x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

The phones before the iPhone: 10 iconic devices

Posted: , by Victor H.

Tags :

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.

  • Options

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:00 3

1. pitzy (Posts: 42; Member since: 15 May 2014)

Had the NOKIA E51, beautiful phone!

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:02 9

2. mrblah (Posts: 577; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)

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

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 10:14 1

58. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

Same here man... The good old day

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:05 6

3. surethom (Posts: 912; Member since: 04 Mar 2009)

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

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 16:32 1

38. walkman800 (Posts: 113; Member since: 26 Aug 2014)

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

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:08 1

4. ChrisK_5434 (Posts: 22; Member since: 24 Oct 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!

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:12 3

5. maherk (Posts: 4808; Member since: 10 Feb 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.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 03:56

52. juandante (Posts: 654; Member since: 23 Apr 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.

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:12 2

6. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 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!

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:22 1

7. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)

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

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 11:44 2

28. Stuntman (Posts: 836; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)

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

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:23 3

8. district11 (Posts: 125; Member since: 17 Apr 2011)

Nokia N95 ! Best phone ever.

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:31 2

9. iGeek (Posts: 171; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)

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

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:46 10

11. pathofwisdom (Posts: 7; Member since: 18 Oct 2014)

they tell you right

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 09:41 4

16. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 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.

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 16:35 1

39. walkman800 (Posts: 113; Member since: 26 Aug 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.

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 08:42 2

10. aksa123 (Posts: 341; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)

N-GAGE where??

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 09:02 1

12. ishan.heru (Posts: 69; Member since: 31 Aug 2014)

Flintstone wow

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 09:10 3

13. the_s2 (Posts: 239; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

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

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 09:14 1

14. vuyonc (Posts: 1062; Member since: 24 Feb 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...

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 09:38 1

15. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

I only had the Razr outta this bunch.

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 09:45 4

17. kevin91202 (Posts: 599; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)

Motorola StarTAC.

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 11:03 2

24. DaBigDogg (Posts: 18; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


posted on 26 Oct 2014, 11:40 4

27. bighandssmallpockets (Posts: 97; Member since: 13 Dec 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.

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 09:55 1

18. aco96 (Posts: 242; Member since: 12 Oct 2012)

Where is LG Prada?

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 10:45 3

22. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 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."

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 11:13 4

25. willard12 (unregistered)

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

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 13:10

33. Sauce2 (banned) (Posts: 199; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

His statement is true.

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 15:14 3

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."

posted on 26 Oct 2014, 15:34

35. Sauce2 (banned) (Posts: 199; Member since: 21 Oct 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.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories