The thought of a smartphone has always intrigued me. Imagine a phone that can do more than make a call.
My first smartphone was the Ericsson R380 World. The Ericsson had a decent number of built-in programs, but as you can see, it was a bit large.It had a touch screen that could be operated with either your finger or the stylus, which tucked away neatly in the back.
And apparently, it fell out of sport coats very easily. I liked the phone, right up to the day that it fell out of my jacket onto the bricks of the car park, followed by me inadvertently kicking it another 15 feet when I reached down to retrieve it. It was never the same and a slight tap on its side would cause it to turn off.
About the time the R380 began acting up in 2001, Sony joined up with Ericsson and announced the P800. Now, here was a real smartphone. It had contacts, expandable memory, a Web browser and unlike the R380, the ability to add applications. This was a real interesting phone. When it went on sale, I bought it, figuring that this phone would last for quite a while.
It was all that it was cracked up to be. Great phone. Nice set of built-in programs. It worked well, and never once locked up. It runs the Symbian operating system, which has its roots in EPOC, an operating system with even deeper roots in the many Psion handheld computers that were immensely popular in everywhere but the U.S.
However, it wasn't without its faults. Namely, problems with the flip. Those little ears broke off a number of times. I've replaced the keypad three times, and compared with today's phones, that 65k color screen is a bit dim. I got seven years of service for the phone, which is an eternity in computer years.
I liken computer years to dog years. So that means my P800 was 49 years old when I replaced it. I still have it. It's sitting in my drawer, pining for me to slap my SIM card into it.
Next up was the Nokia E65. It's a smartphone, too -- a slider. It has a bright, crisp display that's just a bit too small. Nice set of built-in applications. With a 2-gigabyte Micro-SD card, it takes a long time to start. It occasionally locks up. It runs the S60 operating system, which is based on Symbian. I think that Nokia pushed the S60 OS about as far as it could.
That brings me to the present day. Just a year after I bought the E65, I've decided to go for the Nokia N900.
It should arrive this week. Unlike other phones, it's billed as a mobile computer/telephone. That's right. Nokia is marketing this as a mobile computer first and a telephone second.
I'll try to provide updates, as well as my thoughts, on the N900 in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.