From enormous, 80-pound, car-mounted beasts to tiny terminals in our back pockets, mobile phones have come a long way. What once cost thousands, weighed 2 pounds, and packed 60 minutes of battery life now costs $99, weighs 4 ounces, and packs 5 to 10 hours of battery life--and also includes a full-fledged computer, a video camera, audio/video playback, and high-speed Internet access.
How did we get from there to here? Let's take a brief tour through the history of the cell phone. The following phones don't necessarily reflect the first or best of each type, but instead represent certain phases in mobile phone evolution over the last 50 years.
For more looks at gear and gadgets of the past, see:
* 16 Breakthrough Notebooks: A Look Back
* From Palm Pilot to Palm Pre: A Brief History of Palm's Handhelds
* Inside the World's Greatest Keyboard