These days you have two cell phone options – an iPhone or an iPhone with worse emojis. While you can pick from a handful of colors and accessorize with a case, the contemporary smart phone doesn’t hold a candle to the personalization possibilities the ‘00s cellphone market offered. Like so much of the technology we’re feeling nostalgic for, our first cellphones were an opportunity to express ourselves. Getting a new phone was like going to school with a new haircut. Your cellphone was as much of an accessory as a handbag or a piece of jewelry. Was it all really worth trading in for constant access to the hellscape that is Twitter?
This month we’re reminiscing about the cellphones we had (or wished that we had) in high school. I consulted the holiest of texts (The Gossip Girl wiki) to assemble a complete picture of the seriously strange devices we had to choose from before the Great Glass Rectangle loomed over us all. Here’s to QWERTY keyboards, T9, and 1.3-megapixel cameras.
📞 The Signs as Nostalgic Cell Phones 📱
♈ Aries - Motorola Razr
|The Razr is the king of all clamshell phones. Borrowing logic from the cereal-is-soup argument, I think this phone is technically a book. What a shockingly violent name for a device whose primary function is to facilitate communication. “Answer my call or I will CUT YOU,” screams the person on the other end. Also, I would also like to bring your attention to the stock image on this phone screen - it seems dangerous. Please do not sit on a recliner that is balancing on a slippery 8” wide tile wall overlooking the ocean!!!
Aries is the act of ending a phone call by dramatically slamming a Razr shut one-handed. In the hands of an Aries, this phone is a weapon. I guarantee that every Aries in your life obsessed over this phone at some point between 2006 and 2008, and I bet most of them nagged their parents until they got one.
♉ Taurus - LG enV
|The LG enV is the epitome of 2000s branding. When we weren’t in an absolute frenzy sticking a lowercase “i” before everything we could get our hands on, we were removing vowels entirely. The only thing I envy here is LG’s creative approach to capitalization.
On their way to their cellphone provider, down-to-Earth Taurus might expound how they don’t need anything too fancy. However, they can’t help but appreciate the tactile buttons and rounded corners of the enV. Of course, it’s only a bonus that any of these three organic colorways match the artisanal dishes Taurus’s had shipped in from Cozumel. Driving back home, they’re sure they made the right choice when they see how natural it looks in the cup holder of their Subaru Outback.
♊ Gemini - Samsung Juke
|The Juke was a phone and a music player – a radical concept that has never and will never be executed better than it was here! Whoever was using the phone pictured here was apparently 1 minute and 9 seconds into Kelly Clarkson’s Because of You. Wherever you are, I hope you’re feeling better now. Anyone who saw the commercial for the Juke couldn’t wait to fill all 1.87 GB of storage with their four favorite Fall Out Boy songs.
Much like Gemini can radically change from one personality to another, the Juke can quickly switch from a crappy cellphone to a crappy MP3 player. Be careful, because if you catch Gemini in a bad mood, they won’t be afraid to flip open this butterfly knife with a keypad and put you in your place.
♋ Cancer - Firefly
|This is less a cell phone and more like a digital version of two tin cans on a string. Marketed toward helicopter parents to give to their psychologically scarred children, the Firefly featured a 48-entry address book that could only be programmed by a guardian who had the PIN. Imagine asking for a cellphone for Christmas and getting this instead.
Cancer is both the giver and the recipient of this weighted blanket of a phone, and neither of them is complaining. Also, if I’m stuck in this quarantine much longer, I swear I’ll write a Thinkpiece about the problematic discourse suggested by the gendered speed-dial buttons for Mom and Dad.
♌ Leo - Bedazzled T Mobile Sidekick
|This was the probably the coolest phone ever in the history of time. Remember when Paris had one? Remember when Lindsay had one? Remember when Kim had one? I implore you – I beg you to watch this Sidekick commercial where Snoop Dogg, Burt Reynolds, and Wee Man talk about fabric softener.
This iconiqué cell is the perfect accessory for extroverted Leo. They’ll really appreciate the QWERTY keyboard when they’re texting birthday party invites to the entire Junior High at 1am. Leo won’t be satisfied unless their Sidekick is bedazzled, as sparkles are almost guaranteed to attract more attention.
♍ Virgo - BlackBerry
|If there is a single person in the history of mankind who genuinely needed a BlackBerry, I would like them to make themselves known. You’d be better off taping a typewriter to your forearm. I’d bet my $1,200 government stipend that majority of these were just used to forward chain emails. Also, remember when we called these “CrackBerries?” What a time to be alive.
The spirit of Virgo is present in every aspect of the BlackBerry. I feel their aura in that click wheel thingy on the side, which they probably use to scroll through lists of those who have wronged them. Virgo is the type to wake up at 5am to answer emails on their BlackBerry while they put in an hour of cardio on the treadmill, and for this reason I hate them.
♎ Libra - First Generation iPhone
|Never had we been more excited to fork over our hard earned cash to the Apple Overlords than when Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone. It goes without saying that the iPhone revolutionized the smart phone and set the industry standard, but I’ll say it anyway.
At the end of the day, Libra could care less about the iPhone’s technical innovations; they just bought this because it was pretty. The classic rounded corners on the chunky icons put Libra at ease, and they love using it to take mirror selfies. Just wait until Apple introduces the front facing camera in 2010.
♏ Scorpio - Nondescript Hand Me Down Flip Phone
|Ah yes, the struggle phone. Although it functioned almost identically to most of the phones on this list, it was never in the same league as its stylistically superior cousins. Inevitably, the back popped off and you had to duct tape the battery in. Also there's some weird goo on it?
Let me be clear: Scorpio is using this phone for some shady shit! Scorpio got stuck with this bunko clamshell because they lost their mobile data privileges. Yet somehow, they’re using this rock with an antenna to make more trouble than ever. My friend’s cousin’s girlfriend heard from this guy she knows from camp that Scorpio is ordering dolphin tranqs from Europe as we speak - and all that finessed using T9.
♐ Sagittarius - LG Chocolate
|To whatever ad executive decided to brand this cellphone after a bar of chocolate: why would you say something so controversial yet so brave? When LG dropped 3 new colorways (cleverly named cherry, mint, and white) we all collectively lost our minds. This commercial featuring Candyman by Christina Aguilera makes me want to hurl my iPhone into the sea and never look back.
The Chocolate is fun. Shez flirty, shez outgoing – shez a Sagittarius.
♑ Capricorn - Nokia 3310
|Today every phone is basically a piece of aluminum foil sandwiched between two plates of glass. Going about your day with a raw iPhone is like trying to preserve an autumn leaf. In 2000, all we knew was this absolute unit of a phone. The Chad 3310 eats my Virgin iPhone 8’s tempered glass screen protector for breakfast.
Clearly Capricorn is this stable king. Just like the noble Nokia 3310, one can always depend on Capricorn to get it done. And don’t let anyone tell you that Capricorn doesn’t know how to have fun, because this phone had Snake.
♒ Aquarius - Motorola DynaTAC
|Now THIS is a cellphone. The DynaTAC gives meaning to the term “brick phone.” I think you technically needed to register for a concealed carry permit if you kept this in your purse. In the decades preceding the DynaTAC, the closest thing to a mobile phone was a car phone. At Motorola, Dr. Martin Cooper set out to invent a mobile phone that was actually mobile. The result was this monolith of beige plastic.
Aquarius’ visionary spirit is represented in the groundbreaking technology behind the DynaTAC. More importantly, Aquarius can’t help but post-ironically love the phone’s aesthetics. They probably pinned this to their Pinterest board and are considering a total rehaul to their ever-evolving personal brand.
♓ Pisces - Motorola PEBL
In 2005, Motorola did the unthinkable and unnecessary by designing a phone with organic curvature. This commercial for the PEBL shows someone skipping a rock across many oceans (disrupting a flock of flamingos along the way) until it lands on another beach, transformed into an ovular cellphone. Then a lady picks it up and the narrator whispers “hello Moto.” Is that supposed to sell me on this product? Imagine if you found a cellphone on a beach and then an omniscient presence, presumably God, whispered the Motorola tagline. I would certainly not be as calm as the woman in this commercial is!!!
Pisces loves this bar of soap with a monthly bill. Holding it grounds them to nature. When they aren’t using their PEBL to call someone and inform them that they’re wrong, they’re using it as a worry stone.
~*written by Pia Marchetti*~