11 Old School Phone Features We Thought Were So Cool Back Then

In the late 1990s, the world arrived at the beginning of a new era—the era of cooler, smarter, and smaller mobile phones. Before then there only was the big, black, block phones with retractable antennas, and they were an extreme luxury. Only a handful of people owned them. But by the end of the 90s, mobile phones became more and more accessible, with almost everyone owning one by early 2000s.

It was suddenly the new cool thing.

But here’s the nostalgically funny thing—remember when we were so awed at what our cellphones could do back then??? Those features may be almost completely laughable now, but back then, they really blew our minds. Here are 11 old school phone features we thought were so cool back then!

ALSO READ: #WIMAsks: What Do You Miss About the 90s?

11. Vibrate

The older phones couldn’t do this, and suddenly a new wave of cellphones had a vibrate feature that went off when we’d get our text messages, calls, alerts, and while playing games! Vibrate?? How the F does it do that???

10. Moving graphics

You go to your phone’s menu, and the graphics on each menu screen would move. Remember the messaging screen where there was a moving letter and an envelope? Magic.

9. Music composer

You were cool back then if you had a personalized ringtone. And you were even cooler if you made your own monotone ringtone, via the amazing music composer feature. Do you remember your ringtone??

nokia snake

8. Snake

Ask any person who owned a phone from the 90s and early 2000s, and they would all say this was their favorite phone feature: Snake. For all you Gen Z or post-millennial kids who don’t know this, it’s a game, and it was pretty awesome.

7. No antenna

It all started out with retractable antennas. Then the small unretractable antennas came, and they were revolutionary. But came 1999 and antenna-less mobile phones hit the stores. Our lives were forever changed.

6. Compact size

The smaller the phone, the more high-tech, the more sosyal. *Insert: Nokia 8210*

Nokia 8210Nokia 8210

5. Dancing backlight

The phone’s backlight would blink to the rhythm of our rightones and the vibrate, too. We all thought it was cool.

4. Long texts

We thought it was a total upgrade when from just a 153 character-capacity for the SMS, suddenly the newer phones could accommodate up to 459 characters. Win!

3. Changeable cases

LOL. One of the best things about those old phones was that you could change the housing. You did this too. For sure.

Nokia phone

2. Home screen background image

There were no phone wallpapers back then, but you could go to a mobile phone store and have then “install” a personalized home screen background image to your phone. All you have to do is pick a background image from the store’s photo album!

1. White backlights

This is not a built-in feature, but the cooler dudes knew that to truly be cool, you had to have the white screen backlights. You just gotta run to the store again to have them change your phone’s lights.

Which of these features did you love most about your phone back then? Tell us in the comments!