Mobile Phone Habits That Time Forgot 90’s Onwards

Phone’s just don’t get this treatment no more!

Some mobile phone nostalgia, today.. We can clearly define today 2 different eras in communicating and mobile phones..Right now with Smartphones and watches compared to when there were many more models to favour.

Let’s have a look back in time from about sort of 1998 onward a little in to the 00’s. Pay and Go Mobiles became commercially available we were no longer tethered to very expensive contracts.

Millions of Mobile phones sold and we treated our handsets like puppy dogs and annoyed each other..

1. Downloading Ringtones

The early to mid noughties media was plagued with TV ads, plaguing your favourite magazines for Jamster mobile and such..

funky tones advert

Certain scars were left from Axel’s Crazy Frog, Singing Birds favourite movie quotes like “Asta la vista baby”

£1.99? £6.99? A big phone bill? It didn’t matter, we loved it!

This will of course cost you, pretty much nothing these days, no one cares. Best response you will get is “That’s really cool Grandpa”

2. Annoying people on public transport

We still do, but when I say annoy people, I mean when one was first able to play what actually sounded like music from a mobile. Many folk on the bus or the train had to deal with anything from Nickle-back to repping or cussing local factions on the estate.

Pictured Below: Sony Ericsson Walkman Phone Ebay

Sony Ericsson Walkman phone

The apparent craze among some, was to board a bus, select the back most seat (The DJ area). Whip out the Sony Walkman phone, blast explicit lyrics until your Nan, on her way to bingo is spitting bars over Sunday dinner.

This annoyance had a look to compliment..spread legs and mobile device held sideways for optimal speaker output, leather golfing gloves and Moschino caps come to mind.

Just for the record…I had a Sony Walkman phone, one of many loves. Must have seen the future though, as I used these things called ‘headphones’ as most of us do today.

3. Infa red or IRDA

Compare this tech to today, shows how far we have come..Infa-red is basically the same technology in the standard TV remote.

One would pair to anothers phone (Just like bluetooth) and send data across (pictures, contacts)

Normal rate of transfer in simplistic terms was about 40 seconds per jpeg image of less than 100kb, So extremeley slow. If you went out of range (beyond about a metre), the transfer would fail and start again..

Often made me late to go places, with two phones kissing on the bedside table.

phones touching

4. Flashing aerials

We only lost these beauties, when phones lost the need for lengthy aerials. Aerials weren’t huge and thin anymore through the later 90’s, much more a removable stub held in place by a thread or clip.

This made the way for blinking aerials at about £3-£5 at your standard phone mending shop.


When attached the aerial detects signals from the handset, responding with flashing lights.

The Nokia mobiles was popular at the time, then came the Nokia 3210 and other models, then put an end to external aerials.

5. Swap faces

Ok..So we change our covers now, in fact this ability went missing for a good while, but face changing in the noughties was hot topic..

Some friends had 20 or 30 different fascias from union jacks, man utd, to a home spray  job.. It really got ridiculous at one point, where people were taking incompatible models in to shops to have fascias forcefully changed.


phone fascias

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Here is a few  items you can buy for today’s smart phones, you may not have heard of:

Iphone cases with pressed flower design (Real Flowers) Ebay

Iphone/Samsung Camera Grip, brilliant for arms length selfies or control those butter fingers.

phone grip
Iphone/Samsung Grip (Ebay) Click image to Purchase

Iphone Dust Plugs..Want, want want want!!

Koala dust plug
Iphone Dust Plugs (Ebay) Click image to Purchase


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