The rumours were true – the Nokia 3310 is back. The updated version of the early noughties icon, famed for its seemingly indestructible qualities, was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday.
Anticipation of the device, which doesn’t even have 3G, has been high ever since news of its release leaked earlier this year. The relaunched 3310 is produced by new mobile firm HMD Global, which licensed the Nokia brand last year. HMD is filled with key ex-Nokia people, and the phone appears to have lost none of the charm and identity of the 17-year-old original.
“This is what consumers have been asking us for, and so we decided that we’d just do it and have some fun with it, said Florian Seiche, president of HMD. “That’s the unique opportunity we have here at HMD with the Nokia brand.”
— Nokia Mobile (@nokiamobile) February 26, 2017
The phone has a 2.4-inch screen (and in colour this time), slightly bigger than its namesake. It also has a 2-megapixel camera on the back, which the original did not. It does have a removable back cover and battery, and runs an updated version of the original’s S30 software. The software behaves so much like the original and followups, you might think you were caught inside some sort of time loop. And don’t worry: the 3310 comes with those nostalgic ringtones of yesteryear and, of course, a pre-installed Snake. Because if there’s any reason why we miss our old Nokias, it’s playing that classic pixel-munching mini-game.
HMD promises that the new Nokia 3310 will be as durable as the old one, often seen as practically indestructible by the teens of the 2000s. The new 3310 is about half the thickness of the original and has 10 times the talk time (22 hours), and nearly one month standby time – a duration almost unheard-of in 2017.
It’s charged via microUSB, so there’s no need to carry the pin Nokia charger of old, and there’s even a headphones socket in the bottom. The phone will cost about €50 (£42 or $52) when released in the second quarter of 2017. The original cost in 2000 was £129.99 on pay as you go.
Whether nostalgia, the desire for a less connected but still contactable life or simply a budget phone is enough to drive meaningful sales of the new 3310 remains to be seen.
For its part, the 3310 isn’t the only phone HMD is unveiling at MWC this year. The company also released three Android-based smartphones, the Nokia 6, 5 and 3 (there is no Nokia 4 now nor has there ever been as the number is considered unlucky in China), each with aluminium unibody designs, a bloat-free Pixel-like Android experience and guaranteed updates for two years from release.
HMD hopes to achieve its aim of democratising smartphones and bringing high-end features and quality to mid-tier prices. Chinese rivals such as Huawei are already saturating the market at scale with quality devices.
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