Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

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Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby brostenen » 2019-4-04 @ 20:08

Just wanted to ask, if anyone know, if anyone on Amibay is collecting old cellphones/mobilephones. Like those old 2G ones from the late 90's and early 00's.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby retardware » 2019-4-04 @ 21:18

I have one Nokia 9110 in regular use, for 2-factor-authentification and for faxing.
Then there is a backup 9110 (fully functional) in my stash and a defective one (possibly for parts, just in case).

The Nokia 9110 uses a 486, has 8MB RAM and the OS is GEOS.
It is (to my knowledge) the only cellphone that can not only send, but receive faxes, too.
Which makes it unique, as the successor models were not able to receive fax.

I also have a 9210, which I do no longer use. It runs even DOOM!

So, am I a phone collector?

(By the way, I do not do anything privacy-relevant with my modern smartphone, as since Merkel opened borders, my city is crowded with "refugees" (almost 5% of the city population) and crime rates have soared more than tenfold. Phone snagging, which was extremely rare before, has become a daily normality here. So one must be careful what he keeps on his phone, just to avoid complications in case of phone theft)
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby brostenen » 2019-4-04 @ 23:14

Yeah... Never mind the refugees....
What I wanted to know, is if I should throw them out at the local recycling center or put them up for sale.
I will put them up for sale, if someone is collecting mint condition and boxed phones.
What they are worth, is a whole different question. I have no idea about this stuff.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby retardware » 2019-4-04 @ 23:45

It seems to be similar as it is with retro computers...

A decade ago perfectly working 9110s with complete accessories and original packaging were easily obtainable for 1 euro in ebay auctions.
Nowadays they are rare and yield insane prices (>100 euros) if in good functional state with working battery...

Most are being offered without battery, which is bad as they need battery to work and are useless without.
And the supply of batteries, original and compatibles, has dried out some ten years ago.
Luckily I have some battery packs. Will have try to replace the lithium "cell" in one of them with some new one, when the last battery pack has completely died.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-4-05 @ 00:22

Of course collecting any types of phones is a thing. Sometimes I tend to collect any phones if wanted. I have quite a few landlines from the early and mid 2000s, they were collected by me a couple years ago. They don't work at the moment, but I sometimes think of experimenting with them and getting them to work.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby Jo22 » 2019-4-05 @ 01:06

Not really collecting, but in our family we keep our old phones.
A Hagenuk MT900 circa '92, a Motorola MicroTac from '93, a Philips model from '96 (w/ SMS!),.
They are all in working condition, btw.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby chinny22 » 2019-4-09 @ 08:45

Watched a youtube video of someone restoring the original iphone complete with the original IOS on you tube.
Nokia phones are considered cool again.
I actually use a 6610 as my daily phone (its free and I don't need anything else) and in the last few years its gone from making fun of me to "cool"
So defiantly a thing.
Like anything though some phones like the 3310 or flip phones which seemed to be popular again for a bit are worth more while other not so popular phones like me 6610 arent.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby brostenen » 2019-4-09 @ 09:12

Well.... The best Nokia that I have ever owned, was a Nokia 3510 (the colour screen version). It was good and it worked well for my needs, back in 2003. I have had a 3310 and a 3210. I must say that the 3210 was a bit more sturdy than the 3310. Else I had a Nokia 3100 in blue, and that was a cool phone as well. It was small and all that. The best however, that I have had before smartphones, was a Sony Ericsson W880i. It had all the features that it should have, and it was thin and light. Nice battery life. Not the best, yet it was way better than Samsung Galaxy S3. That darn thing needed charging two to four times each day.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby Thallanor » 2019-4-10 @ 19:45

I do not go back as far as feature phones, but I do have my old Kyrocera PalmOS flip-phone (which I thought was so fantastic when I changed the "flip open" sound to a Star Trek communicator), a UTStarcom 6700 Windows Phone (even back then, hacking to go from the stock Windows Phone 5, I think it was, to 6.5), though I sold my iPhone 3G. Still have my iPhone 4, Samsung Windows Phone, Nokia 820, 920, 1020, 950XL. So I sort of collect them, yeah. :)
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-4-10 @ 22:34

JonathonWyble wrote:Of course collecting any types of phones is a thing. Sometimes I tend to collect any phones if wanted. I have quite a few landlines from the early and mid 2000s, they were collected by me a couple years ago. They don't work at the moment, but I sometimes think of experimenting with them and getting them to work.

Actually, I didn't collect the landlines I have. My parents got them from their workplaces and let me use them for fun when I was very young, and I still have them in my closet. I mostly like collecting computers then mobile devices and PDAs. I'm more of a computer person than a phone person.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby 386SX » 2019-4-11 @ 08:15

More than collecting I like to really use and test different and older phones/smartphones. Too bad the really old phones needed 5 volts sim cards so modern sim cards would be damaged by using them.
The oldest I have functional is the original Nokia 3310 with new case and battery but usually I like to find those features phones that were built around from 2005 to 2010 with custom operating systems, custom fast processors, proprietary features.. Like for example many Sony Ericsson features phones that are still imho someway better of many modern features phones.
Most modern feature phones are not interesting imho and based on the few usual hardware designs/processors/os that were released for the low-end market many years ago and with features that were already old and almost free back then. Also it seems they lack all the knowledges old phones had in building keyboards/buttons/os design/feedback.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby Jo22 » 2019-4-12 @ 18:10

386SX wrote:More than collecting I like to really use and test different and older phones/smartphones. Too bad the really old phones needed 5 volts sim cards so modern sim cards would be damaged by using them.

That's interesting, never thought about that, which is strange, since the 5V vs 3.3V issue is always in my mind.. :surprised:
Say, when cirica did this change happen (3.3v became the norm) ? The SIM in my vintage mobilephone is from the mid-2000s. Is that okay (old enough) ?
Just asking. Never really was into this stuff. In the past year, I stayed away from mobile tech as far as I could. :sweatdrop:

386SX wrote:The oldest I have functional is the original Nokia 3310 with new case and battery but usually I like to find those features phones that were built around from 2005 to 2010 with custom operating systems, custom fast processors, proprietary features..

I feel the same. These kind of phones were much like PDAs in some way. I remember the days when phones with internal keyboards (Nokia Communicator etc.) were the hit.
Unbelievable that's is long ago already. Whenever I watch older TV series or Animes it makes me feel odd when I see that things like being able to send E-Mails on the go were considered hi-tech.
For one, because I strangely share the fascination of that "new technology" still and second, because it feels old at the same time.

Edit: Listen to myself, this really makes me sound like an elderly person, haha. Sorry about that. :blush:
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby Errius » 2019-4-12 @ 18:27

Has anyone else encountered the problem with the 'rubber' parts of old phones turning into a sticky liquid? What causes this? Is it just age or do you need to store these things at low temperature?
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-4-12 @ 19:50

Errius wrote:Has anyone else encountered the problem with the 'rubber' parts of old phones turning into a sticky liquid? What causes this? Is it just age or do you need to store these things at low temperature?

It's got to be due to having telephones with rubber buttons being present in warm environments. If you store or use a rubber-buttoned phone in a warm room, it can most likely melt the buttons overtime. But I guess old age can also ware out rubber. Therefore, it could be both reasons. Most of the landlines I have stored in my bedroom closet have plastic buttons, so I'm lucky. Although one of those landlines has rubber keys, but they never melted because they have heavy duty rubber.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby Errius » 2019-4-12 @ 20:10

I have had this problem with two old phones, a Sony Ericsson W880i and a Nokia N95. They sat in a cupboard for 8 and 5 years respectively before I took them out to inspect them last year, and both were covered with this sticky substance. I don't know how they got exposed to heat.

eta: it's not a leaking battery. One of the batteries was thrown away a long time ago and the other was removed and stored in a sealed plastic bag precisely to avoid damaging the phone if it leaked.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-4-12 @ 20:15

That sticky substance was probably rubber coding from the buttons. And maybe they got exposed to heat because of summer weather, but that can't be, because cupboards don't usually trap sunlight.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby 386SX » 2019-4-14 @ 05:48

Jo22 wrote:
386SX wrote:More than collecting I like to really use and test different and older phones/smartphones. Too bad the really old phones needed 5 volts sim cards so modern sim cards would be damaged by using them.

That's interesting, never thought about that, which is strange, since the 5V vs 3.3V issue is always in my mind.. :surprised:
Say, when cirica did this change happen (3.3v became the norm) ? The SIM in my vintage mobilephone is from the mid-2000s. Is that okay (old enough) ?
Just asking. Never really was into this stuff. In the past year, I stayed away from mobile tech as far as I could. :sweatdrop:

386SX wrote:The oldest I have functional is the original Nokia 3310 with new case and battery but usually I like to find those features phones that were built around from 2005 to 2010 with custom operating systems, custom fast processors, proprietary features..

I feel the same. These kind of phones were much like PDAs in some way. I remember the days when phones with internal keyboards (Nokia Communicator etc.) were the hit.
Unbelievable that's is long ago already. Whenever I watch older TV series or Animes it makes me feel odd when I see that things like being able to send E-Mails on the go were considered hi-tech.
For one, because I strangely share the fascination of that "new technology" still and second, because it feels old at the same time.

Edit: Listen to myself, this really makes me sound like an elderly person, haha. Sorry about that. :blush:


I am not sure about the exact moment when SIM voltages changed but in europe I think around the Nokia 3310 release so probably from 2000 to 2002 and/or probably just after when phones had Mini-SIM instead of the big card size for the 90's GSM ones. Maybe the SIM released back then had both 3,3v and 5v compatibility to work anyway at both voltages if they still work but I imagine (not sure but) that modern SIM doesn't have such big voltage tollerance to work into a 5v slot; I imagine the sim voltage changed cause battery voltages did @ 3,7v at least in all the phones I've seen after the 3310.

About the old-feature phones, one thing I sometimes think of that technology is that it wasn't necessary for your lifestyle but those few features improved it without forcing its presence into our day.
I remember back in the early 2000's when the tech was becoming more available, it was amazing the GPRS feature with the WAP text browser and serial modem pc capability; I remember a Sony Ericsson T68i with a color screen, bluetooth, wap, infrared, serial-usb modem, gprs, it was amazing from a tech point of view.
The idea or having a sort-of mobile web browser without a computer was great. But cause the phones cpu/ram speed (often around 50/100Mhz ARM7 cpu and kbytes of ram), browser/wap limitations and gprs "speed", it was good just for check addresses, news, mail, info but still great and that is the point.
The fascination of that consumer technology is maybe cause it was still deeply limited and those limitations nowdays are felt good/positive cause they didn't totally replace ourself imho. My opinion on modern mobile tech is awful and sad, since it mostly became more a living "service-oriented" tech more than a useful on-demand personal tech and it became something you must have instead to decide what and when you "must" buy/use something (or not); when for example other people expect you to must have all day-social networks interactions cause if not you'll probably never hear them anymore. Back in the near past it could have happened to forget the mobile phone at home and many would have not cared so much about it, nowdays I imagine one in a million probably forget it. When something that were considered just consumer products nowdays become so life-essential I prefer going back to old tech.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby brostenen » 2019-4-14 @ 09:57

Errius wrote:Has anyone else encountered the problem with the 'rubber' parts of old phones turning into a sticky liquid? What causes this? Is it just age or do you need to store these things at low temperature?


Yup. On some phones. Few and far between though. Yet I have seen it on the rubber that are the outer layer on 220volt power cables as well. And on rubber handles on kitchen knifes and sometimes on childrens toys as well. It happens on 10/15 year old rubber. Must be the softener chemicals that afe leaking or something. Like phetalates or what that cancer causing chemical are called.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby SpectriaForce » 2019-4-14 @ 11:12

brostenen wrote:Just wanted to ask, if anyone know, if anyone on Amibay is collecting old cellphones/mobilephones. Like those old 2G ones from the late 90's and early 00's.


This is not Amibay :happy:

What I do know is that collecting classic mobile phones is a very small niche hobby, much more a niche than retro gaming or classic computers. I tried once to trade them but that didn’t work out as intended; the demand is simply too low.

Over the years I have owned many mobile phones. My first one was a Nokia 6610i from 2004, great thing with camera, but without bluetooth :depressed: Not much later I bought from my first savings a Nokia N93, now that was something truly special. Unfortunately it got stolen in a bus in Rome :depressed: I have also used a Nokia communicator phone (I believe a 9210), a 7110 (definitely one of my all time favorites), E51, E61 (excellent keyboard) and a few more. My current ‘daily driver’ is a Blackberry Leap, the last one with Blackberry OS 10.

By the way; I have never had any problems with SIM cards. In fact, all old phones that I have accept the regular standard mini SIM card. New SIM cards are compatible with three voltages.
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Re: Is collecting cellphones a thing? (Odd quenstion, I know)

Postby 386SX » 2019-4-14 @ 11:40

SpectriaForce wrote:
brostenen wrote:Just wanted to ask, if anyone know, if anyone on Amibay is collecting old cellphones/mobilephones. Like those old 2G ones from the late 90's and early 00's.


This is not Amibay :happy:

What I do know is that collecting classic mobile phones is a very small niche hobby, much more a niche than retro gaming or classic computers. I tried once to trade them but that didn’t work out as intended; the demand is simply too low.

Over the years I have owned many mobile phones. My first one was a Nokia 6610i from 2004, great thing with camera, but without bluetooth :depressed: Not much later I bought from my first savings a Nokia N93, now that was something truly special. Unfortunately it got stolen in a bus in Rome :depressed: I have also used a Nokia communicator phone (I believe a 9210), a 7110 (definitely one of my all time favorites), E51, E61 (excellent keyboard) and a few more. My current ‘daily driver’ is a Blackberry Leap, the last one with Blackberry OS 10.

By the way; I have never had any problems with SIM cards. In fact, all old phones that I have accept the regular standard mini SIM card. New SIM cards are compatible with three voltages.


Are you sure about this? Any info/technicals references to confirm this? :)

EDIT: reading from Wikipedia the standard reference should be the ETSI TS 102 221 V9 for "modern" MicroSIM and reading around seems they wrote about those three different voltages switched during the initialization of the device/sim, so I imagine on paper/theory they may work but still not sure. If anyone have info about this thank.
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