The mobile phones of back then vs smartphones of today - Tech News | The Star Online


The mobile phones of back then vs smartphones of today

Do you remember the days when everyone had one of these? — Nokia

Do you remember the days when everyone had one of these? — Nokia

Did you know that the first handphone was produced a mere 44 years ago? It’s strange to think of a time when mobile phones didn’t exist. 

Today, our smartphones are essentially an extension of us. When we leave our homes without them, it suddenly feels as though we’re missing a limb or we’ve been disconnected from everything. 

Since its conception, the mobile phone has grown by leaps and bounds, evolving from the basic devices to the multifunctional smartphones.  

We’ve gone from playing the insanely addictive Snake on our indestructible Nokias to playing Candy Crush on our smartphones. Gone are the days of flip phones as we’ve now exchanged them for sleek, large screen smartphones. 

Many of us have seen how mobile phones have changed, but those who grew up with smartphones may wonder how dramatically it has changed. Here are some of the many ways in which mobile phones have changed. 


In the early years of the mobile phone, memory was limited to just storing numbers and messages.  

Eventually, as the mobile phone evolved, it offered more space to store pictures and music. MicroSD cards were also introduced to provide more storage space for phones, but that’s nothing compared to what we have today.  

Today, many smartphones offer enough memory storage for videos, photos, music, apps and much more. As a result, it created a market for applications and content to fill that space.  

Internet connection 

Today, many of us take our mobile Internet connection for granted. Not too long ago, the only way to connect to the Internet was through a computer (Jaring, anyone?). Even then, our Internet connection was limited to the wonders of dial-up Internet and its ‘catchy’ tune. 

It was only 21 years ago, in 1996 that the first access to the mobile web was commercially offered in Finland. It’s no surprise that mobile web use has increased since. 

Credit U Mobile
Stream as many videos to your heart’s content with unlimited data. — U Mobile

Mobile data 

The evolution of the mobile phone goes hand-in-hand with the evolution of mobile data. In the early years, most mobile plans offered very limited data per month, and users constantly had to rely on WiFi for surfing. 

Today, users have started looking for plans that offer the most data. To meet that demand, many companies have started offering postpaid plans packed with more data. 

Want to spend the day watching your favourite TV series from your phone? Whether it’s on the train home from work or during the wait for your transport, you can do this on the go with unlimited data. With unlimited data, you’ll never need to worry about maxing out your quota from streaming video after video. 

The speed of mobile data has vastly improved over time too. When mobile phones first gained access to the mobile web, it took ages to open a webpage, even worse if it had pictures. Today, streaming videos on your mobile isn’t a problem at all. 

Apps galore 

When mobile phones first came out, they were viewed as a means of communication. However, the smartphones of today aren’t just used for communication, they’re also a source of entertainment. 

Have you ever been so bored that you decided to download a random app just for fun? In the age of smartphones, we’re spoiled for choice with the wide variety of apps that fulfil many different functions, whether it’s entertainment, education or lifestyle. 

Today, there are apps that allow you to binge watch your favourite TV series from your phone or stream the latest hits on the go. With the amount of on-the-go surfing that we do, we can unintentionally use up all our data if we have limited data.  

With the early models you couldn’t download apps – you were basically restricted to the apps the device came with. In the early days, mobile phones were used for communication whereas today, they’re viewed as both a means of communication and entertainment. 

Basic mobile phones were limited to apps like the phonebook, music and calendar, to name a few. They weren’t equipped to handle or download third-party apps. In fact, the basic models were first invented with only one purpose: making phone calls. 

According to the 2016 Mobile Apps in APAC report, the average number of apps installed in a Malaysian’s smartphone is about 34 apps – that’s a lot of apps! Can you imagine how much data is needed to download, maintain and use those apps?  

In cases like these, it’s convenient to have unlimited, high-speed data. With access to high-speed data, we’ll always have more than enough data to maintain all our apps. 


Before the likes of Spotify and JOOX, you could only listen to music through the built-in radio app or the stored music files on your phone. Can you imagine the amount of free space those music files must have used?  

There was also a time when we carried around a separate device just for music. So in addition to your mobile phone, you had to carry around a Walkman, MP3 or an iPod for all your music purposes. 

But now, with music streaming apps, you’ll no longer be limited to the amount of music files you can store on your smartphone. In addition to helping you free up space on your smartphone, apps like Spotify and JOOX, give you access to a wider library of songs.  

But as you know, constantly streaming music can drain your data a fair bit. So not only will you need data for your music, you’ll also need data to maintain other apps. 

Credit to U Mobile
Now that our phones are equipped with better cameras, everyone’s sharing photos on Instagram and Snapchat.


It’s hard to believe that camera phones were only introduced to the market in 2000. As the mobile phone evolved, so did the camera.  

The smartphones of today come equipped with cameras that are so good that most users no longer need a compact camera.  

The evolution of the mobile phone camera and the convenient access to the Internet has made it easy for many to share parts of their lives with others. Just look at the popularity of apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat where users share pictures of their lunch or snaps of places they’ve been to. 

Constantly uploading photos to Instagram or sharing snaps on Snapchat can be a huge data drain. Searching for WiFi just to share your latest snap with your friends because you’ve run out of data is a huge hassle.  

That’s why it’s best to invest in an unlimited data plan where you’ll never need to worry about  


Do you remember the times when making phone calls were expensive? Phone calls were charged per minute and people used to count the amount of minutes spent on the phone and dread the day the phone bill came.  

Today, we don’t have to worry about such things. It’s now possible to make as many calls as you’d like for a set price. 

With U Mobile’s Unlimited HERO Postpaid P78 plan, feel free to talk on the phone all day long. 

Not only does the Unlimited HERO Postpaid P78 plan offer unlimited calls, you’ll have access to unlimited high-speed data (goodbye slow Internet!) anywhere and anytime. 

Break away from all those limits with the Unlimited HERO Postpaid P78 plan. You’ll be able to freely stream videos and music, upload pictures to your social media accounts and keep those pesky update notifications away with unlimited data. 

If you have friends with limited data plans, you can be there to save the day. With plans like U Mobile’s Unlimited HERO Postpaid P78 plan, you can now share up to 10GB of data with your friends via hotspot for free. 

The plan also comes with free data for roaming up to 5GB in 12 destinations abroad, thus, having the ability to stay connected in your favourite holiday destinations like South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, etc. 

With all these great benefits, this plan is a steal at RM78. For those without U Mobile plans, not to worry as this new plan is available to both new and existing U Mobile customers.

For more information, visit U Mobile's website.

Credit to U Mobile

This article is brought to you by U Mobile.