The presence of cameras on mobile phones was not always obvious, as devices spent years with features only focused on voice calls and, later, text messages. Therefore, the first cell phone with a camera began to be sold only in 1999, the title holder being the VP-210 model from Kyocera.
The camera is one of the most outstanding aspects of the device, as it has a huge front glass to accommodate the optical components. Even though at the time it was called a “mobile videophone”, the quality of its sensor was well below any current model, with a resolution of 0.11 MP.
As it is a device that is over 20 years old, the rest of its specifications also stand out for its simplicity. The device came with a 2-inch TFT screen, supporting only 65,000 colors.
At the time, the cell phone operated in an integrated manner with the Japanese system of mobile device networks, called PHS — through which it was possible to send two images per second. The user could still store 20 photos, and send them by email. It had its launch price fixed at 40,000 yen, about 325 dollars (~R$ 1,625) in direct conversion, which at the time was a real fortune.
Even though it has features considered rudimentary, the VP-210 was seen as a revolution in its time. Almost two and a half decades later, there is no way to say otherwise.
Samsung and Sharp also made history with cell phone cameras
Another pioneering device in the history of cell phones with cameras is the SCH-V200, produced by Samsung and presented in the year 2000. It worked a little differently, since the images captured by the 0.35 MP camera could only be viewed after the user to transfer them to a computer via cable.
Also in 2000, the Japanese brand Sharp produced the J-SH04, which partially solved the problem of the Samsung model, by allowing electronic transfer of images. In addition, the model also facilitated the capture of selfies by bringing a small mirror next to the lens, which could be used to adjust the framing.