20 years ago I bought my first mobile phone

SBlue1

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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Now that I am eligible for a new phone like every two years I just tried to find out when it all started for me and I found out it was exactly this time around 20 years ago! Wow!

It was a big chunky Sony CM-DX 2000 with a whopping 97 x 33 pixels display and 100 hours standby time. I was pretty late actually as some in my class and even my brother already had mobile phones.

Since then I had a Nokia 8210 (loved its size and the bright orange metallic flake cover), Nokia 8310, Motorola V500 (my first flip phone), Samsung D600 (my first slide phone), Samsung U700 (loved that all-chrome front), ZTE Blade (my first smartphone), iPhone 5 (my first iPhone), iPhone 6 (best iPhone ever), and finally iPhone 7 (which I hated cause of the missing headphone jack but hey my company gave it to me for free...).

What was your first mobile phone and which was your favourite?
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,537
25,262
My first real mobile phone was the Nokia 5110. I accidentally smashed its screen when it was charging on the floor and I dropped a plug on it.

I briefly had a Nokia before that which was a flip phone and didn’t even have Snake, so definitely an earlier model than the one listed above. No idea what that model was.

My worst phone was this piece of crap touchscreen Nokia that followed the iPhone. It had a stylus and this dumb laggy bounce ball 3D game which was infuriating, but which I (forcibly) managed to complete because the third party app selection was terrible/non-existent.

No, scrap that. My worst phone was this utter ballsack of a Sagem that had a terrible way of texting. I’m assuming because Nokia patented the click for each letter (e.g., tap the number 1 three times for the letter C), they had to implement a different method. You’d have to hold the button down until it would slowly move between letters. Texting was a goddamn chore. I could touch type on a 3310 like nothing else and moving such a big step backwards for such a fundamental element of a phone was infuriating.

My favourite have to be the iPhones. The iPhone 4 was my first ever iPhone. Boy was that way above the competition. Then the 5S, then the X.

The X is by far the best experience I’ve ever had with a phone.
 
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Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
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Flea Bottom, King's Landing
My first cell phone was a Star Tac. I used it for 6 years before it broke. Then got a Nokia 1260. That thing was neigh indestructible. The only reason I stopped using it was because Cingular merged with AT&T and dropped TDMA support shortly afterwards.
Now I'm using hand me down Android phones.
 
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Ntombi

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2008
3,394
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Bostonian exiled in SoCal
My first cellphone was 21 years ago. Some brick phone that I can’t remember. I had that, then maybe the StarTac or Razr, or vice versa. Then I moved to smartphones. My first couple were the Palm smartphone, because I’d used Palm Pilots for years. I had two or three Palm phones before I finally got the iPhone, once the 3G came out.

I refused to not have 3G service, so I skipped the original. AT&T Edge service in SoCal sucked donkey balls, so, as much of an Apple fangirl as I was, I couldn’t do it.

Since the 3G, I’ve had pretty much every iPhone (minus the SE or 5C!). My favorites? The 4 felt like a freaking Rolls Royce. I loved the phone. The X was a big leap, with the OLED screen and Face ID, which I loved from the start. Those are probably my favorites.
 

Hater

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2017
898
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Edinburgh, Scotland
Mine, as a 10 year old kid, was a Nokia 8250 when they were $1000 phones. ($AUD not $US)

My Dad bought one, dropped it a while later in a puddle. Insurance gave him a new one, told him to keep the old one. I didn't even do anything, I just decided on a whim to plug it into the charger. It took a few minutes but it fired right up.

Used it for like 5 years... until I was 16 or so and could afford something newer. Was a... flip phone... a Nokia, but I don't remember which one. 6xxx I think. Now this will bug me, was expensive at the time though. Had a little LCD on the outside and the normal screen on the inside

Edit: It was a 6170

That got nicked, so I had a 7250 after it. Then I had an N95 8GB...

Sold the N95 and bought an iPhone (original) for less than what I sold the N95 for...

Then I had a Galaxy S, Motorola Droid (original), iPhone 3GS... iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 (as an experiment, trying to flash the Android One M8 to the Windows Phone One W8 firmware) then a iPhone 6S for 6 months before jumping on the best phone ever... the iPhone SE.

Haven't upgraded since the SE for obvious reasons.

Edit: Damn, I had a BlackBerry Bold 9000, 9700 and Nokia E72 for a while in there too, loved the QWERTY phones.

Double edit: Also forgot about the times I had a Lumia 900, Lumia 1020 and Lumia 520 :(
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
37,098
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Behind the Lens, UK
Now that I am eligible for a new phone like every two years I just tried to find out when it all started for me and I found out it was exactly this time around 20 years ago! Wow!

It was a big chunky Sony CM-DX 2000 with a whopping 97 x 33 pixels display and 100 hours standby time. I was pretty late actually as some in my class and even my brother already had mobile phones.

Since then I had a Nokia 8210 (loved its size and the bright orange metallic flake cover), Nokia 8310, Motorola V500 (my first flip phone), Samsung D600 (my first slide phone), Samsung U700 (loved that all-chrome front), ZTE Blade (my first smartphone), iPhone 5 (my first iPhone), iPhone 6 (best iPhone ever), and finally iPhone 7 (which I hated cause of the missing headphone jack but hey my company gave it to me for free...).

What was your first mobile phone and which was your favourite?
Mrs AFB still uses my old Samsung D600 slider phone. She likes the fact it’s not desirable for any thief.

She uses an iPad Pro in the house.

Our first phones were made by Phillips. Can remember the make.
 

TooDarkPark

Suspended
Nov 23, 2017
85
20
My first cellphone was purchased around 1993. It was a Panasonic. I bought the extra kit that included a leather case, car charger and extra battery. This phone allowed me to change batteries while in the middle of a call without disconnecting the call as long as I did so within a minute of removing the battery. It stored 100 phone numbers. Back then of course, a package of 200 minutes or so was about $175 per month. This picture is my actual phone from 1993. I have a few other old ones upstairs that maybe I'll grab in the morning and post a picture of, They're from around 1996 or so.

20180925_045323.jpg
 
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SBlue1

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Oct 17, 2008
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I don’t even remember the plan I had. I guess it was like 19 Euro Cents per message? Well it had to be DM back then. And I don’t think there was a flatrate for talking. I just know that the Nokia 8210 was very thin and sleak compared to other phones so it was 1000 DM, double my apartment rent! LOL! The phone was subsidized by the carrier though but still it was a lot!

I still have the same phone number I had with the first phone.
 

400

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2015
375
95
Wales
Had some work issue second hand one in the late 80's. No real worry of it getting knicked as you needed some serious muscle to shift it. When they did get stolen the police just looked for the nearest person out of breath with hernia.

When the batteries failed, we just opened them up and replaced them with sealed units from the usual suspect industry supplier (RS in the UK). 12v I think? 2 of them? big batteries anyway.

As soon as we left the office to go wherever, they never worked, cell coverage being in its infancy out in the sticks and no coverage where we worked but we were told we had to have one in case they needed to get hold of us. Handy for keeping paperwork from flying around outdoors.

Car kit meant dismantling the portable one and using part of it to fit into the car. That needed aerials and battery feed fitted.
 

Mac'nCheese

Suspended
Feb 9, 2010
3,752
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I can't even remember. It was free. Stayed in my car for emergencies. Every year, we would all switch carriers and get a new, free phone. Didn't even care about our cell phone number. Just get a new one. Only a few people had the number, it was manly a just in case phone.
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
695
280
Key West FL
My first one was some 21-22 years ago. It was a Qualcom device sold by PrimeCo. It was massive by today's standards. It was too large and heavy to fit a pocket; you needed a belt case for it. I replaced it later with an early StarTac. I still use a "flip phone", though my current phone is an LTE device that runs a stripped down Android.
 

shinji

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2007
1,321
1,510
I got my first cell phone about 20 years ago. A Nokia something or other whose features included user-customizable ringtones and a snake game.

Stuck with Nokia until I got a Motorola flip phone, which sucked, and then I switched to the iPhone 3GS. Been with iPhones ever since.

My favorite though was the iPhone 4S with its sleek design.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,978
1,523
Georgia
My first phone I got 19 years around this time of year. It was a Samsung of some sort. I was the first of my friends with one. Everyone else had pagers. Sprint was my carrier. It was $35 a month and I had a couple hundred minutes and texts per month.

I forget what the next phone was. Just some junker. I dumped Sprint because they demanded I sign up for two years just to change what was, by then, a crap plan.

Next I had a Motorola RAZR. It was a slick phone. It was a real pain to get going again if the battery died. They also weren’t that reliable. I think I had a couple of those. After that was an iPhone 3GS and my current 5s.

As you may tell. I’m not big on having the latest and greatest.
 

Strider64

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2015
777
2,873
Suburb of Detroit
I can't remember when I bought my first mobile phone. but I found it funny that everyone was concerned about how many minutes we used and location was still a big big big thing. Though about 5-7 years ago I had jury duty in Downtown Detroit and during lunch recess I made a call home. When I got my phone bill it said I called from Canada and Verizon tacked on approximately an additional $12.00 for it being an International call. I laughed for when I made that call I was outside the RenCen on the boardwalk that's next to the Detroit River (It was a nice sunny day) and the call must had bounced off a cell tower that was in Windsor, Canada. I call Verizon to argue my case and the person said there was nothing that could be done. I said that was Hogwash, for I'm sure there are plenty of business people working in Downtown Detroit that would be complaining and besides I had proof that I was in Detroit for I had Jury Duty in the Coleman Young Building. To make a long story short they took the call off the bill.
 

Krayzkat

Suspended
Apr 22, 2011
755
1,351
Summer of '99 for me. Nokia 3210. In blue. It had snake and some other crappy games. You had to remove the battery to put your SIM card in. No headphone jack (it was so futuristic back then). If you dropped it it didn't matter it didn't break. It was the first mass market mobile phone with an internal aerial.

Got a new phone on average ever 2 years since then. Nokia 3310, a Motorola Razer, a Samsung 'Razer' style phone, a Sony Ericson which was first with a colour screen (i remember being amazed watching videos on it 1.5-2" screen. My last phone before iPhone (BI) was a Nokia N80 which i thought was great at the time, it had touch screen but wasn't anywhere near as accurate as iPhones were and so i would have to use the built in stylus. Then i got an iPhone 4, then a 5, then a 6 plus which was only phone i had for only 1 year as it was pretty slow and stuttery, then a 6s plus, which i still have and will probably end up keeping until next year now (tried the Xs but had some issues plus didn't think it was worth the money)
 
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SBlue1

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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And I must say that I loved those flip phones; gorgeous and highly portable things, and I wish something of that sort was available now.
Mobile phones were all getting smaller and smaller until when they began being used for more than just messaging and cals. I remember seeing a match box sized flip phone and thinking how small the phones would be by the year 2020 and man was I wrong! LOL

So maybe the smartwatch will take the place of the call and text only mobile phone in the future, leaving the big screen smartphones in the backpacks and purses for when you really need a big screen or want to make a photo.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
51,644
35,214
The Far Horizon
Mobile phones were all getting smaller and smaller until when they began being used for more than just messaging and cals. I remember seeing a match box sized flip phone and thinking how small the phones would be by the year 2020 and man was I wrong! LOL

So maybe the smartwatch will take the place of the call and text only mobile phone in the future, leaving the big screen smartphones in the backpacks and purses for when you really need a big screen or want to make a photo.
I regret the passing of those small, elegant, exceedingly portable phones.
 
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