The Collected Mobile Cellular Devices of Paris Hilton (2003–2010)

By
Photography Bethany Vargas

Published February 28, 2019

BlackBerry Torch 9800, posterior Hello Kitty view.

Along with the selfie, and many other once-outlandish practices that are now central to life in 2019, Paris Hilton pioneered the cell-phone-as-permanent-accessory. The model, DJ, and entrepreneur has been glued to her phone since starring in 2003, alongside Nicole Richie, in the reality series The Simple Life. In the years since, Hilton has been both an official and unofficial ambassador for the cell phone in all of its evolving forms, amassing hundreds of devices that now sit in a storage space somewhere in Los Angeles. In between answering “millions of texts” she still gets each day, the queen of the aughts took a moment to give lip service to her five favorites.

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Samsung E714 (2003-2004)

Dimensions: 3.39×1.67×0.76 inches. Weight: 2.86 oz. Battery Life: 5 hours (talk time)/245 hours (standby).

(Fig. 1: DIAL PAD VIEW, OPEN)

“I was just Googling ‘Paris Hilton Cell Phones,’ and I found this still of me doing a selfie with Adam Brody on The O.C., where I say, ‘[The camera phone is] the autograph of the 21st century.’ People have said that I invented the selfie, and I agree but there is a person doing a selfie in the 1800s, or some crazy long time ago, with a weird, old camera. I think I invented the first cell phone selfie.”

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T-Mobile Sidekick II (2004)

Dimensions: 5.10×2.60×0.90 inches. Weight: 6.50 oz. Battery Life: 4.5 hours (talk time)/60 hours (standby).

(Fig. 2: KEYPAD VIEW, ACTIVATED)

“I loved the Sidekick. I loved how it would flip over, and the crystals looked so pretty on it. The Sidekick was perfect for crystals. But the best part was that you could text with a keyboard, you could do pictures, and you had internet. You have to remember , back when cell phones first started, they didn’t even lock on them or anything. You couldn’t even text! You could write, like, ‘hello’ by doing 07734 upside down, and, maybe five other things, but that was it. So the Sidekick was beyond.”

LG 8700 Shine (2006-2007)

Dimensions: 3.7×2.0x0.5 inches. Weight: 3.88 oz. Battery Life: 3.5 hours (talk time)/300 hours (standby).

(Fig. 3: POSTERIOR VIEW, OPEN)

“I need to start decorating my phone the way I used to with this one. Before people were bedazzling phones professionally, I would literally go to the bead store in West Hollywood and buy all these little Swarovski crystals and put them on myself. I started off with hot glue, but it was always coming off. So I found this other glue called ‘rubber cement,’ or something like that, and it was stronger. I was just so proud of my phones—ever since I was a kid they felt wrapped up in my identity—so I wanted them to be sparkling.”

BlackBerry 8700C (2005-2006)

Dimensions: 4.33×2.74×0.77 inches. Weight: 4.73 oz. Battery Life: 4 hours (talk time)/450 hours (standby).

(Fig. 4a: FRONTAL VIEW)

 

(Fig. 4b: POSTERIOR VIEW)

I associate my BlackBerry days with feeling like a boss babe. My friends used to tell me I should buy stock in the company because I bought so many of them. The other day, I literally found a box with 50 old BlackBerrys in it. I used to carry five BlackBerrys: one for business, one for friends, one with a Swiss number, one for prank calling, and one for people who I didn’t want to give my number to. Imagine going to Coachella with five phones in your hand! I’d always lose at least two of them.”

BlackBerry Torch 9800 (2010)

Dimensions: 4.37×2.44×0.57 inches. Weight: 5.68 oz. Battery Life: 5.5 hours (talk time)/450 hours (standby).

(Fig. 5a: FRONTAL VIEW, TYPE MODE)

“Oh my God, I just found this tweet I wrote, ‘Hey I lost my BlackBerry,’ with a crying emoji. ‘So if you’re trying to reach me, then text me on one of my three iPhones. Kiss.’ Ninety-thousand likes. I loved my BlackBerrys and three iPhones. I just loved the buttons because it made it so much easier to text. But once I got used to the iPhone, I was over the BlackBerry. And when the rose gold iPhone came out, well I loved that it was pink-sh.”

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Prop Stylist: Danielle Von Braun at ART DEPARTMENT