1996: Nokia 9000 Communicator
To modern eyes, it's chunky enough to double, Maglite-style, as a self-defense weapon. But in 1997, the Nokia 9000 Communicator, with QWERTY keyboard and 640-x-200-pixel screen hidden inside, was a smartphone before anyone was using the term. Its GEOS operating system ran a full suite of personal organization software, and it switched from fax, email and SMS to full Internet access.
The Communicator series evolved in a few years, and made appearances in several movies as a cool high-tech prop. Val Kilmer used a 9000 in the big-screen adaptation of The Saint, and the Terminatrix used a 9210 in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. But these machines only rose so high before other technology took over.