Gadgets

15 things you’ll only understand if you owned a flip phone

Forget your touch screens.

Keep your megapixel cameras.

Woefully short battery life? Pah. 

In another pocket in another decade, the only phones worth coveting folded down the middle. 

From the glory days of the Motorola RAZR and the Samsung SGH E700, come bask with us in the nostalgia of the greatest phones ever made.

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone

    Open and close and open and close and open...

    Opening and closing the phone became your new nervous twitch.

    You gave the hinge of that poor phone a more thorough workout than the average knee joint in a CrossFit class. 

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 1

    The early efforts

    The first few models of flip phone were designed as a novel solution to the ergonomic problem of covering the distance between your ear and your mouth: when phones were massive, they were big enough to span the gap.

    Too small? Stick the microphone on a flip bit that gets close enough to the mouth. Problem solved. 

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 2

    One screen? Bah...

    You had two screens before most people even knew what "SMS" stood for.

    The call alert screen became a window into your social life - allowing you to loudly brag "Another call, probably from a girl," before slipping your phone back into your pocket before anyone could see it was your mum asking when you'd be home for dinner.

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 3

    The hottest phone of 2004

    The Motorola RAZR was so sharp you actually tried to shave with it.

    No? Just us. But when this sleek model turned up in 2004, it became the de facto coolest gadget ever. It had a camera, AND the keyboard was backlit, AND it was super thin. And it had a name like a concept jet fighter, which had us sold. 

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 4

    Selfies before they were selfies

    The marriage of the fledgling camera phone and flip case produced some pretty weird designs over the years - giving us the perfect selfie device before the narcissistic habit took off. 

    We're sorry, LG VX7000. You were ahead of our time.

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 5

    You were a pretty big deal

    Even if you were only a 14-year-old taking a phone call from your grandma, it still made you feel like you were trading stocks on Wall Street.

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 6

    That Sony Ericsson Walkman phone

    The last great flipper, this Walkman-in-a-phone (Sony Ericsson W350i) of 2008 was killed off by the likes of Apple's first iPhone.

    Media buttons on the flip front? Genius. 

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 7

    You used it like one of these...

    Sometimes you would try and use your flip phone as a money clip... right up until the point you realised money clips are for morons (unless you’re Nicholas Cage in Face Off).

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 8

    Buttons?

    You're answering your phone with a button? Ha!

    The flip phone masses could take a call with the flick of a wrist, cutting down on any unnecessary opposable thumb action. 

    Which was great until you accidentally answered a call you didn't want to take. Then the "flip to answer" feature was as helpful as a bendy aerial. 

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 9

    One to beam up

    If you got your wrist action just right, you could flip your phone open like a communicator on Star Trek.

    However, practising this manoeuvre would involve you adding several scars to the case and probably cracking the camera lens. 

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 10

    The One

    In 1999, the Matrix ensured that everyone wanted a Nokia 8110 - a slider phone, with quick-fire extending case.

    Sure, you only had three friends with a mobile number in 1999, but that didn't mean you didn't want one. 

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 11

    Is anybody there?

    Not knowing what was going on underneath that hard-shell made you paranoid you'd missed a text.

    "I've got mates. Honest. They're just... out of signal. Yeah, that's it. Or no credit. Pay-as-you-go is a killer, amiright?"

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 12

    The WAP button

    Remember WAP? The entirely sh*t excuse for mobile internet?

    For reasons we simply cannot fathom, a whole bunch of early flip phones decided to dedicate their central button to opening up your mobile web browser. A big, blue button you never, ever wanted to press. It attracted your thumb with the power of a thousand magnets, and cost you a good 46p in accidental connections per week. 

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 13

    "Good f*cking bye!"

    There was nothing more satisfying than having an argument and then snapping it shut. There was a finality to it, a weight. You just don't get that with a touch screen.

  • 15 things you'll only understand if you owned a flip phone 14

    Draw...

    If you were so inclined (e.g. you were a dad, worked in IT or were socially unaware), you could keep your flip phone on a belt "holster", like a pistol. You'd then answer phone calls as though you were taking a call in the Wild West, where the town wasn't big enough for your aerial.