The commercial smartphone turns 20: here are 20 trailblazing smarties
The smartphone turns 20 - here are 20 (+1) trailblazing smarties
1. IBM Simon
In a nutshell, the IBM Simon was a cellphone with PDA features – something that business users must have been very excited about. The Simon offered utilities such as a calendar, a world clock, and an appointment scheduler, it could send and receive emails, it could exchange faxes over its 9600-bps modem, and it was even technically capable of running third-party applications stored on a memory card or on its 1MB of internal memory. That relatively huge screen in its front is a monochrome, backlit touchscreen with a resolution of 160 by 293 pixels. Using the handheld's stylus, one could draw sketches and input hand-written text, although our guess is that the accuracy of the latter feature was underwhelming.
Over 50,000 units were sold in the U.S. until February 1995, when the carrier discontinued the Simon.
Unlike other smartphones at the time, the Ericsson R380 was about the size and weight of a typical cellphone. It weighed only 164 grams, while the Nokia 9210 Communicator, in comparison, was a 244-gram brick. Its form factor also made it an interesting device. The R380 featured a standard numeric keypad that revealed a spacious resistive touchscreen when flipped open.
Feature-wise, the Ericsson R380 came loaded with an arsenal of organizer functions, such as a calendar, a to-do list, a world clock, voice memos, and a contacts manager. It also featured an infra-red port for exchanging data and offered a built-in modem for accessing the internet via the phone's WAP browser. Exchanging emails back and forth was also in its feature set. However, as advanced as it was for its time, the R380 could not have additional apps installed on it.
4. Palm Treo
6. HTC Canary
10. Nokia 6600
11. HTC Blue Angel
12. Nokia N95
13. Apple iPhone
Above all - it introduced us to effortless mobile browsing, putting the wonders of the Internet at our fingertips, and gave us the Apple Store, which quickly expanded the functionality of the humble rounded phone to unforeseen heights. We gave it 8.8/10 at the time, because of its carrier-exclusivity, and lack of features that many WinMo and Symbian handsets already had, but the iPhone shifted the paradigm from specs to usability, and people never looked back.
15. T-Mobile G1
16. Motorola DROID
17. HTC Nexus One
18. Samsung Galaxy S
20. Nokia Lumia 1020
1. neela_akaash (Posts: 153; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)
Wow. Xiaomi is standing with those legends in smartphone industry...
8. aayupanday (Posts: 518; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
I'm a proud owner of that Bonus Smartphone.
SD800 at $229.
2. amiaq (Posts: 480; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)
Glad that I never been sucked into Apple's universe, otherwise I will look as bad as I was in the 80s.
3. kamran32 (Posts: 23; Member since: 13 Aug 2014)
My Hot Favorite P-800 king of his time and the Jotter app i still remember...
9. fireblade (Posts: 708; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)
Yeah that's the best smartphone at that time
27. cezarepc (Posts: 575; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
I had the P900 and I felt like the coolest guys ever.
36. kamran32 (Posts: 23; Member since: 13 Aug 2014)
It was a suspicious mobile for every one as i have seen people at that time got impressed because it was costly.. Specially they Keyboard..
5. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 5577; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
There's a huge difference if you use these old legendary phones in the past and present.
In the past, people will look at you with an envious face.
In the present, people will look at you with a weird face.
I think it's kinda sad because brands like Nokia, Motorola, BlackBerry etc. were the kings in the good old days, and now they're like they went into the different dimension. But oh well, they're still here so it's a good thing.
Btw, I'm also glad to see that Xiaomi is included in this legendary list as well, they deserved to be in this list, they proved that high end can be on a low price, and Chinese phones are able to compete with the big bros as well. So, congrats to Xiaomi.
6. Tritinum (Posts: 159; Member since: 06 May 2014)
No love for Galaxy Nexus? without that phone there would have been no phone with software keys plus it was the first phone with ICS stock android and project butter!
18. xperian (Posts: 55; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)
Nope, HTC made a phone with 720p display for US carriers before that
13. iampayne (Posts: 243; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)
It wasn't the first of its kind, it was a evolution of the first Nexus. Just like the only iPhone/Galaxy mentioned are the OG versions.
7. QuadFace (Posts: 62; Member since: 19 Aug 2013)
I was crazy for the Touch Diamond but was not rich enough to get one, but now smartphones are getting cheaper and smarter.
11. kkmkk (Posts: 91; Member since: 06 May 2013)
i still have the original galaxy note and i must say it is really a legendary smartphone and i really do love it even thou i have the newest smartphones ( sony z2 - lg g2- note 3 - iphone 5s ) it really is a special smartphone
12. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
This is such an iNcomplete list; the Audiovox Thera 2032 aka the Blue Angel (Siemens SX66) in some markets preceded the Samsung i700 by six months. The Blue Angel was one of the first, if not the first, smartphones with a built-in wi-fi (wireless-B) radio, the U.S. release (Thera 2032) did not offer wi-fi. Also missing: Kyocera 6035, HTC 6800, Kyocera Echo (a bust but, interesting concept), EVO 3D, and many other much more intriguing smartphones than some of the aforementioned in this "article".
16. hemedans (Posts: 169; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)
and i remember to read in gsmhistory that first color smatphone come from siemens. htc and blackberry are not legend compare to nokia, erricson, siemens and motorola
20. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
Amd, you probably are correct Sir. I remember being able to look at photos in full color on my Thera 2032 (the U.S. version of the Siemens SX66). Siemens couldn't market under its' name in the U.S. because the implication of its' name; religious groups at the time would've revolted with mass demonstrations in the streets. But, alas, time has since passed and 'we've come a long way baby'!
14. hemedans (Posts: 169; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)
dell deserve to be called father of phablets, dell streak 5 was first phablet before note series.
17. kkmkk (Posts: 91; Member since: 06 May 2013)
it have a 5inch display with super bad resolution a super bad battery life and have no styles and to be the father of phablets it should have a great success which is for sure did not
25. hemedans (Posts: 169; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)
we are talking about who did it first and not success. if we talk about success nothing beat galaxy s3 in android, nokia 5230 overall smartphone
15. nighthawk_al (Posts: 6; Member since: 23 May 2014)
Nokia 6600, God I loved that phone so much... :(
28. domfonusr (Posts: 372; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)
I had a 6620 early in my smartphone owning days. That's the phone that got me started with Symbian smartphones, which I really enjoyed. I went on to buy a Nokia 9300 communicator, an E62, an N75, and finally an E75. Had a good run with Nokia Symbian devices...
34. nighthawk_al (Posts: 6; Member since: 23 May 2014)
It was my first one with Symbian too... then came N70, 6500c, and a little latter N97. Had an awesome experience with each of them, and Symbian seemd to work pretty well for that time. Actually I still miss some of it's features such as native VoIP support in my Lumia 920 with W.P 8.1 GDR1 :(
37. kamran32 (Posts: 23; Member since: 13 Aug 2014)
Nokia 6620 still i think the fastest typing phone as i remember i used it with closed eyes for typing text messages... It was best for chat and all keys can be operated with one thumb...
39. nighthawk_al (Posts: 6; Member since: 23 May 2014)
You brought to my mind something that I had forgotten for a long time now... typing without looking the keyboard. That was a hell of a feature, which we had to compromise not to have it anymore
40. kamran32 (Posts: 23; Member since: 13 Aug 2014)
But i really miss that typing without even watching mobile...
19. ProblemSolver15 (Posts: 155; Member since: 14 Jun 2010)
Man, this article takes me back to when I had the HTC Mogul, XV6800 on Verizon. That thing ran Windows Mobile and was a complete brick. I went through a good 5 of those things because the software was so laggy and the damn keyboard would stop working. The screen would frizz up and scramble like it was trying to broadcast a "Save Me" code. It had everything on it though, and could do a lot. So, it was smart, it was just slow-smart.
21. district11 (Posts: 108; Member since: 17 Apr 2011)
Samsung galaxy S my first smartphone :)
22. tokuzumi (Posts: 291; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)
I remember my brother having a quark. It was old when he got it. I remember that thing being huge compared to other phones.
38. kamran32 (Posts: 23; Member since: 13 Aug 2014)
That was a basic phone not in smartphones...
24. GalaxyS5 (Posts: 215; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)
I can only remember the first iphone the n95 the galaxy s and of course the new ones except the last one. but it was really fun reading this list. it made me lol at first that android tried to take a bite from windows
26. Limbopope (Posts: 18; Member since: 12 Aug 2014)
Proud owner of another +1...the OnePlus One :-D
Have to say I'm pretty glad with the performance and the extra 300 euro in my bank account compared to getting an S5 or G3
29. T-rex (Posts: 13; Member since: 22 May 2013)
Why is it Lumia 1020 in this list when it should have been 808 pureview, bcoz that was the first phone with 41 MP when most others were stuck at 8 MP. Is it bcoz 1020 sold better or am I missing something ??
30. JGuinan007 (Posts: 634; Member since: 19 May 2011)
What about the HTC Desire HD (Inspire 4g) or what about the phone that will never die the HTC HD2?
32. osanilevich (Posts: 245; Member since: 29 Sep 2009)
touch diamond was a great phone. Windows phone had some great devices in its day like the xperia x1 (still my favorite phone)
35. PBXtech (Posts: 980; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)
EVO, first 4G phone should have been included.