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    Eight Phones That Changed The World

    There was a time when mobile phones weren’t the monolithic devices we know today. They were unique, diverse, and often radically different from one another. As impressive as modern handsets are, we can’t help but feel that something has been lost when it comes to design.

    Ten or fifteen years ago, a phone’s look, feel, operating system, and quality would vary dramatically from handset to handset and operator to operator. Nowadays, you can write the differences between Android phones down on the back of a postage stamp. Apple’s iPhone is no better, with barely any difference from generation to generation.

    Instead of lamenting that mobile phone innovation appears to have ground to a standstill, we’re going to pay homage to the way things used to be. From the brick-like handsets of yore to today’s ultra-sleek smartphones, let’s take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the eight phones that transformed our world.

    Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (1983)

    No list would be complete without the original. The DynaTAC was the first commercially available cell phone, and while it’s known more for its “brick-like” appearance than its features, it paved the way for the mobile revolution. Yes, it could only make calls, but that was ground-breaking at the time. It was wireless technology, and back then, wireless technology was the sort of thing that had previously been confined to science fiction movies. To a greater or lesser degree, every mobile phone that came since was inspired by this heavy, impractical unit.

    Nokia 3310 (2000)

    No phone screams durability and longevity more than the Nokia 3310. In an age of black-and-white screens and physical buttons, this phone was beloved for its impressive battery life and the addictive game Snake. The 3310 wasn’t just a phone – it was a cultural icon. The 3210 might have sold more units depending on where in the world you live, but the 3310 is the phone that became a legend. People still make memes about the 3310 to this day, including the idea that you could build a wall out of these handsets, and the battery would remain charged for a full week. That’s an exaggeration in both cases – but not by much.

    BlackBerry 6210 (2003)

    The BlackBerry 6210 was the first true smartphone. It was capable of email and internet browsing and even had a built-in keyboard – a revolutionary concept at the time. BlackBerry’s push email technology transformed how business was conducted, making the 6210 the must-have device for busy professionals. This version of the

    BlackBerry marks the point where phones stopped being pure novelties or communications devices and instead became valuable business tools. There was a time when every high-ranking businessman or businesswoman had a BlackBerry and wouldn’t dream of switching to any other manufacturer. In fact, some of the old guard are still clinging to their BlackBerry to this day, long after the last unit was made. Rumours of a BlackBerry comeback still persist.

    Motorola RAZR V3 (2004)

    The RAZR redefined what a mobile phone could look like. Its ultra-thin, clamshell design was nothing short of revolutionary. This phone made Motorola a household name and established the trend for sleek, stylish handsets. It could fit into your pocket without creating a bulge. It was easy to store in a handbag. The flip-phone design made it feel like something from Star Trek. The only thing that stopped it from being an even bigger success is the fact that its swappable colours gave it a reputation for being a “phone for girls,” which was both inaccurate and unfair.

    Nokia N95 (2007)

    The N95 was the pinnacle of Nokia’s “N” series. It was a multimedia powerhouse with a 5-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, and a unique dual-slider design. This smartphone really did it all, and it became a symbol of Nokia’s innovative spirit. This marks the point where mobile gaming truly became possible – and we’re not just talking about device-based gaming. The Nokia N95’s “real internet” abilities meant that online mobile gaming became possible in a way that had never previously been considered. The role that the phone played in online casinos becoming mobile casinos can’t be understated. Some people might not see that as an achievement, but here in 2023, the mobile iGaming marketplace is worth more than $14bn annually – and many of your favourite casino sister websites were first played on an N95.

    Apple iPhone (2007)

    It’s hard to overstate the impact of the first iPhone. It completely revolutionised the mobile industry, introducing the concept of the touchscreen interface, a high-quality browser, and a unique operating system. Not to mention, it birthed the App Store, which has since become a central hub for mobile gaming and app development. The iPhone is the reason that all modern phones look the same. It’s almost as if every manufacturer looked at it and simultaneously realised that it was the optimum shape and design for a mobile phone, after which it became the template.

    Samsung Galaxy S (2010)

    The Galaxy S set the tone for the Android movement. With a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, it delivered a vibrant, high-quality viewing experience. This phone was the first serious competitor to the iPhone and kickstarted the “Android vs iOS” debate that continues to this day. That could be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about it and how often you participate in those often-infuriating debates.

    Google Pixel (2016)

    The Google Pixel made a splash with its stunning camera, deep Google integration, and the introduction of the Google Assistant. This phone was a game-changer, showcasing how AI and machine learning could enhance mobile experiences. Objectively, each generation of the Google Pixel has been a step ahead of the corresponding version of the iPhone when it comes to capability and performance. We know we’ve just upset a lot of Apple fans, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

    With the benefit of hindsight, these phones weren’t just products – they were milestones. Each represents a leap forward in technology, design, and functionality, changing the way we communicate and interact with the world. They took us from simply making calls to browsing the web, playing games, taking high-quality photos, and accessing a universe of apps.

    While phones today may seem to have become homogenous, let’s not forget the innovations that brought us here. These eight phones didn’t just change the industry – they changed our lives. Here’s to the pioneers of the past and the revolutions yet to come

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