It goes without saying that, for most people, the Nokia brand evokes memories of unboxing their very first phone. The Nokia 3310 review sample landing on my desk proved this, as I immediately began reminiscing on all the hours I spent playing Snake.
The relaunched Nokia 3310 is 115mm high by 51mm wide, and weighs 80g. The 17 year-old 3310 from the technicolour days is similar in size (give or take a couple of millimetres), with the exact same shape and sexy feel. Cracking open the back reveals the 1200mAh 3.7V Li-ion battery and the SIM slot. It feels no different to my first Nokia, although that one had an 860mAh 3.7V battery. Once I’d snapped the 3310’s back cover on, booted it up, and heard the familiar Nokia tune singing sweet everything to me, I was smiling like a Cheshire cat in Wonderland. I knew I’d not be happy when the time came to return the phone.
My review period started off brilliantly, and I decided to turn off my smartphone and leave it out of sight. Sadly, it wasn’t long before I needed to check on WhatsApp, so my iPhone was booted up and switched to flight mode with Wi-Fi enabled. A couple of hours later, when I headed out to meetings, my iPhone sucked more life out of the Nokia’s nostalgia factor when I enabled Bluetooth too, and for a while that was enough to keep me going. Well, sort of. As much as I tried, the Nokia simply couldn’t give me everything I needed to get through the day, and that’s where this fairy tale ends.
So where does this phone fit in? What’s its core market and why bring it back 17 years later? If you’re a regular traveller, this phone is a great travel buddy, because it boasts around one month of battery life on standby – but that’d only apply if you’re not reliant on WhatsApp or other smartphone applications while you’re on the move. Yes, you read correctly: a single battery charge will last a month and provide you with 24 hours of non-stop talk time, which is astonishing. This means charging it before you leave for a business trip will ensure that you’ll always have access to SMS and phone calls, without the need to pack a charger or do research on what type of plug sockets they use in Kathmandu. Heading off for a wilderness retreat? Slip the 3310 in your pocket and it won’t let you down in an emergency – unless you get lost and need a GPS, of course.
I found myself looking for reasons to want the Nokia 3310. I wanted to need one, but when I eventually packed it away after the review period was over, I realised it’s not something I’ll ever need. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of spending time with it and getting to relive the past. There’s something special about thinking back to “the good old days”, but I must say – I do love my smartphone.