Most popular phone with drug dealers because it is difficult for police to trace
| April 30th 2015
Crooks favour the Nokia 8210, launched in 1999, over smartphones fitted with wi-fi, GPS and Bluetooth. The most popular phone of the late 1990s is back in demand among the criminal underworld because the devices are harder for police to trace.
Dealer K2 of Birmingham has three 8210s and said: “They can be trusted unlike these new phones. The Feds seem to be able to listen easier now than ever before.”
A phone shop owner said 8210s sell fast. He added: “I don’t know what they want them for and don’t ask.”
Paranoid crooks are favouring the retro handsets over modern smart-phones, which are fitted with GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Police are able to gather more evidence from the newer models because of the technical footprint they leave behind.
However, the phone does have infra-red technology which can enable the transfer of information and contacts quickly.
And with a stand-by time of 150 hours the 8210’s battery life is also another reason why dealers are using the phones.
One drug dealer, based in Birmingham, who would only give his name as K2, said: “I’ve got three Nokia 8210 phones.
“I have been told they can be trusted unlike these iPhones and new phones which the police can easily find out where you have been.
“The feds can now use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to get information from the phone and seem to be able to listen to phones a lot easier now than ever before.
“Every dealer I know use old phones and the Nokia 8210 is the one everyone wants because of how small it is and how long the battery lasts, and it was the best phone when it came out.
“I couldn’t afford one in Jamaica back in the day but now I’ve got four.
“Every TV programme you watch seems to show feds listening to phones and there are even apps now that record every phone call.
“At least I can trust an old Nokia. I need to use more than one phone for what I do.
“I’ve got the incoming line and ones I use to phone out which I change the SIMS regularly, so I’ve got different covers so I know which is which.”
At the time of its release the 8210 was the smallest and lightest phone Nokia had ever released.
It was launched at the Paris Fashion Show after working with the Kenzo fashion brand on the design of the phone.
The phone also has predictive text and can send picture messages - as well as having the addictive game “Snake” installed.
The phone weighs 79g and is 101.5mm long and therefore is also popular in prisons with visitors frequently smuggling them inside.
One mobile phone shop owner, who did not want to named, said: “We have had a few people asking for 8210s and if we ever get one they sell straight away.
“I don’t know what they want them for and don’t ask.”
Mobile phone expert Anthony Middleton, who runs Canadian based Swift Mobile Solutions, said: “The Nokia 8210 was a real game changer when it came out and were rightly very popular.
“Nokia made significant advances in its industrial and mechanical design as well as component and PCB engineering which allowed for a much smaller form factor over its predecessors and competition at the time.
“Essentially it was so popular because it was so small and fit in your pocket and had good ringtone capability through the WAP browser.”
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