Chapter 17 – My First Sony (Ericsson)

Handspring’s second-generation Treo 600 promised to be a big improvement over my first-gen 270, with a sturdy candy bar design replacing the admittedly flimsy flip. But by the spring of 2003 it still hadn’t come to market, and the wait was killing me. The Palm/Handspring operating system had proved its mettle for smartphones, so I ponied up for the rather expensive Palm Tungsten T and found a suitable Bluetooth-enabled handset to pair it with. That phone was the Sony Ericsson T68i.

Sony had already been making their own handsets — at least in the UK — for quite some time. Their join venture with Ericsson was inked in 2001 but the T68i, the combined companies’ first product, took almost two years to arrive in Canada. Its standout feature was an available camera accessory that plugged in to the bottom of the phone.

It was an expensive add-on that I never even bothered with; in fact, this particular phone/PDA combo lasted maybe a week before I sent both back to their respective stores. In theory, using a phone as a Bluetooth modem was a godsend. One could enjoy the mobile Internet on an expansive touch-enabled screen while the signal source was safely tucked away in a pocket. In practice, though, this setup was a pain. A constant Bluetooth connection easily halved the battery life of both devices; your only other choice was to pair and un-pair them manually throughout the day.

I vowed that I would never again separate PDA from phone, and my next device kept me to that promise…