My Retro Dream Phone
Thinking about it, it occurred to me that I already have my dream phone. It just needs a few minor improvements.
The Psion Revo was my pda of choice for years and one of my favorite gadgets ever. The screen has a diagonal measure of 5"; the keyboard is, for something its size, amazing. I can actually touch type on it, although not as well as on a standard keyboard. To convert it into my dream phone, all we have to do is:
Replace the screen with a color touch screen about 400x900.
Add the internals of a 3G cell phone.
Add a miniSD slot and a USB connection.
Camera and gps would be nice as well, but not essential.
The result would be bigger than almost most cell phones but still small enough to carry around all the time, as I used to carry my Revo. Assuming that replacing obsolete innards with their more up to date equivalent would leave weight and dimensions unchanged, we have:
157 mm x 79 mm x 17mm
For a comparison, the Advantage, the only phone I have so far found with an adequate screen, is:
133.5 mm (L) x 98 mm (W) x 20 mm (T) (with keyboard attached)
So my super Revo would be longer than the Advantage but smaller in overall volume and much lighter.
Of course, the Advantage is an unusually heavy phone. The M800 is smaller than the Revo but, at 178 g, only a little lighter. My 9300 is quite a lot smaller but, at 167 g, only about an ounce lighter.
Unfortunately, Psion exited the consumer market years ago after losing out in competition with Palm; I doubt they will reenter. But the Revo shows what it is possible to do in terms of screen size and keyboard while still keeping overall size and weight down to a tolerable level. Nokia, or Sony, or HTC could presumably license the keyboard design and work out the rest of my dream phone for themselves.
I have said nothing about software. I am reasonably happy with my Nokia 9300 but its successor, the E90, I found unworkable for several reasons, including its different and, in my judgment, much inferior version of the Symbion OS. I have no experience with Microsoft's competing OS. Perhaps, when my phone comes out, it should run Google's Android.