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.
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.