35 years since mobile phones launched in UK

Mobile phones launched in the UK in 1985


Did you know that the first mobile phones were launched in the UK in 1985? The earliest model available was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X and it cost a whopping £3000! No wonder they attracted so much attention. 


The giant brick looks laughable now, but it was state of the art technology at the time. At 25 cm high even without the antenna and weighing in at a hefty 790g it was a long way off todays’ sleek smartphones. The battery allowed for 60 minutes of calls and would then need to be charged for at least an hour on a fast charger (or 10 hours if you didn’t have a fast charger!) to reach full strength again. And of course, all you could do was make calls – no camera, no apps, not even texts.

Motorola 8000X

By 1986 there were 50,000 mobile phone users in the UK and prices had started to drop – in 1988 the price of a 8000X was just £599. Though considerably lower than the initial cost, it’s still the equivalent of £1600 today – putting it at the pricier end of the market. It just goes to show the lure of new technology isn’t anything new.


While we like to think we can insure most phones, if you have an 8000X lying around, we unfortunately can’t help – maybe try antiques insurance?