List of Motorola phones from the 80s & 90s

This is a list of the Motorola phones available in the UK market in the 80s and 90s.

Motrola DynaTAC brick phones: 8000s, 8500X, 8800X and 888

Motrola DynaTAC 8000 series - analogue brick phones

DynaTAC is an abbreviation of Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage. The Motorola DynaTACs were Motorola's first phones and the DynaTAC 8000X, the world's first hand portable phone.

Motorola continued to develop the 8000 series up until 1995, with there being different phones for the US and UK markets. Although by the mid 90s the brick was no longer fashionable, it had a reputation for robustness which meant people in the building trade liked to use these phones, often buying the handsets second hand.

Year Phone Remarks
1983 DynaTAC 8000X The world's first hand portable, launched in the UK in 1985
1985 DynaTAC 8000S Cheaper version of the 8000X, still very expensive!
1987 DynaTAC 8500X Improved version of 8000X for UK market. As seen on 'Only Fools and Horses'
1990 DynaTAC 8800X Improved version of 8500X.
1992 Independent Very similar to the 8500X, but sold as the Motorola Independent
1992 DynaTAC 8900X Improved version of 8800X.
1994 DynaTAC 8900X-2 Another revision of the 8800X
1995 888 Last of the bricks. A favourite with tradesmen.

The transportables

Motorola made a number of phones which were sold either as carphones or transportables in the 80s and 90s. The original series were analogue phones, but Motorola's first digital phone was a transportable, the International 1000.

These phones were always a bit more down market than their glamorous yuppie hand portable cousins.

Motorola transportables:

The Motorola 3000 International series

Motorola's second GSM phone was the International 3200. The International series was a short run of GSM brick phones. Initially they were the UK's most popular GSM phones.

Year Phone Remarks
1992 3200 International Digital brick phone
1992 3300 International Digital brick with text messaging

MicroTAC analogue series

Motorola's MicroTAC series began with the groundbreaking 9800X in 1989. It was the first phone that did not look like a housebrick and quickly became a hugely desirable status symbol to those that could afford the whopping price tag.

Later on these phones became the cheap and cheerful end of Motorola's range.

Motorola MicroTAC Classic
Year Phone
1989 MicroTAC 9800X
1989 Digital Personal Communicator
1991 MicroTAC Classic
1992 MicroTAC II
1992 MicroTAC II Platinum
1993 MicroTAC Pro
1994 MicroTAC Elite
1994 MicroTAC Flip 2

GSM flip phones and derivatives

Motorola made a huge range of GSM flip phones, as well as PCN versions for One2One and Orange. There were also flip phones without the flip.

Year Phone Network Form Remarks
1993 5080 GSM Flip Basic digital flip phone
1993 M300 PCN Flip Mercury One2One flip phone
1994 M301 PCN Flip Improved version of M300
1994 mr1 PCN Flip Orange flip phone
1994 5200 GSM Flip Improved digital flip phone
1994 7200 GSM Flip Deluxe digital flip phone with SMS
1995 M400 PCN Candy bar Improved M300 without the flip
1995 Flare GSM Candy bar Garish attempt at a fashion phone
1995 7500 GSM Flip Improved version of the 7200
1995 8200 GSM Flip Prestige digital flip phone
1996 mr20 PCN Candy bar Orange version of the Flare
1996 8400 GSM Flip New version of 8200
1996 8700 GSM Flip Slim prestige flip phone
1996 Graphite GSM/PCN Candy bar Graphite look version of the Flare
1996 d460 GSM Candy bar Basic flip phone similar to the Graphite, but less stylish
1996 m750 PCN Flip Good quality One2One flip phone
1996 mr601 PCN/GSM Flip Orange flip phone with dual band GSM
1997 8800 GSM/PCN Flip Dual band flip phone available on One2One
1997 m760 PCN Flip Basic One2One flip phone
1997 8900 GSM Flip Ultimate flip phone

StarTAC series

There was a range of StarTAC phones, running from expensive high status items to cheaper versions for the Orange and One2One networks.

Year Phone Network Form Remarks
1996 StarTAC 85 GSM Clamshell Original StarTAC
1997 StarTAC 70 GSM Clamshell Cheaper version
1997 StarTAC Lite GSM Clamshell Ultra slim StarTAC
1997 StarTAC 110 GSM Clamshell StarTAC with a colour screen
1998 StarTAC 130 GSM Clamshell Prestige StarTAC with gold lettering
1997 MR501 PCN Clamshell Cheap and cheerful Orange StarTAC
  MR701 GSM Clamshell Deluxe Orange StarTAC
1997 Slimlite GSM Ultra slim candy bar  
1997 StarTAC Royale PCN Clamshell Mercury version of the StarTAC.

Basic series

Motorola's first consumer phone was the Personal phone from 1992. It was pushed as a phone for emergencies only. Motorola also made bargain basement handsets for the first PAYG deals.

Year Phone Network Form Remarks
1992 Personal Phone ETACS Cordless phone Early consumer phone with the look and feel of a cordless phone.
1996 a130 ETACS Candy bar Ultra basic analogue phone
1997 d160 GSM Candy bar Cheap and cheerful digital handset
1997 Memphis PCN Candy bar One2One version of d160
1997 MR201 PCN Candy bar Orange version of d160
1999 C520 GSM Candy bar Ultra basic PAYG handset also known as Motorola Montreal

New series for 1999

In 1999 Motorola started two new series of phones. The Timeport for busy executives and the v-series for fashion conscious consumers.

Year Phone Network Form Remarks
1999 Timeport L7089 GSM Candy Bar The World's first tri-band phone
1999 v3688 GSM Clamshell Trend setting clamshell phone

Article by Steven Braggs, November 2012

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Comments (17)


Motorola PT-9s (e plus), does anyone have information about this model?

Hello! I Buy dynatac 8800x. On the "locked" screen .. Are there standard codes or individually?
John worrall
I have a motorola colorodo i cant find it on any list is ir worth anything
Have a Motorola 8900x-2 with original leather look case mine from new ,How much is it worth ? Any idea thanks
Hi I have a Motorola it's the one 2 NFL in line from the photo at top of page the suf model in a box it's in amazing condition but battery won't hold charge can you advise me please as I want it to go to someone whom collects
Hi I have a 1987 motorola all boxed as if it's new the mobile is suf1059a its in amazing condition but just charging now to see if battery can hold power still please can you advise as I feel a collect would enjoy this more than myself any ideas please as want to sell sadly
Clare thomson
I I have a full working order motarola 1997 slimlite with charger and In car charger. Is it worth anything. I couldn't find that particular model when looking on here.
stephen generalovic
I have a Motorola manhatten I wonder if it is worth any money I also have a Philips savy vibrate phone could you email me please thank you
Michele AllredHall
I have a America Series type SCN2391A serial number ESG. It works. How much is it worth & who would buy it?
Glenn miller
Hi im just inquiring to find out how much my Motorola 8900x-2 is worth I have had it since New witch is a very long time your information will be appreciated
Rui caetano
Alo I have got a Motorola international 1000 ,I need the manual for download Thank you Rui caetano
Hi I gave a Motorola mr30 no charger so cannot tell if it works. His much would it be worth, it's the brick type one. Kind Regards, Sioban
I would need to know the model. best regards
jacqueline roberts
Hi I trying to find price guide for the 1997 m760 basic one2one flip phone
Hi Annelise, That's correct. I've only included phones branded as Motorola on this page. See the main Motorola page and look at the article about M200/M201. best regards
Annelise Golledge
Hi I have a mercury one 2 one m200 mobile phone but it doesn't appear to be on the list above. I have been told that it is a motorola manufactured this correct? Many thanks Annelise
Mobile phone history