Mobile phones used to be sexy, colourful and often a conversation piece. My Nokia 5110 had 7 genuine manufacturer’s covers available and something like 400 after market ones.

5110 covers

My iPhone is white, or black just like yours. Oh, you want to show your individualism? Get a gold one, or a rose gold – fancy. You can even get a cover that changes the shape of your phone or download a new ringtone to show how unique you really are. Mobile phones have leapt forward from a technological standpoint but have taken a massive leap backwards from what they used to be – cool little devices. I remember people saying, ‘Can I see your phone? That’s brilliant, where did you get that cover?’ Nobody asks to see your Galaxy S6, because it’s exactly the same as their’s and even if they don’t have a Galaxy the basic design will be almost identical.


The pinnacle of style used to be the 8000 series by Nokia. Costing about the same as an iPhone does today, you get one of these premium phones.

02_nokia_8800_sirocco_gold nokia 8800 Nokia 8810  nokia 8910

‘Premium’ used to mean that it looks awesome and not many people have it because it’s expensive. Now you pay more for additional memory.

We also used to all have the same SIM card size and so could change our phone in the morning and change back in the evening with all our contacts intact. Need to make a call? If you’ve got your SIM just borrow a mate’s phone and then swap back afterward. Now we’re trapped in white plastic inertia until we are allowed to upgrade or smash our plain white phone and have to switch to another…plain white phone.


I, like you, have had basically the same phone for the better part a decade and I’ve had enough. I want next iPhone, due out whenever Apple feels like it, to give me the ability to change it’s style. Or for Nokia, who have recently announced they will start making devices again, to bring back their old models – I don’t care if I can’t get my email while I’m out with my friends – I’m not important enough to warrant urgent emails. Also if I can text, make calls and have a retro work of art in my pocket it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.