Back to the beginning. Or at least 2006, in video form...

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A little slice of smartphone history just got uploaded for the first time. Well, as seen from my point of view, at least. Back when Symbian was just getting going, 18 months before the first iPhone became available, four years before Windows Phone was launched, in January 2006, I started a video show about 'smartphones'. To my knowledge, I was the only person in the world reviewing smartphones in video form then - amazing to see how many other people launched shows and channels over the next decade! The earliest shows were only ever available in download form and the first 6 were in fact in MOV format and many people won't have ever seen them. But I've been raiding the archives and re-uploading, for general interest.

Back in early 2006, the state of the computer video art was QVGA, i.e. 240p, think postage stamp video. Heck, this was so early in technology development that I even offered a .3gp (remember that?) 144p lower resolution! 

YouTube had in fact been founded by then but hadn't opened up to the world - I started offering YouTube links in early 2007, a year later. Which, along with the unavailability of my downloads for server reasons for several years, means that many people will never have seen any of the earliest 'Smartphones Show' (as it was then) shows. Hence me taking the time to re-upload these early videos to the modern YouTube, for embedding.

Now, watching blocky QVGA isn't easy in 2021, and I don't expect many people will watch much of the footage, but there may well be interest in 'dipping into' the footage, for nostalgia and historical reasons. Note that not all the early shows have been archived and that some are listed as 'not available'. But as a pointer, here are the shows that ARE available from the first year or so (in reverse time order), all now easily watchable thanks to modern YouTube embedding:

  • Show 31 - News and "Battle of the Titans": head to head review of the Nokia E90 and HTC Advantage X7500
  • Show 29 - News round-up from the smartphone world; hands-on review of the i-Mate JAQ4; video editing demo on a smartphone, featuring the Nokia N95
  • Show 28 - Nokia N95 special - an exclusive hands-on, extended review of the production version of this ultra-converged smartphone
  • Show 25 - Hands-on preview of the Nokia E90; Video blogging from your smartphone.
  • Show 24 - A look at some of the hottest new smartphone launches from 3GSM; feature on 'What IS a smartphone?'; getting online for free on Open Wi-Fi networks.
  • Show 23 - Hands-on review of the Nokia N93i mirror-faced camcorder smartphone; review of the HTC S620 qwerty smartphone.
  • Show 22: Hands-on review of the Sony Ericsson W950i music-focussed smartphone; preview video of the Nokia N76 clamshell and thoughts on the Apple iPhone announcement.
  • Show 20: Hands-on review of the Nokia E60 business smartphone; salute to two Windows Mobile devices that were inspired and innovative.
  • Show 16: Hands-on review of the Sony Ericsson P990i smartphone; a glimpse of the state-of-the-art Nokia N95; a preview of new Windows Mobile-running hardware
  • Show 13: Review of the Nokia N93; Windows Mobile 5 roundup; Review of the Nokia E70
  • Show 11: Review of the Nokia N71 clamshell smartphone; review round-up of mobile golf games
  • Show 10: Reviews of the Nokia E61 (thumb keyboard, landscape screen) and Mio A701 (GPS WM5 communicator)
  • Show 9: Review of the Nokia N91; Walk through of updating the firmware in a Windows Mobile K-JAM
  • Show 8: Video of Nokia N93; Demo of Windows Mobile push email and 1-view; Windows Mobile tips; Tips for shooting better video with the Nokia N70/N90
  • Show 7: How to choose your perfect smartphone; Hands-on review of the brand new Nokia 3250 music phone; A head-to-head between the Nokia N70 and the SPV C600
  • Show 6: Review of the Windows Mobile 5-powered QTek 8300 music smartphone; Feature on working with applications and memory on Windows Mobile 5; Feature on RAM problems in the Series 60 world and spotlight on RAM on newer devices
  • Show 5: A definition of what makes a smartphone err.... smart, plus the Ten coolest things to do with a Windows Mobile or Symbian-powered device; Full review of the Windows Mobile 5-powered Orange SPV C600 smartphone;
  • Show 4: Full review of the Windows Mobile-powered, business-focussed i-Mate SP5; Guest reviewer Thomas Boys gives a full review of the Nokia N90 'transformer' smartphone, with Carl Zeiss optics
  • Show 3: Preview of the Nokia 9300i smartphone; Review of the Windows Mobile-powered T-Mobile MDA Pro; Feature: Hands-on voice-guided navigation with TomTom MOBILE 5
  • Show 2: Taking the music with you on Windows Mobile or Symbian OS without worrying about copy protection/DRM; Review of the Palm Treo 650; Review of the iTech laser keyboard; Big, big review on the Nokia N70, claimed by some sites as the "best smartphone ever"
  • Show 1: Introduction to the smartphone world, covering all three smartphone platforms; Spotlight on the rare Panasonic X700; Spotlight on the Nokia 9500; Spotlight on the T-Mobile MDA Vario

Comments welcome if these bring back memories!!

So much Symbian, so much Windows Mobile. And again, ponder that the listed tens of hours of video were all produced before a single Apple iPhone had been sold. Smartphones DID exist pre-iPhone, no matter what iOS fans will tell you...

PS. The Smartphones Show was renamed The Phones Show a few years after all this, and can be found now at

Source / Credit: SL