Nokia, true to rumours, has launched a new version of the iconic Nokia 3310. As the company sets out to reintroduce the world to Nokia smartphones, almost all the attention at Mobile World Congress 2017 has been on this retro-fantastic phone.
Except it isn't quite as retro as you might want it to be. The Nokia 3310, originally launched in 2000, has a reputation for being indestructible, for offering battery life that seemed to never end, and being all the phone you could ever want.
Fast-forward 17 years and you're looking at a slimmer 3310 with a softer design. It's still a dumb phone. Its functionality is basic: this isn't a smartphone in disguise, but never the less, riding on a wave of nostalgia, the Nokia 3310 is the phone that everyone is talking about.
Rather than stick to that old chunky design with Xpress-On covers, the new Nokia 3310 slims down. It loses the angular corners for a softer curvy look. The format is basically the same - screen top half, T9 keyboard below, but a change to the buttons in a waistband loses something of the iconic look.
This is a slimmer phone at 12.8mm, but it's perfectly pocketable. Compared to modern smartphones, the Nokia 3310 almost gets lost in your pocket. But there's no real chance of you getting lost in that display, unless you've forgotten how to navigate the Series 30+ user interface.
There's no touchscreen here, so it's down to clicking through those icons on the 2.40-inch 240 x 320 resolution display. It's now colour too, adding a little lift, but at the same time losing the real charm of that old mono display. The same applies to the Snake game that's preloaded: it's Snake, but it's not the Snake you remember and it's not the Snake you want.
If you're expecting this phone to be hiding secret powers, it isn't. This isn't a modern reworking, this is a reissued and updated old phone. There's no Wi-Fi, there's no 3G, it's a dual-band 2.5G handset, designed for talking and texting.
There's some functionality on offer, like Bluetooth so you could use a headset and there's also a 3.5mm headphone socket with support for microSD cards, so we dare say it might make for an adequate music player, albeit with no streaming music in sight.
There's no opportunity to sync your contacts from Google, so you'd have to import them manually, like you did in the old days. You'll probably find the 2-megapixel camera is slow and you'll have no way to share those pictures, so you'll it's unlikely to get a lot of use.
All of which might give the 3310 limited life beyond the immediate novelty value, or as an emergency phone. Priced at €49, if all you need is to make phone calls and send those messages, it might be all the phone you need.
But the thing that this new Nokia 3310 really rams home is just how precious nostalgia is. Look back through those rose-tinted spectacles and remember just how simple and wonderful life was, because we're not sure we're ready to send our phone back to the limited functionality of those those days.
Source: Chris Hall, www.pocket-lint.com
- Joseph Flaherty