The year is 2003. College-edition Michael Fisher is splitting his time between acting and trawling HowardForums for the latest mobile tech. His daily driver is a Samsung SPH-A600 cameraphone with a nifty rotating screen, and he likes it. But every day he walks past his college technology store on the way to class – and every day a bigger, beefier smart device beckons from the window.
Twelve years later, he finally gets his hands on one.
Now, despite the resemblance to its clamshell communicator contemporaries, this Sony Clie (the PEG-NR-70/U, with an accent on the é if you want to be formal about it) wasn’t a phone. Sony called it a Personal Entertainment Organizer, but it was essentially a PDA on steroids. If, like one of the commenters on the video below, you were born the year this device was released and therefore have no idea what a PDA is, check it:
In a time when smartphones were still in their infancy, there was a market for standalone “personal digital assistants” to manage your calendar, memos, and address book – like an electronic version of a pocket calendar, notebook, and address book all rolled into one. The PDA category is where Palm built the beginnings of its empire, in an era when companies like Apple were still struggling to get the basics right. Eventually, PDAs would merge with mobile phones to create the smartphones we know and love today.
Back in 2003 though, the US cellphone market was more about size than capability, with manufacturers racing to build the smallest, most pocketable pocket communicators they could churn out. So if you wanted fancy features like a big touchscreen, MP3 player, video camera, or robust software running third-party apps, you needed a PDA. And if you asked 2003-me, he’d tell you there was no better PDA to buy than the Sony CLIÉ he drooled over on the way to class every single day.
Join me for Pocketnow’s latest Throwback Review to see if he was right.
Sony CLIÉ PEG-NR70 Throwback Review
Looking for more techno-staglia to stoke the fires of your memory? Look no further! We’ve got throwback reviews of the Moto Q, Dell Venue Pro, HTC HD2, and even the rarest of the rare: a flip smartphone built for a network that no longer exists!