This phone is part of what can only be called Nokia's Baroque line. In 2005 they decided to fall fully into the idea of phones as fashion accessories, as a primary means of self-presentation. This was probably a logical move at the time, which in retrospect will probably be seen as a moment form factors began to stabilize and functionality began to stagnate. People had always bought phones for how they looked, and what that look said about them (and they continue to do this), but at a time when competition on what a phone did was stagnant, it was a natural move to compete on how it looked. Nokia's decision was to borrow the techniques and materials of high fashion and furniture design to create devices that were more about how they looked than what they did. This was probably the most conservative and lowest-end phone in that line, but it still has all the components: exotic materials, prodigious surface decoration, a sophisticated color palette. Plus, in addition to the suede and the gold-and-jewel like d-pad, it also borrows directly from fashion, most directly in its use of the fabric tag. Holding it today, it feels kind of cheap, but I think that's because it also understands that fashion IS cheap, that what's important is how a product reads from 10 feet away, not from 2 feet away. This was supposed to be a new class of costume jewelry, not an heirloom, but a fun thing that says something about your choices in commodities.
A phone a day: Nokia 7360 (2005)
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