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Seven vintage mobile phones that are worth a fortune today

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, February 10, 2018  /  11:03 am
Seven vintage mobile phones that are worth a fortune today

If the phones are in good condition, they can be sold at significant prices. (Shutterstock/File)

Replacing mobile phones every one or two years is common practice today. New products with advanced technology and software updates are released several times a year by different brands.

It is no surprise, therefore, that mobile phones tend to be considered outdated after a year or two.

At the same time, however, some devices dating back as far as 1984 are now viewed as collector items. If the phones are in good condition, they can be sold at significant prices.

Below are seven such mobile phones, as compiled by

Nokia 8110

This mobile phone released in 1996 was rather unique at the time, with a design that employed a slider to cover the dial pad. When opened, this phone is slightly curved, earning it the nickname "banana phone."

The Nokia 8110 made had its on-screen debut in the 1999 action blockbuster The Matrix, and it has become part of movie history as one of a few memorable phones to appear in a movie.

Couple that with the fact that this iconic phone made cell phone history when the famous Finnish company spurred the mobile phone revolution. Consequently, the Nokia 8110 entered the collectors' market smoothly.

A Nokia 8110 in good condition on eBay, brand new, never opened, is worth around US$500. Meanwhile, second-hand devices sell for $55 to around $200 depending on their condition.

Read also: Competition heats up for budget smartphones

Motorola DynaTAC


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When speaking of iconic phone designs, the Motorola DynaTac must not be overlooked. It is known as the original 'brick' phone, due to its immense size.

Design aside, this device has made its mark in history as the first cell phone sold commercially. DynaTac also made it to big screen with an appearance in the television show Saved by the Bell.

Several versions of the DynaTac were produced, including the DynaTac 8000X that became the first commercially available mobile phone back in 1984. Now a vintage piece of technology, this phone can fetch up to $500 in the market, the same as some high-end modern smartphones. Collectors may not want to place a call using the vintage device, but they are presented with an investment opportunity.

Nokia 808 Pureview

Collectors might need to wait a little until the value of this vintage device increases, considering that the Nokia 808 Pureview is still young in the vintage league, having been released in 2012. The reason why the phone is in the list is none other than its impressive camera -- a monstrous 41-megapixel 1/1.2" sensor with an f/2.4 Zeiss all-aspherical 1-group lens. Its capability of capturing sharp stills can compete with the best devices released today.

The Nokia 808 Pureview at the moment doesn't fetch as much money as most other phones on this list, but $200 to $300 for working models in good condition is not to be sniffed at for a six-year old device. As for its prospects for investment, only time will tell.

Read also: Nokia's Android smartphones launched in Indonesia

Samsung SPH-N270

The Matrix trilogy has proven to work magic for introducing cell phones.

The Samsung SPH-N270 gained popularity with its appearance in 2003's The Matrix Reloaded, following the success of the Nokia 8110 in the original The Matrix movie. The Samsung SPH-N270 features the same spring-loaded action with both the prop and actual model, unlike the Nokia 8110, where the prop action differed from the actual model.

While not excelling in terms of design or technology among its contemporaries, its correlation with the movie added value. The fact that the phone was manufactured in a limited batch of 10,000 also increased its price.

The Samsung SPH-N270 sells for $750 on average.

Apple iPhone (2G first generation)

The original Apple iPhone, released in 2007, was notable for all of its revolutionary features, a bold answer to other smartphones that were clunky looking, slow in performing and far from intuitive. The $600 price tag for the iPhone 2G didn't deter buyers.

The phone is regarded one of the all-time great gadgets around, easily entering the ranks of collector items. A relatively high price is considered acceptable for an iPhone 2G in excellent condition nowadays, yet the ones still in their original packaging have gone on to fetch thousands of dollars.

Read also: Lenovo introduces premium Motorola smartphones

Motorola Aura R1


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Dubbed the Rolex of cell phones, the Motorola Aura R1 employed such premium materials as stainless steel and sapphire in its design. It has a unique swivel-type opening mechanism and a high-resolution circular display.

The Swiss-made gear inside the phone are composed of Rockwell hardened steel and ball bearings, similar to what we see in most luxury watches. Along with the standard version of the Aura R1, some limited editions, like one adorned with diamonds, were also released. The most sought after is still the standard version, at a price of around $1,000.

Nokia 8800 Arte Carbon

Rareness, a timeless design and a premium feel are the three qualities that describe the Nokia 8800 Arte Carbon. This 2008 release features premium materials such as stainless steel, carbon fiber and titanium.

The sliding motion that uncovers the phone's numeric dial pad is comprised of ball bearings, similar to that of the Motorola Aura R1.

This phone is valued at $500 on average, but in excellent condition with the original packaging it is offered at $1000 at various vendors and resellers. (mut/kes)

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