A New Zealand resident who was talking on his flip-style mobile phone as a hydraulic explosion engulfed him was saved by the retro piece of tech as it deflected the flames away from his airways.

Carl Gifford was creating a firebreak at a public golf course in Wellington, New Zealand when his 20-tonne digger suddenly lost power and began to catch fire as a result of its brakes overheating. Gifford jumped out to retrieve a fire extinguisher from a nearby vehicle and attempted to put out the flames that were now beginning to spread to nearby trees.

After contacting emergency services and trying to clear the area his phone fatefully rang. As he flipped open the mobile phone and to answer the call of his friend there was a huge explosion from the digger sending a flaming fireball of oil spraying towards Gifford.

"I thought, 'my God, the forest is about to go up' then the spray was a flamethrower and it just bowled me," Gifford told Stuff.co.nz.

It was at this point the man must be thanking his lucky stars he hasn't upgraded to the latest in smartphone technology, as the Samsung flip phone he was talking on was covering his mouth, preventing Gifford from inhaling the flames which could have been fatal.

What is a flip phone?

Dare we say some that for those of you who have no idea what a flip phone is (sigh), there was once a time where our mobile phones came in clam-shell like designs where users would have to open them up to answer or access the keypad (yes a physical keypad) and screen (not a touchscreen).

Gifford suffered major burns to his face, hands, arms and neck but was able to flee for help. When ambulance services arrived a mobile phone-shaped mark could clearly be seen across his face. Giffrod is now receiving treatment in a burns unit along with his trusty mobile phone, which also survived the incident.

This miracle moment where technology has come to the rescue following numerous reports of iPhones saving lives by deflecting and stopping bullets. We're amazed by Gifford's story in more ways than one: the fact a mobile phone saved his life and the fact someone out there is still using a flip phone.