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Guess the Phone: A Stepping Stone to Something Greater

by Brandon Russell | June 22, 2013June 22, 2013 9:00 am PST

This device is both recognizable for its design and the software it runs. And while the execution was commendable in a skyrocketing mobile landscape, good looks can only get a handset so far. Likewise, the rather unpopular OS it ran had a big hand in holding the device back from resting in consumer pockets. Not every device has been a winner for this company, as we’ve learned all too well over these past few years.

Launched in fall of 2010, the device attempted to spearhead a revolution against handsets like the iPhone. But convincing consumers to jump into a fresh new ecosystem against already established players was a big sell in of itself. If any device was going to do it, this would be it—or so people thought. That doesn’t mean the handset itself wasn’t solid; a number of factors just meant it was ill-fated from the start.

It had an “enormous” 4.3-inch display, 5-megapixel camera and a whopping 576MB of RAM. Back in those days, specs like that would have people going wild—like seeing specs of phablets today. Now? You’d have to pay someone to use this handset. Devices from this company running the same OS have evolved since 2010, but they’re no better off today than they were back then. That might be the overall feeling for this struggling ecosystem.

It’s odd to pick up a device such as this—one that was considered to be huge back then—and see how much the mobile industry has grown in such a short time. Today we literally have a handset that has a screen two inches larger, which would’ve been crazy to think about when this mystery handset was launched. It just goes to show where the industry is headed.

The company responsible for this mystery handset is still around today, and in fact has seen a resurgence as of late thanks to one device in particular. But it was a long, long road to get to this point and, if you already know what handset we’re talking about, probably best remembered as growing pains for a company just now finding its stride against the big boys.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...