Many people are saying that the smartphones market has been lacking innovation lately. Well, this is not entirely true. At least once every two years we see new smartphones that change the rules of the game and make other rival companies add more to their offer in order to keep up. Such examples are the first iPhone smartphone with a dual core processor, the first waterproof smartphone of the Essential Phone, the smartphone just announced by Andy Rubin, the man who is considered to be the “father” of the Android OS.
In this article we’re going to talk for a bit about the most important smartphones ever released on the market. We’re only going to talk about smartphones. This means we’re ignoring phones such as the Motorola DynaTAC ( the world’s first mobile phone ) or the Sharp J-SH04 ( the first phone with a camera ).
In case you think we missed one, please do tell us about it.
IBM Simon Personal Communicator – 1993
This was the first phone with a touchscreen and the first smartphone to hit the market. The Simon smartphone was built by IBM in partnership with Bellsouth and it was only available for sale in the United States. Users were able to interact with the screen through a stylus. When it was released on the market, the IBM Simon had a price tag of $900 and approximately 50,000 units were sold.
Nokia 9000 Communicator – 1996
The Nokia Communicator is considered by many as the first real smartphone. The phone had a weight of 397 grams, a memory of only 8 MP, monochrome display and QWERTY keyboard.
Nokia 9210 Communicator – 2000
The Nokia 9210 was the first smartphone in the world with a color display. It was one of the few phones capable of sending and receiving faxes.
BlackBerry 5810 – 2002
This was the first smartphone released by Blackberry. The company dominated the market a few years after that, with just one true rival: Nokia. What raises some eyebrows about this model is that it didn’t had a speaker and microphone and you were only able to talk o the phone with the help of headsets.
iPhone – 2007
Until the iPhone there were many smartphones on the market, but they had a sloppy design, small screens and operating systems that were not very user friendly. The first iPhone changed the rules of the game for good. In order to keep up, rival companies developed modern mobile operating systems and they started to pay more attention to the design of their smartphones. The first iPhone was a 2G phone, it didn’t had copy/paste feature, it didn’t came with MMS support and was unable to record videos.
HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 – 2008
This was the first Android smartphone ever to hit the market. Today Android is the biggest mobile operating system in the world and it is installed on more than 2 billion devices. The HTC Dream came with the Qualcomm MSM7201A processor, 192 MB of RAM memory and it was capable of storing 256 MB of data.
LG Optimus 2X – 2010
The Optimus 2X from LG was the first smartphone in the world with dual core processor ( precisely the nVidia Tegra 2 ). The Optimus 2X came with Android 2.2 Froyo operating system and with a 4 inch display, 8 GB of internal memory, 512 MB RAM and a photo camera with an 8 MP sensor.
Motorola Defy – 2010
Motorola Defy was the first Android smartphone to be waterproof and dustproof ( IP67 ) and the tech specs were pretty decent: TI OMAP 3610 chipset, 3.7 inch display, 512 MB of RAM memory, 2 GB of storage and 5 MP camera.
LG Optimus 3D – 2011
When this smartphone was released, 3D TVs were the most advanced technology on the TV segment of the market. In January of 2011 LG released a dual camera smartphone capable of recording 3D content for these TVs. Although the 3D technology failed to become very popular, LG Optimus 3D caused the appearance of the HTC One M8 smartphone in 2014, the first modern dual camera smartphone. The second camera sensor had the purpose of capturing additional details with the help of which users were able to add effects to their photos.
Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 – 2012
The two Nokia smartphone were the first smartphone in the world to come with wireless charging, without the need of additional accessories.
iPhone 5S – 2013
The iPhone 5S was the first smartphone in the world to come with a 64 bits processor, being two times faster than the predecessor.
Sharp Aquos Crystal – 2014
This was the first smartphone in the world without edges around the screen. The model inspired smartphone designers and eventually inspired phones such as Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi Mi MIX.
Galaxy S8 – 2017
The feature that makes this smartphone stand out is the display. The screen has an unusual 18,5:9 aspect ratio at a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels. It is called “Infinity Display” and the frame is visible around the display while the sides are curved. Basically, after the launch of the Galaxy S8, all other smartphones on the market were out of fashion.
Essential Phone – 2017
The smartphone launched by Andy Rubin comes with a huge display, just like the Galaxy S8. What attracts attention is that the screen surrounds the frontal camera. The display uses the LTPS LCD technology, it has a 19:10 aspect ratio, 5.71 inches in size at a resolution of 1312 x 2560 pixels. Moreover, the Essential Phone is the first top smartphone in the world without the brand name engraved on the case.