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Why millennials prefer vintage phones over newer models

Why millennials prefer vintage phones over newer models
Image source: Getty Images

In somewhat surprising news, electrical retailer Currys reports that British millennials are turning back the clock and embracing vintage or retro mobile phones and choosing to forego newer models. The report finds that millennials are six times more likely to buy vintage phones than the over 45s.

Why exactly is this happening? Let’s find out.

Saving money

A key reason that millennials are going for vintage phones is because they are quite cheap. You can buy a classic Nokia 3310 on Amazon and eBay for as little as £20, for example. Compared with the latest iPhone, that’s currently retailing at a staggering £729, the possible savings are simply incredible.

With a vintage phone, you can get cheap SIM options that might not be available with newer phones. Vodafone, for instance, has a £10 SIM bundle for the Nokia 3310 that includes 250 minutes and unlimited texts.

Needless to say, an opportunity to save money is always welcome, especially during these tough times of the coronavirus pandemic when every penny counts.

Many millenials are putting the money saved by using a vintage phone to good use by putting it in a savings account which can earn interest over time. You can find one that is a good fit by checking out our list of the best savings accounts.


There seems to be a growing feeling of nostalgia among millennials for everything vintage. From clothes to furniture, movies to music, and now phones, vintage is the way to go. British millennials seem keen to rediscover some of the things they used decades ago.

This desire for vintage is higher for certain items than for others. The report Currys reveals that people are willing to spend more on older generations of phones than other items such as game consoles and music devices.

Though some of us might not care to admit it, there is a unique appeal and novelty in using something that we knew (and probably used) in another era. What’s more, a vintage phone with capabilities limited to calling and texting harks back to simpler times.

Modern smartphones come with access to a wealth of social networks, messaging services and applications. These can sometimes make us feel like slaves to technology. As a result, many millennials long for days when things were much simpler. 

A desire to be unique

Every smartphone these days seems to look like the next one. This is in direct opposition to many millennials’ desire to be unique and to stand out.

This desire and sense of individuality is part of the force driving millennials towards vintage items like phones. A vintage phone is a relatively easy way to add a bit of flair.

Higher durability of vintage phones

Another reason that vintage phones are popular among millennials is that their durability is significantly better than that of modern models.

Today’s smartphones are relatively fragile and delicate due to the number of intricate parts used in their construction. Owners constantly have to worry about dropping them, potentially breaking them and having to replace them. By comparison, vintage phones are practically indestructible.

Additionally, due to the simplicity of the technology, vintage phones have batteries that can last for days. today’s smartphones have so many energy guzzling features that they need to be charged every few hours.

One report even suggests that older mobile phones might be better for texts and calls than smartphones despite the latter having more advanced technology. Apparently, smartphones are not as good at picking up weak signals as their cheaper, vintage counterparts. This is yet another quality feature that might attract younger people towards vintage phones.

Final word

Whether it’s to save money, a sense of nostalgia, or a desire for uniqueness, it is becoming quite clear that the rising popularity of vintage phones among millennials is here to stay.

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