The Minstrel was among a number of new models that BT launched in the early 1990s as demand for Touch-Tone phones started to pick up as digitalisation proceeded. Compared with the unloved Slimtel, the Minstrel two-piece compact phone was a much better ergonomic design. Note the 1990s bias towards phones being coloured white.

The body shape is identical to the long-lived Trimline design from the USA, which started as a dial model in 1965.