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Most of us tech-heads know which device or technology sparked our interest first. It might have been something you owned as a child or an entirely fictional gadget from Star Trek. For me, the idea of being able to talk to someone miles away on the phone without having any wires connecting you seemed totally impossible. I had a fascination with mobile communication devices from a young age.
After that fascination, we tend to – sort of – develop preferences, and become fans of various manufacturers. At least, that’s how it was with general consumer tech. For mobile phones (until quite recently) there were seemingly tons of carrier exclusives. To get a particular phone, you’d have to go with a particular network operator. For the iPhone, that was AT&T for a long time. For the first Android phone, the G1, it was T-Mobile.
But some, like most of yourselves, are fans of a particular carrier and won’t choose a device if it means switching. Thankfully, that’s not as big a deal as it used to be. But I was curious, which device got you on to the magenta carrier. I first signed a T-Mobile UK contract in November 2005, and it was to get a particular phone: MDA Vario (pictured above).
Essentially, it was a hideous, bulky, clunky Windows Mobile device. It had a 2.8-inch display with a pixel density of less than 143ppi. It was no Retina, but it was incredible for the time. It weighed over 6-ounces, was almost an inch thick and 4.5 inches tall. It was also available in different forms, depending on which carrier you went with. Back in the day before HTC became a well-known brand, this was how it operated. Selling devices with the carriers’ choices of branding and bloatware. HTC TyTN was essentially the exact same device, but with a few hardware tweaks.
At the time, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was impressed that it ran a basic version of the software I used on PC. And, instead of typing using a fiddly onscreen keyboard, I could use the built in, horizontal-sliding physical QWERTY. I had it about 2 months before I ditched it for a Motorola V3i, the complete polar opposite. Ever since that day, I’ve had at least one line with T-Mobile.
I’ve had great phones and awful phones in the 8 years since then, but I’ll always remember the Vario as being my first “proper” smartphone and being my first phone purchased from Tmo.
But I’m interested, what device first got you hooked on to T-Mobile? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me: @TiP_Cam