Fast forward: Mobile phones - From yuppie status symbol to must- have accessory, Martin Skegg and Michael Oliveira-Salac chart the rise and rise of the mobile

As one in five of us now owns a mobile phone, they are no longer an exclusive luxury for business people but have become a tool for everyone, and, in some cases, a necessity. The introduction of pre-payment plans has stimulated the market considerably, as users do not need a contract or have to meet monthly rental charges. New phones are being bought for occasional calls and emergencies, quite a shift from the days of the yuppie doing deals in restaurants.

Some might say that the noise pollution created by people bellowing into their mobile while on the train, bus and soon (if current negotiations are completed) the Underground, make them a nuisance and a menace. But there's no going back. Mobiles have even changed the way we speak. A survey commissioned by Nokia which is about to be released shows that using a mobile influences people's behaviour and use of language: just think how many calls now begin with, "Where are you?"

Since the introduction of mobiles in the mid-Eighties, the technology has changed dramatically. Remember the early phones? If you were lucky (and wealthy) you had a Motorola the size of a brick, or else there were the phones that needed you to carry a heavy box around for them to work. The new generation of phones have not only become smaller, but they are also fitted with a range of extra features and functions. All come with some sort of rudimentary phone book, while other models are a fusion of personal organiser - complete with keyboard and schedule arranger - and communicator for fax, e-mail and the Internet.

Expect this trend to increase, with the further convergence of technologies bringing hybrids that are more computer than phone. In the meantime, look out for the video mobile phone promised later this year which allows you to see who you are talking to. Here, we've chosen four of the most innovative mobile phones currently on offer.

Pictured below from left

Philips Sports Genie Ultra-light (only 99g) and compact, the Genie comes in red, blue and yellow. It's got the unique Voice Dial feature which dials out by simply speaking the name of the person you wish to call (particularly good for in-car use). pounds 300. For stockists call 0500 787828.

Nokia 9110 Communicator Leave the Filofax at home, as this GSM phone comes with a personal organiser and has data capabilities. Flip open the handset to access a keyboard and screen for fax, e-mail and Internet connection. It works hands-free without an additional microphone or earpiece, and has settings which adjust volume and mic sensitivity for situations ranging from meetings to outdoor mode. pounds 450 with connection. For stockists call 0990 003110.

Ericsson PDA D127 Data Accessory An infrared modem that allows your phone to connect with personal organisers, and to send and receive data including e-mail and fax. For use with any Ericsson 600/700/800 series mobile. pounds 150. For stockists call 0990 237237.

Motorola v3688 GSM phone The smallest mobile available, weighing only 83g (yes, even smaller than the StarTac), with the clamshell design. Batteries offer a healthy maximum of 100 hours standby time, but its size means it misses out on some of the more exotic features. It's dual band, so it works in Europe and US. Comes with a hands-free set. Around pounds 300. For stockists call 0500 555555.

News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
people
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Life and Style
fashionThe Secret Angels all take home huge sums - but who earns the most?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...

    Middleware Support Analyst

    £45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

    Senior Java Developer/Designer

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...

    Domino Developer and Administrator

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?