The Motorola 8500X seems to be something of a bargain. With all the fuss about the 8000X, little attention seems to be paid to the very similar 8500X. It is just the kind of thing Only Fools and Horses' Del Trotter might snap up and sell on for a profit.
The 8500X came along in 1987 and was sold mainly in the UK. This phone was a development of the 8000X and it offered customers the ability to store names of contacts in the phone's memory. They operated on the original TACS analogue network, so cannot be used today. The phone's manual stressed it worked on both Cellnet and Vodaphone networks.
The Motorola 8500X cell phone had a smart black and grey finish, which was much more in line with the matt black colour scheme popular on other electronic equipment in the 80s.
Motorola also added a smart logo to the bottom of the phone.
The other significant difference between this phone and the Motorola 8000X is the screen. It has larger LEDs, but this is quite hard to see unless the phone still charges up. Most have dead batteries after all these years.
These phones were originally launched with a price of well over £1000. By 1991 they were beginning to look dated and you could get one for little more than £100.
If you are looking to buy one of these today, eBay is the best source. They are quite rare and more and more people are becoming interested in mobile phones. Although not the first mobile phone, this one was a specific UK market phone.
Motorola 8500x values
These phones sell on eBay from £30 to £60. Mint examples in original boxes might sell for more than £100. If you are buying a Motorola 8500x from a phone dealer, expect to pay upwards of £50.
Our view on values: these phones are a bargain and are sure to appreciate in value. Snap one up now whilst they are still relatively inexpensive.
Add your comments on the Motorola 8500X
"Great phone back in the day, may have been a lot larger than others but always had a signal when others didn't.
. I still have mine from 1988, the odd looks I got when I walked into a pub and put it down on the bar.
The battery still holds a charge of around 3 hours standby. Looks really odd on my desk now next to my iphone6s+, where will technology be in another 25 years or so ? will we look back on iPhones, Samsungs and iPads and say how antiquated they are??" Scott 24/08/2016
"In my opinion if you compare the 8500x to the smart phones available today taking into consideration the technology that was available when they were made against the technology in present day I think the 8500x could be ranked as the worlds best mobile phone ever produced and yes I did have one in the late 1980's" Wayne de Boltz-Miller 15/02/2017
"I have two of these phones, new old stock, still in boxes, never used, would of thought the price in here is low ball as have seen in new condition for up to £800" Julian 23/10/2020
"I've just checked against eBay completed listings. These prices don't seem to have changed much. I'd say 30-60 pounds for a good one. Original packaging and mint might push it to 100. An absolute outlier was 200 pounds, nothing near to 800. Sorry.
The 8000X is worth much more." Steven 23/10/2020
"These are great fun, and a testament to how far things have changed in the past 30+ years. I have one with an extra-large battery that still holds several hours of charge. Though I can't make calls, it's always fun to walk down the street talking into it and pressing buttons and getting looks from bewildered passers-by. Haha.
Not not as valuable as the original DynaTACs, this is still an amazing piece of history that will no doubt be incredibly valuable in time. I fully expect the above prices to steadily increase as technology advances and people wish to get one of the first mobile phones." Josh 20/05/2021
"How do you charge one up or can't you xx" Linda 26/07/2021
"They can be charged with suitable battery charger provided the battery still works.
The phone will show some lights and display, but it won't work as a phone as the analog network has been switched off in the UK." Steven 26/07/2021