Say you’re travelling to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, or any of the other major cities in the country, you’ll likely rent a car or bike, check into a hotel, grab an Uber here and there—essentially, you’ll be making good use of the city’s temporary amenities while you’re there.
And for years, one of the trickiest things to figure out in your temporary home was how to get a temporary cell phone. If you’re from another country, your personal phone might not work in the U.S.—and these days, you need that phone. It used to be that you’d have to simply buy an inexpensive flip phone - with smart phones, Android or Apple, that is no longer an option - the cheapest iPhone 7 version will push you back by $700 and an iPhone 7 Plus by even more - $800. The high end Samsung Galaxy models are in a similar range.
But why spend a fortune on an iPhone, when just like a car or hotel, you can simply rent an iPhone?
Yes, people, that’s right. We are living in an age where you can rent an iPhone, just like you used to a VHS. (Remember those?) And just like the VHS has morphed over the years, into DVDs, Blue Ray, and now, a simple download, so, too, have cell phones.
So in honor of how far we’ve come, today, we bring you famous cell phones through the ages in film.
(You won’t be able to rent any of these famous phones from Dyal Rental—but if you’re traveling and need, oh, a non-shoe phone, browse our selection of iPhones and iPads here. We got your back Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, Austin, San Jose, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Washington D.C., Denver, Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, and any of the other major cities in the U.S.!)
1.Get Smart – that shoe phone
If you were around when Get Smart was on T.V., you probably thought that Agent 86’s shoe phone was the bee’s knees. This was well ahead of the days of car phones, cell phones, or in particular, wearable tech. An early inspiration for the new Apple Watch or Glasses? Probably not—but still, way ahead of its time.
2.Tomorrow Never Dies – the phone that drives
- You really can’t get cooler than Bond, James Bond; but in Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond’s phone might have stolen the show. In one scene, Bond is speeding away in his BMW—driving it from the backseat with his little Ericsson cell. Futuristic then, reality now with iPhones, Android devices and iPads that can control your cars - especially some of the Electric self driving vehicles now on the market - think Tesla, Uber, Bolt.
3.Saved By the Bell – Zach’s walkie-talkie-looking cell
This giant, walkie-talkie-looking cell phone was the source of envy for middle and high school students all over the world.
4.Zoolander – Earth to Matilda!
- Just like all things trendy, phone trends come and go. In 2001 when Zoolander came out, big phones were, like, so five years ago, and tiny phones were in. Hence this tiniest of tiny phones.
5.Star Trek – The Communicator
- Here’s a fun fact: The original Communicator in Star Trek used by Captain Kirk himself was so advanced that mobile phone inventor, Martin Cooper, actually credits this show as his major influence for developing the first Motorola cell. This fashion-forward gold flip phone was in the show from 1966 until 1969. Talk about a trend-setter!
6.Wall Street – Gordon Gecko’s ridiculous cell
Okay, so this phone isn’t exactly subtle, but it certainly got the job done. Remember the famous line “Money never sleeps?” Spoken right into this big phone, on a leisurely stroll along the beach.
7.The Matrix – Introducing the flip
- Here’s another instance where a film phone influenced a real-life phone. In this Sci Fi classic, the futuristic Nokia model featured a black flip cover. It was added just for the movie to delay the reveal of the phone’s message—and to make it look cool and futuristic.
- After the movie was released, Nokia created this model for the public, as demand to be just like Neo was through the roof.
8.Clueless – Hellllloo!
Just like big hats, belly shirts, tiny skirts, loud colors, and Jeep Wranglers were trendy in the mid-90s, so too were flip phones with pull-out antennae. This was a major status symbol, especially for a high school student, in the mid-90s. But of course, Cher had it all.
9.Jerry Maguire – Show me the money!
- One of the most famous lines in movie history—Show me the money!—was screamed into this little flip phone by Tom Cruise. It landed him the deal with Cuba Gooding Jr. that wound up saving his career and—well, just watch the movie.
10.The Devil Wears Prada – Hi, Miranda.
- This was the first feature film to feature a Sidekick—one of the trendiest little phones around in 2006. The Sidekick was one of the first phones to really feature instant or text messaging as a primary function. They were marketed specifically toward the younger crowd, and celebs (including the fictional ones in movies) wouldn’t be caught without them.
Like we said, we won’t be able to rent you Gordon Gecko’s infamous brick of a phone, but we can certainly help you get a more modern version of the cell phone - the iPhone and iPads - in any of the major cities: New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, Austin, San Jose, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Washington D.C., Denver, Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, and more.
Give us a shout.