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There are two things you’ll most assuredly see in James Bond movies: antagonists with humourous names, and the destruction of fancy cars. But something else that has been regularly recurring in Bond movies since Die Another Day is the humble smartphone. In this series, we’ll take a look at five pivotal Bond movies over four distinct articles that sport these crazy, glitzy and plain outrageous phones that eventually made their way into production, albeit with a lot less buttons, bells and radioactive whistles when compared to the movies.
These are the Smartphones of James Bond.
In this second of four articles, we have a look at the two debut movies featuring Daniel Craig’s Bond and a distinct lack of Q, our regular gadget guy, in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. If you’ve missed the first article, catch it here.
Before we start, it should be noted that a year in smartphone time is a generation in human time, so Craig’s crop of smartphones were loaded with even more gadgetry that any Bond, or indeed average person, could’ve hoped for.
Sony Ericsson K800i Cyber-shot
Image: Brian Snelson via Flickr
Two devices from Sony Ericsson featured prominently in Casino Royale, but the K800i was undoubtedly the most memorable. Featuring a brushed silver finish and an array of top features, the phone was seemingly one with Bond in this movie, most notably when he was driving. And texting. At the same time. Terrible.
Still, the phone was a imaging monster, packing a 3.2MP camera which was miles above the rest at the time, a front camera for video calling and a capable graphics processor that could play the most demanding mobile games at the time. But that’s not what Bond really thought too much about.
The camera at the rear featured some nifty novelties too, including a sliding protective shutter, perfect for stray gunfire or impromptu slides to safety beneath cars, and for fast moving baddies, Bond had access to Sony’s BestPic technology. The camera snapped nine images of one subject in quick succession, and kept the best one. It was the birth of rapid-fire smartphone shooting.
Sony Ericsson M600
Image: Karl Baron via Flickr
And what would a Bond movie be without a Bond girl having her own smartphone? The Sony Ericsson M600i filled this role perfectly, as the company’s then-business line phone. It wasn’t as advanced as the K800i, as it lacked the imaging prowess and overall horsepower, but it was thinner, lighter and packed a fairly adequate pocket companion into a tiny but suave shell.
Vesper, played by Eva Green in Casino Royale, uses the device for more evil than good in the flick, but we can’t deny that it’s one of the prettier phones to debut in a Bond movie.
Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-shot
Remember what I said about smartphone years? Well, Quantum of Solace debuted two years after Casino Royale, and boy, we’re devices even more sophisticated and powerful.
Take the Sony Ericsson C902 for instance. The phone was the K800i’s successor and that’s apparent when considering its cameras. Packing a 5MP rear sensor, which was used by Bond to snap up some intel and undoubtedly plot that revenge he so badly seeks in this flick, the phone also sported facial recognition and the BestPic software wizardry.
Beyond this, Sony Ericsson decided to keep the glancing lens shutter, the Cyber-shot branding which became an iconic name in the smartphone world and more interestingly, dot the phone’s screen with eight touch buttons. Clearly companies weren’t scared to innovate in 2008.
While Bond fancied the device himself, reviewers and users also found it to be one of the company’s best devices, with TechRadar calling it a “superb mobile phone.”
While these three devices sound about as powerful as James Bond in a heavily armed tank, we’re not done just yet.
Stay tuned for part three of this series coming soon.
“The smartphones of James Bond” is brought to you by Vodacom. Vodacom Group Limited (Vodacom) is an African mobile communications company providing voice, messaging, data and converged services to over 60 million customers. From its roots in South Africa, Vodacom has grown its operations to include networks in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, and Lesotho and provides business services to customers in over 40 African countries.
Vodacom is majority owned by Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile communications company by revenue, and is listed on the JSE Limited under the symbol VOD.
Feature image: Karl Baron via Flickr