It was - it became. How smartphones evolved over 10-20 years -

It was – it became. How smartphones evolved over 10-20 years

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Our life is replenished daily with newer and newer miracles. Alas, the man is designed in such a way that he prefers not to notice the gradual introduction of everything new. Imagine if, after Nokia 3310, iPhone 11 immediately came out! The effect is impossible to imagine: the world would have turned worse than from a coronavirus. Innovations spread over time are perceived as something necessary and inevitable. In order to aggravate your sensations, or perhaps cause a stingy tear of nostalgia, we decided to compare a modern phone with what we used only 10-20 years ago.

20 years ago. Clamshell then and now

That was the time when clamshell models were especially popular. Take the same Samsung, which since 2000 has been actively trying its hand at the mobile phone market. A typical clamshell of that era is the Samsung SGH-A100. After exactly 20 years, the Korean manufacturer releases the actual heir of the old-old model – Galaxy Z Flip . There is an abyss between them, and not just a temporary one.

Samsung SGH-A100. Screenshot from video


The most striking difference is the size of the display. In the old days, it was possible to rejoice in the presence of four thousand colors, but they did not think about the screen diagonal at all – they could count the maximum number of lines.

The Samsung A100 had just such a tiny screen with a resolution of 128×64 pixels (this is when individual pixels are the size of a fist) and the ability to display up to four lines of text. At one time, the display was praised for its uniform illumination, which – lo and behold – can turn off to save energy.

But the Galaxy Z Flip – with a display ten times larger than that of the progenitor. Flexible, with organic LEDs, with a resolution where you will not see a single pixel. Oh yes, and with uniform illumination, which also knows how to turn off. Everything is controlled, of course, by “magic” gestures instead of standard hardware buttons.

Show it in 2000 – and all the excitement of the built-in “snake”, animations when the phone is turned off and the menu of eight items would be blown away instantly.

CPU and memory

In the early 2000s, no one thought about which chip the phone works on, and practically no one was interested. Everything was the same plus or minus for everyone – the monochrome menu tossed and turned a little faster or slower. What else is needed? Unless the animated icons could please but especially cool 100 kilobyte games.

But today – an expanse of 4-8 cores with gigahertz frequencies. For comparison: at the beginning of the century Pentium III walked on the desktop computers of the planet. Single-core, with a clock frequency of only about a gigahertz and at a price of about $ 1000 at the current rate.

And the memory! It never occurred to divide it into operational and information storage. Yes and what information to store? Instead of a flash drive – a SIM card, where the contacts were recorded. The Samsung A100 had enough memory to store 99 numbers. An alarm clock, a calendar and a calculator – that’s all that was enough for a cool phone in 2000. And today, 128 GB is not enough for someone, because this is not enough for video with a resolution of 8K. Video shot, by the way, on the smartphone’s own camera.


Yes, by the way, about cameras in phones. Owners of the A100, and almost all mobile phones of that time, except that in dreams and dreams they could see a phone with a built-in camera. By the early 2000s, trial models came out in Japan, but they didn’t reach us.

The same Samsung in 2000 announced its first mass phone with an integrated camera – SCH-V200. It was a whole 0.35-megapixel matrix with quality, which is a shame to even remember.

20 years have passed, and we are already turning our backs on tens and hundreds of marketing megapixels, calculating twigs and blades of grass in night mode at a 20-fold approximation.

Dimensions, Battery

Experienced users of mobile phones with emotion remember and tell how their phones worked for weeks without recharging. If we ignore fantasies, then if you talked on the phone at least 20 minutes a day, one charge of a standard battery with a capacity of 500-600 mAh was enough for 2-3 days.

Today, the battery in any phone is smarter than any mobile phone 20 years ago. Capacity has grown up to 3000, 4000 mAh and even more. Yes, the charge is usually enough for 1-2 days. But! This time, working with the phone is not limited to calls and SMS messages. Today, we almost never call or use the short message service. But we launch games (the graphics of which are much cooler than in game consoles of the beginning of the XXI century), watch videos, films, series and endlessly correspond in messengers.

However, one cannot say that the phones have become indecently large. Take again Samsung A-100 – the model weighed about 90 grams. Z Flip with a huge display and almost ten times more capacious battery weighs only twice as much as an older brother.



The most interesting and ambiguous. The Samsung A-100 clamshell, which we took as an example, at the time of release cost about $ 400, which, given inflation, turns into the current $ 600. It is almost three times cheaper than asking for the current Z Flip .


10 years ago. iPhone then and now

Let’s move a little closer to our time. Ten years ago – it’s almost yesterday! Sometimes it seems that almost nothing has changed. Then we lived in a financial crisis, and today it seems like we didn’t get out of it.

The minds were excited by the first 4G tests, as well as the “apple” gadgets, which in their eyes became something more than fashionable gadgets. We’ll talk about the iPhone, because it was in 2010 that the Quartet came out, which many still consider the most successful iPhone. How far has the apple gone in 10 years?

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone. Photo Source: 9to5mac



Yes, ten years ago it seemed that a 3.5-inch display would be enough forever for everything. And also – the Retina display with an unprecedented pixel density and, as a result, an incredible image clarity.

For ten years, the diagonal of the iPhone has grown to 6.5 inches, if we talk about 11 Pro Max, and to 5.8 inches, if we talk about 11 Pro. The pixels are even denser so that even the most big-eyed users do not see them.

iPhone 11 and iPhone 4. Screenshot from video


From the little things – the proportions of the display, which has become more elongated, have changed. And IPS matrices remained only in the iPhone 11, while the “firmware” switched to organic LEDs.

CPU and memory

iPhone 4 was the first Apple smartphone with a proprietary processor. It was a single-core GHz A4, created by the 45-nanometer process technology.

But the A13 Bionic chip installed in the iPhone 11 Pro has six processing cores with a clock frequency of 2.7 GHz, and the manufacturing process has decreased to 7-nanometer. RAM has become 8 times more – 4 GB instead of 512 MB.

Comparing the performance of the iPhone 4 with the iPhone 11 Pro is not easy, because by processor standards, there is a huge difference between the two devices. But you can take the Geekbench 2 benchmark, in which the four scored 400 points. It is known that in the exact same test, an iPhone 7 with an A10 chip scored 3,700 points. At the same time, the iPhone 11 Pro is about twice as productive as the iPhone 7. In general, over 10 years, the smartphone’s performance has increased almost 20 times.

An interesting situation with the drive. The minimum memory capacity in the iPhone 4 was 8 GB, while the minimum volume in the iPhone 11 Pro marks around 64 GB (today this is critically small, albeit eight times more than in 2010). But the maximum volume jumped from 32 to 512 GB – 16 times! On iPhone 4, you could store photos, whereas today many hours of 4K movies can easily fit on your phone.


But just look how the photos taken on the iPhone 4 are perceived now …

Even an unnamed smartphone for 100 rubles removes better. It’s just right to be horrified by noise, no night shooting, white balance, “soapiness”. Today, a phone with such a camera will at best be viewed as a dialer. Even instagram burning with shame.

Ten years have passed – smartphones armed with a whole set of photosensors, with which anyone is able to feel like an ace photographer.

Dimensions, Battery

Yeah, the dimensions of smartphones have grown significantly. And the weight has increased one and a half times. This is the charge for a large display and a several-fold increased battery. At the same time, autonomy was maintained at the same level – two days.

iPhone 4 and iPhone 11 Pro. Screenshot from video



In Minsk, an iPhone 4 with 32 GB of memory (the maximum at that time) cost about $ 1,100, which today, considering inflation, is about $ 1,350. An iPhone 11 Pro Max with a 512 GB drive will cost you only $ 200 more. Well, and everyone said that “iPhones” increased significantly in price.

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Ninja Silhouette 9 hours ago

Joe Doe in London, England purchased a

Joe Doe in London?

Joe Doe in London, England purchased a

Joe Doe in London?

Joe Doe in London, England purchased a

Joe Doe in London?

Joe Doe in London, England purchased a