From the original iPhone to the Nokia Lumia 1020, here is a list of five phones that are not only used as reference devices to create new products, but are also widely featured for comparison.
Discussions about the future of smartphones and where they come from generally revolve around some iconic devices. These are the devices for which all smartphones now trace some link, inspiration or genesis in the design. Here is a list of five phones not only used as reference devices to create new products, but also presented extensively for comparison.
Apple iPhone (2007)
When Steve Jobs first launched the iPhone in 2007, he described it as “a revolutionary cell phone”, “a widescreen iPod with touch controls” and an “innovative Internet communication device”. More than 14 years have passed since then, but the charm of the original iPhone continues to inspire new generations of designers, technology enthusiasts and collectors. The first iPhone was revolutionary at the time with a 3.5 inch capacitive touch screen that supported multiple touch features without a pen. The first model had no 3G or apps and cost $ 499 in contract, but it was certainly a distinctive-looking device with rounded edges and a glass screen.
Although the iPhone has been updated several times since the original launch, the main idea of the product hasn’t changed a bit. The iPhone remains Apple’s most successful product, with billions of units sold to date. The device also created the application economy, which consolidated Apple’s position as the great technological force.
Nokia Lumia 1020 (2013)
After all, the Lumia 1020 was not an ordinary camera phone, as it had a 41 MP 1 / 1.5 inch sensor almost unheard of in phones at that time. The circular camera module was so big on the Lumia 1020 that it looked like it was holding a point-and-shoot camera. This bright yellow smart phone was the first to obtain professional-grade camera utility software that allowed users to capture photos in automatic mode or take full control of exposure, shutter speed, ISO settings and white balance. And don’t forget that the Lumia 1020 also has a 3x optical zoom, a rarity to find on phones of this generation.
Everything on the Lumia 1020 was fine, except for the ill-fated Windows Phone OS. If the Lumia 1020 ran Android, Nokia’s story would have been something else. However, the Lumia 1020 remains the most capable camera phones ever. Even today, technical reviewers put the best and latest flagship against the seven-year-old Lumia 1020 when it comes to comparing cameras.
HTC Dream aka T-Mobile G1 (2008)
Exactly a year after the launch of the iPhone, the HTC Dream was launched. You may be wondering why I included the HTC Dream, also known as T-Mobile G1, in the list of phones that impacted the cell phone market – for good and bad reasons. The G1 was no ordinary phone. The G1 – designed by HTC and introduced to the US market by T-Mobile – was the first Android-based phone. The phone was a clumsy-looking phone with a full sliding keyboard and physical buttons. It was thicker and heavier than the iPhone and came without a headset, a video player and a multi-touch screen. Of course, the ‘wow’ factor was missing, but without G1 – Google would never become the dominant force in the search it is today.
The phone may not have been a commercial success like the original iPhone, but it made Google’s Android operating system the most popular mobile operating system. Walt Mossberg, a technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal called G1, is the iPhone’s “first real competitor” when the phone was launched in late 2008.
Motorola Razr V3 (2004)
The Moto Razr was the definitive symbol of cool in the early 2000s. The Razr V3 was an expensive phone, costing $ 600 when it launched in 2004. Although the Razr V3 was a niche device, the Razr V3 quickly became the most popular flip-style phone in the world, with more than 130 million units sold in its four years of life. The biggest selling point of the Razr V3 was its design. When all phones at the time were made of plastic, the V3 was elegantly designed and made of aluminum.
It was incredibly thin and had a secondary screen on the outside. And while the successful Moto Razr V3 has been replaced by the iPhone, the legacy of the Razr brand lives on in the form of a recently launched reboot version of Razr, an Android smartphone with a large touchscreen that folds in half. And this reincarnated version of Razr will cost you Rs 1,24,999. That’s the price of owning a foldable flip phone in 2020.
Nokia N-Gage (2002)
In 2002, at the height of its popularity, Nokia launched a product that became the Finnish company’s most embarrassing commercial failure. N-Gage was not a bad product, it just failed to accept Nintendo’s GameBoy Advance. At that time, the N-Gage was highly ambitious. The N-Gage was conceived as a device that would function as a phone and a portable game system in one. The N-Gage, nicknamed “taco phone” for its shape, was a unique device with a 2.1-inch screen in the center and a D-Pad and quick keys on the left, along with a numeric keypad on the right. The phone had Bluetooth support and it was even possible to look for interest, in addition to playing MP3 files. It’s not that the device hasn’t received support from game developers or anything. In fact, Sega, EA and Ubisoft have brought mobile versions of their popular games to N-Gage. In case you don’t believe it, N-gage also has a Call of Duty port, perhaps the best FPS game of all time. If that weren’t enough, N-gage also supported online multiplayer games, as well as online gaming services.
But despite all Nokia’s efforts to make the N-gage a successful product, the device failed miserably. If we look at the N-gage and the way the gaming phone was positioned, we wonder where Nokia went wrong. While many say that the price of N-gage was high and perhaps because the phone did not take off. More than the price, I think the market for a dedicated gaming phone didn’t exist at that time. Today, game-focused phones have a special place in the smartphone market. Phone makers like Asus, Nubia and Xiaomi launched smartphones optimized and adapted for games for mobile devices with screens with a high update rate and lots of RAM.