Smartphone pioneers: the devices that made history (chipset and RAM edition)

The smartphone industry is still evolving pretty quickly and has been doing so for the past couple of years. True, smartphones can trace their origins a long way back, yet the true "boom" only happened after the market welcomed a certain prominent "fruity" manufacturer that acted as a catalyst and kickstarted the industry into a renaissance.

Given the rapid evolution of hardware and software, it's often hard to remember the smartphones that first introduced a certain hardware feature. True, most of the pioneers have kept their title for a pretty short time, as the ever- hungry competition usually caught up pretty quickly. Well, here is a concise hall of fame showing you the notable pioneers that shaped the industry.

This week, we'll be exploring the notable first in a few key areas, like processors, architecture, and RAM, highlighting the pioneers alongside which a certain notable hardware feat debuted. Next week, we'll be delving in some other pretty riveting categories, namely display and camera.


Needless to say, mobile chipsets can either make or break a device, hence the importance of this vital component can't be easily underestimated. From single-core devices in the dawn of the smartphone boom, through dual-, quad-, and octa-core ones, to deca-core phones, we've witnessed a pretty quick and fruitful evolution in this hardware segment. Check out some of the devices that pioneered a certain chipset component.

CPU Architecture

With the Apple iPhone 5s, Apple heralded the era of 64-bit chipsets for mobile devices. As usual, Cupertino's adversaries followed suit and equipped their smartphones with 64-bit SoCs. Currently, there are numerous 64-bit smartphones, both top-tier and mid-range, and naturally, we expect the future to be exclusively dominated by such SoCs. One of the main advantages of 64-bit computing for mobile chipsets is its ability to address up to 4GB of RAM.


With the debut of 64-bit computing on our smartphones, the ability to put more 4GB of RAM in a mobile device was unlocked. This year, we welcomed the first few smartphones to bear that much amount of operational memory, but how did it come to this?



1. BobLawblaw unregistered

And to think 10 years ago we had the likes of the Nokia N70, Sony Ericsson K750 and the Motorola V220.

2. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

With lesser fanboys and trolls too. I miss the good old days, everyone was using Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola phones.

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7607; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Samsung pioneered the mobile DDR4 ram that is only used in a few smart phones today. DDR4 was first launched in December 2014. It uses 40% less energy and is faster then DDR3. Since this article is talking about CPUs and ram.

3. SamsungEU

Posts: 147; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

and in 10 years time we will look back at s6 edge the same way

10. LuckySwitz

Posts: 26; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Agreed..and im still using

14. waddup121 unregistered


4. Shocky unregistered

I'm pretty sure the Nokia N95 had the first dual core CPU in a smartphone. However, my memory might be failing me.

5. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

According to our source, the Nokia N95 actually comes with two processors, a 332MHz ARM-11 CPU one and a GPU chip. It's not dual-core, its CPU and GPU units are simply listed separately. Additionally, we have the Guiness Book of World Records corroborating to the fact that the LG Optimus 2X is indeed the world's first dual-core smartphone.

9. Shocky unregistered

I'm not sure that's true, even the N92 which did not feature a GPU is listed as dual core. EDIT: Seems it has two CPU cores but they're not same. OMAP2420 - 330 MHz ARM11 + 220 MHz C55x DSP + PowerVR MBX 2D/3D

6. chenski

Posts: 789; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Lg g3 and oppo7 first qhd

8. Virage

Posts: 88; Member since: May 25, 2015

Interesting ,LG has had quite a few firsts. Nokia shouild be on that list

12. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

Isn't the HTC One X the first phone with a quad-core chipset?

18. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

It's the first HTC phone to come with a quad-core SoC.

13. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

I still like the Note 3 tho. Galaxy Note lineup is the best lineup imo.

15. runzlord

Posts: 245; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

so nokia was the first at nothing? what of first smartphone with wireless charging, super sensitive screen that can be used with gloves, you guys even forgot to add camera megapixels!!! first phone with 41mp?? why does phonearena just hate nokia and wp???

16. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

Cameras and display will be covered next week. We love WP.

21. runzlord

Posts: 245; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

okay :) let me assume so

17. LetThereBeLight

Posts: 116; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

I would be also interested about these for the "first phone with" : -gps, -wifi, -sdcard slot -barometer -compass -pulse detector ( heart beat count) -front facing camera -physical camera button ( I miss so much this one, I'm kind of angry with Steve Jobs to erase physical buttons from iPhone and they followed. mehh, I know Sony and some WP phones has it but why only them?) -multitasking -standard or any earphone plug ( jack audio plug) -hidden antenna pls help me what else...?!

19. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

These will be covered in the following weeks.

20. LetThereBeLight

Posts: 116; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

Great, thanks!

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