Phone nostalgia fans will love the new Nokia 3310 3G. The NZ$100 phone looks like the old Nokia 3310 brick phone that was a hit in the first years of the 21st century.
It also sounds like an old-school Nokia. The phone can play the famous Nokia theme at almost ear-splitting intensity. The phone maker has even included the Snake game.
While the phone has the Nokia brand, like other 2017 Nokia phones, it is made by a Finnish company called HMD Global which has a licence to use the name. HMD also makes the Nokia 8, an impressive mid-range Android phone.
Not the old Nokia 3310
While the new phone looks a lot like the original brick phone, it isn’t identical. The screen is bigger. There’s a camera. It’s not much of a camera, but enough to get by.
In place of the old proprietary pin style Nokia charger plug there’s a microUSB connection. You can charge this from a computer if you want.
The software is a reasonable emulation of the original Nokia 3310 phone software. I don’t remember there being as much colour last time around, but memory is hazy. It’s not hard to use, mainly because there are so few options.
If anything it’s the software that reminds us how far phones have come in the last 15 years.
There is a distinct plastic feel. Although it seems flimsy in comparison with the original and with today’s premium phones, that’s not the case. The device seems robust. It’s probably better at taking knocks than a device costing the thick end of $2000.
The keys, especially the navigation key, can be tricky to use. But what do you expect? After all this is a $100 phone.
Which brings us to one of the glorious aspects of the revival: price. The 2017 version of the Nokia 3310 costs $100. That’s a fraction of the price of the original before taking inflation into account.
Another nice touch, the battery lasts far longer than ones on many expensive phones. HMD says the phone has 27 days standby time.
Would would buy this?
Not everyone wants a full featured smartphone. And there are many who would struggle to pay the asking price for a fancy top-of-the-line handset.
Some people only want a basic phone for simple tasks like calling and messaging. Then there are those who need a spare phone in a hurry because they lost or broke their main phone.
You might want something inexpensive to give a youngster on a night out or if someone works in a job where phones get destroyed. The long battery life makes it a great phone to take on a boat trip or a long bush walk.
The Nokia 3310 makes an ideal family back-up phone.
It took almost a year for the Nokia 3310 3G to reach New Zealand. An early version of the revived phone went on sale in the Northern Hemisphere in February. That model was so retro it couldn’t even use 3G networks.
The version that arrived in New Zealand in November has been updated to use the 3G network.
HMD says the phone is a Spark NZ exclusive, but the red version shown in the photo above is only available from The Warehouse and Warehouse stationary.