Old smartphones you can still buy

When you read statistics on the distribution of the smartphone market, the line “Other” is an eyesore all the time.

It would seem that for many years the market has been completely andunconditionally divided between devices on iOS and Android. A couple of years ago, Microsoft and BlackBerry officially finished off their projects by ending their support. Tizen has never officially died, but when was the last time someone stuttered about the release of a smartphone with this OS? Maemo and Symbian? One of them never became popular, and Symbian smartphones should be over 10 years old by now. However, devices with such operating systems are still found among users. And they give those very fractions of a percent of "other" OS.

And it's not always about the fact that someoneon the hands of a physically very old apparatus. Miracles do not happen, and smartphones that would last more than 5-6 years, there are only a few out of millions of batches. But there are stores that still offer to buy a new old smartphone. No, these are not deliveries of refurbished devices from China, not restored to a new state, but quite official, licensed smartphones that simply lingered in the warehouse. And if you have a desire, then they can still be bought.

True, you need to understand that such a smartphonethe device will never be again: disconnected servers, application stores, old security protocols, and so on sometimes throw even the most inveterate geeks a challenge that they cannot answer. As a result, some devices are no longer smartphones at all, but simply dialers with a unique face, but capabilities that do not go beyond calls and SMS. And I would not say that their price is like that of a simple dialer. But if you're still interested in getting a little unique experience, then here's what you can buy new in the store.


Who does not remember the legendary "blackberry"business smartphones! They have never been massive in Russia, the Nokia E-series surpassed them in popularity, but they always had their loyal audience and still retain it. In Moscow, I managed to find several stores at once that still sell BlackBerry devices and even offer a good selection of models. As of the end of May 2022, you can find: Bold 9900, 9780, 9720, 9790, Curve 8520, 8900, 9300, 9320, 9360, 9380, Q10, Classic Q20, Torch 9810, Passport Q30, Leap and even Porsche Design versions 9982 and 9983. Moreover, some of the vehicles (including Porsche Design) can still be selected by color.

Luxury smartphone from BlackBerry based on the budget BlackBerry Q10

Devices are still in stock, and some modelsyou can even buy a spare if you are sure that in a couple of years you will again want to click a cool QWERTY keyboard. But some disappear right before our eyes. This is exactly what happened with the BlackBerry Q5. It was in stock last week, but now it's gone. The BlackBerry Passport is preserved the most - the model came out at a time when BlackBerry was no longer a cake, after a successful start it had poor sales, but it was only in 2014. 2014, if you remember, was the last year that BlackBerry released smartphones with its own OS.

BlackBerry Bold 9700 and BlackBerry Bold 9780. Fans have never confused them, have you?


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What are the reasons to buy a smartphoneBlackBerry in 2022? It seems to me that only nostalgia, cool design and premium materials. And a QWERTY keyboard. The latter is overshadowed by the fact that for a couple of years now, mail has not been working on BlackBerry smartphones. Of course, there are no instant messengers, so on the best ever physical QWERTY keyboard in smartphones, you can write either memoirs or SMS. With premium materials, of course, there is also a subtle point - not all devices were expensive, the Classic series and budget Bold were made of plastic, so you won’t get any extraordinary sensations. But the design - yes, the design will remain in history, and such a device will stand out even now.

The most unusual ergonomics due to the strange choice of proportions, but this is the only BlackBerry that is still a smartphone and not just a dialer with a QWERTY keyboard

The touchscreen slider has never been popular with the masses, and BlackBerry fans have received mixed reviews in general. Maybe that's why the ten-year-old model is still available to buy?

I will not say that there are reasons notbuying a BlackBerry in 2022 would just sound weird. Officially dead OS and a device developed 8 years ago, six years before lying around in warehouses. Among other features, it is worth remembering that BlackBerry at the beginning of 2022 completely turned off the servers that ensured the operation of devices on the BlackBerry 10 OS. This means that you not only get a problem with notifications, mail and the app store, but even just like that you will not be able to activate the device. Luckily, fans have found a way to complete the activation, even though the server that checks the BlackBerry's connection no longer exists. If you turn on screen reader mode on a device with incomplete activation, you can access the Skip button that is invisible on the Wi-Fi connection settings screen. Further, the device will be set up in the usual way. You can find a store that offers a service for activating the device, so you don’t have to practice the speed of pressing the necessary buttons and taps.

Only global problems will remain in the formthe lack of relevant applications, non-working mail (yes, through the browser too) and other joys of a smartphone, the manufacturer of which officially announced that you have a “brick” on your hands. The brick can still make calls and send SMS (the exception is the Passport model, after some dancing with a tambourine you can still get access to work with applications, instant messengers and mail). If you are a fan, then the Crackberry resource is at your service, almost everything that can be fixed is explained there, there are ready-made recipes for many occasions. However, the fact is that most BlackBerry models are simple dialers with an additional camera and audio player. The bonus of such a reduction in capabilities will be a very long work on a single charge.

As for prices, they vary significantly fromstore to store. The simplest models of the Bold and Curve series can be found at prices ranging from 5-6 thousand to 15-17 thousand. For Passport will ask from 20 to 40 thousand. Porsche Design, depending on the model, will cost from 40 to more than 60 thousand. As a dialer with a price tag of up to 10 thousand rubles, BlackBerry still looks like an interesting offer: high-quality assembly, good materials, long battery life, a camera that is not bad by the standards of this class. Giving even 20-30 thousand rubles for Passport seems to me a rather strange decision. Yes, many problems are solved on this device, and it can still be considered a smartphone without reservation, but still it has a very specific design with strange ergonomics. The choice is ambiguous even for a geek. As for Porsche Design, these smartphones have always been purely about design. To say that they are or not worth the money is meaningless, to condemn their purchase is like to condemn the purchase of a used Aston Martin.

Windows phone

If BlackBerry is one OS and onemanufacturer, then with Windows Phone everything is more complicated. Firstly, devices with this OS were made at different times by different companies. Secondly, you can still buy three different versions of Microsoft's mobile OS in stores. And they will have very different restrictions due to obsolescence. Windows Phone 7.x is a completely dead OS. Almost nothing works on it. Even the audio player may refuse to play the file, and transferring photos turns into a quest. The version of Windows Phone 8.x is not far from it. On devices with such an OS, some applications still work, but this is rather an exception - mail and notifications for it are completely disabled.

Against this background, Windows 10 Mobile lookscomplete OS. Back in 2019, Microsoft stopped updating this OS, including security fixes, but did not disable the app store. Which is very important. Initially, the company's policy did not imply any opportunities for users to install applications other than through the application store. It is still possible to upgrade to this OS, so if you buy a device that did not come with the latest version of Windows 10 Mobile 1709 out of the box, then you can still install it. True, it is worth remembering that Microsoft did not have much support for updates even on its own devices, so it is important to find out in advance what is happening with the updates.

You can now buy devices from Acer, HTC andMicrosoft. As many as three different manufacturers, however, the choice of models will be less than in the case of BlackBerry. Acer is presented in a couple of stores with one model - Liquid M330 in 1/8 GB version. He did not receive the latest OS update, settling on version 1703. But he even has a fingerprint scanner, and it is unusually located - not just on the back panel, but on the back panel at the bottom. Other characteristics were not impressive even at the time of release, among the strengths one can note only a good autonomy (Windows 10 Mobile on a 2000 mAh battery shows a good result) and support for LTE networks. Yes, it sounds strange now, but the model was announced in 2015, so this is really an advantage for an inexpensive (at that time) device. Now they are asking for about 9 thousand rubles for the model, which would be a lot, even if it had the current Android. Apparently, the extra charge for rarity gives reason to ask for more. However, to choose exactly Acer, even if you want to remember Windows in smartphones, there are no reasons, in general.

Acer did not develop a separate platform for the Liquid M330, but simply installed a different OS on the Liquid Z330

HTC is represented by two models:HTC 7 Mozart and HTC Titan. Both of them are among the earliest Windows Phone devices and have Windows Phone 7.5 out of the box. I'm not sure that even an upgrade to version 7.8 can now be carried out, although this will not make much sense - in any case, the device will not receive anything other than the ability to call and send SMS. Even the performance of the player in the device is questionable, as is the ability to reset photos taken with the built-in camera from it: these devices do not support memory cards, Bluetooth does not pass security checks, and a regular connection with transmission via Zune may also not work. Not even navigation works, so all that is available is to enjoy the still smooth operation of the interface, which, like many years ago, does not make sense because there are no applications, here Windows Phone has amazing stability. By and large, the difference is solely in the design and screen size. The Mozart is 3.7 inches versus the Titan's 4.7 inches. At the same time, you need to understand that these devices are not compact in the full sense of the word - the dimensions of 119 by 60 mm for a smartphone with only a 3.7-inch screen are not the best indicator in 2022. But very good, if you remember that the model entered the market 11 years ago. The price of such devices is 6 thousand and 9 thousand rubles, respectively. Should I give them away for a simple dialer with a beautiful interface? Don't know. My HTC Mozart was the first smartphone with Windows, it left a good impression as a device, but the OS was monstrously empty, and it was not so convenient to use it as a dialer.

HTC 7 Mozart fit in the palm of your hand, but the ratio of screen area to front panel area was completely different in those days.

So if you ask my advice aboutthe opportunity to indulge in nostalgia for the times when Microsoft made OS for mobile devices, it is better to choose from Microsoft Lumia devices available for sale. You can still buy the 540, 640, and 550 models new. They all received the latest Fall Creators Update, so by downloading version 1709 from the server, you will have the final touch of Windows 10 Mobile. Not to say that between 1703 and 1709 there is any significant difference in everyday use, but if you really evaluate the work of Microsoft, then you cannot do without a look at the screen-to-screen transfer mode of the Continuum. By and large, there are not so many disadvantages to the system from the end of support: your device is still vulnerable to hacker attacks (although in terms of viruses, these devices have always been reliably protected by their uselessness) and the notification system does not work. Of the messengers, you will only have Skype, and Facebook (recognized as an extremist organization in the Russian Federation) imposed sanctions against this OS a couple of years ago. In general, if you look, the Microsoft ecosystem has always been so empty that little has changed in its devices over the past five years. A kind of living confirmation of the maxim "what is dead cannot die."

Microsoft's swan song - Lumia 550. A device that should not have been, but it would be more expensive to cancel the order for components

As in the case of BlackBerry devices, there isa vibrant and active community of fans who are still actively looking for and finding ways around the restrictions. Yes, if a smartphone for you is a phone with an app store, then Lumia is not a smartphone. Against the will of Microsoft in 2022, these devices have become real smartphones for geeks, such as old-school supporters see them: without reading the instructions on the forum, the humanist will not install the application he needs, not to mention making it work correctly. Such a smartphone will now cost, depending on the model, in the amount of 11 to 17 thousand rubles. From the variety of color palettes, not all are left, but you can still choose.


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Samsung Wave II

Remember that once the flagships of Samsungdidn’t have the word Galaxy in their name, didn’t run Android OS and had a completely original design? Not? But one of these “affordable” flagships can still be bought. The GT-S8530, or Wave II, is still on sale. And it didn't even go down in price. If in 2010 they asked for 20 thousand rubles for it, then over the past 12 years it has lost only 10% of its value. What do you think, Apple fans?

Both generations of Samsung Wave smartphones in one frame

Seriously speaking, smartphones with Bada OSnever exactly as full-fledged smartphones were not perceived. They had the entire set of programs out of the box that covered the needs of the user in 2010, so the presence of an application store for many was not critical at all. The Samsung App Store has long been completely reoriented to applications for current models, and the Vada platform itself has become part of Tizen, so there is no need to talk about any smartphone component in the current sense for Wave II. It's just a phone with the ability to install Java applications. To a certain extent, this is not bad, because you do not depend on the company's policy, on the other hand, there is no choice of applications, not all of them will easily and simply get up and work.

So yes, a 12-year-old Samsung smartphone isit's just a phone. Then it was the norm, the design and convenience of the interface decided. Even raw characteristics were not yet a subject of cult, few people paid attention to the fact that the platform at the heart of the device determined all the screen and camera. And here is where the interesting point remains. Wave II, unlike its predecessor of the first generation, received not AMOLED, but a Super Clear TFT matrix. So you can remember what Samsung screens looked like before the company began to get involved in the most vivid pictures. Similar story with the camera. She had already received touch focus and was able to find people's faces in the frame. But this is a 5-megapixel camera of 2010, so the quality of the pictures will be at the budget level.

Is it worth it for 18 thousand rubles to buy justdialer? Obviously not. Of the advantages of Samsung Wave II over modern models, there will be only design. And, I must say, despite the fact that the design is interesting, since then it has been repeatedly repeated, and the Samsung materials themselves are not as impressive as those of the BlackBerry. The interface is not very smooth, the shell resembles modern ones only in the first approximation, in fact it is still closer to the menu of phones, not smartphones.

Other OS

It probably won't be a big secret and the factthat in addition to the models mentioned above, you can search and find devices with other operating systems. But these will be rather single sales, in stores specializing in such goods, they will be found exactly one or two pieces. And it’s good if we are talking about the original packaging, which no one has opened for many years. But my experience in searching for a number of models on Symbian suggests that a couple of years ago, in most cases, it was about “like new” devices. Often these were devices restored by Chinese spare parts in non-original packaging. In fact, it’s easier to find a device with your hands, but this review is about smartphones that can still be found in stores, so sales of rarities through Avito will remain outside of it.

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