MWC17’s show stealer, the reimagined icon of the early 2000s – Nokia 3310 is now in town. At the Malaysian press launch, the colourful feature phone shared the stage with Nokia’s new smartphone line-up – the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3.
HMD Global, the new home of Nokia mobile devices, introduced the nostalgic phone to an appreciative audience.
The Nokia 3310 will go on sale starting the first week of June 2017 and will retail at MYR239. The price is slightly higher than earlier leaked, but reflective of the current USD-MYR exchange rate.
The device will be available in Warm Red and Yellow (gloss), and Dark Blue and Grey (matte).
Generation X-ers will remember the phone fondly, which earned a reputation for its tank-like durability and live-wire battery. An undisputed icon, it was also a best-seller, pushing over 126 million units worldwide.
Remake of an icon
While it may resemble the icon of the old, the new Nokia 3310 (2017) is quite the different animal.
It loses a few of its much-loved traits namely the super durable construction, and interchangeable Xpress-On covers.
But then it gets better. Gone is the monochrome display, rightfully replaced with a 2.4-inch QVGA panel.
There are physical navigation buttons as well as numeric keys, though not quite as tactile as I remember them.
You’ll get Bluetooth, FM radio and, wow… a 2MP camera with LED flash. Onboard storage is 16MB (yes you read that right), but you do have an option to upgrade via microSD (up to 32GB).
Thankfully, the Li-Ion battery is removable, and large by year 2000 standards. Rated 1,200mAh, it will give you talk time of 22 hours, with a standby time of a whopping 31 days.
On the software side, the Nokia 3310 comes with essentials, including an Opera browser, Opera store, Calendar, and most importantly… Snake. Via the Opera Store, you’ll be able to download more applications.
The journey back in time
Here’s where the good stuff ends. The device only comes with a 2G radio, and to make matters worse, there’s no Wi-Fi. So, in the day and age of 4G LTE and mobile internet data, you’ll literally be transported back to the World Wide Wait.
Incidentally, if you’re in countries like Singapore, Australia and Japan, you’d be carrying a brick. Several countries have shut down their old 2G networks, or are planning to. Singapore not only shut down their legacy network, it also banned the sale of 2G devices.
It’s clear HMD Global is harping on the nostalgic value of the device and the strength of the Nokia brand name in its comeback bid. And to an extent, the Nokia 3310 has single-handedly gotten people talking about the brand again.
Will it sell in droves? Probably not, and that’s ok.
Having said that, the Nokia 3310 alongside Nokia’s smartphone portfolio, marks a fresh beginning for the iconic brand.
It’s a tough road ahead, but welcome back Nokia.