A walk down memory lane and over 80 mobile devices

Summary:I was working on some reviews this weekend and took a look at all of the devices in my current collection and started reflecting back on my mobile device history. Mickey recently asked me about my PDA/phone history on TCPJ Unlocked Show #004 and I thought a few of you may be interested in seeing what devices I have owned over the years. The list I put together shows 84 mobile devices (PDAs and phones) and I think I was able to recall all of them.

I was working on some reviews this weekend and took a look at all of the devices in my current collection and started reflecting back on my mobile device history. Mickey recently asked me about my PDA/phone history on TCPJ Unlocked Show #004 and I thought a few of you may be interested in seeing what devices I have owned over the years. I also used many more devices during 2 week to 30-day evaluation periods that would easily take me over 100 mobile devices used of the last 11 years. Check out the image gallery of all of my devices.

A walk down memory lane and over 80 mobile devices

 Image Gallery:A walk through my 11 year history with 90 mobile devices and commentary. 
Image Gallery: Pilot 1000
Image Gallery: Sony CLIE UX50

I was a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1996 and was then transferred to Washington, D.C. to serve at the Marine Safety Center. I was selected and trained to be a member of the salvage team in early 1997 and started assisting with responses to vessel casualties. I had carried around a Franklin Planner for a while and was using this to document my responses, keep track of all my vital contacts, and take notes as cases unfolded. Another member of the team and I then contacted U.S. Robotics about a new mobile device they were promoting and they sent us 2 Palm Pilot 1000 units to test out with the salvage team. I quickly became the mobile device expert as I fell in love with these mobile computers and replaced my Franklin Planner shortly after as I used the Pilot 1000 for taking notes, keeping my contacts handy, and more. I then figured out how to use AvantGo and was reading sites offline as I commuted on the D.C. Metro system.

I then became an avid Palm site junkie and was reading UGeek.com (now the Geek.com site I write for from 2001 until 2007), PalmStation (this was probably my favorite Palm site), Brighthand, Palm Tipsheet, Calvin’s PalmPilot FAQ, and more.

Once I was bit by the PDA addiction bug I then saved up my money and bought a Palm III for myself as I started loading up my device with 3rd party applications and trying to see what these things could really do. It cost a pretty penny at the time, somewhere around $300 and I had a tough time convincing my wife I really needed it. I then learned I could do well selling devices on ebay and started my system where I would sell my old device, after keeping them in mint condition, and purchase the latest and greatest. After the Palm III I sold it after about 6 months and moved up to a Palm IIIx. I then found a cool accessory, the axxPac that very few people probably ever heard of, much less used. This attachment gave me an external storage card slot, using SmartMedia, for storing my ebooks and other files. The axxPac was quite rare and I was able to get a good price when I sold the IIIx and lots of accessories to a buyer in Australia using ebay.

I then moved through many more devices, including the incredible Sony CLIE Palm OS devices. I purchased all of my devices in the early years and just over the last couple of years was given the opportunity to use Nokia Nseries devices on long term loan for evaluation before sending them back as I continue to use other devices. I also received a few devices from manufacturers at Mobius events, with no requirement to review the devices or any other strings or expectations attached. It has been quite a ride and as you can see below, I have now owned over 80 PDAs and mobile phones. I have also had a few other devices, like my Tablet PCs and notebooks.I may have missed one or two devices, but this should be a list of the rest.

Even though I have had so many devices, I can still remember quite a few vivid details about most of them and the anticipation of purchasing the devices. The devices with an asterisk by them in the list below are ones still in my collection. They are sort of listed in order of ownership, with a few in areas where I think they were picked up.

  1. US Robotics Pilot 1000
  2. Palm III
  3. Palm IIIx (installed axxPac with MMC card support)
  4. *Palm IIIe
  5. Palm IIIc (first color PDA)
  6. Apple Newton MP130
  7. HP Jornada 548 (rock solid metal PDA)
  8. Compaq iPAQ 3600 (won on PDABuzz photo contest)
  9. HP Jornada 568 (one of my favorite PDAs ever
  10. Palm Vx (Palm was ahead of the game with this form factor)
  11. *Palm m505
  12. Apple Newton MP2000
  13. Sharp Zaurus SL-5500
  14. Sony CLIE T615C (my first CLIE that gave me the desire for more)
  15. Sony CLIE NR70
  16. Sony CLIE NX70
  17. Dell Axim X5
  18. HP iPAQ 3970
  19. HP iPAQ 1910 (now this was one compact PDA)
  20. *Nokia 3650 (my first Series 60/S60 device that served primarily as a Bluetooth modem)
  21. T-Mobile Sidekick (device that addicted me to wireless data)
  22. HP iPAQ 2215 (drove 2 hours to Frys in Oregon to get this one)
  23. HP iPAQ 1945
  24. Handspring Visor Edge
  25. Sony CLIE TG50
  26. Sony CLIE NX80 (only had for a couple of days before trading up for UX50+cash
  27. Sony CLIE UX50 (paid about $800 for this baby)
  28. Motorola MPx200 (first Microsoft Smartphone, my wife took it over)
  29. HP Jornada 728
  30. NEC MobilePro 900c
  31. Tapwave Zodiac2 (very impressive Palm OS device)
  32. Palm Tungsten T3
  33. Orange SPV E200
  34. Sony CLIE UX50
  35. Sony CLIE UX40
  36. HP iPAQ 4350 (great QWERTY keyboard and form factor)
  37. MDA II (first Microsoft Phone Edition device
  38. Dell Axim X30
  39. Sharp Zaurus C760 (I just didn't have enough time to tweak with it)
  40. T-Mobile MDA III ($850 online for this one)
  41. Palm Tungsten T3 (missed this device so I bought another)
  42. Toshiba e805
  43. Fossil Palm OS watch
  44. Dell Axim X50v
  45. i-mate PDA2K
  46. Orange C500
  47. Motorola MPx220
  48. *Newton MP2100 (I wanted to relive my Newton days)
  49. *Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 (I wanted to add a Zaurus back to my collection)
  50. i-mate JAM (super compact Phone Edition device)
  51. Nokia 7610
  52. Palm Treo 650
  53. Dell Axim X51v
  54. *Nokia N90 (first device from Nokia Nseries program)
  55. Nokia N70
  56. *Nokia N73
  57. *Nokia N93
  58. Nokia N91
  59. HTC Wizard (QTEK 9100)
  60. *Nokia N95-1
  61. Nokia N80ie
  62. *Nokia N81 8GB
  63. *Nokia N800 Internet Tablet
  64. Nokia E61
  65. Sprint PPC-6700
  66. Nokia E61i
  67. HTC TyTN
  68. i-mate JAQ3
  69. *Sony CLIE UX50 (couldn't give up on it and will keep this one)
  70. *T-Mobile Dash (3 of them, with 2 broken after drops)
  71. *Apple iPhone
  72. *Nokia N95-3 (I bought this after loving the N95, but wanting US 3G)
  73. *T-Mobile Shadow
  74. *HTC Advantage 7501
  75. HTC Touch Dual
  76. *Nokia N810 Internet Tablet
  77. BlackBerry Pearl
  78. *HTC Advantage 7510
  79. *HTC Touch Diamond
  80. *Nokia N82
  81. *Nokia N78
  82. Apple iPhone 3G
  83. Nokia E71-1
  84. *Nokia E71-2
  85. *Palm Centro
  86. Samsung OMNIA
  87. Sony Ericsson G900
  88. MWg Zinc II
  89. *BlackBerry Curve (Sunset color)
  90. *Palm Treo Pro

Devices that I am considering soon or that I have already ordered include the T-Mobile G1 Anroid device, BlackBerry Bold or Javelin, Nokia N810 WiMAX edition, HTC S740 Standard Smartphone, and HTC Touch Pro.

Do you have any fond memories of your mobile devices?

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft


Matthew Miller started using mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host, with ZDNet's Kevin Tofel, of the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned more than 2... Full Bio

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