Chances are, you haven't used a phone this big since the mid-Nineties, but in 1985, we declared the car-powered cell phone as one of the most exciting portable handsets to come out of the electronics markets. Back then, there were three types of portable phones available. The "go-anywhere cellular telephones," which could be unplugged from your car and hooked up to a battery pack, was about the size of a small typewriter. There was also the briefcase model, which was exactly what it sounds like. Finally, the pocket-sized portables used a smaller battery than other varieties. To our delight, the 1985 models used a system A-B switch that let roaming users select the least-used band in their area.
While cell phones had a long way to go before becoming a standard personal item, we already had a clear vision of how they would revolutionize everyday life. "Cellular systems make possible mobile offices with fast access to national data bases, electronic mail, and main-frame computers at offices," we said. "Some third-generation cellular telephones are likely to be packaged in a briefcase along with a modem, computer, and small printer."
Read the full story in 36 Cellular Phones for Car, Briefcase, Even Your Pocket