Weekend Open Forum: At what age did you get your first cell phone?

By on February 8, 2013, 6:00 PM

I grew up in a time when landlines were the primary means of voice communication. Sure there were cell phones in the early ‘90s but they were typically reserved for business executives and the wealthy. The pager (or beeper) was the go-to device for getting in touch with people on the go through most of my teenage years.

My first cell phone was a Nokia 5110 that I got when I was 18, arguably the most popular handset at the time due to the fact that you could buy aftermarket faceplates, frames, batteries and antennas to create a look that was uniquely your own – something that seemed immensely important in high school. What’s more, few people my age had mobile phones at the time which made owning one that much more attractive.

With this week’s open forum, we want to know how old you were when you got your first cell phone and what kind of phone it was (if you remember).




User Comments: 71

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Rippleman Rippleman said:

I am a bit older (38) so I didn't get mine till I was 23 I think, pretty sure. A nokia.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I believe around the age of 12-13 and it was barely used. My parents have paid £80 or so for that junky motorala and I should of just got the Nokia 3310 even as older as it might of been it is simply bombproof. This was around 2006-2007 time.

Edit: Was not able to post from the news page but only through the forum. If the same is happening to you guys just go HERE

BMfan BMfan said:

My 1st one was when I was about 21/22 yrs old and that was only because I needed it for work.

Guest said:

Im 29 and I had it at 18.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

I got my first cellphone 8 years ago to the day almost. It was my 16th birthday present. I don't recall the exact model but it was a cheap flip phone. Interestingly enough, it took way more abuse than my iPhones have and it kept on ticking unlike my iPhones. As a stupid teenager I put that phone through the wringer. By the time I finally retired it, it was 50% duct tape and electrical tape...

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

1996 I was 26 and in the military. One of the first Nokia digital phones with Bellsouth mobility(AT&T now) it weighed as much as a brick literally and I still have it saved to show people, it was cool at the time none of my friends had one.

Guest said:

22yrs old I think, Nokia 5110, around USD 190. Made in Finland not somewhere else. Yes it can destroy bricks!

Guest said:

I am 28 and I got mine when I was 16. I hated it and my parents used it to call and find out where I was anytime I was away from the house. This might explain why I still don't have a smartphone.

ArthurZ ArthurZ said:

I had mine given by my employer (for both work related and private use) and it was in 1994 a Motorola StarTac http://goo.gl/8DKPN

hanlonconnor said:

I am 24 and got mine when I was 18. My brother got his at 14 and I'm curious to see when my parents cave for my kid sister now. I'm guessing 13.

Guest said:

I'm 27 now, got my first one when I was 18 when I moved into my university.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

About 14 if I remember. It was an Alcatel...something.

My next phone was a Nokia 3210 which was the phone everybody wanted back then in school. I loved that phone.

veLa veLa said:

I was 17, some samsung flip phone.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wasn't that long ago - ten years ago maybe which would put be me at 45. Not a big cell phone user. I've always had the most basic, pay-as-you-go style phone.

Guest said:

I'm going to be 23 soon. Got mine when I was 18 because I needed a way to keep track of time. (all my watches kept dyeing)

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

Mine was when I was 13, and it was a barely used.

I got my first "proper" phone when I was 14, just last year.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

First cell, must of been 15, barely used it, was paid by parents so that I would call them to let them know I wasn't coming home. I didn't really need a Cell phone until after high school however.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I'm 32, got my first just before I turned 21. It was a motorola one with the push to talk feature, nextel provider? It was actually on my parents plan...

R3DP3NGUIN R3DP3NGUIN said:

I got my first when I was 10. Nokia 6210 from memory.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

16, IT was that exact Nokia in the picture. Battery didn't even last 6 hours on standby. Snake was awesome then.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

18 years old for me, then high school never let us bring in it so it was mostly a waste till college.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

14 If my memory serves me right.

2 people like this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Uh, I'm sixty four, and I still refuse to own one......

Am I still allowed to post to this thread...?

kamisama said:

I am a bit older (38) so I didn't get mine till I was 23 I think, pretty sure. A nokia.

I'm 37 and got my first one at age 22, a nokia 5110 iirc, maybe a slightly earlier version can't remember.

yRaz yRaz said:

I was 18, 2 months from graduating. Not that I really cared. I noticed all my friends' parents calling them while we were off getting in trouble. Inconvenient, but it certainly had its advantages

rocklerpark rocklerpark said:

I'm 29, my first one was a Motorola microtac lite 2, when I was 16 indica 1999. My best friend had a Motorola startac at the same time in high school. My second was a Nokia 6120, great times!

baN893 baN893 said:

I was 10 in 2000, I got a Nokia 3330

Guest said:

In 1990, when I was 21.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I was in my 30's in the 90's and I was one of the first 3000 people in South Africa to own a cell phone due to my position in the IT industry. It was a Motorola 5200 with a (read heavy) extended battery. I thought I was the bees knees.

T77 T77 said:

I got mine when I was 17, it was a sony-ericsson S302. It's kept in front of me on the table right now! Until then I used to play around with an old nokia.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

I used my first phone, the Nokia 3310 when I was 6. Look at me now. :P

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I used my first phone, the Nokia 3310 when I was 6. Look at me now. :p
Does that mean you are are, or aren't, prettier than your avatar....?

I was in my 30's in the 90's and I was one of the first 3000 people in South Africa to own a cell phone due to my position in the IT industry. It was a Motorola 5200 with a (read heavy) extended battery. I thought I was the bees knees.
OK, you know you have to link us a picture of one of those! Cause I'm getting mental images of Austin Powers with a separate hand set walkie talkie type affair like you see in WWII movies.

Hassan Al Rawi Hassan Al Rawi said:

Got mine when I was 18 years old , it was nokia 3310

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

I got my first one at age 13, a Sony Ericsson J230i. Almost regretted having it; the only calls I got were from my parents trying to find out where I was.

Guest said:

Around 11 years ago when I was 18 or 19.

A Nokia 3350.

Pan Wah said:

They don't allow me a 'phone in my cell.

1 person liked this | NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Uh, I'm sixty four, and I still refuse to own one......

Am I still allowed to post to this thread...?

Go for the retro nokia model with that snake game

Buster Keaton Buster Keaton said:

OK all you "kids". My first cell phone was one I had put in my car. It consisted of a handset wired to a cradle that mounted on the transmission tunnel. The cradle had a huge bundle of wiring that had to then be snaked under the carpet, under the carpet trim by the door, all the way back into the trunk. That wiring harness led to a large finned box that had to be mounted on the trunk floor. Then, the antenna was mounted on the back window. Finally, in those days, if you got reception for more than a block at a time, you were lucky.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I got my own first cell phone when I was 29. My wife, who was then my girlfriend, had one when I was 23. I was still using pagers back then.

Guest said:

Am 53 and my first phone was a motorola T191 in 2002. Very cool then

Ronald Yates Ronald Yates said:

13, It was a Christmas present. Had no color, it was that famous green background, with black blocky text. Lasted forever though! Other's had color screens, this was a free phone, but unlike kids today, I was just happy to have a cell phone.. Now 10 year olds have iphones.. My younger brothers (8 years younger) got phones before they were 13, but they were regular phones.. nothing fancy.

Serag said:

I'm still using my first cell phone, Sony Ericsson w300i, which I got for 5~6 years now.

Leeky Leeky said:

I think the Nokia 5110 was the second phone I had when I was 17. I got my first phone at 16 (joys of working for a family business!) and found it to be near on indestructible, A car accident about a week after passing my test in July 1999 finally ended its life.

I don't for the life of me remember the model number of the Nokia phone in question but I do recall it having a flexible pull-up aerial you extended from the stubby housing (kinda like the Nokia 5110 but with a pull-up extension) to help with signal, and the corners were very squarish. No idea on model number or any other features as it spent its life in a leather case.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

OK all you "kids". My first cell phone was one I had put in my car. It consisted of a handset wired to a cradle that mounted on the transmission tunnel. The cradle had a huge bundle of wiring that had to then be snaked under the carpet, under the carpet trim by the door, all the way back into the trunk. That wiring harness led to a large finned box that had to be mounted on the trunk floor. Then, the antenna was mounted on the back window. Finally, in those days, if you got reception for more than a block at a time, you were lucky.

I never had one, but my parents did when I was in high school.

Lurker101 said:

Think I was 14 and it was a Motorola brick. Weighed about 2kg, enabled 3 lines of text, each consisting of 12 characters and if you didn't like someone you could leave a message on the screen and lob it through their window.

tonylukac said:

Was about 45, a Sony Erricson, and I still have it and it still works.

Guest said:

Nokia 1011 year 1998 my first was 2de hand

Mikey mike said:

I think I was quite young when I got mine. Must have been about 14. It was that big huge Motorola thing. Actually I think it was one of the first popular commercial phones. I had one of those silly pager things before. Didn't really know how to use it, just thought it looked cool. By the way please check out my new blog techtimemachine.blogspot.co.uk

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