes.

 

Nokia’s "Starfleet Communicator" Prototype

It has often been said that the modern flip-style mobile phone was inspired by the communicators from the original Star Trek. So when Paramount was looking for promotional partners for the 2009 Star Trek movie, the Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia was a natural fit. In 2009 Nokia (along with Verizon) ran a Star Trek-themed promotional campaign (with websites), and of course they got a bit of in-movie product placement in the dash of the Corvette joyride scene. In addition, in Europe they released a special "limited Star Trek edition" of their popular 5800 (non-flip) model cell phone, which was essentially the same phone with some Star Trek-themed content.  


Nokia limited 5800 "Star Trek edition" released in Europe in 2009

However, Nokia built another phone that was never released. Nokia designed a special mobile phone to externally resemble the original Star Trek communicator (from the TV series, not the new movie). They built 14 prototypes of this phone in 2008, which were based on the Nokia N76 flip phone. It isn’t clear if Nokia just built these for fun, or if they were seriously considered as a product. Recently one of the fourteen prototypes went up for auction on Ebay (from a former Nokia employee) and TrekMovie reader Michael Fisher was the lucky winner of this rare almost product, and he has been nice enough to share his find (including pictures and video).


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – front

According to Michael the prototype is a fully-working smartphone which he was able to use with a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card. The prototype includes the famous "chirp" when it is flipped open and is loaded with ten custom Star Trek wallpapers, including a few animated moirés. There are also five Trek ringtones pre-loaded. The external redesign of the standard Nokia phone includes a metal "antenna grille" (with the yellow, red, and blue lights underneath) and a starfleet logo embossed into the casing on the back. The attention to detail even includes a tiny etching of the Enterprise on the cover for the USB port.


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – has good attention for details

Being the phone is a prototype it isn’t perfectly balanced. The lid is especially heavy due to the brass added to the flip cover and Mike reports that the buttons on the keypad are a bit hard to use as well, all of which would have probably been worked out in a final production model. But overall this prototype shows that making a true working Star Trek replica mobile phone is both possible, and extremely cool.

 
Video showing off Nokia’s "Starfleet Communicator"

Hopefully Nokia or some other mobile phone company will take this to the next level and make the Star Trek phone we all want. Alternatively there have been some rumblings of a TOS-era communicator shaped bluetooth device, which could be just as interesting. You can find some custom built bluetooth communicators, but so far there is no officially licensed versions. 

PHOTOS


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – box


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – card


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – open


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – compared to Art Asylum Star Trek toy replica

POLL: Want?

So if Nokia or another company made a real Star Trek mobile phone, would you buy one?

[poll=618]

 

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Harry Ballz
September 15, 2010 7:38 pm

Yikes! Would anyone here really use one?

ClemsonTiger88
September 15, 2010 7:44 pm

I don’t know if I’d use it but it sure is awesome!! I want one of those!

Captain Conrad
September 15, 2010 7:46 pm

I would totally use that!!! I really hope someone pushes for actual production of this device!

I'm Dead Jim
September 15, 2010 7:47 pm

Hell yes I’d use it! I’m 49. What do I care?

I'm Dead Jim
September 15, 2010 7:51 pm

But it’s got to make the chirping sound when I open it or I’m not buyin’!

Red Dead Ryan
September 15, 2010 7:53 pm

Harry, I most definitely would!

Too bad it got cancelled. I wonder if Nokia recieved any cease and desist orders from CBS in regards to copyright infringement?

X-Mind
September 15, 2010 7:58 pm

Thank you so much for the video Very nice. I would have bought this in a second.

Kweeg
September 15, 2010 8:08 pm

WANT!!!

The Riddler
September 15, 2010 8:11 pm

WANT NOW!

Mikey1091
September 15, 2010 8:12 pm

You know, I have a Nokia phona and I’m rather pissed that I never even HEARD about this in the first place. Since, however, it isn’t even going to be released for production and whatnot, we’re kinda getting the “you are screwed” notice from CBS/Paramount and Nokia. Basically a big middle finger to trek fans. But then again, I don’t really care cuz I’m happy with my phone anyway :)

Thorny
September 15, 2010 8:14 pm

6… If it was planned to be a promotional tie-in, they must have had authorization to market it from CBS or Paramount.

Mr.Scotty
September 15, 2010 8:15 pm

Idiots. This woulda been STACKS of money. Why does everything cool never happen?????

Thorny
September 15, 2010 8:15 pm

By the way, since Trek 2009 was such a hit, I wonder if Nokia will think about revamping/moving forward with the project to tie-in with Trek 2012?

CmdrR
September 15, 2010 8:17 pm

Harry, not only would I use that, but I would also use the new Rand-bot that they’re building in Japan. I’m a true Trekkie!

Hat Rick
September 15, 2010 8:30 pm

Pretty awesome.

Also, the Nokia ringtone in ST2009 was cool.

What, though, are the odds that that particular ringtone would survive 200 years into the future? As a ringtone, that is?

Unless, of course, it’s considered an “antique” ringtone. (Funny how Trek scenes so often “antiques” that conveniently date from the late 20th and early 21st Centuries… ;-) )

MikeTen
September 15, 2010 8:32 pm

Just out of curiousity I wonder how much he paid for it?

GarySeven
September 15, 2010 8:32 pm

I really can’t understand why a ST phone hasn’t been out commerciallly yet. Absurd.
I have the “chirp” as my ringtone on my phone. People find it very distinctive. But when I was at the convention at Las Vegas in the auditorium, the “chirp” kept going off, and for the first time I couldn’t tell if it was my phone ringing; the “chirp” was on everyone’s phone. I felt comfortable with my people but was amused….

Khan was Framed!!
September 15, 2010 8:37 pm

Blarg!!!

I NEED this now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jotin
September 15, 2010 8:39 pm

It would be nice as a collectors piece but I would never use it. Now a blue tooth adapter i would. I haven’t even checked if those exist.

warp_10
September 15, 2010 8:42 pm

I would’ve bought one of those in a HEARTBEAT!!!

Phaser Guy
September 15, 2010 8:43 pm

Hell, I’d use it. People have phones called droids and silly looking ipads, so why not this?

September 15, 2010 8:47 pm

It’s a rebranded featurephone. Does this really impress anyone? Just slap a wallpaper on your iPhone and you’re done.

It probably wasn’t produced because by the time 2009 came around (it’s a 2007 phone), people were spending their money on smartphones.

Symbian? Really?

Elliot
September 15, 2010 8:52 pm

That would be so cool!!! They should make more!!

webitube
September 15, 2010 9:06 pm

I left Symbian behind a couple of months ago for Android. But, this would bring me back!

John Whorfin
September 15, 2010 9:09 pm

A staggering display of incompetence on Nokia’s part. They were handed an incredible opportunity, and frakked it up.

Sad.

Phil
September 15, 2010 9:11 pm

Afraid the few hundred they would have sold would turn this into a big money loser. They do test market this stuff…

Jerry Modene
September 15, 2010 9:18 pm

My understanding was that the Roddenberry estate nixed the production of the phone, but that they are re-thinking their position….

Psylent1
September 15, 2010 9:19 pm

It always amazes me when corporations are handed the goose that lays the golden eggs and they cook it for dinner.

Vultan
September 15, 2010 9:20 pm

Heck, I would use it!

Hopefully, some cell phone designers will see this and rip off some of the design elements. There really isn’t enough brass in today’s electronics. ;) Gotta love ’60s design!

Now, if only Colt or Smith & Wesson could make a working phaser….

Anthony Thompson
September 15, 2010 9:35 pm

I’m not so sure it wasn’t going to be tied in with the movie somehow. After all, wasn’t the only product placement in the film a Nokia panel in the sports car?

Buzz Cagney
September 15, 2010 9:37 pm

but you goda be able to flip it open.

Phaser Guy
September 15, 2010 9:41 pm

30, wasn’t Budweiser in the film too?

Miles R. Seppelt
September 15, 2010 9:44 pm

Absolutly I would use it! It would be the coolest phone ever!!!!

September 15, 2010 9:52 pm

Oh hell, yeah.. I’d use it. With all the Trekkies out there, do you really need to do the math? I just don’t get it! No pun intended!

KMKProd
September 15, 2010 10:03 pm

FAIL NOKIA!!! I would have bought one for sure!!!

September 15, 2010 10:04 pm

I love the comment about the pathetic re-branded phone. And a screen under the bronze grille? Definitely a rather unusual design choice..

September 15, 2010 10:05 pm

This is what I’ve been waiting for. WHY WON’T SOMEONE BUILD THIS?

moauvian waoul
September 15, 2010 10:13 pm

29. Vultan – “Now, if only Colt or Smith & Wesson could make a working phaser….”

I like where your head’s at.

T2
September 15, 2010 10:14 pm

I remember when this was first announced, I checked the website every day, after day, after day…just waiting for it to come out. And, like some other really cool looking Star Trek products over the years, it mysteriously disappeared and never happened. (to this day, i get emotional thinking about interplay cancelling secret of vulcan fury).

anyway, this looks awesome, but now i have to settle for star trek apps on the iPhone. i would have gotten this in a heartbeat if it was released. i still will if it ever is.

September 15, 2010 10:18 pm

Not impressed.

Illogical
September 15, 2010 10:42 pm

I would love to have that, I’ve always wanted a real Communicator! I’m still making these Bluetooth Communicators to order for those interested, or have not seen them before check out the video, I even loaned one to Anthony for a bit…hope he doesn’t mind the link…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6n5jEFoVOM

Vultan
September 15, 2010 10:58 pm

#38

Yes, it’s in a rather scary place… but I do enjoy it there! :D

TrekGuy62
September 15, 2010 10:58 pm

At lease a Bluetooth TOS unit would be phone neutral, allowing everyone who wants one to have one no matter what their carrier.

September 15, 2010 11:41 pm
I was completely and utterly floored by this, having seen the pics and video! Now please bear in mind that I have NEVER owned a cell phone, nor have I ever had any desire to own one. I’m neither a Luddite nor a technophobe (how can ya be, as a Trek fan for over 30 years??!!). Yet, I’ve never been keen on the intrusive nature of ‘call me wherever and whenever I am’ tech and the impact its had on society. Yeah, I know cell phones have an off button, but how annoying is it when folks don’t shut ’em off when they shouldn’t be on to begin with? That rant stated, I wouldn’t have hesitated to buy this phone. Hell, a dear old grade school and high school friend, upon reconnecting with me after a decade or so, couldn’t help remarking that he was astounded that I’m the most fanatical Trekker he’s ever know, yet I don’t own a frakkin’ communicator! Truly, this prototype (with the noted kinks worked out) would’ve been a no-brainer to produce and sell. And, personally more notable, I wouldn’t have so much as flinched at the thought of buying it. That’s saying a lot for an anti-cell phone bloke like me. And to any naysayers who are inclined to think Nokia might’ve lost money by producing this? I need only mention that a Star Trek crematory urn was mentioned as being sold on this very website. It’s frightening to think that some folks might… Read more »
robowarrior
September 15, 2010 11:44 pm

I don’t have a cell phone, but if they made these I sure as heck would.

September 16, 2010 12:11 am

On Facebook some guys did a campaighn to get Brian Blessed to do a celebrity voice on TomTom Sat NAV. TomTom gave them a target of 10,000 people to join the group to make it possible and they succeeded. I propose a similar solution. Now all we need is somebody with the drive and temerity to set up said group. If every Trekkie joined said group and if we managed to get some Trek Stars to endorse the idea there might be some scope! All manufacturers need to roll out a product is a proven market to sell to.

Make it so!

ety3
September 16, 2010 12:11 am

Holy crap. If Nokia put that out, I would absolutely get one.

Why didn’t they go through with it?

September 16, 2010 12:13 am

why. why? WHY? NOKIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *echoes through space*

WHY DID SOMEBODY NOT DO THIS FIVE YEARS AGO or any time since then WHY.

words fail me…except these two: DO WANT.

SciFiMetalGirl
September 16, 2010 12:14 am

I actually saw one of these! The Nokia rep said that they were doing a survey to see how much interest there would be in it. I told them I wanted it NOW! But I was denied! FAIL!

September 16, 2010 12:41 am

Must. Have. Phone.

wpDiscuz