The Return of the Nokia 3310

There is a lot of hype this week on the back of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Although there was plenty of innovative ideas and products on display, the hype seemed to be surrounding the relaunch of the famous Nokia 3310, which some people herald as the greatest phone of all time. The phone itself was known for having various features that were scarce at the time; a calculator, a stop watch, a reminder system and even a network monitor. Firstly, the battery life was astounding in comparison with modern day smartphones. An iPhone in today’s market will last a full day, if you’re lucky, without a charge, with the Samsung Galaxy S6 not faring much better. The Nokia, however, would last an entire week and still be going strong.

Then, there is the durability. Both Apple and Samsung’s flagship products are designed to be as slim and aesthetically pleasing as possible, however, this naturally this comes at a cost; they break easily. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had to fork out an extortionate amount of money to have my phone screen replaced more than once in the past.  The Nokia, on the other hand, couldn’t be any further away from that. Apart from minor surface scratches, it’s tough exterior would be more than capable of withstanding all sorts of drops, bangs, scrapes, and many a drunken night out. The point being, it was almost indestructible.

Lastly, but most importantly, it the legend that is snake. Need I say more? Snake was undoubtedly the most addicting, infuriating and downright difficult game going – yet it still amassed a huge cult following of loyal gamers. Although the premise was simplistic, it provided constant entertainment on many a boring car journey.

So, without further ado, here it is:

First up, the specs. Keeping true to the original, the actual styling still looks fairly similar, yet now it is available in four different colours. The actual build is slightly more curvaceous and the screen has had a noticeable upgrade boasting a 2.4” curved window with a polarized layer for better readability in sunlight, which gives it a more modernized feel.

It also features a 2mp camera on the back, paired with a much needed LED flash to make the most out of the camera for when you inevitably end up in places with poor lighting.  There is also a headphone jack for music lovers, so it has the modern features that matter whilst still sticking to its iconic origins.

On the inside, they have refreshed the User Interface yet have still made sure to stick to its roots. The new battery life is still staggering, with up to a month standby and up to 22 hours talk time on one single charge. Now, although there is a handy headphone port for listening to music on the go, the phone only comes with a measly 16mb storage. To put that into perspective for you, the picture above of the Nokia’s is 608MB. A current problem I seem to have with my phone is I’m getting constant reminders about how I need to upgrade my storage as the current 16GB (yes, GB) doesn’t quite seem to cut it. Now, I understand that the current smartphone is feature rich full of apps which would guzzle that space quite quickly, but the principle is that 16MB in this day and age will not go far. At all.

But, fear not, as there is an optional extra for a micro SD card slot which can support up to 32GB, which would be the equivalent of 8000 songs. If you decide against purchasing it as an extra, there is an in-built FM radio so all is not lost. To try and appeal to the masses, Nokia also offers the phone with variants for both dual and single SIM cards. This is useful for if you are abroad and perhaps want to have a reliable phone with you as a backup.

However, this is where the major problem comes into play. Nokia have announced that the phone will run off 2G connectivity. While many other parts of the phone have been updated, the new version of the handset still communicates with networks using the same old frequencies: 900 MHz and 1800 MHz, which were used for the kind of 2G communications that sent calls and texts before mobile internet caught on. The US and Canada have already turned off their 2G networks, and other major countries are going to follow soon. This is a major problem as the phone was supposed to be universal and appealing to the mass markets yet now they seem to have literally segmented their global market. Furthermore, the phone also lacks the ability to connect to WIFI. To play devil’s advocate though, I suppose the whole point of a phone like this is to take people back to a time where mobile phones didn’t revolve around the internet and apps, rather endless hours of playing snake and texting your mates.

Nevertheless, the phone will be launched for £40 in the UK with the release date to be confirmed.

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