15 gadgets the smartphone killed

8. Portable video players

Another ancient relic of a bygone era (shh, don't mention that to Archos!), a portable video player is a single-use device with limited storage. A smartphone lets you buy Hollywood movies on the go and you can record your own material at will.

TV catchup

9. Digital picture frames

The Motorola Backflip has a hinge that lets you set the device horizontally and use it as a picture frame. The upcoming Nokia N8 has a kickstand for the very same purpose. Slideshows can run directly from the Web, and screen resolution is actually quite sufficient for those family beach shots. Besides, you can use the device to take the photos or video and then use it as a picture frame.

10. PDAs

Surprisingly, there was once a product category for the PDA, or personal digital assistant. Palm introduced one in about 1812. There's no longer a need for a dedicated organizer, since your smartphone has cal, contacts, and task lists.

11. Handheld game machines

Nintendo is developing a portable game system that displays in 3D, and we'll admit it sounds compelling. But why bother? The reason: platforms such as Google Android and iPhone OS have become amazingly viable, the games are actually as good or better (have you tried Alive-4ever yet?) and you can add them easily. Also, a five-minute game with okay graphics that costs $2 is better than a $20 game that makes you squint at the screen because it's trying to be a PS3 game.

iPhone real racing

12. Mobile Internet device

Just when the average consumer figured out what MID even stands for, the product category started to falter. Yes, the idea of a real computer that fits in your hand sounds appealing, especially if it runs Win 7 or Linux. But a smartphone running at 1GHz, with a wide selection of apps and a good keyboard, is a smarter choice.

13. Internet watches

Remember the Microsoft Spot watch? The concept is relatively sound – show weather widgets and stock quotes on your watch. The problem is that, if you are under 30, you probably use your smartphone as a watch. Also, the devices were so bulky and forced you to charge yet another gadget they were easy to obfuscate.

14. Voice recorders

These quaint devices from Sony and others are still around, but we're not sure why. We suppose not every Apple iPhone user knows they have a more than adequate, built-in voice recorder app available with plenty of voice recording space.

15. Sat nav

Garmin and others already see the writing on the wall – which is why they are developing smartphones that work as dedicated GPS devices. But just about every smartphone now has GPS built-in, with a wealth of apps available, voice navigation, and the ability to updates maps over Wi-Fi. And, you can use a car mount for your smartphone as well – and then pop the phone out and go for a walk.

Google maps

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.