Technology

Jun 1, 2017

FOR THE NOSTALGIC

If any phone can sell itself on nostalgia alone, that phone is the Nokia 3310. It's one of the most popular mobiles of all time, remembered for its near-indestructible build, long-lasting battery and legendary Snake (well, Snake II if we're being accurate) game.

It was once the sales leader in the phone market. And now it is back. The new Nokia 3310 is a lovingly crafted homage to the iconic handset with a help of modern-day upgrades.

When we look at the new Nokia 3310 front-on, there's no mistake over the phone it is paying homage to. The distinctive border around the screen and the layout of the 'num' keys give you the retro throwback, but Nokia has majorly slimmed down and modernized the design making the new 3310 supremely pocketable. 

It tips the scales at just 79.6g, making it comfortably lighter than the 137g original and, once you slipped it into your pocket, you'll forget it's even there. 

The plastic construction feels solid and you'll be able to pick up the new Nokia 3310 in the traditional dark blue and grey of the original, but also in the new, psychedelic yellow and 'warm red'. The design is very pleasant, but we can't help thinking Nokia could have stuck a little closer to the original 3310 look and feel.

The display feels like a real blast from the past, but it's a significant upgrade over the old 3310. The new Nokia 3310 has a 2.4-inch, 240 x 320 full color display which is bright, but hardly crisp. Obviously, you're paying very little for the phone so it's not an issue, but don't go trying to tap the menu items. It is not a Touchscreen.

Text is perfectly readable though, and the new version of Snake is very playable. They're not blockbuster graphics but, if they were, it would ruin the appeal of this phone.  

The new Nokia 3310 runs the Nokia Series 30+ operating system which gives you a number of menu options with classics like Call Logs, Contacts, Calculator and Messages joined by a calendar, a basic web browser, photos, radio, music player, voice recorder and a camera application. Plus, there's even an app store where you can download games and apps.

One disappointing point is the fact the new Nokia 3310 is only 2.5G compatible. That means no 3G or 4G data speeds, resulting in a very basic browsing experience. And certain markets will also be able to download simplified Twitter and Facebook apps.

It also lacks Wi-Fi, so you won't be able to connect to a home or office network for a faster connection either. There is Bluetooth though, along with a music player and a 3.5mm headphone jack which allows you to listen to any tracks you put on a microSD card and slide inside the handset.

In a real retro move - the new Nokia 3310 comes with just 16MB of internal storage. That's enough to store about seven photos from the 2MP camera. Therefore, you will definitely want to slide a microSD card into the slot behind the rear cover.

Snake is back on the new Nokia 3310, but it's had quite an overhaul from the version which graced the original 3310. Snake Xenzia, is the new version, made by Gameloft and features a series of levels with various map layouts as well as the classic survival mode where you get an uninterrupted maps.

The snake is now all in color for your visual pleasure. Snake purists needn't fear though, as a quick trip to the game's settings menu allows you to select from four different controller options - with the classic 2, 4, 6, 8 directional control present.

You can also opt to use the four way navigation pad on the new 3310 if you don't fancy using the number keys, and it makes it slightly easier to manage when playing one handed. The navigational pad is small though and you'll need to be accurate to make the most of it.

The original Nokia 3310 was also known for its long battery life and, thanks to the improvements in phone efficiency the new Nokia 3310 boasts 22 hours of talk time and up to 31 days of standby. 

You will only get is a 2MP camera on the rear of the phone. There's no flash, HDR, panorama mode or anything fancier than a simple point and shoot app with a digital zoom. It's not going to dazzle you, but we can see it being a handy feature on a secondary smartphone.

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