Nokia 3310 (2017) hands-on preview: Is it worthy of the legendary name?


Originally introduced way back in September of 2000, the Nokia 3310 has since sold a mind-boggling 126 million units, and cemented itself in the hearts of many fans as the “best phone ever”. Thanks to its amazing durability, stellar battery life, customizable design, and, of course, the legendary Snake II, the Nokia 3310 has gained a cult following like no other phone before or since.

Really, we can’t stress enough how much of a big deal the 3310 was for mobile phones back in the year 2000. It may seem funny to some of our younger readers, but at launch, the 3310 offered many rarely seen features, such as a calculator, a stopwatch, reminders, and SMS text messages three times the then-current standard – a staggering 459 characters!

The Nokia 3310 is a legend that will forever remain in our collective memory as one of the best phones ever. In fact, if anyone had asked us a couple of months ago whether we would like a new 3310, a successor to the legend, we would have answered negatively, for no device — past, present or future — could ever do these four digits justice. Alas, no one asked us, and HDM Global is now bringing back the 3310 from a long and well-deserved retirement.

Enter... Nokia 3310

Yes, it isn’t the NEW Nokia 3310, or the 2017 Nokia 3310, it’s just… Nokia 3310. So, apart from bearing the legendary name of the original, what does this new phone have to offer?

Design


At first glance, the new Nokia 3310 looks similar to its predecessor – it retains the iconic oval outline of its older brother, has a similar whitish border around the screen, and its keypad is almost a carbon copy of the old one in terms of shape and ergonomics. However, when held, the new Nokia 3310 reveals itself as decidedly lighter and a lot thinner than the original. It also doesn’t feel anywhere nearly as sturdy as its venerable predecessor.

Although we’re not doubting that the new Nokia 3310 would be able to survive its fare share of drops, it comes off as a bit hollow and a tad too plasticky.

The new Nokia 3310 ditches the bidirectional navigation button of the original, in favor of the four-directional “square” button we’ve seen on Nokia feature phones over the better part of the last decade. It’s neither very comfortable to use, nor is it very precise. As far as the keypad goes, it is somewhat on the soft side, with some, but not great, feedback when typing.

As we said in the beginning, the original Nokia 3310 was famous for its swappable Xpress-On front and back covers. Well, there’s none of that in the new 3310. Although it comes in a variety of colors (red, yellow, blue, and gray), the new Nokia offer nothing in the way of customization, with only its back cover being removable for providing access to the battery.

Software & interface


The user interface of the new Nokia 3310 bares no resemblance to that of the original, which is something that didn’t surprise us one bit. The original 3310’s horizontally scrolling menu has been substituted by a cookie-cutter Series 30 interface with a 3 x 3 icon grid.

As far as the pre-installed software goes, you have everything you’d expect from a phone like that, including a rudimentary web browser and an app store, though their functionality is severely limited by some of the phone’s technical shortcomings that we will be getting into in a moment.



The new Nokia 3310 comes with only one game pre-loaded, and yes, it is Snake, but it isn’t the original. It is a colorful 2D re-imagining of Snake II, developed by Gameloft, that is also more forgiving and smoother to control than the original. Unfortunately, none of the other classic 3310 games have made the transition, meaning that you won’t be blasting aliens in Space Impact or playing Bantumi on the new 3310.

On the upside, the phone comes with a lot of classic Nokia ringtones pre-loaded. All of them are polyphonic, which can either be considered an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your point of view (and the thickness of your nostalgia goggles). There are no twangy, ear-piercing, monophonic ringtones like the ones you would find on an original 3310.

Hardware, camera and other features



Battery

The new Nokia 3310 has a 1200 mAh battery, which may not sound like a lot, but it’s actually capable of providing around 22 hours of talk time and a staggering 30 days of stand-by. To put things into perspective, that’s about twice as much as the original 3310 on both counts! That’s perfect for a phone that’s likely to sit in your glove box  for prolonged periods of time.

Camera

The new Nokia 3310 has a 2MP primary camera with an LED flash and no selfie camera. The rear-facing shooter can take stills and record video. That’s about as much as we can say about it.

Internal storage and playback capabilities

The phone comes equipped with 16 MB of storage, which can thankfully be expanded to 32 GB via the SD card slot. The phone also plays video and MP3 files, and has a 3.5 mm headphone jack. FM radio is a plus.

Conclusion


The new Nokia 3310 has no WiFi, no 3G, no GPS, no front-facing camera, no high-resolution display. It is not a 3310 in the sense that it tries to be groundbreaking and revolutionary like the original, it is a 3310 just because HMD Global says so. It doesn't do for the mobile world of today what the original did 17 years ago, but instead relies on its name to garner attention. The new 3310 is just a regular Nokia feature phone, crammed into a shell that bares merely a passing resemblance to the design of the original 3310. There, we said it.

If you are in the market for a cheap backup phone with amazing battery life, then you should absolutely consider the €49 Nokia 3310. Otherwise, even if you are on a powerful nostalgia trip right now, the new Nokia 3310 is not worthy of your attention, time, and money.


Story timeline

This story is part of:

Nokia at MWC 2017 (11 updates)

Related phones

3310
  • Display 2.4" 240 x 320 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Storage 0.016 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1200 mAh(22.1h talk time)

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19 Comments

1. FlySheikh

Posts: 444; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

Definitely picking one up.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 21769; Member since: May 28, 2014

Yeah, I'll be grabbing one as well as a backup phone. I am amazed at that battery life!

16. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

If the camera was at least 8mp, even with $10 more in the price, I would too. BTW if this phone was with real high end camera, even with $20 up price, it would be a best seller. Stupid Nokia

17. xfire99

Posts: 1205; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Its HMD Global with exculsive rights to release this phone and not Nokia.

3. Frogger

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

So a complete article about this "PHONE" and nothing about phone calls quality and reception?! how useful.

8. alemanders

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 14, 2017

Its a hands on preview, calm yourself. I swear these comment sections on phone arena articles are embarrassingly childish.

10. Frogger

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

I am calm, and stop working so hard on portraying yourself as a grown up. You don't like a comment, then ignore it and scroll over.

12. alemanders

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 14, 2017

Ill try to be more passive aggressive for no reason next time. Seems like the grown up thing to do.

4. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

I am definitely buying it . 22 hrs of talktime , one month of standby and the awesome build quality.

5. vuyonc

Posts: 1089; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

>No Space Impact Get this filthy impostor of a classic out of my face!

6. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Collectors item. I really wish bare bones 3G was at least included, it wouldn't have drastically affected the battery life, plus signal strength rising and falling is the only thing really working the battery on phones like these nowadays.

7. aman5mathur

Posts: 241; Member since: Mar 28, 2014

PA ideology - call it legendary then judge it. Lol

9. nedimko_wot

Posts: 115; Member since: Oct 01, 2016

will nokia make those crazy covers like they done with old 3310

11. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

camera quality?

13. kryme

Posts: 468; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

they should get chuck Norris to do the promo

14. SPASE

Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

No good for OZ, 2G shutting down this year.

15. johnh3

Posts: 142; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

The new VW Betlee are not 100% similar to the old one to. I think this is a nostalgic device that Nokia made but with a modern touch. And it work as PR to get attention for the new HMD Global company. But their main focus is the new android devices.

18. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

Wait "The new Nokia 3310 has no WiFi, no 3G, no GPS, no front-facing camera, no high-resolution display. It is not a 3310 in the sense that it tries to be groundbreaking and revolutionary like the original, " Old 3310 had wifi,3g gps?

19. asifhossian

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 01, 2017

I think the Advanced Nokia 3310 will succeed a lot because of its iconic look, uniformity, and durability of the mobile phone. As it appears with some of the very newly added features which were not present in the 17 years old version like camera, dual sim, earphone jack and a longer battery life of up to 1 month on standby.

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