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5 Retro phones that will take you back to the 2000s

BY musicMagpie

27th Jun 2023 Technology

5 Retro phones that will take you back to the 2000s

There's something about tech from the past that is alluring, from film cameras and vinyls to a growing nostalgia for flip phones. We revisit some of the most iconic retro phones

In an age of ubiquitous technology, where each day seems to bring a new advancement in AI capabilities and more, there exists a curious paradox: a growing fondness for old, and even obsolete, tech. From an obsession with film photography to a rise in the sales of flip phones, it seems many of us are eager to hark back to simpler times.

Feeling nostalgic about your own tech use? Refurbished phone specialists, musicMagpie have taken a trip down memory lane, looking at some of the most iconic mobile phones from the 2000s. 

Nokia 3310

Nokia 3310 - retro mobile phones

Replacing the original 3210, the Nokia 3310 is perhaps the most iconic phone to come out in the 2000s, featuring a design which has maintained its cult status decades on. 

Liam Howley, Chief Marketing Officer at musicMagpie, says, “Colloquially nicknamed 'The Brick', the Nokia 3310 was the ‘indestructible phone’ famous for its legendary battery life. Without a doubt its most notable feature, the durability of the Nokia 3310 still amuses online communities today. 

"Nicknamed 'The Brick', the Nokia 3310 was the ‘indestructible phone’ famous for its legendary battery life"

“The device also brought features such as a calculator, stopwatch and ‘chat’ function to the mainstream mobile, and unforgettably, Snake II! Nearly a decade before the iOS App Store made its debut, Nokia had millions of people hooked on the addictive single-player game.”

Motorola RAZR V3

Motorola RAZR V3 - retro mobile phones

Released in 2004, the Motorola RAZR V3 was famed for its sleek design and most importantly, its thinness. When the V3 first launched it was the slimmest phone on the market, at just 13.9mm. However, compared to modern standards, this would feel noticeably bulky—the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ is nearly half the thickness at just 7.85mm!

“The super slim flip phone was the thing of dreams, and if you were lucky enough to get your hands on one, you were envied," Liam adds.

“The stylish shell of the V3 was appreciated by celebs and for the first time, technology became a fashion statement. It was made popular by the likes of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, as well as being featured in iconic films including The Devil Wears Prada. In 2005, Motorola even partnered with Dolce & Gabbana to launch a limited edition of the V3 in gold.” 

“Without a doubt, the Motorola V3 set the standard for future mobile phones when it comes to aesthetics.”

Sony Ericsson Walkmans

Sony Ericsson Walkmans

Released over a six-year period, between 2005 and 2011, Sony partnered with Walkman to produce these devices in a number of different styles including the clamshell, slider and candy bar models. 

Liam comments, “While the orange-and-white of the original Sony Ericsson W800i is an unforgettable exterior design, it was the function of these phones which evokes the most nostalgia. For arguably the first time, the cell phone was marketed as a device to play music, not solely to communicate.

"The device could store 250 tracks—a groundbreaking moment for technology at the time"

“With novelty features such as shaking the phone to change the song, the device could store 250 tracks that could be downloaded from your computer—a far cry from the streaming services we’re accustomed to today but a groundbreaking moment for technology at the time.” 

BlackBerry Pearl

Blackberry Pearl - retro mobile phones

Making the jump from a "business-people" phone to a mainstream must-have, the BlackBerry Pearl was released in 2006 to target a larger market. 

“Known as ‘the fun BlackBerry’, the Pearl featured both a camera and media player, making it more attractive to the general public than previous BlackBerry designs," Liam says

“The Pearl also introduced a feature which is now remembered as a staple of BlackBerry phones: the trackball. Outside of the QWERTY keyboard and new predictive typing technology, the iconic screen muncher tool was born—perfect for when you need to archive a BBM conversation with your BFF.”

The iPhone (1st Generation)

1st generation iPhone - retro mobile phones

In 2007, Apple changed the smartphone industry forever with the launch of the first iPhone

Liam says, “The iPhone was probably the most important phone ever released, if not the most important product in modern history—completely changing the way we used mobile phones, and ultimately the way we live our lives.

"The iPhone was probably the most important phone ever released, if not the most important product in modern history"

“Released with a dedicated YouTube app, Maps app and iTunes app all accessible via a touch-screen design, this was the most advanced technology to date. It was no surprise that the phone was named the Time Magazine Invention of 2007.”

The rise of tech nostalgia

“Without a doubt, smartphones have changed our lives forever, and many of us struggle to imagine a world without them," Liam says. "But with the increasing anxieties around the rapid advancement in technology, it’s no wonder that more of us seek the familiarity of tech from ‘the good old days’.

“Part of the reason these phones hold a place in our hearts is because they symbolise simpler times, as well as memories from when they were in our possession. However, given the choice, most of us would still be reluctant to give up the perks of today’s technology. Our phones help us stay connected, access our friends and families and navigate the world around us, all from our fingertips.

“If you’re looking to give a second life to used technology—without having to go back to the 2000s—buying refurbished phones can provide both environmental and financial benefits, so it's a win-win!"

To find the perfect refurbished phone for you, visit https://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/store/

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