Most loved classic cellphones in South Africa

South Africa’s IT community reveals which classic mobile phones they think are the best, and the results are not surprising.

By - March 28, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
Cindy with a phone

Vodacom and MTN launched the first cellular services in South Africa in 1994, and the uptake of mobile telephony was so fast that it surprised most industry players.

South Africans could not wait to get their hands on the latest devices at the time, like the Alcatel HB100, Ericsson GH198, Motorola 7200, Siemens S3, and Nokia 2110.

As mobile technologies advanced, cellular phones became smaller, battery life improved, and they received cool features like games, custom ringtones, and cellular data support.

The miniaturisation of mobile phones came to a sudden end with the advent of smartphones, when large touchscreen devices started to gain popularity.

While smartphones are all the rage now, most people who used mobile phones in the 90s still have a warm feeling towards their old favourites.

A recent MyBroadband survey asked South African IT professionals which classic mobile phones they think were the best. The most popular selections are listed below.


Nokia 3310

It was one of the most successful mobile phones ever. It weighed 133 grams and offered over 4 hours of talk time. It also sported changeable front and back covers.

Nokia 3310


Motorola Razr V3

The phone racked up sales of 130 million units. It featured a TFT 256K colour display, offered games, and weighed 95 grams.

Motorola Razr V3


Nokia 3210

It offered users downloadable monophonic ringtones, weighed 151 grams, and had a 5-line monochrome graphic screen.

Nokia 3210


Nokia 6110

The phone offered an advanced user interface with menu icons, and featured an infrared port.

Nokia 6110


Nokia 6310 and 6310i

This phone was very popular for its robustness, and featured tri-band reception, Java, and a blue-backlit LCD Screen.

Nokia 6310


Nokia 6210

This device offered many cool features at the time, like an alarm clock, an HSCSD modem, a web client, and 3 games.

Nokia 6210


Nokia 5110

It was rugged, had excellent battery life, and featured an 84 x 48 pixel monochrome LCD with four LED back lights.

Nokia 5110


Samsung E250

It offered a 128 x 160 pixel TFT screen, a microSD card slot, and SMS, EMS, MMS, e-mail, and WAP support. The phone weighed 80 grams.

Samsung E250


Sony Ericsson k800i

It featured a 3.2-megapixel digital camera with a xenon flash, a protective lens cover, and was the first Sony Cyber-shot branded phone.

Sony Ericsson k800i


Nokia Communicator

The clamshell communicator series was a popular choice among business people. It offered a QWERTY keyboard and Internet connectivity.

Nokia Communicator


More on mobile phones

South Africa’s most popular mobile phones: 1994 to 2014

The first ever cellphones sold in South Africa

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