Nokia 3310 2018 Review: If nostalgia is what you seek, you are better off getting the original
The Nokia 3310 went on sale in India on 18 May. The device is a strong statement, demonstrating the capabilities and potential of a seventeen year old phone. HMD Global is confident of its product and market. There is no need to push this device to the limits. The lack of functionality is a desirable aspect. Feature phones are not exactly extinct, but are being superseded by “smart” devices. The 3310 promises, and delivers, to be dumb.
The phone is reminiscent of the 3310 launched in 2000, and that is the only differentiating factor. This is a device made for Nokia fans.
Feature phones also saw an evolution with the design restrictions of price points and basic communication needs. Nokia continued to offer exceptional services and applications on its affordable devices. A basic phone could be used to stream music, navigate using offline turn by turn navigation, use instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp, surf the web, and respond to emails. The touch-and-type devices, in the Asha lineup were exactly the kind of gadgets needed for those moving on from feature phones.
The 3310 was one of the legendary tier phones made by Nokia. The phone has been included in the national emoji set of Finland (in other news, Finland has a national emoji set). The particular emoji is called the “Unbreakable”.
The 2017 device is made by HMD Global, which acquired the rights to use the Nokia brand for ten years from Microsoft.
The 2017 version of the 3310 is the second Nokia feature phone by HMD Global, after the cheaper Nokia 150. The 3310 launch of the device had plenty of hype surrounding it, and was presented as “a modern classic reimagined.”
HMD Global is an independent Finnish company, but Nokia technologies is on the board of directors, to ensure that the devices meet certain quality requirements, and do not adversely affect the brand name. Even though the device is a feature phone, it is a device made in 2017, and there are at least basic expectations from the phone, if not lofty ones. Let us find out what the device has to offer.
As soon as you hold the phone, you know that there is something special about the gadget, a decidedly unique device. The design sensibilities is 20 years old and contemporary at the same time. It is a little unsettling, like a time machine that partially works. The phone is considerably thinner and lighter than the previous version. Compared to modern touchscreens, it feels almost seems too small. The phone weighs just 79.6 grams, which is little more than half the weight of the 3310 released in 2000.
The dimensions of the phone are 115.6 x 51 x 12.8 mm. While the new version is slimmer than the predecessor, it is both taller and wider. The design of the phone is reminiscent of the original 3310, but there are considerable changes. The Nokia “Navi” key in the center has been replaced a square function key. The square framing for the function key serves as a direction pad. The original 3310 had an end key on the left and scroll keys to the right. The buttons were quirky and asymmetric.
In the 2017 interpretation, there are symmetric scroll like keys on both sides, with separate functions mapped to the top and bottom portions of the buttons. The call button is to the left, and the end call or power button is to the right. The scroll keys on the original could allow you to increase or reduce the volume while in a call, this function has now been mapped to the up and down keys on the direction pad.
The keys do not take too much effort to press, especially compared to the older version of the phone. This is a good thing for reducing the stress on the fingers over prolonged use. If authenticity of the original experience is what you are looking for, then you will not get it in the 2017 model. The keys are uniform and oval shaped, and no longer have the inward facing pointed corners.
The vertical speaker grill on the original has been removed to accommodate a larger screen. The speaker on the new Nokia 3310 is beneath a rather deep oval pit that is prone to collect a lot of dust, and needs to be cleaned regularly. The Nokia Logo on the front is on the curved glass covering over the screen, and is embossed below the camera on the back. There is no depression along the back for gripping the phone. The back cover is removable, but you have to pry it out using your fingernails instead of pressing a button and sliding out the back cover.
There is a 1200 mAh, 3.7 v removable lithium-ion battery in the device. The rated stand by time is 25.3 days, with a max talk time of 22.1 hours. Continuous mp3 playback is available for 51 hours. It is not realistically possible for us to test the battery on the device. In regular use, you would require to charge the phone once about every three or four days.
Half of the battery drains alarmingly quickly, in about half a day, considering how long the battery is supposed to last. However, the remaining half lasts for a few days after that, your mileage may vary. One way to increase the battery life is turn off the glance screen feature of the phone, which stays on for an hour. Half of the battery charges up pretty rapidly as well, about two hours is enough to juice up the device by three-fourth of the battery life. The remainder takes more than four hours to fully charge.
Although HMD global says the price is Rs 3,100, this is not the price that you can actually get the device for. The MRP on the box lists the price at Rs 3,599. Expect to pay the MRP for the phone if you pick it up from a retail outlet. Online, the device is priced a little higher, and the listings on web sites like OLX are priced in the Rs 3,800 range.
The phone is cheaper than the Nokia 220, and is a better option, but is costlier than the Nokia 150, which provides most of the same functionality at a cheaper price. Considering what the phone offers, the price is on the higher side. If you have a budget of Rs 3,500, it is better to get a Lyf.
Now the main thing the phone is selling is nostalgia. Even for a feature phone, it does not offer what you can expect at that price range. For those who want to experience the nostalgia, original versions of the Nokia 1100, the Nokia 2300, the Nokia 3220, the Nokia 1600 are all available in the refurbished section of Shopclues. Picking up all the phones will cost you Rs 3,400, so you actually save about Rs 200 when compared to the 3310. If nostalgia is what you want, you are better off getting the real thing.