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They killed the iPhone: named 10 of the most unusual phones of the previous epoch

Portrait of a modern smartphone — aluminum “pan” with an enormous screen, fingerprint scanner and camera. If it is good pay, around the display a little “cut” the frame, here and all the diversity. Thank you iPhone!

But it was not always so. In the publication Ferra called the most beautiful, comfortable or fancy mobile phones, which “killed” the Apple smartphone.

IBM Simon — great grandfather of modern smartphones (1993)

Today we will not waggle the first mobile phone DYNATAC 8000X, which have all fed up, or the first “clamshell”, in which the screen was somehow on the same panel as the keys. And it is worth noting that these phones look with a modern twist not in the 2010s, and even from the beginning of the two thousandth, and in 1993, 14 years before Steve jobs showed the public debut of the iPhone.


IBM in the nineties was already far from understanding what should be a simple mortal, not a business, but in the case of Simon mega-corporations have managed to create a smartphone in an age when competitors are studied to design a simple “dialer” or, at best, CCP screwed through remote places the ability to call.

A huge “brick”, of course, the thickness and the weight was like five Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (a pound, ladies and gentlemen), had only 1 megabyte of memory, single-core processor Vadim Vadem with a frequency of 16 MHz, display with a diagonal of 4.7 inches (at nearly 7-inch length of the hull). Worked from the battery to the phone only one hour, and to the Internet connected with a speed of 0,002 MB/s. But structurally it really was a smartphone, with calls adapted to and work in the applications system menu and generally good performance for 1993. Giggle above features the 24-year-old smartphone is easy, but at the time of his release, he was cool, and “sunk” his other factors: high price ($900 dollars with a two year contract from the mobile operator — like $1500 or 90 thousand rubles today) to a low of autonomy in the absence of any PowerBank and rudimentary cellular networks for data transmission. All the time, but the time Simon in 1993, the year has not yet come, but this angular cell has predetermined the appearance of smartphones, which appeared a decade later.

Ericsson R380 is the first named “smartphone” (2000)

The first mobile phone, which was officially called a smartphone, because that’s what he is, even in the modern sense. Operating system Symbian v5.1 (on the sixth version of the system Nokia is already in full swing stamped colorful mobiles) with a fancy address book, support e-mail, browser, calendar, browser and many settings. Originally English, but with the possibility to install the official crack. Third-party applications Symbian then, however, not yet supported, so the 4 MB of internal memory used only for storage purposes.

Unlike the big “alien from the future” IBM Simon mobile Ericsson easy movement of the plastic panel has evolved from a touch model with a 3.5 inch display in the normal, convenient for calling a business phone with a full set of telephone keys. Convenient! Even more comfortable than the similar “spot” on your Samsung Galaxy S6 edge in 2015. Now “progressive humanity” has completely abandoned the idea of hardware buttons in smartphones, but they are very comfortable were hybrids!

Nokia 5510 — gun fan SMS (2001)

What you do not have a pocket computer with a mind? One of the first popular phones with a hardware QWERTY keyboard for convenient correspondence through SMS and EMS (SMS only with screwed-on monochrome pictures and monophonic melodies). A little bit poor? Well, what can you do — to the dominance of ICQ and other messengers remained a few years, “vkontaktikov” still in any way did not invent, but the young people were as outgoing as this one.

But a crazy design (how do you imagine a “typewriter” to your ear?) the Nokia 5510 was available for support MP3-files and 64 megabytes of memory to store information. But to convert on a slow computer and upload music to your phone using Nokia PC Suite it was a sad lesson, so youth often treated built-in FM radio.

Browser too, but ultra-primitive, strictly for lightweight WAP-sites. In General the phone “guts” was close to a Nokia 3330 (this is upgraded in the direction of supporting MP3 and Internet Finnish indestructible “bricks”). That is, a mobile phone with a QWERTY keyboard, in fact, was a “disguised” budget model, without any pretensions to the title of a pocket PC. But the 5510 was perfect for correspondence, reproduced music was solid and worked 4-5 days on a single charge, and most in the times when not even invented GPRS (want in “Internet” from a mobile phone — pay by the minute), and it was not required.

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In Russia Nokia 5510 special popularity did not use, because the price of short messages and bite, and until 2002, each operator was a “separate state” and send the SMS was only possible within the network. But abroad the model loved, because even then everyone knew that catici is life, and live communication — poor excuse of likes and reposts.

Motorola V70 — telephone-scissors (2002)

Cell phone with bad battery life, small dim screen, tight and tiny keyboard. Costly model for $500 at the time (~30 thousand rubles at current exchange rate) in the firmware which I forgot to put even an alarm clock.

But you know what? Nobody seemed to care about these shortcomings, because the phone looked super cool! It differed from its fellows so much more than some flagship smartphones in 2017 different from the other, it looked expensive, aliens from the future, not because of the processor or the camera (which, incidentally, was not), but simply because of the design.

The world’s first phone in the form factor “the rotator”, or, as it is also called “shear-tie.” Closed cell, that is, “directed”, only displays time and notifications. You cannot speak and can only reject an incoming call. And to accept the challenge, you need to “open scissors” and slide the cover panel 180 degrees.

Expect some of the features and functionality? Well, to mention, except that you can support the archaic (now) standard GPRS and slow the browser to “crawl” through the Internet. And a monochrome display on which are placed two lines and the signature to the keys below the screen; a primitive melancholy of the game and autonomy, as in modern smartphones a day or two, if you are very lucky.

But it’s still beautiful, very beautiful phone, which cost commercials 10 times cheaper than the Vertu, but in the eyes of friends look cool. Moreover, six years later, Motorola brought up the idea of phone-rotator to mind and released the Aura — model with an expensive metal case, a round display and the opening mechanism with the use of tungsten. For a couple of thousand bucks, but honestly, this phone is much more worthy of such an amount than custom iPhone engraved on the body of faces of the famous politicians.

Panasonic GD55 — the tiny (2002)

Let the manufacturers of mobile phones in the hands of some extreme, and they spawn out of her army phones. While some strange guys stick to the smartphones and the screens on them (because I can), and other multiply “eyes”-the camera on the body, and others already cut the frame around the display and increase the screen to tablet level. What would the industry not play — only to see the words of the report: “the smartphone Market grew by n%!”.

So, in the beginning of the two thousandth, when mobile phones finally began to fit in the palm of your hand, a considerable number of manufacturers became interested in the miniaturization of mobile phones. Panasonic GD55 is one of the most famous phones-“babies”.

Imagine a phone (with screen full set of telephone keys, speaker, microphone) tall with a lighter and a width of 50% less than the iPhone 7. A mobile phone today is impressive miniaturization, and in the era of unbreakable “shovels” Nokia looked even better.

In this toy Panasonic GD55 also will not name: network caught perfectly (the external antenna, after all), 720 mAh in the battery worked not less than three days, ringtones were full and could make their own, and could fit 4 lines of text, so that when a diagonal is more than enough.

Nokia NGage — phone-game-console – (2003)

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Hackneyed example, but since we’re talking about outlandish in appearance and functionality of cell phones, without it anywhere.

Since then, as the light appeared Symbian smartphones, Nokia has already trained in release and models with design a La the notebook, and smart phones with the classical case. But the emerging class of lovers of games on the mobile phone one is still not “Spud”, and the Finns decided to take the matter seriously.

As a result, in 2003, came to light game console with stuffing flagship “just a smartphone” 2002 model year. Adapted for games case, all the functionality of smart phones Nokia plus games exclusives, emulators options for NES, Sega Mega Drive and other old school consoles. Add the ability to run popular in those years, Java games and support multiplayer through Bluetooth. Good design? At first glance, great!

But N-Gage was a failure project of the casual audience (those who are “just something to play”) ran away from cellular telephone service immediately when saw need to keep the N-Gage, during a telephone conversation, and a few mobile gamers with amazement when they saw prices around $30 for a phone game. Without super-thought out plot, eye-popping graphics or other “Goodies” — just for playing with full 3D (not as in Java-analogues) and slightly more comfortable than the usual smartphones, keyboard. The pirates, meanwhile, have learned how to run hacked N-Gage games on average Symbian phones and Sony a year later released albeit not a phone, but much more steep pocket console PSP. Then N-Gage and its discounted version N-Gage QD finally laid to rest as failed projects.

Haier P7 — phone-pen (2004)

According to the unwritten rules of today’s smartphone that fits in the palm of your hand — an old and small smartphone. For example, Samsung believes that 5.7 inch is the minimum acceptable diagonal for the flagship 2017 (even more). But in the beginning of the two thousandth, when the “calls and SMS” was almost a full set of necessary for the happiness, the designers did not hesitate to release the miniature phones in the different design solutions.

Pen Phone or P7 did not become popular in our area — Haier one of the unlucky brands, which use the term Chinese in the bad sense of the word, and from the earliest times to the present day. But this does not detract from the originality of the phone with ball pen design (Haier P5/P7) in 2003/2004.

Width this phone is about 3 times more compact than today’s 6-inch smartphone (e.g. Huawei Mate 8), and even less of it. Narrow inconvenient, very light body, cheap and elongated in the height of the screen, the modest functionality (there is a camera and support for GPRS, but the phone has only 3 megabytes and to transfer data, not even the IR port). Yes, today this phone a little more compact trimmer, so during conversation all it would seem that you are prepared to remove ear hair, but in the era of “chubby” phone with a removable battery and moving parts Haier was able to make a lot of noise and became available for purchase in order to stand out.

Nokia N90 — I always take a camera with me (2005)

First, you’ll feel old when they realize that since the N90 it’s been 12 years, and then remember this partly ridiculous, partly fascinating fruit of love the camcorder and the smartphone-clamshell.

Historically, that Nokia, unlike Motorola and Samsung, for example, did not favor a “pure” cell phones-clamshell. The Finns had not produced so many models in this form factor, but if we were talking about flagships, always managed to “be original”.

For example, Nokia 6260 could be commonplace for its time mobile-“shovel”, if Nokia equipped it with a display that can be rotated 180 degrees and spread in the manner of the notebook-transformer. Thus 6260 turned into a sort of pocket computer candy bar without a hardware keyboard (without touch screen was almost useless, by the way).

Nokia N90 was slightly less flexible, and between the traditional clamshell halves of the case sticking out “hernia” in the form of high-quality 2-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics. Today it is ridiculous to even tell you what camera took the pictures with a resolution of just 1600×1200 pixels, and the video was a daub at 352×288 pixels at 15 frames per second. But just believe the word: in the days when YouTube was just born and broadcast recording quality is 320×240 at crumbling squares, the Nokia N90 was a very cool mobile camera. And a good smartphone running Symbian, although connoisseurs of smartphones such “jokes” form factor was not evaluated at that time to choose between the Nokia N70 and N80.

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Samsung SGHF300 — a mobile phone and MP3 player (2006)

Since then, as Samsung has mastered the production of bright displays and made the polyphony in their mobile phones quite vociferous, the Koreans have the courage in addition to the “screaming” clamshells and sliders began to produce experimental models. For example, unique in its kind two-faced F300.

Today nobody even talks about the fact that cell phones will replace MP3 players because it had already happened a long time ago. But in 2003, the number of phones that could more or less accurately to reproduce music and not just be “concrete” to work with music files was very limited. And hardware MP3 players with their individual memory, small screen, and much larger than cell phones, durability has been very popular.

So Samsung took and crossed one of these players with a mobile phone. On one side of the F300 in we were met by a large keypad for dialing and SMS, and on the other the “square” set of keys for music control and a large display with the possibility to twist video on it.

Anyway the phone was equipped not in the budget: two color display in those days was a luxury, but Samsung has introduced in model 2-megapixel camera, support for FM radio and microSD! With the “stuffing” phone scandal has become famous for its removable battery (naive were the days when it was considered a glaring weakness), but had a very unusual appearance.

You’re still going to laugh, but even with such inclinations thoroughbred MP3 player to manage music and videos on the Samsung F300 was not very comfortable: the Koreans hastily made friends shell mobile phone with multimedia component, and “to leave” due to the firmware with the fixes in the old dark times was impossible. Moreover, the telephone component of F300, too, wasn’t Acme of perfection all bothered very much a tiny and narrow display where the SMS-mails was very inconvenient.

In General, the F300 looked like a prototype, an experiment, and had them de facto. But is remembered as one of the most interesting attempts to make friends with the phone and the player, in defiance of turning smartphones like the Nokia 3250, for example.

HTC Touch — magic finger Windows Mobile (2007 year)

To joy or sorry, but Windows Mobile (“expensive and computer”), lost the battle iPhone, and even Nokia smartphones running Symbian. In fairness, it should be noted that handheld computers and smartphones have always been aimed at businessmen and other wealthy guys in direct competition with the “popular” smartphones are not entered. But not to mention some of the latest models that have already been directed at a wide audience, it is impossible.

By and large, on Windows Mobile “left” the young Taiwanese company HTC with its subsidiary brand Qtek. And did it deserve it because one of the first concerned with usability sharpened stylus operating system.

That “simple workers” finger control is much more like the Taiwanese do not doubt, and has long developed a proprietary wrapper on top of Microsoft. But Touch has become endeared and precious to buyers the fact that “beauty” and ease of use of this shell was brought to the limit for 2007 performance, while the user always remained “the same” bells and whistles Windows, who raised them to “not functional” iPhone.

The HTC Touch was cool high-quality display, sophisticated software and Wi-Fi (not that common in gadgets 10 years ago), but really fast he was not even by Windows standards. A real “monument” and the pinnacle of engineering should be considered as HTC HD2, which came out later on — a real smartphone with a heap of designer supported operating systems.

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