By Jason Thibeault
What's a smartphone? A smartphone is a combination cellular phone and Personal Digital Assistant. In the case of Kyocera's new QCP 6035, pictured in Figure A, the smartphone's PDA functions utilize the powerful Palm operating system.FIGURE A
The Kyocera QCP 6035 is thin, lightweight, and pleasantly styled. (click for larger image)
Any real review of the Kyocera QCP 6035 (at http://www.kyocera-wireless.com/kysmart/kysmart_series.htm) has to include a brief discussion of its predecessor, the pdQ smartphone. Fortunately, I owned a pdQ smartphone prior to purchasing a QCP 6035.
You can read Jason Perlow's review of the pdQ smartphone in the January 2000 issue of PalmPower at http://www.palmpower.com/issues/issue200001/pdq001.html. In Figure B, you can compare the old pdQ smartphone (on the left) to the QCP 6035 on the right.FIGURE B
Compare the pdQ smartphone (left) to the QCP 6035 (right). (click for larger image)
In looking back at the time when the smartphone was slung on my hip, I realize that it was the epitome of the phrase, "function over form." The pdQ was the Pontiac Aztec of the mobile phone world. But despite the smartphone being ugly and cumbersome, I used it religiously. The ability to dial straight from the contacts, the call History, and the Speed dial greatly simplified my work life. And the built-in modem allowed me to connect wirelessly to Earthlink (at http://www.earthlink.com) to get my email.
In all truth, at the time it came out, the pdQ smartphone was the closest thing to being the Holy Grail of handhelds.
But the pdQ, much maligned in the marketplace, had some serious drawbacks as a Palm handheld. First, it had only 2MB of non-upgradeable memory. Second, it had a non-upgradeable operating system, so you couldn't take advantage of improved IR (infrared) functions like IR HotSync. Third, and this was perhaps its biggest drawback, it weighed 75 tons.
Okay, I'm exaggerating.
On the plus side, unlike any other cell phone, you could easily cradle it between your ear and shoulder like a real cordless phone (or one of those gigantic walki-talkies from those 1950 war movies).
I only owned the pdQ a few short months before upgrading to the QCP 6035, but during that time, it acquired a host of nicknames and monikers-the two best being the "Shoe Phone" (aptly named after Agent Maxwell Smart's innovative technology) and the "Brick" (simply because it was). And, of course, everyone was always asking me to radio HQ about storming the bunker.