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Now approaching its 10th birthday, the dual-band GSM Nokia 3310 sold more handsets in its five-year life-span than all the Nokias in the 1990s put together – an astonishing 125 million units. This workhorse candybar handset had everything going for it: a large (for the time) 84×84-pixel monochrome screen, bulletproof build quality, standby battery life of nearly a week and a list of cutting-edge features. The 3310 made SMS messaging easy with T9 predictive text, offered vibration alerts and a wide choice of downloadable ringtones. It was one of the pioneer handsets to allow voice dialling and came with four games that have since become all-time classics: Bantumi, Pairs II, Space Impact and possibly the best time-waster ever, Snake II. The sheer popularity of the 3310 means that you can find plenty of refurbished handsets for sale online, with hundreds of thousands still in use worldwide.

What they say

The new inbuilt real-time chat function via SMS is one of its greatest features.

Xu Guohua, Cnet Hong Kong

If you only do one thing

Test your thumbs against the classic incarnation of Snake. Snake II expanded the original arena by allowing you to exit one side of the screen to enter on the other, and added bonus bugs and maze-like obstacles. If you find yourself scoring above 4000, you’re probably playing too much.


Indiana Jones might hates snakes but here are five reasons why you should be charmed by them:

  • Snakes are getting smaller. The extinct Titanoboa cerrejonensis reached lengths of up to 15m (compared to today’s largest reticulated python, measuring a mere 9m).


  • You can distract some snakes with remote controls. Pit vipers, pythons, and some boas have infrared receptors between their eyes and nostrils.


  • ‘Only’ 250 species of snake are venomous enough to kill a human with a single bite – Australia has the highest proportion of them.


  • People allergic to horses cannot be treated with antivenin. (Antidotes are made from freeze-dried immunised horse blood).


  • India’s Wildlife Act of 1972 made snake charming illegal.