Mobile phones are vital to how we run our life. Giving constant connection to others, they are as just as important as a house or the car we drive. Yet the modern smartphone owes a debt to one single product that changed how we perceive the phone. That was the Nokia 3310. Below, we give our essential guide on how important this retro phone was.

The Nokia 3310 is the mobile device that started a revolution. Before its inception (it was released in the year 2000) phones had been bulky, expensive affairs. Using GSM sim card technology, owners of a 3310 could top up credit at their will and keep the device in their pocket. Gone were the days of having a separate briefcase for a mobile device. Now everyone could be connected at all times.

While there were other phones around, the 3310 had lots of small features that would come to define the smartphone era after and set it apart from others. One of these was the ability to play mobile games, though only on built-in titles like the classic “Snake II”. However, payments could be made by sending text messages, would which deduct money from your balance for services. This could be used to download things like ringtones to your phone.

This service was so good, that even in the modern era it is still a popular payment method for many, particularly in industries with high security like the online gambling sector. To deposit with mobile casino using your pay-as-you-go balance is an easy process, and is even preferred in some countries where internet safety may be a problem. MrQ is one company that offers a service in which customers can make deposits to their online casino using a phone bill method. They state that one of the main security advantages is that it does not require passwords and authenticators, but instead simply deducts the amount from your monthly bill.

The feature that really set the device apart from its competitors was the chat function. This allowed people to talk freely using SMS, with messages that were three times the size of a standard one. With 459 characters allowed and threaded SMS, instant messaging no longer became a short message function. It became a valid way of constant communication and would pave the way for programs like WhatsApp.

Another favourite feature was the pure robust nature of the device. In an age where products are made to be replaced and breakable, the Nokia seems quaint in that it was extremely robust. Many online forums and videos have put the phone to the test. If you dropped a Nokia, you didn’t need to worry about screens cracking and having to pay hundreds to replace them.

The after-market peripheral also came about with the advent of the 3310, in particular the concept of a clip-on case. Interchangeable covers could be purchased, licensed by Nokia and often created by unlicensed third parties. You could now customise your device to your liking, changing it to display everything from a picture of your favourite movie to glittery disco designs.

Retro the Nokia 3310 may be, but its values of durability and sustainability, are more important than ever. The company has designed a new version and as phones with cheaper, replaceable parts come on the market there was only one device that did it all before: The 3310.