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Nokia 3310: Our first take

HMD's upcoming Nokia 3310 won't be making its way to the U.S. any time soon

Why it matters to you

The Nokia 3310, widely considered to be one of the most popular phones ever made, will relaunch in the second quarter of 2017. It can be a good burner phone, but it won't replace your smartphone.

If 2017’s Mobile World Congress hasn’t already thrown enough nostalgia at you with BlackBerry’s QWERTY phone announcement, you’re in for a doozy of a throwback with the reintroduction of the Nokia 3310.

If you don’t recall, the one-of-a-kind Nokia 3310 was a “dumb” phone. It launched in 2000, and there were several other models in the same series. Like most Nokia phones at the time, it was known for its long battery life and its ability to survive almost anything.

Now Nokia is no longer in the business of making phones — smart or dumb. That’s all handled by HMD Global and Foxconn. Nokia licensed its brand name to HMD, and there’s a list of guidelines the manufacturers have to follow to make sure the new phones are up to spec with Nokia’s familiar brand promises.

Apart from announcing two new smartphones, and the global availability of the Nokia 6, HMD took the wraps off the new, reimagined Nokia 3310. For starters, let’s just say it’s colorful.

It’s colorful like the Nokia Lumia series for Windows Mobile, to the point that the new 3310 looks and feels like a plastic toy. It’s bulky but incredibly light. It’s also compact, rounded, and feels cheap but not fragile.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You’ll have to remember how to type with the T9 predictive texting technology, and how to navigate without a touchscreen. But hey, you can play the iconic Snake game!

The new Nokia 3310 runs on the Nokia Series 30+ operating system, and it has a 2.4-inch QVGA display. It’s packed with a 1,200mAh removable battery that charges via a MicroUSB port. Nokia claims the battery will last a month on standby, which we don’t doubt, and you can be on a call for up to 22.1 hours.

It only has a MicroSD card slot that can support up to 32GB of storage. The 3310 features Bluetooth connectivity with SLAM, Nokia’s method of sharing content over Bluetooth without the recipient’s device needing to be paired

The device has FM radio and MP3 player apps in case you want to listen to some music. You’re out of luck if you want to take a selfie, though, as there’s only a 2-megapixel camera on the rear. Don’t expect anything good out of this camera, unless you’re going for a nostalgic, JPEG-lacking look.

This phone won’t replace your smartphone — it can’t. But it can act as a burner phone, or a backup or secondary device just for calls and texts. It can also be an excellent device for those in developing markets that just need a solid feature phone.

The Nokia 3310 comes in red, dark blue, yellow, and grey. It will cost 49 euros and will launch in the summer. Unfortunately, the phone only supports GSM 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, so it’s likely only going to work for countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Those bands aren’t really supported in the U.S., so the phone, at least as its currently configured, won’t be launched in the U.S. A HMD spokesperson, however, has said that “the U.S. will be in HMD’s sights.”

Highs

  • Compact, fun design
  • You can play Snake
  • Long battery life

Lows

  • Camera is practically useless
  • Feels cheap
  • Only supports GSM 900MHz and 1,800MHz bands

Updated on 03-01-2017 by Christian de Looper: Added news that device wouldn’t be coming to the U.S.