If you know these words – we know how old you are

Any living language has the ability to transform. If it is spoken, it changes, acquires new words and loses old ones that become irrelevant or simply get more modern counterparts. This also happens with gadgets. Many of the words that 10 years ago meant things that everyone wanted to have are now history. Nevertheless, it is interesting to remember them and plunge into the time when smartphones were not really there yet, and phones were “push-button dialers”. They were full-fledged means of communication that everyone wanted to have and which we studied from the catalogs of Svyaznoy or MTS. But this is a long time ago. Words from that time are already difficult to remember.

If you know these words - we know how old you are

Any dictionary is constantly changing. The gadget lover's dictionary too.

Nevertheless, the time was interesting then. Then there was not so much information about presentations, phones did not cost like a golden onion, and endless leaks did not come from Twitter, after which it is no longer interesting when the device is really shown from the stage.

The main means of obtaining information was literally a couple of thematic sites, several computer magazines and the very directories that were published once a month and in which something new was marked with a “new” icon. Then I was in school and my friends and I loved to look through these catalogs to keep abreast of new devices. Moreover, then they were really interesting.

List of obsolete words

The idea to write this article came when we were cleaning the tags on our site and realized that at the dawn of its appearance there were a lot of interesting words that are now almost never used.

When new devices appeared, manufacturers actively tried to name them in a new way. This is logical, since in this case it is easier to interest the buyer and sell him the coveted gadget.

Even the word “smartphone” came into our lexicon somehow gradually. At first, hybrids of a PDA and a phone were called smartphones, then they began to be called communicators, but when it came out iPhone they somehow disappeared and people no longer knew what to call this miracle. Communicator? May be. Smartphone? Hardly, since everyone is used to the fact that a smartphone is a push-button device based on Simbian.

If you know these words - we know how old you are

Not everyone will understand, but many will remember.

As a result, it became just iPhone. It was a brand and for some time it was the name of a device category. But then “smartphones” nevertheless won the battle with “communicators” and we are using them now. Although, now it is not so logical to call the device a smartphone. They are all smartphones. I very often in everyday life call it just a telephone and I see nothing wrong with that. This is really a phone, just with a wide range of functions, but nothing smart about it. These are just the tools that I use.


The first word that can be remembered from among the past is called “camera phone”. At first, any camera phone was called that. This was back in the days of push-button devices, the camera of which left much to be desired, but it was there and it was a camera phone. Then they began to call smartphones with a good camera, which had advanced photographic capabilities. The most striking example is the monstrous Galaxy S4 ZOOM hybrid.

If you know these words - we know how old you are

Have you ever had a phone like this?

Now all smartphones have a good camera, even budget ones. That is why the notion of a camera phone is a bit irrelevant even for flagships, since their camera has the same design, just better quality, like everything else.


We also forgot about such a word as “MMS”. Technically, the technology exists and is even used somewhere, but how long have you said “Send me an MMS”? Now MMS can also be sent to a smartphone, but it does not make sense because it is easier to send a photo via a messenger. MMS and SMS messages are charged separately per item, and traffic via messengers is charged according to the amount of information sent and received. That's the whole difference – the pluses are obvious.


Another word that we have forgotten is “KPC”. At one time, everyone used push-button devices. Many had cool models, but they didn't have a touchscreen and didn't support apps that were more functional. Among them were notes, mail, notebook, and more, including games.

The alternative were handheld personal computers. They were large, unwieldy, quite expensive and had to carry two devices. I myself had a bundle of SonyEricsson W810i and HP iPaq 4700.

If you know these words - we know how old you are

I still remember this PDA with warmth

There were small PDAs with dialer function, but few used them. And there were very few models. Somehow quickly they were replaced by smartphones in the modern sense of the word and we stopped poking a “stick” at the device screen to control it. Now there are styluses, but they are needed more for expanding capabilities, and not as the only device management tool.


The concept of “Cellular” is also a thing of the past. Formally, it remained and smartphones can really be called cell phones, but now they are called, at best, mobiles or mobiles in the jargon.

In general, the concept of a mobile phone now used is broader, since many phones can be called mobile. Among them can be satellite, home cordless and any other radiotelephones.

More precisely, our smartphones are precisely cell phones, as they work in cellular networks. But nobody says that anymore.


Another word from the past is “clamshell”. Of course, this refers to the slang name for a clamshell phone. You might say that there are now clamshells too, like the Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola Razr 2020, but that's not entirely true.

If you know these words - we know how old you are

This device is no longer called a clamshell

Nowadays, few people call them clamshells. Everyone says “foldable” or “foldable” smartphone. Real clamshells were just when you had to pick up the lid with your finger and it would fold back, and then slammed back with a click. Now the devices must be opened with two hands and the magic is gone. Although, I am completely in favor of such experiments and support manufacturers in their desire to experiment with formats and suggest something new.


Many will say that they still use the word “Phablet”, but it also gradually dies, if it has not died at all. This is due to the change in the format of modern devices.

Smartphones used to be no more than five inches, and tablets started at eight inches. As a result, devices with a size of five to six inches were called phablets (in translation phablet from phone to phone and tablet to tablet). Many analysts and experts still used the word “smartpad”, but it was applied to devices with even larger diagonal. In any case, it was the middle between a smartphone and a tablet, and now, when the diagonals of the screens of both devices are almost equal, there is simply no need to talk about phablets.


Let's return to MMS, which I wrote about above, and recall one more word from about the same time. Those who are older will remember how, when we came to the communication salon and chose our phone, we asked the seller if there was polyphony there.

If you know these words - we know how old you are

Siemens m55. I remember how cool the polyphonic melodies sounded in it. For its time, of course.

It was very cool and made it stand out with a beautiful call. Now everyone is trying to use the phone without sound at all, but then the time was completely different. Later, it became possible to install MP3 on a call, and many melted from this. Now the times are gone, but whoever has gone through it remembers everything.

In this video, you can fully enjoy how polyphonic melodies sounded on the phones of that time.

Why we don't use some names

As it was said at the very beginning, the language develops and acquires new terms. The old ones either remain, if there is what they designated, or even go into the past. Sometimes we remember them when we discuss technologies of the past, but not more often.

An additional contribution to the emergence of new words is made by marketers who try by all means to distinguish their products from the rest. If big market players do this, new words have a chance to become a household name. Otherwise, he is forgotten very soon. More often than not, this only interferes, as it introduces some confusion and conversations in the spirit “is something different from this, except that it is green.”

We can only watch the development of technology and hope that we will often get something new and interesting, which will bring us a name that we will remember for a long time and will use it in everyday life. Well, the words given in this article, if you have used them, indicate that you are over thirty years old.

Write in the comments what other words from the past you remember, but have not met them in modern life for a long time.

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