Guess the Device: An Important Part of Mobile History

by Brandon Russell | May 17, 2014

When Jon first told me he still had this device, I reacted with confusion. The what device? I asked him, furiously typing into Google. Oh, got it. That thing belongs in a museum. I am a late-bloomer to the tech scene, I’ll admit. I love pretty gadgets, sure, but I never really lusted after them the way others did; I was more of a casual onlooker. So, it was with much humility that I say I really have no clue what this device is. I actually had to play Guess the Device before writing this—so, you know, that’s fun. Around when this device came out, I was a) too young to care and b) more worried about video games and summer. But here we are.

I’m unfamiliar with this particular chapter in this company’s history. Was this a precursor to what we have now? Who was this aimed at? Rich businessmen? College students? Because so far as I could tell, just because a technology exists, doesn’t mean you have to actually use it; there are other ways of getting things done. But since I have zero experience with actually using the device, I can’t say one way or another if it was any good. On first impression, however, it doesn’t seem like the most elegant of devices. And that hardware—yuck.

From what I’m reading, the later version of this device was quite popular, and even spawned off some dedicated stores in select markets. Some used models of this device are apparently still commanding a pretty penny, for what that’s worth; I’d imagine that’s more for sentimental reasons than actually functionality. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this device ironically being used by someone at a New York coffee shop. That gives me an idea… too bad the AA batteries in Jon’s model are stuck.

Last week’s Guess the Phone was the Lumia 1520.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...