Motorola DynaTAC 8000X
The world's first hand portable mobile phone
- Date launched: 1983 (USA), 1985 (UK)
- Network: Various analogue
- Form: Brick
- Cost new: £3000
- Can you use it today: No
When mobile phones arrived in the UK in 1985, the handsets were most likely to be the Motorola 8000X. It was the world's first hand portable and had been available in the USA since 1983.
You could get the 8000X in three colour schemes, beige and cream, black and white, or white. BT had their own black and maroon livery.
These phones were a rare sight in 1985 and attracted attention. People were already noticing them on trains, in restaurants and on the street.
Although, big, heavy and awkward to use, they fulfilled a needed for which there was a pent up demand and those that could justify the enormous cost of the handsets at £3000, snapped them up eagerly.
In an attempt to make the 8000X more affordable, Motorola made a slightly cheaper model, the 8000S, which it launched in 1985. It had one fewer, button, but was otherwise similar. The saving was only around £300. Competition from other manufacturers, particular NEC, forced Motorola to cut the cost of its phones. The Motorola 8000X dropped from £3000 in 1985 to £599 by 1988. Motorola had already introduced a new phone by then, the 8500X.