Rapid review

Nokia 3310 (2017) – a dumb phone walk down memory lane

By Lee Bell 13 June 2017
The 3310 isn’t an exact replica of the traditional handset, but feels close enough to invoke some good old nostalgia
Summary

Nostalgia with a £50 price tag.

 The short of it

A dumb phone that takes you back to the good old days when life (and technology) was simpler. But with a few more modern features to bring it a little more up-to-date.

Why do I care?

If you were a fan of the Nokia 3310 you’ll probably want one of these, even just for old times’ sake. Priced at just under 50 quid, it’s set to please those looking for the simple life, one free from the narcissistic nature of Instagram and the like.

There’s no Wi-Fi, no 4G, and not even any Facebook (gasp!). Instead, it has good old SMS messaging and a phonebook you can store all your friends’ numbers in so you can actually call them.

The Good

With a 2.5in 240×320 resolution screen, the 3310 is quite the upgrade over the original. As you can expect, it’s poor by modern standards, but that’s the point.

Obviously, it wouldn’t feel like a 3310 if it wasn’t made of a nice and cheap-feeling plastic. With a lovely bargain-basement build quality, it’s chunky, ugly and every button press feels gloriously clunky. It also comes in some seriously bright neon colours, which make the whole user experience even more fun (and tacky).

But the sweetest thing about the 3310 is how long it can go without needing to charge. With a promised battery life of 30 days, this thing will keep going way longer than any smartphone could.

And, it’s got a 3.5mm headphone jack for all your tunes too. Something even the iPhone doesn’t have.

The Bad

While there is a number of updates over the original 3310, including photo-taking abilities thanks to a 2MP camera, it’s all too reminiscent of the first ever camera phones, making photo taking rather frustrating as opposed to warmingly sentimental like Nokia intended it to be.

The biggest problem with the 3310 is that it only has 2.5G connectivity, so won’t work in all countries, especially in Australia and the United States.

And while the infamous Snake game makes a return, it’s an updated-but-not-quite-as-satisfying version of the original due to Nokia over complicating it. Boo!

Snake is back, but not as we remember it.

Who’s it for?

Anyone remembers the first one or anyone that doesn’t but thinks they’re cool by pretending they do.

It may also suit those who want a cheaper alternative phone to take to festivals or as a backup in their bag while backpacking.

Price?

As a perfect nostalgic impulse buy with a price to match; the Nokia 3310 is just £49 but after using it for 10 minutes and seeing how limited it is, you’ll be surprised it even costs that much.

Our take

The 2017 version of the Nokia 3310 takes you back for all the wrong reasons: it feels and looks like a toy, it’s extremely limited in what you can do with it, and it’s somewhat pointless unless you intend to call or SMS your friends – but that’s what’s going to make it such a great seller.

And we expect to see it making a fair deal of ironic cameos on “influencers” Instagram feeds. When irony overrides function: meet the most hipster phone ever made.