Motorola 3200

Motorola 3200

Motorola's first GSM phone

  • Date launched: 1992
  • Network: GSM 900Mhz
  • Form: Brick
  • Cost new: £762(1)
  • Can you use it today: Yes

Motorola launched the 3200 in 1992. It was not their first GSM phone.  That distinction went to the International 1000, a large transportable launched a year earlier in 1991. However it was the first Motorola hand portable on GSM.

The Motorola 3200 quickly became the UK's most popular GSM phone. Initially prices were high. Carphone Warehouse sold these phones for 762 in August 1993. However, prices quickly dropped and by late 1993 it was the UK's cheapest digital phone selling for only £199 + VAT.

The Motorola 3200 is very collectable today because it is the only phone which looks like the classic yuppie brick that can still be used on a GSM network. It takes a modern 2G small SIM card.

You cannot text with the Motorola 3200, but an improved version, which looks similar, the Motorola 3300, can send and receive texts.

Using the Motorola 3200 today

The Motorola 3200 works with a modern 900MHz GSM SIM card. These are used by Vodafone and O2 networks in the UK. You do not need a full sized SIM card, but it will not work with 3G SIM cards.

What to pay

These phones are scarce, but there are always one or two for sale on eBay most of the time. However, as the only usable brick phone, they are quite expensive. Expect to pay £80 to £100 for a phone in good condition. Prices rise to £150 for boxed examples in excellent condition.

Be aware that the original batteries in these phones are on their last legs. New batteries are available, but are not necessarily cheap.

Most of the phones I have seen for sale were intended for the German market, so the chargers have European plugs.

Shop for:

Alternatives

The Bosch Cartel S was a clone of the Motorola 3200 with slightly different design and Bosch badging. In terms of value, both phones are worth about the same.

References

Wikipedia article - Motorola 3200

(1) Carphone Warehouse Price, August 1993

Add your comments

"I am looking for an english user manual for the Motorola 3200 phone in an DATED orginal printing, a copy of the entire manual or a PDF of the manual. Please contact me if you have or know where to get one." Jeff Baker 04/10/2012
"I've bought a 3200 gsm motorola brick phone,i think it's locked cos when i put my australian sim card in the fone,it turned off right away,do u know how to unlock it?can u show me?thanks" Tin tran 08/14/2012
"Hi, They only work with 900MHz SIM cards. In the UK this would be Vodafone and O2. I'm not sure about Australian SIM cards. Was the phone sold as working? If so can you find out what SIMs it works with?
best regards" steven 08/20/2012
"Hi Steven,i also bought an other 3200 from UK exactly same with the one from Germany and this one can work on any sim card. I dont know why the one i bought from Germany is only work on Europe sim cards" Tin tran 09/11/2012
"Hi
Do you have any idea how long the Motorola 3300 will last in standby on a brand new 1800 mAh battery?" Ren? Redfield 11/29/2012
"to jeff baker. i can email you a 3200 manual" dicky 03/01/2013
"hi, I bought a Motorola 3200 eight years ago, I charged it up and it worked fine. i did not use the phone so it has been sitting in a drawer for the past 8 years. recently, i wanted to get it going again, when i put it on charge the orange light on the cradle came on, and i charged it up overnight, when i tried to turn the phone on the back light flashed and went off, this happens every time i press the on button but nothing else happens, can anyone help? thanks" roy 05/03/2013
"To roy
Sounds to me like the battery is completely dead, you will probably need to buy a new one." Rene Redfield 05/05/2013
"Hi I have just bought the boxed
MOTOROLA 3200 International GSM from germany but ut has no sim card where can I get a uk one from?
thanks" craig 06/29/2013
"Hi,

I just bought the Motorola International 3200. My problem is that I can't make a call. After I checked it, my phone is Restricted Keypad Dialling. I found it in the setting menu. So I have to turn it off, but I need a 6 digit security code to do that. I have tried to input the code, such as : 000000 or 123456 but it failed. So, I am sure that someone change the code. But it's impossible to find a person who has changed the code. So my question is, how can I unlock that security code?

Thanks,
Iwan" Iwan 07/24/2013
"Hi there, I have an International 3300 Motorola GSM. Still in it's original box. All manuals, leather protective case, an extra brand new battery in original packaging. Cell is in excellent to Mint condition as is everything else. The box is not ripped although there is a water stain on one side of the bottom box. Was looking to sell it would you know it's value please? Thank You. Regards Annette from NZ." Annette Johnson 12/07/2014
"Hi Annette,
These are quite sought after as it is the only real brick phone you can use on GSM. In the original box, mint condition and working, I would say between £150 and £300. best regards" Steven 12/09/2014
"Hey everyone I own a Motorola international 3200. I would like to unlock for a Orange sim card. How should I do that? greetings michel Belgium" Vallaeys Michel 12/22/2016
"V.Michel Hullo, if the Orange network is 1800mHz the 3200 cannot work on it because the 3200 is only 900mHz" Pellucid 02/07/2017
"Can anyone tell me the approximate weight of the Motorola International 3200 including battery? It does not have to be an exact weight. I'm making a reference to it in something I am writing. Thanks!" Richard 05/30/2017
"Hello,
I have a Motorola 3200, it is a version 1.6. There appears to be a problem with accepting a SIM Card, it says "Check SIM" on startup, and I have tried with all sorts of cards possible, including some really old working ones (3V by 16K). Any ideas on what the problem/s might be, and how to solve it?
Regards,
Mario" Mario Marinov 10/25/2017
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