One2One m200 (Siemens)
Mercury One2One's first phone
- Date launched: 1993
- Network: PCN 1800Mhz
- Form: Clam shell
- Size: 55(w)x185(h)x32(d) mm
- Weight: 368g
- Cost new: £250
- Can you use it today: Yes
Mercury One2One was Britain's first digital cell phone network for the masses. Never mind that it only operated within the M25, One2One's 'Residential' package offered free evening and weekend calls. If you lived in London and wanted to join the mobile revolution, at £200 the One2One m200 seemed the best way to do it.
Unfortunately the m200, made by Siemens, was hardly state of the art. It was big and heavy, but at least it was easy to use. The keys were large and friendly, and glowed green for six seconds when you first switched the phone on.
Features were severely limited. There was a voice mail service, but you could store only ten messages for up to three days. There was a ninety-nine number phone memory, but with no alphanumeric keys, you had to access the letters via a menu; hardly user friendly.
However, the m200's worst problem was its quality. In spite of its hefty size, the m200 was no tough guy. The plastic was brittle, particularly around the one/off switch and the battery clip. Mercury had to replace many customers' handsets almost straight away. Many m200 owners may have regretted not stumping up the extra £50 to get the m300
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As I have mentioned previously in this thread, this phone ceased to work on the one2one network around 1999 when they upgraded their network to use technology that this, their first generation phone (and pre-launch test unit), couldn't handle.
It's now sale worth is that of a collector/museum piece and I've recently seen them go for £30-£50 on eBay depending on condition - possibly a little more if you have the original box/charger/2 batteries/paperwork it came with.
You will not be able to place a call on any modern digital mobile network with this phone even if you can power it up and put in an appropriate 2G SIM card with the correct network code - the model was always locked to one2one (which used the same network address code subsequently used by T-Mobile/Virgin and now EE, I believe) and as far as I can tell (having tried) only could be unlocked for engineers within the one2one company and unlocking it was never made available to the public.