PHONE ❘ £50 from Amazonzon www.snipca.com/24551
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.artphones.
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: www.snipca.com/ 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