We’re used to seeing phones launch every other week these days and it has become the most competitive industry in the world of technology. However, these companies wouldn’t have been
able to innovate without taking inspiration from devices from the past.
Many of these phones were ahead of their time at the time of their launch simply because of new features that were unheard of. Most of these features are now packed into one smartphone, but these phones pushed the envelope in order to stay competitive and set themselves apart from the competition.
Here are six phones that were way ahead of their time and paved the way for smartphones today.
Launched in 1997, the Nokia 6110 is the godfather of every modern phone available after its launch. While it might look very generic to you, the significance of this phone is unparalleled.
Before the Nokia 6110, the phone used to be the size of a brick. This was the first phone ever that could easily fit in your pocket, play games like Snake, and had more memory for storing contact details.
The Blackberry 7320 launched in 2003 and chances are you may have used this phone yourself
if you were a workaholic or one of your parents had this phone at some point. It was an instant
favorite amongst professionals that let them work from anywhere and with in-built apps to
support the workflow.
It paved the way for numerous Blackberry phones we saw over the years and an iconic design that was copied by Nokia, Samsung, and other key phone makers at the time.
Nokia Lumia 1020
The Nokia Lumia 1020 was launched in 2013 which was not that long ago but the phone set
some standards for mobile photography. It launched with a 41-megapixel camera sensor and
used a pixel oversampling technique that is still being used in smartphones today. The camera lens also came with optical image stabilization and lossless zoom.
These are features we still don’t get to see in smartphones today. However, we still get to see smartphones trying to break that megapixel barrier. Lately, the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the Huawei P30 also feature lossless zoom features that can be traced back to the Nokia Lumia 1020.
Nokia 9290 Communicator
If you look closely at the Nokia 9290 Communicator, you can see glimpses of modern
smartphones. It was launched in 2002 and it was the most advanced phone at its time. It had a full QWERTY keyboard, a full internal LCD display, and internet capabilities. It overtook Palm
and Compaq to become the leading ‘mobile data device’.
The phone would let users also send Fax from the phone, had a file manager, word processor, spreadsheet, and a presentation viewer. These features are now a staple for smartphones. However, it was a big feat back in 2002.
HTC EVO 4G
The HTC EVO was way ahead of its time for offering a two-way video chat feature and 720p
(HD) video recording. Ten years ago, these features were considered revolutionary and were the main reason why it was popular amongst gadget geeks. While the battery life on this wasn’t particularly impressive, it still managed to challenge the status quo in 2010.
The First iPhone
When thinking about phones that were ahead of their time, it is kind of hard to ignore the very first iPhone. The phone launched with an on-screen design where users could swipe, browse faster than any other phone, and use fingers for almost everything on the captive touch screen display.
The user-interface was the key to Apple’s success that paved the way for the smartphone you are currently holding. If it weren’t for Apple, we might still be using phones with a small screen and annoying little buttons.