While the arrival of the first iPhone eclipsed the N95 in many ways, the dual-sliding Nokia was a superior smartphone – it just required a bit more tinkering to get the best out of it. Still, it came with an army of features: 3G, video recording, a camera flash, Bluetooth and support for third-party apps out of the box, which is more than could be said for the iPhone.
For a company with a reputation for being stuffy and uptight, the BBC’s iPlayer was way ahead of its time. Seven-day catch-up for TV and radio meant you no longer had to bother watching telly when the channels wanted you to, plus iOS and Android apps meant you didn’t even have to be at home to watch it. The entire broadcasting world followed suit. iPlayer is worth the licence fee alone.
Canon EOS 5D MK II
Not just an incredible digital SLR, Canon’s 21MP 5D Mk II was also the first to shoot 1080p video. Combined with the full-frame sensor, good low-light performance and relatively low price, it became popular among amateur (and not so amateur) film-makers for the cinematic look its footage produced. In 2010 an entire episode of US medical drama House was shot on one.
Monster Beats by Dre
It’s hard to imagine a time when Dr Dre’s Beats headphones weren’t just decorations to hang off the head of every professional footballer on the planet, but the original Monster-made cans were genuinely brilliant. The latest ones don’t sound so good, but what they’ve done to the headphone industry is impossible to ignore – just ask Apple’s bank manager.
Tesla’s on a roll now with the S, an electric-powered luxury saloon. But it all started with the Roadster, the world’s first battery-powered sportscar. Despite the fact that it was actually run by thousands of laptop batteries it was fast and fun. A lot of the credit for that can go to Lotus – the Roadster was also built by them in Norfolk. It didn’t sell well, but it will go down in history.
Chas Hallett, Autocar