We’ve come a long way from ‘clamshells’, ‘bricks’ and ‘bananas’ but there are some phones we’ll never forget.
On 19th February 1884, Ericsson combined the transmitter and receiver to produce one of the earliest telephone handsets. According to Ericsson History, at first it was used by telephone operators, then later versions became smaller and lighter for use by subscribers.
1. Motorola DynaTAC 8000x (1983)
The DynaTAC 8000x deserves a mention for being the first handheld mobile phone to hit the market. Not the most glamorous of the collection, the DynaTAC was nicknamed ‘The Brick’ by its own creators and carried a cool £2550 ($3,995) price tag. You could get half a dozen iPhone 6s for that today. With a 10-hour charge offering a measly 30 minutes of call time, it’s hard to tell why people bought this thing.
2. Nokia 8110 (1999)
What happens when you feature a spring-loaded phone in a popular film about a virtual reality where people can fly? The world goes into meltdown, demands the phone’s existence and out pops Nokia’s 8110 a few months later. Even now this scene from the Matrix makes phone lovers go weak at the knees. Just watch the video below and try telling us you don’t miss spring-loaded phones.
3. Nokia 3210/3310 (199/2000)
If you didn’t own a Nokia 3210 then what were you doing? Nokia shipped a whopping 286 million of these beasts worldwide before it was replaced with the 3310. That’s the equivalent of everyone in the UK owning four of them! They took the world by storm and introduced us to everyone’s favourite game, Snake. Throw in a battery life that lasted all eternity and you had yourself the ultimate mobile phone of its day.
4. Sharp GX10 (2003)
This was the one phone to rule them all in the early noughties. While most of us were playing with mono ringtones and single colour displays, the Sharp GX10 exploded onto the scene. It offered the UK its first ever camera phone with a 65k colour display and polyphonic ringtones. If you had the GX10 you were basically the most popular person on the planet.
5. Motorola Razr V3 (2003)
With a sleek design, front facing colour display and 130 million sales this flip phone was on another level. The hot pink version practically sponsored teenage girls in the mid noughties. Every classroom was full of these beauties.
6. Samsung D500 (2004)
Just when we thought flip phones couldn’t be topped, Samsung blew the market wide open with the D500. The phone featured a beautiful soft-touch slide design, which revealed the keypad when opened. It was simple, effortless and incredibly sexy. In fact, we should all start a petition to make Samsung bring it back. Slider smartphone? Yes, please!
7. Sony Ericsson W810i (2006)
If you owned the Sony Ericsson W810i, you were definitely the school bus DJ. With MP3 playback, this phone pumped out the tunes while the rest of the bus continued in polyphonic ringtone land. As long as you were happy taking song requests, the W810i gave you immediate access to the backseats of the bus.
8. BlackBerry Curve 8300 (2007)
The BlackBerry Curve was originally designed for business use. However, once school kids got a sniff of BlackBerry’s free messaging service, BBM, that was it. Every child across the UK frantically bashed their BlackBerry’s QWERTY keypad as they sent hundreds of free messages to each other. The service took over the mobile world like wild fire. If you weren’t on it, where were you?
Mobile phones have come on leaps and bounds since the DynaTAC. Although the latest handsets may not look as flamboyant as their predecessors, they sure are packing a lot more under the hood. But we never forget our first phone.