What if I told you a phone once existed that had a battery life of over one week? A device so resilient that its hardened, often vibrant exterior, could withstand falls from heights that modern-day smartphone owners would buckle at the knees over. It featured a game called Snake, which would later help shape what modern mobile gaming is today, and had a power-on tone so memorable it could be considered the soundtrack to your affinity with the device you simply can’t live without. It was called the 3310, and it was arguably Nokia’s magnum opus.
Almost two decades later, its return was announced earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona By Nokia’s now parent company, HMD Global. Limited to 2G capabilities, however, Australians wanting a piece of nostalgia were left with nothing but the question of when—and if—a 3G model would become available. This question was answered last week at a global launch in Sydney; unveiling the ready-to-use 3310 to the Australian market.
Equal parts functional and nostalgic; there are at least six reasons why this humble device should be a part of your life.
The 3310 is so much more than a talk and text phone. Retailing at $89.95, keep that price in mind as you read below.
The 3310 probably won’t be replacing your work phone, and its worth noting HMD isn’t trying to do so here. That aside, this reimagined beauty is packed with features that make it a perfect companion for commuting, travelling and everyday use. It has an expandable memory of up to 32GB; ample room for photos taken on the 2 megapixel camera, your favourite albums and then some. Any concerns of burning through your usual playlists due to the (only slightly) limited storage are counteracted by FM playback; a feature the original and many current smartphones are missing.
Three: battery life
While the phone’s aesthetic and features may differ from your corporate compadre’s device, the 3310 is set to be one of the more reliable options available. If phone calls are paramount in your day-to-day, the 6.5 hours talk-time and casual 27 days standby time makes it more than viable for those who need to be connected 24/7.
For travelling and long commutes, the 3310 is a no-brainer – no power input, no worries.
Four: it has Snake
We’ve all played it, we all had a higher score than our friends, and we all miss that ever-growing snake like no other. Name a more addictive mobile game since this early 2000’s gem?
Five: the display
The 2.4” QVGA display fits so much more than you’d think on it; navigating through the Opera Mini Browser made for light work once your keypad muscle memory kicked in, too.
The colours are some of the clearest we’ve seen on a phone display in such a low price bracket. In terms of hardware, HMD/Nokia have even added a polarized layer atop the screen to reduce glare in the sunlight – drawing back to the price, extras like these are rare in a phone below the $100 mark.
Six: the aesthetic
Have we mentioned nostalgia much? Playing on our soft-spot for the early 2000’s, the design team have gone all out here. Australia is treated to two new matte colourways, Azure and Charcoal. Both are a contemporary nod to the original hues of the 3310 without blatantly replicating those memories. The keypad also has that same clicky sense of touch we haven’t felt for over a decade; a surprisingly welcome change after life with touchscreens.
The user interface is customizable with themes just as the Nokia’s of days-gone-by were. Following suit is the exterior; while there are only two colours available for the initial release, we have no doubt more will surface over the coming year. Fingers crossed third-party brands realise the market potential of 3310 covers as well.
The 3310 reincarnate has a few limitations depending on how you intend to use it, and we wouldn’t recommend replacing your usual digital workhorse if your life is apps, emails and connectivity. With that being said, the 3310 sits well ahead of the budget-phone pack without really feeling like one.
Most phones in the talk-and-text only price bracket score low compared to the 3310 in all areas. Managing to capture that early 2000’s spirit—while staying relevant to at least our basic digital needs—you’d be hard pressed to find a more suitable, on-trend device for everyday use.