Out of the devices we’ve featured on Guess the Phone, today’s is perhaps the most recognizable. That’s saying something, too, especially when handsets like the Streak and Nexus One are on the list. But this one stands above the other because many people today still wonder, “What if?” when remembering this handset (and OS). I think I’ve already said too much.
Launched in 2009, this mysterious device introduced a number of incredible ideas to the mobile market, many of which are still trying to be replicated today. The hardware for its day was not necessarily unique, but in combination with software, was one of the more pleasing devices to use—when it wasn’t lagging. Still, the execution was commendable given the limitations, while the ideas were some of the best we’d seen at the time.
The device itself featured a 600 MHz OMAP processor, 3.1-inch display, 8GB of internal storage and 3-megapixel camera. Compared to devices today, the thing is absolutely tiny; it doesn’t feel like it’s there at all when held next to something like the HTC One. The focus, though, wasn’t necessarily on the hardware—all the attention was squarely on the software. By now I’m sure you’ve guessed what device I’m talking about. It made its debut at CES four years ago. There, I’m not saying anymore.
It’s strange to feel nostalgic about a particular device when you haven’t even used it. But it just goes to show there are handsets out there, like this one, that laid a groundwork for where the mobile market is today. Under different circumstances, this device might have had a more lasting impact on consumers. But it wasn’t meant to be. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth remembering.