Today we continue our ongoing series of posts that we’re calling Throwback Tech Thursdays. Every Thursday, we will be giving you a ride down memory lane by highlighting technologies we all know and loved back in the day. Technology has come a long way in a very short period of time. It seems like the advancements continue to happen quicker and quicker as the days go by. In fact, sectors like artificial intelligence are advancing so quickly they’ve got some of our society’s smartest guys worried it might go awry.
But before it goes all Matrix on us, we’re going to take this opportunity to look back, laugh at, and feel the nostalgia as we revisit some of the most iconic pieces of tech from the last few decades. Today, we’re highlighting the Nokia 3310. Sound familiar? Chances are you had one of these in the early 2000’s. The Nokia 3310 is a GSM mobile phone that was first announced in September of the year 2000, and released a couple months later, replacing the popular Nokia 3210. The phone quickly became one of the most successfully sold phones, reaching 126 million units sold worldwide. The 3310 became a cult icon and is still widely acclaimed today.
The 3310 was developed at the Nokia’s Denmark facility. It is a compact and sturdy phone featuring an 84 × 48 pixel pure monochrome display. This thing was truly ahead of its time. The 3310 is known for having many features that were rare at the time including utilities such as a calculator, Nokia network monitor, a stop watch and even a reminder function. Way before Siri ever reminded you of stuff, Nokia had your back. The 3310 was also popular for text messaging because it allowed long messages, three times the size of a standard SMS text message, at 459 characters. No keyboard, no autocorrect, No problem. Plus this phone had amazing battery life: 260 hours of standby battery or 4.5 hours of talking time. Your iPhone is probably already dying by this point in the blog. Did we mention you didn’t need a case or fancy screen protector back then?
Another big factor in the phone’s popularity back in the day is it’s customization features. The Nokia 3310 could be customized with interchangeable covers, and thousands of different designs were produced by various companies. It also had over 35 ringtones built in with space for seven custom tones. These can either be downloaded, or can be composed by the user using the tone composer.That’s right, you could make your own ringtone. This was mindblowin in 2000. But lets not forget what made us all fall in love with our 3310’s the most. The phone came with games, the most important of which being Snake II. We can all remember the simple happiness (and sometimes frustration) of the Snake game that helped us pass the time far before social media and Angry Birds ever came along.
Quite frankly, the Nokia 3310 was huge at the time and for good reason. This was the smartest mainstream mobile phone available back then. The features, combined with the customizable covers and tones, made for an instantly popular device. Some might even say this simple device is better than our advanced smart phones we use today. Don’t take our word for it, watch the video below to hear our friend Maxim Brady‘s opinion.