Never before has a feature phone dominated the world’s most important mobile event – then again, this isn’t just any other phone. Seventeen years after its debut, the iconic Nokia 3310 has been recreated for a modern audience.
This was an important move by the brand owners of the Nokia phone brand, HMD Global. As a young startup, the company needed something to really capture a tough mobile audience – how about recreating a legend?
The new 3310 retains some of its predecessor’s iconic looks – the contrast colours around the display, the pebblestone-shaped buttons – but the new design adds some modern flair. The 3310 is curvier in every axis, and there’s a splash of colour on top of the classic matte ones: the new Nokia 3310 is available in matte midnight blue and light grey, as well as glossy yellow and an interesting red-orange hue.
Because of the rounded shape, the new 3310 feels slightly different from the OG 3310. And, probably because I’ve been so used to using a smartphone, the 79g weight almost makes the 3310 feel like a dummy set. It is for that reason, too, that it loses some of the “tank” feel of the original 3310.
That said, there’s lots of important additions, like a 2.4-inch colour display and a 1,200mAh battery that increases battery life by ten times from the 2000 model (not exactly difficult, but you know). Round the back there’s also a 2MP camera for “basic” needs. It also charges via micro USB, thankfully.
However, this is still a feature phone. Talk time may be rated for 22 hours, but Internet connectivity is limited to 2.5G. The phone also has Opera Mini pre-installed, should the need ever arise. There is a brand new Snake game, though gaming on a 2.4-inch display may not be necessarily be the best experience. It may be better to just play the one integrated into Facebook Messenger instead.
The OS is called Series 30+, which was developed by Microsoft back when the company still cared about phones. It has a Symbian-like UI, and navigation is still via the square D-pad below the screen. If you’ve used a Nokia feature phone before, the experience will be like a duck taking to water – one does not simply forget how to use a feature phone.
And, as mentioned in our earlier post, I am not yet convinced about the build quality of the new 3310. The glued-on Nokia logo peeling off isn’t a sign that the 3310 has inferior durability, but that on top of things like non-aligned back covers on some units I saw suggest that the Nokia 3310 feels cheaper than its already low 49 Euro price tag.
The matte models alleviate some of the concerns because they attract less fingerprints (and the safe colours look more classy), but of course, it is a matter of personal choice. A colleague literally screamed when he saw the 3310 in his favourite colour (yellow), while another much preferred the matte midnight blue model as it is the same colourway as her old 3310.
Regardless, the Nokia 3310 isn’t exactly targeted for urban consumers. It may have been a strong nostalgic play to hype up the brand, but this device is still very much targeted to emerging markets, where the phone is heading to first when it becomes available. Malaysia is likely to be in this list, which we have previously reported.