A 4G-capable Nokia 3310 smartphone may be showcased at MWC 2018

will we see the nokia 3310 4g at mwc?
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

To a certain generation, the Nokia 3310 was the mobile phone to end all mobiles. Pre-dating the smartphone revolution, the Nokia 3310 gained legendary status for its long battery life, fondly remembered Snake game, and near-legendary toughness. It’s clear to most that much of that is rose-tinted nostalgia, but that didn’t stop the world from reacting with excitement when it was revealed last year that the 3310 would be getting a tribute in the form of the Nokia 3310 (2017).

With a slight twist on the original looks, the new model retained the long battery life, toughness, and compact feel of the earlier 3310 — but also brought some old gripes that we’d forgotten about in the post-iPhone age.

One of these was the lack of 4G access, with the Nokia 3310 being restricted to 2G connections, and the later Nokia 3310 3G U.S. model only having access to (surprise, surprise) 3G. Well, that may not be a problem much longer, as China has gotten a 4G-capable version of the Nokia 3310.

The Nokia 3310 4G (creative naming sense) has much the same exterior and hardware as its predecessors, but the software has been tweaked by HMD Global, and the earlier Java-based software we saw on the Nokia 3310 has been taken out and replaced with a forked version of Android called YunOS, developed by Chinese giant Alibaba. Alongside the additional support for 4G connections, users can also expect VoLTE HD calls and the ability to use the Nokia 3310 4G as a wireless hot spot.

There are a few downsides to the upgraded phone. First, upgrading the connection to 4G has a significant impact on the battery life, dropping the talk time you can expect from the device. The original Nokia 3310 managed 15 hours of talk time on a 2G connection, the 3G variant dropped that to 6.5 hours, and the Nokia 3310 4G is expected to have a talk time of only 5 hours. Still, the 3G model’s standby time clocked in at 27 days, so the 4G model should still stand up well as a backup phone for most.

The second issue is supply. At this moment, the phone has only been confirmed for China, with China Mobile picking it up. However, there’s hope that we’ll be seeing a global version of the Nokia 3310 4G at MWC 2018, which begins February 26. You can keep an eye on all the MWC news in our MWC war room.