Before the AMD Phenom there was… the LG Phenom.

I’ve just come across this little LG PDA which, amazingly, has been knocking around the office for a decade – it was reviewed in the December 1998 issue of PC Pro. Even stranger is the name: the Phenom, a title now belonging to AMD’s consumer CPUs.

Before the AMD Phenom there was… the LG Phenom.


Plugging in the power supply and switching on to see its black-and-white passive-matrix screen, I was whisked back to a peculiar moment in computing history. The Phenom runs an early version of Windows CE. At the time several otherwise sane companies were selling devices based on this utterly horrible dog’s breakfast of an operating system. Try using it for a few hours and you find yourself battling inexplicably random behaviour. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Then it hangs completely.


The recessed reset button – which most devices hide on the underside – is placed prominently above the keyboard in a tacit admission that it’s likely to get some fairly regular prodding to recover from crashes. Feeble ‘Pocket’ versions of Word and Excel, plus an email client that couldn’t even use a secure connection (making it incompatible with Microsoft’s own MSN mail at the time) made all but the most basic of tasks impossibly frustrating. And in the era before USB, the serial port connection to a PC made synching data an uphill struggle.

My favourite feature is the way that when the backup battery is low, you get a great big warning dialog box popping up in front of your work every couple of minutes. There’s no way to cancel this reminder, so even if you’ve got the thing plugged into the mains and the battery is fully charged, you’re constantly interrupted with dire warnings of data loss. It’s the single worst design feature of any operating system I’ve ever used.


Thank goodness, then, that the descendant of Windows CE doesn’t form the basis of modern Windows Mobile smartphones.



Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos