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Grandad’s ‘brick phone’ worth £1k wins UK’s oldest mobile phone competition

Mark of Sully, south Wales, with his Motorola vintage phone.

A 59-year-old grandad from Cardiff has revealed his rare, vintage Motorola 4800X mobile phone that leaves his granddaughters in hysterics whenever he brings it out as his party piece.

Mark, a warehouse worker from Wales, has been named the owner of the UK’s oldest mobile phone by phone retailer Mobile Phones Direct, with his vintage “brick phone” hailing from 1989.

Mark shares that the vintage gem was worth more than £1,000 in the 80s when he used it as part of his job working as a service engineer for a catering company, aged 25.

“We used to share the phone in work, whoever was on call at the weekends had the phone. You put the 1.5kg mobile over your shoulder to carry home and the battery lasted about 30 minutes.

“The phone still sits in the original case, and I still have the charger for it, so I bring it out at parties, and everyone loves it.

“If you look back to the year that I got the phone – the year my daughter was born which is why I remember it so well – the phone was worth £1,000. It was stupidly expensive for that time; we have come a long way since then.”

When Mark moved on from the catering company years later, he acquired the Motorola mobile and has kept it for 34 years and counting.

With a bit of research into the Motorola 4800X Mobile, Mobile Phones Direct found that the model is for sale online for its original value of £1,000 and when asked, Mark was surprised and unaware of the potential value of his vintage mobile.

Dan Melia, Director of Networks at Mobile Phones Direct comments on Marks vintage mobile, saying: 

“It’s fascinating to see the Motorola 4800X Mobile still in action, especially as Mark keeps it as a cherished piece of history to entertain his grandchildren. This illustrates the remarkable ability of phones to facilitate connects, whether it’s an antique phone bringing nostalgic joy to the entire family or a modern mobile allowing us to keep in touch with loved ones.

“Over the years we’ve seen mobile phones change significantly – from the very early phones like Mark’s Motorola that were huge and heavy; through to smaller phones that weigh very little.”

Mobile Phones Direct created a timeline to showcase the evolution of the mobile phone from 1973 through to 2073, highlighting a range of vintage and futuristic handsets that show how far we have come since 1973.

The competition has unearthed Marks unique connection to history, offering a sense of nostalgia to his children and grandchildren. Mark’s Motorola 4800X has won him an upgrade of the ‘as new’ Samsung S22 provided by Mobile Phones Direct, but says that his Motorola 4800X Mobile will always be cherished:

“My kids always ask me to bring the phone out, they think it’s hysterical. It started off with my children, who have now got their own children, and it has made its way down generations as a hysterical party piece.”