Nokia 3310: marketing gimmick or genius?

The Nokia 3310 of the early noughties returns to save us from an oversaturation of Snapdragon specs

3310

Well, it looks like the rumours are true. The Nokia 3310 is back. Well, most of it is and a little more. This iconic device is here once again to show the world that big and shiny isn’t all that. The phone has been relaunched by HMD Global, the Finnish start-up licensed to sell Nokia products. The company also launched three other Android phones at MWC 2017 and threw in this gem as a bonus prize.

But the question remains: will the new Nokia 3310 give us the same joy as the original, or is it destined to slide into the junk pile by the end of the month?

We’re going to see what the resurrected legend offers, and you can decide whether it’s here to stay or not.

Battery life

The original had a 900mAh battery. Sounds small right? That little slugger still gave you nearly two weeks of usage anyway. The new phone comes with a slightly larger removable 1,200mAh battery. The upside? Nokia and HMD claim the phone will be able to last a month on standby. Charging is now through a microUSB port, so if you were saving that ancient Nokia pin converter, it’s finally time to throw it away.

Connectivity

Or the near lack thereof. The phone comes with a basic 2.5G connection, meaning no notifications outside of SMS and phone calls. Can you handle this void, where no information is constantly beeping at you? No WhatsApp, Facebook or even email. There is limited web browsing available, but the fun is in seeing how long you can hold out without breaking a sweat.

Snake

This phone would have made zero sense if they didn’t include it. it would have been a shoddy effort at even trying if Nokia didn’t include Snake in the relaunched 3310. Obviously it’s not the same game you played for hours in the early noughties, but rather a modernised version of the beloved classic. Limber those thumbs up, if you think you can reach your old score.

Form factor

HMD Global understands that to relaunch an icon, it has to look at least somewhat similar in design to the original. The new Nokia 3310 retains the same silhouette, with a few changes here and there. The biggest changes are the new 2.4-inch polarized colour screen and a basic 2MP camera at the back. The “clickety clackety” buttons are still here, albeit a little softer. The device’s is also about half the weight and girth of the original.

Extras

Other noticeable changes include expandable storage via a microSD with support up to 32GB, an FM radio and MP3 player, the aforementioned camera with LED flash, and a 3.5mm jack for your headphones. The UI has also been reworked to make the most of the limited apps and services the phone has to offer. We don’t yet know how indestructible the device is but we can’t wait to find out how long it holds out against an iPhone. Sadly, there’s are no programmable ringtones (sigh).

Nokia 3310

The new Nokia 3310 comes in four colours: red, yellow, dark blue and grey. The dark blue and grey come in a matte finish to provide even more nostalgia both in colour and how it feels in hand. And this phone is cheap! Thankfully. It is expected to retail for $51 (Dh187).

This makes it great for a detox phone or a travel device that you can just take with you without having to worry about if it’s going to get lost or stolen. In an age where phones are rendered obsolete every few months or so, the Nokia 3310 is a refreshing change in terms of the nostalgia it offers. Very few phones in our history can provide memories like this model did.

It was clever of HMD to launch the phone along with its newer, more advanced line-up at MWC this year. The relaunch brought a welcome distraction from the other big guns fighting over who has more processing power and sports the biggest screen. As to whether it’s a gimmick or not, I don’t think we’ll care as long as there’s Snake to play on a shiny, red Nokia 3310.

We’re at MWC 2017 in Barcelona. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – @gntechae for the latest news straight from Barcelona.