Transparent Phones Are All the Rage Thanks to Y2K

Scroll through the Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu, and you may come across photos of decade-old transparent phones from brands like Lenovo and Sony.

One of the most oft-posted phones is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness, a feature phone released in 2009 that one reviewer called — in the same year — “some ways novel… some ways prehistoric.”

This quote remains true today: These 2000s-era mobiles are a fascinating combination of futurism and obsolescence, especially since transparent smartphones aren’t here yet.

These old phones are being rediscovered as part of a larger Y2K resurgence, a trend characterized by the return of mini skirts, low-rise jeans, maximalist indulgence, and other relics of the ’90s and 2000s.

They’re even inspiring faux-transparent smartphones, an illusion involving a green screen and video editing skills.

Read more about Y2K in China by clicking the icon below.