Counterclockwise: RIP Symbian, Toshiba Amazes, IPhone Hits 16GB

By 11:21 Sun, 18 Jul 2021 Comments

The first week of February has traditionally been a very fascinating week – a small event known as the Mobile World Congress used to start in the middle of the month back then (not at the discontinue like now) and the rumor mill went in overdrive those few days.

Come back in time with us to see at the rumors from back in the day through eyes that have the benefit of hindsight.

Is the Nokia N8's successor to be the last Symbian device ever?

The inwell-known Burning Platform memo had been published and Nokia's path was clear – drop Symbian, bet the houtilize on Windows Phone. Eventually in 2012 it became clear that the fan-favorite smartphone Operating System (OS) will be discontinued, but at least rumors promised one last remarkable hurrah.

That same week we saw the silhouette of a Nokia 803 and heard plenty of talk how it will have the biggest capturing camera sensor of any mobile phone. We remember chalking off the talk of a 41MP capturing camera to wishful thinking. And we also remember the geek chills we felt when Nokia actually trotted out a 41MP cameraphone on stage, the Nokia 808 (close enough).

The Nokia 808 PureView will always be one of our favorite capturing camera phones, but Symbian's path was nearing its end.

That week back in 2012, Nokia was rolling out the Belle update for Symbian^3 devices, but the battle had already been lost. Windows Phone 8 appeared on video giving us the first taste of Nokia's current hopes and dreams.

The smartphone Operating System (OS) that put an discontinue to Symbian's domination and currently far outstrips Windows Phone was going through changes of its own – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was out and Google just announced that it had secured 1% of the market. ICS marked a turning point in Android's interface design by introducing Holo, but the recent school Gingerbread had a massive 60% share of the market.

LG Optimus 2X is in our office, we try its 1080p video camera

Going back one year further to February 2011, we find an excited GSMArena team handling the LG Optimus 2X for the first time. It was the first phone to feature a dual-core processor and LG used that recent found power to enable 1080p video capture on a phone, another first.

Could it have been so soon? These days we acquire octa-cores and UHD video, but back then the Tegra 2 chipset was a gigantic deal. A bit later on we found that 720p video shot with the Optimus 2X was better than the 1080p video. Oh well, first steps.

This week in February is something special for cameras – the Nokia 808 rumors, the Optimus 2X video capturing camera and, of course, the Optimus 3D. The phone boasted a capturing camera that could snap 3D photos and videos and while details at the time were scarce, it fed into the 3D craze started by Avatar. Looking back at it, it's almost surprising (but not really) how quickly this fad died.

Symbian^3 Operating System (OS) and a Maemo 6 device coming later this year

Turn the clock back another year and we arrive before Symbian^3 was a thing. Nokia had just finished up buying out all other shareholders in Symbian, open-sourced it and made it available for download.

Maemo was another open source Operating System (OS) Nokia was using at the time and we excitedly expected its next iteration. If only we had known what would happen to Maemo, later turned into MeeGo, then into Tizen.

At least Nokia's Ovi Maps were doing okay, scoring 1.4 million downloads in a week. The Ovi Maps service may have underwent several rebrandings (it's now HERE Maps), but it outlived both Symbian and Maemo.

Toshiba unleashes the TG01 - the uber-smartphone to rule them all

Do you remember the Toshiba TG01? We do – it was the first phone with a powerful Snapdragon chipset with a 1Giga Hertz (GHz) processor (a first), featured a large, sharp classy screen (4.1" WVideo Graphics Array (VGA) was really impressive in 2009) and was super slim at 9.9mm.

The concrete numbers sound boring today, but this was the first phone that defined the formula – large screen, powerful chipset, thin chassis. Today's oversized flagships owe the TG01 a debt, even if Toshiba never made it gigantic on the smartphone market.

HTC Dream is the first HTC-branded Android phone

While the Toshiba TG01 set our brains on fire with its awesome specs, a modest HTC Dream was unveiled. Its specs don't even come close to that of the TG01, but it was HTC's first Android phone to bear the company's own logo. It was essentially the T-Mobile G1, which was also made by HTC.

While the company is in a financial pickle now, it has produced some of the best Android smartphones over the years and this is where it all started.

iPhone gets 16 gigs worth of storage

"Talk about big" boasts an Apple ad from early February 2008. An iPhone with 16GB storage was a gigantic jump in built-in storage – the Toshiba above came a year later and had only 512MB, while the HTC Dream had even less.

With that in mind, we don't mean to sound ungrateful but very often today 16GB built-in storage is insufficient. You see, smartphone OSes back in 2008 ate a lot less of the built-in storage and the iPhone had no high-resolution capturing camera with 1080p video recording (or any video recording) to dwindle the storage further.

But you have to admit that six years later iPhones still come with 16GB storage by default and upgrades are costly. Flash storage technology certainly did not hold nap for half a decade.



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