Motorola was there at the beginning, introducing the world's first mobile phone - the Motorola 8000x - back in 1983. A symbol of new communication and fast-paced modern business, the 8000x became somewhat of a status symbol, with an eye-watering price of £3,000.
Motorola's highly-successful MicroTAC came to market in 1989 and was the first mobile phone that looked less like a brick, and more like a modern mobile phone, with the StarTac claiming the title of 'world's smallest' phone to date in 1996.
In the late 90s, whilst the rest of the world was switching to GSM, and Nokia was becoming increasingly popular, Motorola made the mistake of sticking to the analogue phones that had made its fortune, and needed something special to put the American giant back on top.
Its most popular handset to date - the Motorola Razr V3 - was that phone, selling over 50 million handsets between 2004 and 2006, and becoming the world's biggest selling clamshell phone in the process.
Not since the aforementioned StarTac, had Motorola pulled off such a trend-setting handset design. The phone was notoriously difficult to get hold of, drawing long lines, quickly selling out, and inspiring a tidal wave of imitations that followed suit, spawning the obsession with slim phones that continues until this day.
After the Razr V3 shot to stardom, Motorola followed it up by painting it in every imaginable colour, and launching a number of upgraded models with additional features and tweaks such as EDGE connectivity in the V3re, and followed up with 3G connectivity and a 2 megapixel camera in the Razr V3x.
It even carried over the super-slim design over to a 'candy-bar' phone (the Slvr) and a 'slider' handset (the Rizr). Neither of these alternatives were quite as popular, and nowhere near as sexy.
Honed from magnesium and aluminium the Razr V3 weighed in at a feather-light 95g, and measured just 98 x 53 x 13.99mm. It was one of the lightest, and by far the skinniest phone of its time, which inspired the razor edge-inspired moniker.
Although it wasn't the first phone to feature dual screens (the Samsung A300 held that accolade), the 96 x 80 pixel display on the outside, and a 2.2-inch 176 x 220 LCD screen on the inside were both colour.
The backlit keypad, d-pad and 6 other buttons were honed from a sheet of aluminium and almost completely flush, which despite a lack of definition was surprisingly tactile, and was especially popular among those fond of typing with the tips of their unusually long fingernails.
Other specifications included a VGA camera, video recording, MP4 video playback and compatibility with MP3 ringtones (though only a measly 5MB of memory was available); a 680mAh battery provided around 250 hours of standby and a talk time of close to 7 hours - not anything great by today's standards, but deemed pretty impressive at the time for such a svelte handset.
The top right edge was home to the volume key, and below that was a dedicated 'smart key' which activated a number of functions with the clamshell closed. On the opposite edge is the 'voice dial' key, which offered some of the hands-free calling abilities you'd expect of Siri or Google Now, now.
Other features included Bluetooth, IMAP and WAP 2.0 internet browsing, as well as the usual host of games and a contact organiser with capacity for 1000 entries.
This was no cut-price handset, back in late 2004 you would have expected to pay the same kind of price that would get you a pretty hot smartphone today - around £500 in today's money.
If you had bought it on contract at launch, then you'd have to pony up £40 a month on Vodafone for years after stumping up £50 upfront... not cheap by comparison to many other - perhaps less desirable - premium phones around at the time.
Like with any smartphone well outside of its product life-span, as new handsets now be found at the bottom of eBay's bargain-big for less than £40 if you shop around, whilst luxurious 'gold' versions can be picked up for around £70.
Competitors, successors and Moto's new kids
Sony Ericsson K700
A step up from the popular T630, Sony and Ericsson were still firmly joint at the hip at this point, and was producing quality phones with increasingly good cameras. For those looking for a candy-bar phone, the K700 packed plenty of features, including a VGA camera with 4 x zoom and a "photo light", a quality screen, support for video capture and playback and a built in FM.
Featuring a 'slider' design rather than the Razr's clamshell, the D500 was - in many ways - Samsung's answer to the Razr. Yes, it was nowhere near as slim, but it packed a pretty good 1.3MP camera with LED flash, 96MB of memory to store quite a few pictures, and a host of other features including a large 1000mAh battery for well over 8 hours of talk time and a tiny plug-in speaker for your tunes.
Nokia N-Gage QD
The original N-Gage was billed as the ultimate phone for gamers, but ended up becoming more well known as a "Frankenphone" or "tacophone". It was followed up with the better looking 'QD' model that was smaller and rounder, but also lacked a bunch of the original's features such as FM radio and MP3 playback. Despite this, it had some features that were quite novel for its time, such as internet or local Bluetooth multiplayer gaming, and was home to a bunch of decidedly average games that ran at a pretty low frame-rate.
If you wanted a standard Nokia handset in 2004, you would have probably picked up the 6230, which went on to sell in excess of 50 million units. If you wanted something a little more classy with a more unusual design, however, you would have probably picked the 7610. It features an unusual keyboard, large screen and was ideal for music lovers, thanks to the expandable memory.
Orange SPV C500
Based on HTC hardware, the SPV C500 was exclusive to the Orange network, and despite its fairly average looks and hardware, it packed Microsoft's Windows Smartphone 2003 Second Edition - a snappy name for an operating system, I think you'll agree. This OS, however, meant that it was classed as a smartphone, meaning it was ideal for media and you could use it like a PDA by downloading a number of third party applications.
The Successors & Motorola's New Family
After the wild success of the Motorola Razr V3, it launched a huge number of successors - some looked similar but were considerably cheaper, whilst others - like the RAZR2 V9 - featured everything that was loved about the original Razr, but with bumped specifications.
With a long line of candybar, clamshell and Windows smartphones (such as the highly-praised 'Q') under its belt, Motorola struggled to equal the success of Razr V3 for many years, until 2009, when Android had started to properly mature and could start compete with the runaway success of the original iPhone and iPhone 3G.
Motorola attempted to put its own stamp on the operating system with the MotoBlur skin - much to many user's dissatisfaction. In October 2009, it bucked the trend of shying away from physical keyboards with the popular 'Droid', a Lucasfilm-licensed name that Motorola knew would guarantee it a degree of success. Other Droids followed, the best of which were exclusive the American Verizon network, but only really popular with those who couldn't bring themselves to purchase one of Apple's domineering smartphones.
At the beginning of 2011, Motorola was split into two parts: Motorola Solutions (to deal with enterprise and government solutions), and Motorola Mobility, which would stick to handsets and set-top boxes.
Motorola Mobility chose this time to try and resurrect the Razr brand, with two new slim Android 4.0 smartphones that had limited success. By 2012, it had been snapped up by Google for the princely sum of $12.5 billion, with many expecting big things from the two over the coming years.
Although the Moto X and Moto G were better than any recent handsets that had preceded them, sadly, it wasn't to be, and only two years later, Google passed on the company along with around 2,000 patents for $2.91 billion up front, with another $3 billion to follow over the following three years. Despite seemingly losing a few billion on this deal, Google retained the bulk of Motorola's massive patent portfolio, so it wasn't a total loss.
Lenovo clearly hopes that the acquisition of the legendary American technology brand will do what it did for them in the land of laptops after buying IBM's ThinkPad division back in 2005, a strong foothold in Western markets.
Though the Nexus 6 is a fantastic phone in many regards, we're still waiting for a design icon to rival the Razr V3.
Without the Razr V3, would we be as obsessed with slim phones as we are today? Would manufacturers be bothered with premium-grade metals that hadn't been seen in a mainstream handset prior to the V3?
If you are still using a Razr V3, we'd suggest you hold on to it, as its one of those phones that truly deserves its place in the hall of phone fame alongside the Nokia 3310 and Apple iPhone. It may not look quite as cutting-edge as it did back in the day, but it certainly was revolutionary compared to many of the overweight handsets of its time.