|Samsung i8510 INNOV8|
Ten years ago – despite the iPhone being in its second generation – the most popular type of smartphone was Symbian running on a traditional “candy bar” device, much like the Nokia N95. And of course it’s Nokia that most people would immediately associate with this type of handset, but they weren’t the only players in this particular game.
Launched ten years ago this month, the Samsung i8510 (marketed under the name INNOV8) was very much a smartphone in the Nokia tradition... except of course this was not a Nokia. It was something better.
If you were a fan of the Nokia N95 and N95 8GB (and there were many of those) then you might have thought that the replacement N96 had taken a bit of a wrong turn with its emphasis on the integrated DVB-H TV receiver. The Samsung i8510 INNOV8 sat in the same segment, but instead of a TV receiver it packed in a class-leading 8 megapixel camera instead (giving the phone the “8” in “INNOV8”). It packed WiFi, GPS and 3.5G support along with an FM radio and expandable memory, plus a front-facing video calling camera.
Giving the high-end Nokia N-Series phones a run for their money, the i8510 INNOV8 was a well-built and elegant device which certainly attracted its fans. But even though Samsung could prove that they could out-Nokia Nokia, the fact remained that most Symbian fans would simply prefer a Nokia instead. It wasn’t quite the success that Samsung were looking for, and it turned out to be Samsung’s penultimate Symbian smartphone with the Omnia HD in 2009.
For collectors of esoteric Symbian devices, the i8510 isn’t very common today but typical prices seem to be £40 or so.