These were PhoneArena authors' first smartphones
Nick T.: HTC Touch Pro2
Alan F. and Victor H.: Apple iPhone
Victor H.: I was not sold on the idea of the 'Symbian smartphone' since I found most of those devices terribly slow and limited, offering little in excess of a good old feature phone, so maybe that's why I was sticking to feature phones all the way until I got to see the first iPhone. Many nay-sayers are quick to dismiss the iPhone, but the truth is that back in 2007 and 2008 every tech enthusiast I knew that had seen the iPhone couldn't find enough superlatives to describe it. I smirked and shook my hand in disbelief at all the hype until I got to test it at a store in downtown Baltimore in 2008: the iPhone was really mind-blowing. I wasn't a rich kid, so rather than buying a new one, soon after trying it, I got a used iPhone with a slight crack in the screen, but this did not prevent me from spending countless hours with this gadget, it was almost like a love affair. It was amazing to see a device run so smoothly and being able to touch a display to seamlessly navigate the phone, see photos on it, read webpages, all of that would take years to arrive on other phones. Even after a couple of years (I did stick to that broken-screen iPhone for quite a while), I could still compare it with a new Android phone and feel it was superior in terms of perceived smoothness of its performance. Eventually, though, I switched camp to Android after a few years – it felt like a much better value for the money, offering simplicity and customization options that we didn't get from Apple (oh, and how I detested iTunes), but I still have warm feeling for that original iPhone and keep it in a drawer at home (it still works!).
Peter K.: Nokia N82
The first smartphone I've ever used was the Nokia N82, one of the more popular representatives of Nokia's N-series device family. I got it back in late 2008 and used it for two wonderful years.
Despite my quick falling in love with the N82, not everything was perfect for me – in the beginning, I thought that I would eventually get used to the extremely minuscule and inconvenient buttons on the physical keyboard, but alas, this never happened. In fact, as time went by, I found myself deeply hating the keypad. Yuck.
What happened to the phone? It's hidden in a cupboard, still working – after all, it's a Nokia. I will always have a soft spot for it.
Paul K.: Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
My first smartphone was the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. The thing I remember as a first impression is that I had a really tough time wrapping my head around how to operate it. Eventually, I began thinking of it as a "Pocket PC that just so happens to have phone functions" and things started clicking.
It was heavy, bulky, and its resistive touchscreen wasn't entirely too accurate, especially near the corners. To top it off, its Wi-Fi would turn off whenever the phone was on standby, which quickly destroyed my dream of being able to be constantly online on Skype. Still, I enjoyed being able to use it for Word documents and whatnot while on the go (Windows Phone 6.1!), and I have the fondest memories for the way its music player changed between different soft colors, depending on time of day.
Luis D.: HTC One V
Ray S.: HP iPAQ 514
My first smartphone was the HP iPAQ 514 (500 series) – a choice that I'd call a smooth transition into the world of smartphones. A smooth transition, because it wasn't really that different from the candybar feature phones that I had been using up to that point. Executed in a traditional candybar form itself, the iPAQ 514 was a no-frills phone with some smart functionality attached to it – mostly advanced business functionality like useful organizer features and email support.
Boy, was Windows Mobile a pain! Slow and laggy, buggy and glitchy. Still, it was great fun exploring the system and getting to know what's possible with it. I'd say I landed on a great device for first time smartphone owners – nice and affordable, yet allowing you to tinker with the software and try out mobile applications. And, although I was happy to move on to a much better device soon after, remembering the iPAQ 500 years later still puts a smile on my face.
Florin T.: HTC TyTN
The slide-out QWERTY keyboard and the stylus pen were the things that I liked most about the TyTN. The stylus was a necessity anyway, since the handset's 2.8-inch QVGA resistive display wasn't too responsive to fingers. Other than browsing the web (which wasn't exactly a great experience), I've rarely used the TyTN's smart features like email or document editing. I was more interested in the multitude of games that were available for Windows Mobile. As for the camera, the 2 MP snapper of the TyTN was terrible, even in bright day. Still, I definitely enjoyed carrying the HTC TyTN around, though this was not enough to make me want a new Windows-based smartphone (a couple of years later, Android seemed like a better option).