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#TBT: This was my first smartphone – what was yours?
Hardware HTC 3 min read 29 comments

#TBT: This was my first smartphone – what was yours?

This week, we celebrate 22 years since the launch of the first smartphone. That's right, 22 years. Much has changed since the IBM Simon Personal Communicator was announced on August 16, 1994. Weighing in at 500g and offering a stylus, this was the first "smart phone" for at least 50,000 people worldwide. What was your first smartphone? My first was an Android!

As with many things ahead of their time, the IBM Simon was not called a smartphone at the time of its release. But due to the fact that it combined mobility with features that only computers had at the time, the device is today considered as the world’s first smartphone.

Like the IBM Simon, my first smartphone also had a touch screen, calendar, note-taking application, the ability to send emails and messages and you could carry it with you anywhere However, instead of weighing 500g, my gadget was a lowly 164g. As you can see, there was some evolution between 1994 and 2010.

The IBM Simon, with its 500g of pure 1994 modernity
AndroidPIT throwback thursday IBM Simon
The IBM Simon and its features: a stylus and 500g of pure 1994 modernity. / © AndroidPIT

Yes, my first smartphone was purchased in 2011, and I remember I wanted an iPhone 4, but when I arrived at the shop, I found myself charmed by Android, then the price of it! If today, this type of device tends to be expensive, imagine in 1994. In an interview with BBC London, Charlotte Connelly, curator of the exhibition marking the 22nd anniversary of the IBM Simon, at the Museum of Science in London, said the device cost $899 at the time. And the suggested retail price of my first smartphone was £425.52. Not exactly cheap, either.

Besides the addition of cameras and numerous other features and software improvements, an increase in battery capacity marked a major difference between the smartphones of the 90s and 2010. IBM Simon offered only two hours of use off a single charge. Already my first smartphone lasted nine hours on 2G and up to five-and-a-half hours when on 3G. Although these are the official numbers, when I was using the device, it often made it from morning through to night, when I'd plug it in to charge before going to bed.

primeira imagem salva HTC Desire HD
This is one of the first images taken with my first smartphone. / © AndroidPIT

My first phone did not come with a stylus, but it did run on Android. It left the factory with version 2.2 Froyo and soon after received the update to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, where it stayed forever. I remember sitting with a friend who also bought the same device, and we were blown away – that was the word – with all the possibilities that our first smartphones presented to us.

My decision to buy the device, given its price, was rather irresponsible, but I really wanted it to make videos at a music festival. At the time, I was thinking of writing about the Berlin music scene for Brazilian magazines. However, I soon realized that 2011 was not the year to start using smartphones to stream videos in real time; my expectations proved far greater than what my first smartphone actually offered.

My first smartphone was an HTC Desire HD
Androidpit HTC Desire HD
I have just one bad memory of the Desire HD: Gingerbread. / © AndroidPIT

What was your first smartphone? Let us know in the comments. 


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  • My first smartphone was actually a Sony Ericsson P1i, with Symbian OS and a superfast 200MHz CPU, it was the far 2007, it could browse internet, send emails, download apps (very difficult to find and they all were very expensive, i remember i bought a dictionary app for 14.99) you had to buy the app form the vendor website then you could donwload it into the phone and install it cause no "app store" was available... Had both hardware keyboard, touch screen and also that annoying Sony click wheel on the left side and sometimes it was very confusing which one to use. It had a stylus pen cause the screen was very small and when browsing, some links were so hard to click on that without the stylus pen you wouldn't be able to do much! Camera was Great! Had tupid proprietary Sony Memory Stick Duo slot up to 4GB! But that phone was virtually indestructible, fell down many times, was all dented and scuffed but managed to last 4 years!

  • My first smartphone was the LG Optimus Black

  • Motorola Accompli 008, his battery lasted a whopping 60 minutes !

  • tariq Aug 22, 2016 Link to comment

    Iphone 3G lol

  • Bruce Aug 22, 2016 Link to comment

    My first was a Qualcomm 6035, comes with 8 MB of Palm memory. The display resolution of the 6035 is 160x160 pixels. It can perform HotSync and IR communication just as a normal Palm. It had a stylus, as did my next smartphone, Samsung sph I300.

  • joost Aug 21, 2016 Link to comment

    Nokia communicator! I could send faxes from it over the gsm-network. This one got stolen from me. Then I replaced it with an package containing a separate Ericsson MC218 (then still without Sony) and a Ericsson headset which communicated with the MC 218 by means of a IR-add-on. This was in the year 2001. In 2006 I bought me a Motorola MPx 220, man how happy I was! My first Android device was the HTC legend.

  • HTC Desire 526 (February 2016) - Yes, I'm a "late adopter", having resisted the move to a smartphone for years. A budget phone, but I'm really pretty pleased with it.

  • Not sure if it qualifies but a LG Dare.

  • Hardy Aug 20, 2016 Link to comment

    My first was a Nokia N70 I got in 2006 and this was replaced by a HTC TyTN in 2007 and this was replaced by the HTC TyTN ii (aka HTC Kaiser) in 2008.

  • and Windows for me:
    HTC Touch HD early 2009,
    I tried installing Android as soon as it appeared, but the touch screen couldn't make it :( so
    Samsung galaxy S was next.

  • My first smartphone was a Palm Centro back around 2007/2008. My second was an Android in 2010, HTC droid incredible and was an awesome smartphone until it started crashing more than it worked. Ah the good old days.

  • HTC Incredible

  • Mine would be the Sony Ericsson Vivas running Symbian S60 - though getting apps was a bit of a mission!

    Peace ✌

  • Rodd Aug 19, 2016 Link to comment

    Motorola Atrix 4G

  • My first smartphone was Samsung Galaxy pocket, running on Android 2.3.6. , Than iPhone 4S, Than back to Android with Sony Xperia L, Now i have a Moto E 2 gen. Soon i get a Vernee Apollo Light.

  • oh my good ol' N82. Lousy camera, but I still made use of it once in a while =D

  • Meeee Aug 19, 2016 Link to comment

    Toshiba 2032 pocket pc after that samsung sp-i600 pocket pc.

  • kf1957 Aug 19, 2016 Link to comment

    HTC Thunderbolt, around Christmas 2009.

  • my first smartphone is a lg g3 i bought 1/2 year ago. but before i had a nexus 7 2012.

  • Scott Aug 19, 2016 Link to comment

    LG Incite was my first running Windows Mobile 6 I used it for a couple of years

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