HMD Global, the Finnish company with exclusive rights to make phones with the name Nokia attached to them, may be planning to release an homage to the legendary early-2000s brick-like phone, the 3310.
A recent report from VentureBeat cites sources indicating that HMD will show off the retro feature phone at Mobile World Congress (MCW) later this month, as well as unveiling a pair of new budget Android 7 smartphones.
The Nokia 3310 has gained an almost mythical reputation over the past 15 years or so thanks to its incredible battery life and stout hardiness compared to the mobile phones of today.
While the Nokia 3210 laid groundwork by coming pre-installed with games and by being one of the first phones to ditch the gaudy external antenna, the 3310 was a worthy upgrade for many dedicated mobile fans. Adding features we take for granted today — such as vibration, screensavers and the ability to compose text messages that go beyond the SMS character limit — the 3310 was also significantly lighter and came with four brand new pre-installed games, including the wildly popular Snake II.
Despite the upgrades, the 3310 could leverage its relatively tiny (and replaceable) 900 mAh battery to last 55 hours on standby. Like the 3210, the 3310 also allowed users to remove the front and back covers for a change of colour or design.
More than anything else though, it’s the 3310’s ability to take a beating that’s kept it in the hearts and minds of nostalgic gadget nerds. Its apparent invulnerability in the face of being dropped, crushed or thrown has seen it become an enduring meme across the internet. In 2015, the Nokia 3310 was chosen as one of the first three “National Emojis’ for Finland“, with the pictograph being named “The Unbreakable”.
VentureBeat‘s report suggests the new phone will be sold at €59 or around $73. This would certainly tempt a lot of people looking for a simple or emergency phone, assuming it’s made widely available. HMD previously announced its flagship (and first ever) smartphone, the Nokia 6, would release exclusively in China.
The 3310 is a handset that would be mostly useless to consumers today given its reliance on retired 2G networks and outdated SIM cards, its incompatibility with modern messaging standards and its archaic modes of navigation and contact storage. The challenge for HMD would be to address these issues without losing the hardiness, longevity or simplicity that makes the idea of a 3310 comeback so appealing.
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