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March 17, 2014

Nokia Lumia 1520 vs the tech of yesteryear

We take a trip back in time to examine the tech needed to match up to today’s Nokia Lumia handsets


The Nokia Lumia 1520 reigns supreme as the most powerful Nokia smartphone ever. It harnesses a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, clocked at 2.2GHz, and has a gorgeous 6-inch Full HD display with 391 pixels per inch.

There’s also 2GB of RAM to keep those apps ticking along smoothly, a potential for 64GB on-board storage and a 20-megapixel PureView camera that can shoot 1080p video.

Thinking about all this pocket power, we started to get misty-eyed about by-gone eras and the tech you’d need to even come close to replicating the same prowess in times of yore.

Before we jump into the DeLorean, we’ve got one question for you: How big is your house? You’re going to need a lot of room to fit all this in…

10 years ago

In 2004, smartphones weren’t that smart. Web connectivity and colour displays was just coming to the fore, while HD screens were beginning to make their way into living rooms

CPU: Ten years ago, in 2004, the Apple Power Mac G5 offered a dual-core PowerPC 970FX processor, clocked at 2 x 2.5GHz. It would take two of these hulking beasts to surpass the processing power on offer in today’s Nokia Lumia 1520.

Storage: The base model of that Apple Power Mac G5 shipped with an 80GB hardrive. Woo! Thanks to the addition of a fingernail-sized SD card, the Nokia Lumia can store 96GB (and that’s before you count OneDrive cloud storage).

Memory: You’d need 256 inter-connected Nokia Communicator 9210 handsets, circa 2004, to match up to the 2GB of RAM within the Nokia Lumia 1520.



Camera: Any experienced snapper will tell you, megapixels are only part of the puzzle. However, 2004’s smash hit Nikon D70 packed a 6.24-megapixel sensor. The Lumia 1520’s sensor is three times the size at 20-megepixels.


Video: The Lumia 1520 shoots Full HD 1080p video at 30fps. The first consumer camcorder to shoot video at 1080i, the Sony HDR-FX1, arrived in late 2004 costing £2,400.


Screen resolution: A decade ago many folks were thinking about snapping up their first HD TVs. Sure you could pay a small fortune for a 32-inch Plasma (around £2,000) or you could get Sony’s 40″ FD Trinitron WEGA XBR television, which weighed 304lbs and was 26-inch deep. Chunky.

In the mobile world, the Nokia 7260 had a 128 x 128 display with 113ppi. Today’s Lumia 1520 boasts a 24-bit TrueColour display with a pixel density of 368ppi and more than two million pixels. We’ve come a long way.

20 years ago

Back in 1994, the biggest development in mobile was the Nokia 2110’s ability to send and receive SMS messages. Cartridge-based consoles ruled the living room, the first digital cameras were launched and HD was still a pipedream.

CPU: 20 years ago, the first Intel Pentium processors were busting onto the scene. The first generation P5 was single core and operated at speeds of 66MHz, 33x less powerful than a single core within the Lumia 1520.


Screen resolution: The Nokia 2100 had a 4 x 13 character LCD display, which was kind of a big deal back then. In 1994, the first digital HD TVs were still four years away.


Storage: Compact discs took off around ’94, but filling the Lumia’s 64GB microSD card and placing it in your pocket is the equivalent of carrying 1,000 CDs with you at all time. Don’t sound so ‘compact’ now, do they?


Camera: The first truly portable digital SLR camera arrived in 1995. The bulky Minolta RD-175 combined three small sensors to create a 1.75-megapixel resolution. On launch it cost £8,500.


Gaming: The long-awaited Sonic: The Hedgehog 3 arrived for the Sega Megadrive in 1994, on a game cartridge as large as a smartphone. Sonic 4, the next instalment released almost two-decades later, can be downloaded to your Lumia handset in seconds




50 years ago

It’s often said there is more computing power in a modern toaster than the machines that put man on the moon. Oh and you’d have needed a warehouse of external hard drives in order to store your music

Storage: The first removable hard-drive was the 1BM 1311, which arrived in 1962. It allowed for 2MB of data storage, which is around the first 30 seconds of an average MP3 file. You’d need 16,384 of these to match the 32GB of built-in storage possessed by the Lumia 1520. Oh, and each one is the size of a washing machine.


CPU and Memory: The Apollo Guidance Computer, which allowed astronauts to control and navigate their craft by typing in pairs of verbs and nouns, contained 64KB of memory and ran at processing speed of 0.043MHz. You’d need more than 51,000 of these processors to match the power in just one of the four chips within the Lumia 1520.



Camera: Amazingly, the Hasselblad EDC camera used on the surface of the moon by Neil Armstrong, has one thing in common with the Lumia series – the presence of Carl Zeiss optics. However, the closest thing they had to instant photography in the 1960s was the Polaroid Swinger. Released in 1965, it was the first model that featured film that developed outside of the camera. No Instagram uploads though.



What are you favourite tech nostalgia moments – Nokia-related or otherwise? Let us know and we’ll post our favourites.