My history of mobile phones

As I was surfing through the web, reading about new mobile phones and the emergence of new mobile OS (iPhone, Android), I start to reminisce about the old phones I used to have. While searching for images to accompany this post, I realised that I have indeed gone a very long way since my first mobile phone. Back in the day when they say the handphone signals can give you a brain tumour, back when it was impressive to have a mobile phone. Back when it was 010, Adam 017, DiGi CDMA.

Without getting into too much technical details, I am counting forward my history of the old mobile phones and how I got to fall in love with gadgets, technology and ultimately the mobile business.

Pager


My first and last pager. I can remember that before I owned a mobile phone, me and my friends had pagers. For the life of me, I cannot remember the Paging company or find the picture of the old pager I had but came across this image that was close enough. I still remember when we used to page each other just for the heck of it. Literally at every chance we get be it through the home phone or public phones. We would call and leave each other messages. This was way back around 1993, I think.

 

All the Mobile Phones I’ve ever owned

I can’t quite remember the order of my ownership of these phones, but here they are in (hopefully) correct order.

Motorola StarTAC
Motorola StarTAC

Motorola StarTac. The digital calculator like display was the coolest you can ever get back then.

Sony Ericsson PH337
Sony Ericsson PH337

Sony Ericsson PH337. This was quite cool too as it was smaller than the Motorola StarTac and had much better signal strength. It could be that the Mobile Operators network are getting better and absolutely nothing to do with the phone. But I remember this was when this model was singled out to be truly damaging to your brains. Apparently.

Nokia 3210
Nokia 3210

Nokia 3210. One of the smaller devices from the groups of bigger devices out there. Again, Nokia seems to be clear winners in this market back then. Furthermore, I got used to the navigational style and just like the usability factors.

Nokia 6110
Nokia 6110

Nokia 6110. The display screen starts to get impressive. It’s no longer the plain old display but the menu and OS starts to grow impressive.

Nokia 8110
Nokia 8110

Nokia 8110. The banana phone. Everybody remembers this phone. It was made cool by Matrix when Neo had a snapping slider. Of course, the original model never did slide out that way then. Of course, this didn’t stop the Nokia guys from making it snap the way it did in the movie. I believe this is one model that revolutionised the industry.

 

Nokia 7110
Nokia 7110

Nokia 7110. This was the first phone that was released with a WAP browser. The first phone to start to show (pixelated) images. I remember this vividly as my elder brother was in the test group with Nokia prior to launch of this phone. He was in a group that was given a pre-launch model and was privileged enough to test the WAP browsing capability. Which was of course, pretty cool back then.

 

Palm M100
Palm M100

Palm M100. I think it was around this time that I started to own my very first PDA. Although most of them were offline (no phone feature) and served purely as electric organisers, they were one digital device that I absolutely loved. Gone are the days of paper filofax. Also my first introduction of touch screen devices and writing with a stylus on weird hand gestures to form words.

Nokia 8250
Nokia 8250

Nokia 8250. The butterfly (named after the navigation keypads that looks like a butterfly). Although technically, the text is still black and white and it is still considered a monochrome phone, Nokia switched around the background screen to give us a blue glow instead of the old yellowish greenish back display colour. This was another hit in the industry. What’s weird is when you go to a dark place (like the cinema or the clubs) and you see people checking on their phone with a blue glow shining back at them. That’s when you realise that they have the Nokia 8250.

Palm Tungsten E
Palm Tungsten E

Palm Tungsten E. I think it was also around this time that I started to upgrade my Palm PDA to the new updated version. This was also an extremely exciting period from me when I start to hunt for 3rd party applications to play on my PDA.

Sony Ericsson T610
Sony Ericsson T610

Sony Ericsson T610. I don’t quite remember but I think this was my first coloured phone. It was very impressive then and a lot of my friends had this phone. I was drawn into the new OS and navigational style of Sony Ericsson and also the silver metal feel they infused into the physical design of the phone. I loved this phone a lot.

Sony Ericsson P900
Sony Ericsson P900

Sony Ericsson P900. I started dating Geoff then. I remember this because he was as into gadgets as I was and we were reading and anticipating the arrival and launch of this phone. This phone was supposedly a combination of a mobile phone and a PDA for business use. It has a stylus, flip and keypad on the flip – which was interesting at that time. It was retailing for around RM 2000+ which was rather expensive. Geoff wanted it and knew I liked it. So one day he went out to buy 2 for us. It was more of his excuse to buy it for himself without me hating him or being completely jealous. This phone marks the end of my ownership of Sony Ericsson phones.

O2 XDA Mini
O2 XDA Mini

O2 XDA Mini. After awhile not liking or getting used to the P900 navigation. I am reminded again about how much I loved using a PDA. So I went out and got myself the O2 XDA mini. I absolutely loved this device. It was very nice to get to use a PDA and stylus again, This time on a Windows Mobile OS. I got the white one as well, which was not common in the PDA market then.

Nokia 6600
Nokia 6600

Nokia 6600. This was a Symbian phone. Series 60. I bought this phone for work reasons. I was working with PurpleAce then and I needed a demo phone to install our application. Also because Symbian phones are like WinMo phones where it accepts 3rd party applications in it, I had a blast with this phone searching for apps online.

Sony Ericsson Z800i
Sony Ericsson Z800i

Sony Ericsson Z800i. Then 3G was introduced in this country. The only phone that was 3G enabled was this phone. I had to be the first few people in KL to have a 3G phone and service, so I got out, bought this phone and subscribed to 3G the very next day it was launched. The tech addict I am just wouldn’t stop.

Nokia N70
Nokia N70

Nokia N70. Naturally, I got the N series and updated version of the Nokia 6600 for my personal use. This phone was rather high end back then and started my hunger for high end phones.

Dopod D810
Dopod D810

Dopod D810. After using the Nokia N70 for awhile, I wanted to get back to using a WinMo PDA again. There was Dopod, one of the most sought after PDA in the market. I immediately got out to Low Yat and bought one for myself. Complete with the extended Micro SD and accessories. I loved this phone very much.

Nokia N76
Nokia N76

Nokia N76. Being fickle minded as I am, after using a PDA with a stylus for awhile, I got to miss the feel of a physical keypad again. So once again I went back to look at Nokia’s latest models and came across this beauty. Firstly, (I can’t lie), the red colour caught my eye. Secondly, the flushed keypad and flip phone was like the Razr. I had to get it. Mostly because it’s red! I wrote a review on this phone here in my Multiply blog on this as well. Eventually, the peeling paint and the poor quality of this phone made me mad. I went to the Nokia Service Centre, changed the casing and gave the phone to my dad – who’s still using it today.

HTC Touch Dual
HTC Touch Dual

HTC Touch Dual. Dopod became HTC – the Taiwanese OEM phone maker. These guys made literally all the PDAs out there and eventuall broke out to brand themselves and start selling devices under their own brand, giving the market some competition. I thought this was the perfect device for me. It was touch screen PDA with a slide out phone keypad. I now have the best of both worlds. I can finally still be able to text accurately with physical keyboard while I’m driving. Perfect.

Blackberry Curve 8310
Blackberry Curve 8310

Blackberry Curve 8310. I was then given a Blackberry from work when I joined Celcom. It was an excellent device for business use. I get my e-mails on the go as they arrive and it does exactly what I need it to do for work. For a few months I was almost joined by the limb to this phone. It was always in my hand. I was always replying to e-mails or checking my calendars and stuff. It took over my life. Crackberry – indeed it is.

Nokia 6500 slide
Nokia 6500 slide

Nokia 6500 slide. With the Blackberry doing all I need to do for business and surfing, I really didn’t need the HTC Touch Dual for my Maxis line. I barely do anything with it and I thought it’s best to just get a simple plain phone for my personal line. A phone that does plain voice calls, easy (physical keypad) SMS-ing, has 3G capabilities and can store all my ridiculous 1500+ contact list. At the spur of the moment one day shopping in KLCC, I bought this phone and gave my HTC to my brother.

HTC Touch Diamond
HTC Touch Diamond

HTC Touch Diamond. After awhile I miss using a WinMo PDA again. Furthermore, as I’m always keeping myself updated on new WinMo devices, I hear about this beautiful Touch Diamond. The design was beautiful and the navigation was tweaked. There’s another HTC propriety layer of navigation added to the back-end WinMo OS. It was too juicy and I had to get it. I parted with my hard earned RM 2799 and got the phone, which I am still using as my personal phone today. I gave the Nokia 6500 slide to my mom.

Nokia E63
Nokia E63

Nokia E63. Although the Blackberry did all that I need to do as a business phone, I soon got bored after a year. So I decided to get myself a new business phone, without breaking the bank. Went to Sg Wang wit a budget of RM1000 and once again got myself a Red device. The higher end version of this phone was E71 with a metal finish (which was elegant) but the red colour was again irresistible for me. I insisted on getting a red coloured version of this phone (which was hard to find at that time) and came home happily with another new device. The Blackberry has retired as my backup business phone and serves as occasional loaner to my colleagues when they need it.

 

Moving on to my next phone(s)???

At the end of the day, I just realised that I have indeed gone through a lot of mobile phones but am far from being done. The mobile technology will continue to evolve and I’m sure this list will grow every year.

I am nowhere done yet and I am already eye-ing a few phones that are about to be launched soon. I am tempted to try the new Android and Palm’s WebOS. Here are some phones I am already drooling over.

Nokia N97
Nokia N97

Nokia N97. My second favourite OS (Symbian) and device manufacturer, this phone might just save Nokia from staying on top in the industry as more touch screen and high powered smartphones enter the market. This phone is highly anticipated by lots of Nokia lovers. I can’t wait to play with the device and see how it feels. This model is scheduled to launch early June 2009. Will wait, play and see.

HTC Dream
HTC Dream

HTC Dream / T-Mobile G1. This device was launched earlier last year as the first Android phone in the market. I saw this when I was in London on vacation over Christmas, but it was a demo machine and I couldn’t play with the OS. It feels a bit bulky and the design looks like a Nintendo Gameboy (especially the white version). Even after a couple more new launches of Android devices, this OS is still very new and has not even hit Malaysian market yet. I still like this as I know I want my next device to have a slide out QWERTY keyboard.

HTC Touch Pro2
HTC Touch Pro2

HTC Touch Pro2. Natural progression for me as a HTC lover. This was announced in Barcelona this year in February but have yet to be launched yet. Much anticipated amongst the WinMo crowd as the next high end PDA. I have had the privilege to play with the demo unit through my colleagues (perks of working with a telco). The keyboard is a dream to type with but the only negative I have to comment on this is the bulkiness of this device. This brings me back to the HTC Tytn II days. I was kind of hoping that HTC will be able to reduce the size of the device while maintaining the feature richness in the device. I am itching for this phone to launch here. Drooling at the very thought of it. No matter how hard I fight it, I know that I will always be a WinMo lover.

Palm Pre
Palm Pre

Palm Pre. This was also announced in Barcelona this year. This device is very much anticipated by the mobile industry. It’s been said that this phone might actually save Palm from going bankrupt. Palm introduces a new OS (WebOS) and a new device. The Pre is indeed a beautiful looking phone. Even in the many YouTube demo videos out there, it is not a bulky device and the curvy pebble looking phone is very sexy.

NO iPhone

Although there are so many different phones that I am eye-ing out there, I know for a FACT that I will NEVER own an iPhone. To those who know me, I am a hard-core hater of all things Mac.

So it will be another exciting year for me when I get another new phone and will love it to death again. My elder brother is already on standby to inherit my HTC Touch Diamond. I will hang on to my Nokia E63 as my backup phone or something.

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