PhoneArena's Retro-Rewind: Samsung SPH-N270

PhoneArena's Retro-Rewind: Samsung SPH-N270
Some phones gain popularity by diving into the heart of finding out how many units are being sold – which would indicate whether or not it's a success or failure. Then again, there are some phones that get recognized simply due to the fact they were memorably highlighted in a movie that would forever be ingrained into the minds of movie goers. There is no denying that we have an affinity for the Matrix movies – especially with their fancy digital effects and storyline that's sure to make you follow the white rabbit down the hole. When it comes to phones, there are very few that were made specifically for a movie – generally an existing model would make a cameo to delight audiences. In the case of the Samsung SPH-N270, aka the Matrix phone, its tie in makes it one handset that truly associates itself with The Matrix Reloaded.

Even though the Nokia 8110 was widely available by the time 1999 rolled along when a movie called The Matrix came about, that device might've had a part in the creation of the Samsung SPH-N270. Aside from seeing the cast of Matrix characters use it in the second movie, the spring loading action of the device easily stands out as the most recognizable feature of the Matrix phone – it made you look at it intently as the earpiece pops up into place to answer a call. Despite having some face time in the movie, the actual handset didn't receive too much of a marketing campaign by Samsung. You'd think they'd be swift in getting an actual production unit in place to possibly meet the demand that could be generated by the movie, but instead, the Matrix phone didn't embody some of the features during that time that were considered as high-end.

Initially released in 2003 to coincide with the release of The Matrix Reloaded, designers of the phone didn't intend for it to become popular and opted to market it as a rare piece of merchandise. It quickly became apparent as the candybar styled phone features a 128 x 160 pixel display with support for 65k colors, aGPS, voice dialing, 1000 mAh battery, green colored numeric keypad, and having sole compatibility with Sprint's network. There really wasn't anything breathtaking about its specs – it didn't even offer Bluetooth or a camera; which of course was seen on other phones during that time. Fans of the movies were treated to some Matrix related content with the handset – like the ever popular digital rain background found in its menus and the collector's tin.

By no means was the Matrix phone considered a success from a financial point of view – especially when Samsung commissioned to only produce a total of only 10,000 units. It still remains unclear to this day if Samsung ever did produce its target amount as serial numbers clearly found on handsets being sold on eBay and other web sites never exceeded 2,500 – which of course would make for one rare find. Initially sporting a price tag of about $500, that amount is obviously nowhere near to its current value due to its limited status – it has been seen that it could be fetched for more than $1,000.

Even though it might not have been a financial success, the Matrix phone clearly makes a point on how one device will forever be remembered being tied to a movie – and nothing else more than that. The Matrix phone is truly unique on its own mostly thanks to its distinct characteristics and on-screen time with some of our favorites characters from The Matrix Reloaded.

Samsung SPH-N270 Specifications


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