Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sony Ericsson P800

I had a fairly short learning curve with cellphones. Pretty soon I'd figured which websites would review the hottest cellphones and reveal yet to be launched ones. In fact some of my friends used to ask me for these URLs. I think Google search hadn't matured as much at that time (all the others like Altavista, Hotbot, Dogpile were still smoldering as they died down). So, I came across this excitement about the launch of Sony Ericsson's first ever smartphone. The amazing P800. It had everything you could think of - and more. I was just wide eyed in wonder at all the stuff it could do.
One of the biggest attractions to most people was the fact that it had a digital camera built in. Actually that was probably it's weakest point because it did pretty poor grainy images. However, that's what people were interested in the most. So I spent a princely sum to make the P800 my own (around INR 30k, about 750$, IIRC). Sometime in 2003.

The P800 was the first Sony Ericsson-branded smartphone and was feature rich: built-in camera, a pen-operated touch-screen, media player, Web browser, organiser functions, PC synchronisation, GPRS, MMS, Bluetooth and Java. 3rd party apps had started appearing on handango. It had a great form factor as far as smartphones go. And it was curvy in a cute way. All subsequent models from Sony Ericsson went business like steel greyesque straightlined ones.

I used it for a lot of stuff. I got GPRS enabled and even used to surf the web. And Yahoo IM though Agile Messenger was a commonly used app. I heavily used this till mid 2005. In between at one time the screen broke (I'd dropped it) and I had to give it for an expensive repair (cost about 200$). I still have this phone as a back-up and I'd last used this in 2009!

Overall, I think this was a phone much ahead of it's time and I thoroughly enjoyed having it. Many phones I had since then were lot less impressive.

The thing I like the most? The rotating jog dial on the left of the phone. This made it possible to scroll and click on this phone even with one hand. I just love this feature. I guess it's a SONY proprietary design (the j70 had it too) and I miss this on most other cellphones.

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