A Cellphone also called PHS, Handset, COMM, or Phone is a mobile electronic device used to make mobile telephone calls across a wide geographic area. It first appeared in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII where, in terms of function and appearance, a PHS is the same as mobile phones in the real world.
First introduced in Final Fantasy VII as the Personal Handheld System, used by the player party to communicate with each other during the game, the mechanic continued over to other games in the Compilation; appearing to serve much the same purpose in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and becoming both a plot device and gameplay mechanic in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. On the release of Final Fantasy: Advent Children, the Panasonic FOMA P900iV mobile phone was released to coincide with the Compilation as an affiliated product. The model acted as the template for all future appearances of the PHS devices in the compilation.
"PHS" ("Portable Handheld System" or "Party Henshu (Editing) System"), the means of switching party members at Save Points and on the World Map, is a cellphone. Cloud receives it in Kalm from his allies after they escape Midgar. Barret temporarily holds it in Lower Junon so it does not get waterlogged when Cloud has to swim. Later on in the story, if Cait Sith is not in the party at the Temple of the Ancients, and during the second visit to the Forgotten Capital, he will contact Cloud via the PHS to inform him of his plan to sacrifice his body and alert the party of the Sister Ray cannon's transfer from Junon to Midgar, respectively.
The phone prominently featured in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and future Compilation installments is the Panasonic FOMA P900iV product-placement, which helped market both the movie and the phone. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, it is shown that the background of Cloud's cellphone has the Fenrir emblem watermarked behind the menu.
The game's living main characters (except Red XIII, Cait Sith and Vincent Valentine who buys one after Marlene comments on how he doesn't have a phone and calls Cloud in the Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII), as well as Rufus Shinra, the Turks and the movie's antagonists, Yazoo, Loz and Kadaj, all own a phone. It is Cloud's phone, however, that features the most prominently.
Cloud's phone became a symbol of his isolation after he learned he has contracted Geostigma, adding insult to injury for his self-imposed guilt of failing to prevent the deaths of Aerith and Zack. Cloud no longer answers his calls, forcing callers to leave voice messages, and he rarely, if ever, calls them back. Tifa scolds Cloud for isolating himself using the phone as an example, saying "you don't answer the phone, but I don't see you throwing it away either". Later, during Cloud's scuffle against the three Remnants of Sephiroth at the Forgotten Capital, he accidentally drops his phone in the lake. When Cloud's phone reaches the lake bottom, Aerith's spirit leaves a message on it before it deactivates.
As a joke in the film, during his entrance in the battle against Bahamut SIN, Vincent asks Tifa where the cellphone store is, as he lacks one. Shortly after the events of the movie, as chronicled in Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII, Vincent acquires a phone, revealed in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- to sport his trademark dirge design. In a humorous instance, he calls Cloud to pass on a message to Yuffie Kisaragi to tell her she has no right to call him. In fact most of the dialogue in Reminiscence are phone conversations, as none of the characters are seen outside of the Final Fantasy VII montages.
In a humorous scene, Loz's ringtone is the beginning snippet of the Final Fantasy VII "Victory Fanfare", as it rings shortly after Tifa narrowly "defeats" him in Aerith's church before he gets back up and answers it.
Part of standard Turk equipment, the player Turks use their cellphones to receive orders from Veld or Tseng and keep in contact with their superiors and each other. With the phones they can report emergency information or be given on-the-spot instructions.
Vincent has acquired a phone bearing his dirge design, though it is thought to be destroyed during the attack on Edge. Cloud has gained a new phone to replace the one he lost in Advent Children, identical to his original.
Despite taking place before the original game, the phones featured in Crisis Core are the same models as those of Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus. Zack periodically receives e-mail from numerous contacts, as well as important calls.
Called "handsets", the cellphones are seen as a standard issue among SOLDIER members. Angeal Hewley, Zack, and Sephiroth have been seen using them, and Kunsel gives Zack a crash course on how to use his. It can be assumed that the menu (or at least, the missions menu) is what Zack reviews on his cellphone screen, as Angeal accesses his phone in that way to abort a training session in the Virtual Reality System Room at Shinra HQ. The phones also appear have a limited but effective worldwide network communication interfacing system, allowing Zack online remote access to businesses to purchase or sell items.
- Main article: Linkshell
In Palumpolum, Lightning and Fang contact Snow and Hope via a communicator to agree to a rendezvous point. Hope asks to talk to Lightning and says he is going through with his plan of revenge despite Lightning's objections, then discards the communicator so Lightning can't contact him again. The two groups later find each other and head for Hope's home together.
Lightning and Hope keep in contact via a wireless communicator, albeit the exact way the system works is never shown in-game. The only place where Hope cannot listen in on Lightning's doings is when Lumina pulls her into a metaphysical location apparently existing inside her own heart.
There were plans to have Lightning talk to her friends on a smartphone for the epilogue, but instead it was decided to leave ambiguous as to where she is heading, and who she is going to meet.
The party is woken by an alarm set in a smartphone to start their quest in making money to repair their car.
During Capital Liberation Izana Kunagiri is deployed to deliver a COMM to Ace, as Class Zero's involvement in the capital liberation was top secret until the last minute, and it suddenly became pertinent to link the cadets to the operation HQ. While the cadets are ambushed in Ingram, they find that the COMM is not working. They escape the city to a deserted house in old Lorican region, where they are worried the COMM is still not responding even if it appears to be working. Cinque points out that the Vermilion Bird Crystal, that powers the COMM, must be unharmed seeing that Rem Tokimiya, a cadet in their class who relies on the Crystal to wield magic, still has her powers. Eight speculates that some kind of "jammer" is in place to stop their communications. In the morning, Deuce exclaims the COMM is working again and that she has reached the dominion. When the cadets get back, they learn they are being accused for having disabled their own COMM to prevent communications.
- In On the Way to a Smile: Case of Yuffie, it is revealed that the original PHS used by the player party was considered "outdated" and the members of the player party replaced it with the cellphones seen in use during Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.