Appeal of the cutting-edge '90s

Even Snake isn't going to bring back the bricks.

Dear Hipster:

Am I uncool for not wanting a smartphone? My friends tease me, but I enjoy a $20/month phone bill and a 72-hour battery life.

— Annie

Good news, Annie. You may actually fall on the upside of cool for this one. The niche market for retro mobile phones has grown steadily in recent years, fueled in part by hipsters looking to resurrect the look and feel of cutting-edge 1990s technology. People cite the same advantages as you do, as well as the legendary durability of older phones. French company Vintage Mobile gets over $1300 for super rare phones, like the Nokia 8800 Arte editions, which used ringtones composed by Brian Eno. They also sell the Nokia 3310 — widely regarded as the Incredible Hulk of cell phones — for about $40, depending on the strength of the Euro on any given day.

Even so, there’s just no way retro mobile phones will replace smartphones. Barring an apocalypse, people will opt for the convenience of Google Maps over vintage Nokias, no matter how fun the snake game is.

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