Ericsson T18z

Here’s the North American version of Ericsson’s T18s — the T18z. You can read Steve Punter’s review from back in the day here.

The distinguishing feature of Fido‘s version was a built-in belt clip on the back of the housing. Of course I never clipped it my belt¬† — I was no biz-knob! Instead I put it right on my chest via the strap of my messenger bag, like a bike courier would. Never mind that I didn’t have a bike at the time…

Unfortunately the T18z was cursed with an incredibly stiff keypad. To combat this I bought a snap-on qwerty Chatboard, a¬†solution that was only a semi-usable. Holding the Chatboard with both thumbs (for BlackBerry-style texting) wasn’t easy because the much heavier phone attached on top had you constantly fighting very noticeable forces of gravity.

I also ponied up for the “Mobile Office” accessory, basically an infra-red modem. This way I could use my Palm Pilot for texting, but to do so my phone and PDA had to maintain a line-of-sight connection — which meant laying down both of them on a flat surface. Not exactly convenient when on the move, but a neat proof of concept in a geeky kind of way.