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
Vintage, retro & social history