10 of the greatest smartphones from 10 years ago (2015 edition)

10 of the greatest smartphones from 10 years ago (2015 edition)
Our first "10 great smartphones from 10 years ago" article was pretty well received, being appreciated by our readers for providing a nostalgic look at some of 2004's best handsets. Now that 2015 is here, it's time to move forward one year and check out the smartphones that were all the rage back in 2005.

Just like 2004, 2005 was the year of Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Palm (though, curious enough, there were no new Palm smartphones released in 2005). 20mm-thick handsets were not regarded as chunky abominations, and there was a wide variety of form factors to choose from.

Let's dive in and see what 2005 had to offer (manufacturers are listed in alphabetical order):

BlackBerry 7000

Including models like the 7000t, 7000r, 7000v and 7000x, this was BlackBerry's first family of smartphones to feature SureType QWERTY keyboards (which have two keys per button, and would later evolve to be included on the Pearl series). The new keyboard allowed BlackBerry to make the 7000 models significantly smaller than its previous handsets, thus gaining popularity among regular users, rather than businesses.

HP iPAQ hw6500

In the last decade, HP released quite many Windows Mobile devices. The iPAQ hw6500 series (including models with, and without a photo camera) was the company's offering for 2005. Manufactured by HTC, the HP iPAQ hw6500 had a square 3-inch, 240 x 240 pixels display, and a full QWERTY keyboard.

HTC Universal

The HTC Universal was the world's first smartphone to run Windows Mobile 5.0, and the first from the Pocket PC category to have 3G (UMTS) connectivity. Like all the other HTC-made handsets from back then, the Universal wasn't sold under the HTC brand. Depending on region and carrier, it was commercially available as the Dopod 900, I-mate JasJar, O2 XDA Exec, Orange SPV M5000, Qtek 9000, T-Mobile MDA Pro, and other names. The handset was very powerful for its time, featuring a 520 MHz Intel processor, a 3.6-inch swiveling touchscreen display with 480 x 640 pixels, full QWERTY keyboard, 1.3 MP rear camera, and a VGA front-facing camera.

HTC Wizard

Alternatively known as HTC Prodigy and HTC P4300, the HTC Wizard was also a Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard, though its display was smaller: 2.8 inches with 240 x 320 pixels. Its commercial names included Dopod 838, Cingular 8125, i-mate K-JAM, O2 Xda Mini Pro, Qtek 9100, and T-Mobile MDA.

Motorola E680i

Introduced as a slightly improved successor to the E680 from 2004, the Motorola E680i was a Linux smartphone. Its highlight features included 3D stereo speakers, a 2.5-inch QVGA (240 x 320) touchscreen display, stylus, VGA camera, a 300 MHz processor, and expandable internal memory.

Nokia 6680

The 6680 (with its 6681 and 6682 variants) was Nokia's first smartphone to offer a front-facing camera (VGA), and the first to have an LED flash next to the rear camera (1.3 MP). At launch, in early 2005, it ran Symbian 8.0 Series S60. Other features included a 2.1-inch display with 176 x 208 pixels, and just 10 MB of (expandable) internal memory.

Nokia N90

2005 was the year when Nokia introduced its highly-appreciated Nseries family of smartphones, with no less than six models being announced. However, only two of them became available that year. The first is the Nokia N90, a clamshell with a swivel design. Called by many a "futuristic" smartphone (who knew that clamshells would almost disappear by 2015?), the Nokia N90 ran Symbian 8.1 Series S60, and was powered by a 220 MHz processor. Its main, 2.1-inch display had 352 x 416 pixels, offering a very high pixel density for that time: 259 ppi. Another highlight of the N90 was its 2 MP Carl Zeiss camera.

Nokia N70

Also running Symbian 8.1 Series S60, the N70 had a more traditional design, being the successor to the aforementioned Nokia 6680. It's a candybar with a 2.1-inch, 176 x 208 pixels display, a 2 MP rear camera (without Carl Zeiss optics), and a VGA front-facing camera.

Samsung SGH-D720

The SGH-D720 was one of Samsung's first Symbian-based smartphones (and one that was hard to find). It was a small, though thick slider - a very popular form factor in the mid 2000s - featuring a 1.8-inch, 176 x 220 pixels display, a 1.3 MP rear camera with LED flash, and a 192 MHz processor.

Samsung SGH-i750

The SGH-i750 is another slider, but it's larger than the D720, and - more importantly - it's not based on Symbian, but on Windows Mobile 2003 SE PocketPC. Powered by a 416 MHz Intel processor, the SGH-i750 had a 2.6-inch QVGA display, 2 MP rear camera, and microSD card support.

There are several other very interesting handsets that were announced in 2005, but were'nt released until 2006. We will make sure to mention them next year! Until then, let us know if you've used any of the smartphones listed above, or if you know other great models from 2005.



1. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

No Nokia N95? Seriously???

2. Florin.T

Posts: 316; Member since: Dec 16, 2013

The N95 was seriously released in 2007 :)

7. kshnik

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 18, 2015

Was the Motorola Razr old enough? I can't remember, that phone was the real deal back then.

9. Florin.T

Posts: 316; Member since: Dec 16, 2013

There were some Razr models available 10 years ago, yes. However, they were not smartphones.

55. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

How about the Motorola A1000 and SonyEricsson P1000?

11. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I guess i should ve read the title carefully before jumping into the list.

15. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2386; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

What about the Nokia 9300? The communicator series was arguably one of the greatest smartphone series of the early years.

56. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

It was like a MacBook Air of those days. Costed an Arm and a leg

58. Florin.T

Posts: 316; Member since: Dec 16, 2013

From what I know, the 9300 was released in late 2004, not long after the Nokia 9500 Communicator (both were certainly great devices). The 9500 is included in this article:http://www.phonearena.com/news/10-great-smartphones-from-10-years-ago_id61630

3. lcsolvr

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

You didn't read the article one bit, did you ?

6. Max_Boost

Posts: 101; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

People would stupidly comment first BEFORE reading. That's how it goes. LOL

22. Gp_Customs

Posts: 269; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

N70 6680 N90

42. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Where is LG Prada? LG is the frst to inspire touchscreen smartphone. This is injustice for Korean tech!

44. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

only less than 10% of korean celebrities use lg, samsung about 20% and apple 70%. they will switch to android for sometime but in the end they choose the iphone. so stop being a koreaboo

45. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015


51. Jango_Fred

Posts: 58; Member since: Dec 17, 2008

Not a smart phone

52. zachki17

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 14, 2014

The Problem with lg they don pay much for publicity .. That's the problem .. Apple its only brand .. Samsung to .. Lg innovation but .. Les popularity .. To bad ..

4. Cyagocaliz unregistered

Where is iPhone?

5. kshnik

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 18, 2015

"From 10 years ago"

12. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Nevermind him, his love for Apple and Sony doesn't even let him read the article's title properly let alone the article.

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31092; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Cmon dude, really?

16. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Maybe he's a reverse troll trying to make Apple and Sony fanboys look bad.

24. tedkord

Posts: 17358; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Then he's doing a hell of a job.

8. aksa123

Posts: 367; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Old model >> today's design. Way more lively and diverse.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31092; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I had a couple of those. Man the pre iPhone/android days were something else lol. My last pre iPhone was the Palm Treo 750 on sprint.

17. Phooey506

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 24, 2014

Palm's were for people who couldn't afford BlackBerry's

18. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Douche much?

21. Gp_Customs

Posts: 269; Member since: Jan 14, 2015


19. darkkjedii

Posts: 31092; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Don't know why you posted that, but mmmmk.

20. Gp_Customs

Posts: 269; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

You no why, cause everyone says you are one. Also you admitting to it.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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