Clean and simple Nokia Series 60 themes? Anyone? 26 Jul 2005

39 comments Latest by Joe

In my promise to rid myself of Sprint PCS, I’ve moved to Cingular. In the process I’ve also decided to not get the Treo 650 again, but instead go with a smaller, lighter Nokia Series 60 phone. So far so great.

However, holy smokes, the UI themes that ship with the phone are horrifying. I’ve been scouring the net for some simple Nokia Series 60 themes, but everything I find has some nasty background image, is sports related, or has some bizarre purple to yellow gradient with a touch of green.

Does anyone know where to get some modern, clean, and elegant themes for a Nokia Series 60 phone? ANYONE?

And… if anyone has any clean, simple and professional MIDI or MP3 ringtones they’d like to share, I’m desperate. The ringtones are worse than the themes!

39 comments so far (Jump to latest)

JF 26 Jul 05

Looks like the only theme creation software is for PC. No wonder they’re all so nasty ;)

Nathan 26 Jul 05

I went phone shopping this weekend and it seems that mobile phones are overdesigned for the same reasons that after market car stereos are. These products are natural complements and/or substitutes for iPods, I bet Apple would clean up if they made a play.

JF 26 Jul 05

For anyone who’s listening, 37signals would LOVE to design phone UIs. So so so much room for improvement. Please get in touch.

Will 26 Jul 05

Jason - I agree in regards to the PC software :)

ward andrews 26 Jul 05

besides smaller/lighter any other reasons you kicked the treo 650?

Jonathan LaCour 26 Jul 05

Best of luck! I am using one called “Crystallized” that I found a long time ago and can’t seem to find again. Its not that great, but at least it doesn’t make my eyes bleed like most of the other ones that I have been able to find.

Cell phones are by far the most horribly designed consumer product on the market today. They break constantly, have terrible and confusing UIs, and try to do far more than they should. My kingdom for the iPod of cell phones!

I honestly think I would pay 500 bucks for a small, easy-to-use, well-designed cell phone that excels at one thing: making and receiving phone calls.

mac-o-philiac-cat 26 Jul 05

meow meow meow better on mac meow meow pc sucks

Gregory 26 Jul 05

Sorry to be off topic but I’m also wondering why you decided against the Treo 650. Is it a Mac thing? I ask because I’m considering purchasing it this week.

Also, what Nokia did you end up getting as the 3230 was my next choice from Expansys.

As for themes, I’m not too sure. Sorry I could help there.

Joe Kraus 26 Jul 05

For anyone who�s listening, 37signals would LOVE to design phone UIs. So so so much room for improvement.

I’ve been relatively happy with the interface on my Sony Ericsson t616. If only the case held up as well as the interface, I’d be set. Button placement is consistent, navigation is a breeze, and I can turn off the phone volume without actually making noise (why other phones don’t let you do this, I don’t know). Also, by turn off the volume, I mean nice mute functionality and not the crappy “change my ringer volume to zero”. Ugh, why o why would you ever do that?!

JF 26 Jul 05

Joe, I hear ya! Some things in the cell phone world are so silly. But you’re right — there are some nice simple UIs out there, but they seem to be going away. It’s just like car radios — they used to be simple, sleek, and fairly elegant — now they’re circus acts.

pwb 26 Jul 05

Cell phone UIs are *horrible*. I have my first Nokia and am really surprised at how bad the UI is. As far as I can tell, you have to go into the menus to adjust ring volume which is criminal. The best at this is Samsung which has dedicated buttons for ring volume. This should almost be a law. The Nokia has very poor UI for reviewing outbound and missed calls. And I find it very odd that phones don’t use the scroll wheel as an input device. It’s far, far superior to the buttons and the dreadful joystick.

peter 27 Jul 05

Check out these:

Problem is, they are for Japan only. As far as I know, Marc Newson’s ‘talby’ is already in production… Anyway, I couldn’t find a decent phone in Europe either (maybe the Motorola RAZR V3 is the closest one, however, their UIs are horrible…)

dap 27 Jul 05

You should check for themes. The search is currently not working but maybe you have some time to browse through cell phone art -> themes. Good luck!

Jon Gales 27 Jul 05

I make my own ringtones from MP3s by trimming them down in QuickTime Pro and then converting them to MP3 in iTunes. There is probably a single solution that will do this but I don’t really make enough to justify the time it would take to find it.

Maybe I should write a tutorial on this. With Bluetooth in phones these days it’s really easy to get your own ringtones without having to pay for the rights to the music all over again.

Reverend Dan 27 Jul 05

I had the same ringtone problem with my Sony Ericsson P901i. It’s supposed to be a business phone but it came stocked with the worst kind of teenager crap that i’ll never use.

Here’s what I made - not to everybody’s taste but I know it’s mine and I’m not mortally embarassed every time my phone rings

Gordon 27 Jul 05


Check out the MoDaCo forums - deals with Smartphones but has oodles of MP3 ringtones - some excellent lops of songs as well if that floats yer boat.

Rimantas 27 Jul 05

There was a rumor about Apple doing mobile phone.
I guess, I am still waiting for that one…

Chad 27 Jul 05

If you�re committed to sticking with your new Nokia, then the resources Will mentioned for creating your own theme is the way to go. My company had some Nokia 6620�s for about two months and I took the time to brand them with a company theme. The Java based theme studio from Nokia�s website is definitely quirky, but it will get the job done.

That said, I couldn�t agree more with the comments above regarding cell phone and car stereo design. I�d been in the market for both recently and found it very hard to get excited about actually using any of the choices out there. In my opinion, Nokia hasn�t made the transition to �smartphones� very well at all. I�d used their products religiously since the days of my first, analog, Special Agent Mulder model 232. They�d always been very utilitarian in design. The sort of device you wanted to carry with you each day.

Fast forward to the 6620�s we waited months to acquire and we were very disappointed. They fell way short on both software design and reliability. Because they were dropping off of the network, we exchanged them for a second set and tried them again for the 30 day grace period. Before those 30 days were up, we switched to the BlackBerry 7290 and have been very impressed. If you haven�t considered them, you may be surprised. They�re well built, very reliable, and exhibit better data integrity than the Microsoft Outlook clients they connect with.

Sean Scott 27 Jul 05

My question is does the Nokia series 60 phone come with a built-in magnifying glass so you can read text?

I will be the first one to cheer the day they stop trying to cram information that fits on 640x480 unto a 200x140 screen.

Jim Gaynor 27 Jul 05

My SE T616 came with a classic MIDI ringtone - the sound of an old analog rotary-dial bell ringer. Want?

SH 27 Jul 05

I can send you the John Mayer ringtone that I have set for when you call me. MWA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!

Alex 27 Jul 05

pwb: Most Nokia phones will give you a profile menu if you quickly press the power button. One of them is usually “silent” but you may have to edit the profiles to your liking. Also hitting the send/call key from the root menu will show your recent outbound calls and allow you to call any of them. I can’t figure out how to adjust the volume while on the line though.

kev 27 Jul 05

I use a clip from Belle and Sebastian’s “Electronic Renaissance” as my ringtone. I’ve never had a ringtone for so long. It’s perfect.

rzklkng 27 Jul 05

The beauty of the Series 60 phones (or at least my 3650) is that you can use any sound file (WAV, MP3, or MIDI) as a ringtone. You can have plenty of fun with the MIDIs. I was hoping for a ringtone randomizer where I could load a bunch of MIDIs and it would shuffle through them with each phone call.

vinterstille 27 Jul 05

“so much room for improvement”???

Im a UI designer for a mobile phone company, and trust me - there is no extra “room” on a 128x160 pixel screen and 512 kb rom - but I completely agree that there are SO many things we could do differently. BUT we are not - everything HAS to look like Nokia or one of the other top3 phone companies. AND unlike websites the phone actually HAS to pass a lot of compliance tests before being released…

Send me an email - you can have my job… if I can have yours :-)

humidhaney 27 Jul 05

I also have rid myself of Sprint. My Treo 600 broke for the 3rd time and when I went to return it was told the last replacement had gone over my contract and that my insurance had been stopped so I would have to buy a new Treo.

So I went to Cingular and bought the smallest, cheapest phone I could get (after realizing a Blackberry would not sync with my Mac).

The result?

Less time spent feeling like I need to write notes, stay connected, be on the grid. A break I needed. I have more quiet time away from work now. To think.

If I need to write notes I carry a small spiral notebook.

I dig being analog.

Jarkko Laine 28 Jul 05

Alex: You can adjust the volume when online with the “joystick”. At least with 6630 you can use left and right arrows for that.