The phones before the iPhone: 10 iconic devices

The phones before the iPhone: 10 iconic devices
The word smartphone did not appear out of the blue in 2007 when Apple unveiled its original iPhone to a crowd of surprised journalists and loyals, but even the most ardent opponents of Apple’s closed platform politics can agree that the iPhone did start the era of the modern smartphone: one with a responsive, large touchscreen, an all-touch interface, and with a thriving app ecosystem.

We all know what has followed in the years after the original iPhone: Google was the quickest to come up with a great rival (remember, the T-Mobile G1 aka HTC Dream?), but even the deniers like Microsoft and Nokia followed with their own smartphones and platforms not too long after. But what did phones look before the original iPhone changed the landscape so drastically? Yes, they had buttons, and yes, most of them lasted multiple times longer than your modern smartphone.

Join us right below as we take a walk down memory lane, looking at 10 iconic phones (smartphones included) before the iPhone.

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61 Comments

1. pitzy

Posts: 42; Member since: May 15, 2014

Had the NOKIA E51, beautiful phone!

2. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

I got all choked up with feels looking at some of these :/

58. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Same here man... The good old day

3. surethom

Posts: 1618; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Nokia N82 with its Xenon flash still takes better pictures than most phones today in low light & at night.

38. walkman800

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 26, 2014

Brilliant device! Kinda laggy and sometimes crashed, but I feel sorry for losing it. It's irreplaceable for night shots

4. ChrisK_5434

Posts: 22; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

Nokia N93! Way ahead of its time with the design and high quality photography! Optical zoom was very useful. But the phone was huge!

5. maherk

Posts: 6715; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I had #5 (spiderman edition), #6 and #8. The N95 was the perfect phone when it was released. If Nokia stubborn CEO went with Android in 2010 istead of WP, i bet they were still on top and Samsung, HTC and Sony were far, far behind.

52. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

I am very sure Samsung would never be what it is today if Nokia had gone Android. Samsung was a very normal phone maker before. Samsung did strike at the good moment with no competition (WP will never be competition). People wanted an alternative to expensive and closed iPhones, and with only Galaxies on the market, Samsung just got their reputation from this time.

6. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

My mom had the Nokia E51. I loved the premium feel of it. It was so heavy. Wrapped in metal. The buttons were so nice to press. It was a great phone!

7. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

It's a pity the Nokia N97 didn't make it here. Its design & slide-out keyboard is really unique

28. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

It did not come before the iPhone. Other than the keyboard and Ovi Maps, the N97 sucked.

8. district11

Posts: 126; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

Nokia N95 ! Best phone ever.

9. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

And they tell you the iPhone was nothing except a copy .....

11. pathofwisdom

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 18, 2014

they tell you right

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The iPhone is a revolutionary device, that was copied/emulated, and remains one of the very best devices on the market. There's no more "King of the hill" phones, just a bunch of excellent ones that more than do the job.

39. walkman800

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 26, 2014

it was revolutionary, but not innovative. LG Prada was released almost a year before it. It's the brilliant marketing strategy, powerful brand and faitful-till-death followers that made the iPhone revolutionary and Prada forgotten.

10. aksa123

Posts: 365; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

N-GAGE where??

12. ishan.heru

Posts: 69; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

Flintstone wow

13. the_s2

Posts: 239; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I don't see the n73 and the 6600 here.

14. vuyonc

Posts: 1089; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Nokia N95 8GB was my first 3G phone. 8 gigs was huge back then. I thought those music buttons were from the future. Sending SMSs without looking at the keypad made life so much easier. Loved it to death. Oh, there's something in my eye...

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I only had the Razr outta this bunch.

17. kevin91202

Posts: 640; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

Motorola StarTAC.

24. DaBigDogg

Posts: 24; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

^^^This.

27. bighandssmallpockets

Posts: 99; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

How is the Startac left off this list??? That was THE phone. Probably never had a phone since that met or exceeded all of my expectations like this phone did. It was the undisputed coolest phone around in its time. Plus being able to slam it closed when you hang up was so much more gratifying than touching a red bar on my screen.

18. aco96

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

Where is LG Prada?

22. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

"Iconic." Nobody bought it, nobody emulated it, nobody adopted its OS, and it might have sold 10k units. That is the exact opposite of "iconic."

25. willard12 unregistered

Something really offends you about the LG Prada. I wonder what?

33. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

His statement is true.

34. willard12 unregistered

"His statement is true." Well let's see. 1. Nobody bought it, may have sold 10k units - The KE850 sold 1 million units in the first 18 months. (Thats 2 x false statements). 2. Nobody emulated it - It is the first mobile phone with a capacitive touchscreen. 3. Nobody adopted it's OS - No, they adopted its design after it won a design award in 2006. Iconic = "widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence" ....you obviously know what it is, and see previous comment regarding design award...aka "acknowledged for distinctive excellence."

35. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Calm down, dude. Look at yourself. Who am I to make sure you prove me wrong? You don't know me. I don't know of you. Go read stays to someone else.

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