Nokia 3310

PHONE ❘ £50 from Ama­zon­zon

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

Retro phone has lit­tle fu­ture

Yes folks, we’ve fi­nally got ou­rur hands on the year’s most ex­cit­ing phone!ne! Trou­ble is, the year is 2000. The ea­ger­lyrly awaited homage to the 3310 isn’t even made by Nokia, which sold off its mo­bile-bile-phone busi­ness years ago, but an­oth­er­her Fin­nish com­pany, HMD, which will al­solso be re­leas­ing sev­eral An­droid smart­­phones.

This, though, most cer­tain­lyly isn’t a smart­phone. The point is the retro ap­peal, but that’s been rather com­pro­mise­domised by a rad­i­cal update. Aside from thehe ba­sic shape, which still feels great, and the tiny spaced-out but­tons, it’s not much like the orig­i­nal, re­plac­ing its black-and-white postage-stamp screen with a larger colour dis­play that’s still laugh­able­hable by 2017 stan­dards.

In 2000, most peo­ple thought putting a cam­era in a phone was silly, in­clud­ing the de­sign­ers of the 3310. But now it has one on the back, ready to take grainy 2- megapixel pho­tos that you can barely see. The LED flash dou­bles as a torch. It doesn’t shoot video, and there’s no front cam­era for self­ies or chat. Talk­ing of chat, you can text (SMS), but there’s no Face­book Mes­sen­ger, What­sapp or Tele­gram, so for­get com­mu­ni­cat­ing with any­one un­der the age of 30.

What does it do? Well, there’s a sort of web browser, based on Opera, but it barely works. You can play MP3 mu­sic files down­loaded from your PC, if you first add a mi­crosd card (from around £5). Pe­haps the best fea­ture is the built-in FM ra­dio, which you can use any­where free of charge. But you don’t get any ear­phones in the box.

Oh, and let’s not for­get Snake. With its sim­ple premise – you move a dot around, col­lect­ing other dots, un­til you crash into your own tail – the game is fondly re­mem­bered by Nokia nos­tal­gists. Sadly, this is an over­com­pli­cated update. More games are avail­able, but at £3 each they’re hardly cheap and are ex­tremely ba­sic.

The phone it­self is tempt­ingly cheap. But Al­ca­tel’s Pixi 3 3.5 (£20 plus £10 top-up from EE: 24554) is much cheaper and runs An­droid, so you get a full choice of apps. Sev­eral other ba­sic Nokia mod­els are avail­able on UK net­works for un­der £20, with Face­book and Mes­sen­ger built in.

At the time of writ­ing, just a week af­ter the 3310 went on sale in the UK, it had sold out in most places, with Ama­zon promis­ing more stock on 30 July. We don’t re­ally un­der­stand why. The only ben­e­fit over a smart­phone is the phys­i­cal but­tons, and they’ll be too fid­dly for most peo­ple who have trou­ble us­ing a touch­screen. As a piece of nos­tal­gia, it just isn’t fa­mil­iar enough.

Its retro ap­peal can’t make up for its se­vere lim­i­ta­tions

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