£TBC (€50) • nokia.com/uk
If you’re going to trade on nostalgia for a brand, you might as well trade on nostalgia hard. That’s clearly the thinking at Nokia, which has managed to overshadow its own range of new Android smartphones with the announcement of a phone that doesn’t have a touchscreen, won’t let you install any apps, and doesn’t do much of anything except make calls and play Snake: the Nokia 3310.
That’s right, Nokia is ready to party like it’s 2000, with a sort-of re-release of one of its most iconic feature phones. Strictly speaking, this is more of a combination of a few of Nokia’s old devices – along with a handful of modern conveniences – so it should feel immediately familiar to anyone who’s
ever held a clunky 1990s phone. We’ve had a bit of time to go hands-on with the new budget phone at Mobile World Congress 2017.
There’s no firm UK release date for the Nokia 3310, but we know that we can expect it some time in Q2 2017, which means some time between April and June. As for price, the 3310 will sell for €50 (£42), placing it firmly at the budget end of the market – no-one’s expecting this to be an iPhone killer. As with the release date, no firm UK price has been announced yet, but we’ll update this when one is.
The new 3310 is both immediately familiar and subtly original. If you were hoping to buy a new phone that looks identical to the 2000 model, then we’re afraid you’ll be disappointed – the new version has undergone a redesign. For one, there’s a much bigger screen (a whopping 2.4in) that stretches most of the way to the top edge, while the buttons are all chunkier and rounder.
As a whole though, it’s still small and light, measuring just 115.6x51x12.8mm. It feels much more compact than we remember the old 3310 being, but it doesn’t feel any less tough. Build quality is high, with a comfortable weight, attractive finish, and satisfyingly clicky buttons. Light as it is, the 3310 feels solid – this is a phone you’d be happy to knock about, in a way that you probably wouldn’t with a Pixel or iPhone.
The 3310 also now comes in four colours: Warm Red, Yellow, Dark Blue and Grey, so you can be as
cheerful or as sombre as you like. All the colours look great, with bold tones that are nicely offset by the white accents, but we’re particular fans of the red and yellow variants – they really highlight the chunky, playful aesthetic that Nokia is going for. It’s worlds away from the plain black monoliths we’re used to from the smartphone world, with sleek curves instead of sharp corners.
Let’s be honest, this is going to be a bit of a short section. The Nokia 3310 can make calls and send texts. It can play MP3s and FM radio. It can take photos. It can browse the internet. It can play Snake. Your current phone can probably already do all of that (well, except maybe Snake). But you know what your phone can’t do? Manage 22 hours of talk time on a single charge. Or survive a full month on standby. And other than the pure nostalgia kick, that’s where the 3310 is going to come into its own. It’s not going to replace your smartphone, but it might become your backup, or the phone you take on holiday or to festivals.
Thanks to the simple functionality, it doesn’t take a big battery to keep the 3310 going – even for a full month – it’s packing just 1200mAh. Elsewhere, there’s that 2.4in QVGA screen, a headphone jack, Micro-USB charger, and 16MB of internal memory. You’ll want to supplement that with a microSD card though (it supports up to 32GB), because that’s how you’ll need to store photos from the 2Mp camera – something the original model definitely didn’t
feature. As for connectivity, there’s Bluetooth 3.0 and support for 2G, so while you can technically browse the web on this, you probably won’t be loading anything fast. Finally, software-wise it runs an updated version of Nokia’s old Series 30 operating system, meaning it should be instantly familiar to most users. It takes a few minutes of adjustment to remember that you can’t use the touchscreen (when did pushing physical buttons begin to feel so old-fashioned?), but the muscle memory soon kicks in.
At the end of the day, the Nokia 3310 is a play for nostalgia, and how much you care will depend on how much affection you have for the old Nokia bricks. It’s not going to replace your smartphone – and it doesn’t want to – but it could be a cheap supplement. And yeah, you could
already buy another feature phone for cheaper, but between the epic battery life and the sheer Nokia factor (and Snake) we know where our loyalties lie. Dominic Preston
• 2.4in QVGA screen • 16MB storage • Up to 32GB microSD card • 2Mp camera, LED flash • 2G • Bluetooth 3.0 • Dual-SIM • 3.5mm headphone jack • Micro-USB • 1200mAh removable battery • 115.6x51x12.8mm