A 2017 version of the Nokia 3310 was first unveiled by Nokia during a press event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The phone was available in India from 18 May, and is on sale at offline retailers across the country.
The original 3310 was legendary for its durability, and remains a source of over the top jokes.
The 3310 had a really long battery life and an iconic design. Finland has chosen the 3310 in its national emoji set, calling it the "unbreakable". There are users who have not moved on from the original device in seventeen years. Nokia calls the new phone “A modern classic, reimagined”. Is the new phone worth the hype? Let's find out.
Build and Design
After Nokia announced an updated version of the device, there were certain expectations as it was a phone made in 2017. In some ways, the new phone is better than the original. There is now a colour display and a directional pad for navigation. The buttons are pretty sturdy, and yet are easier to press than previous Nokia feature phones such as the X2-02. This allows for long Snake gaming sessions for both the user and the phone. The updated design no longer features a quirky asymmetric keypad.
There are two micro sim card slots, also known as mini sim card slots. There is a dedicated slot for expandable storage. A single sim variant of the phone is available as well. The back cover is removable, and so is the battery. However, there is no slot to tie a lanyard cable, so you cannot sling this one around your neck. Most disappointingly, the screen gets scratched easily, and the device is far from "unbreakable." The device still feels solid in the hands, and is slim as well as light. The dimensions of the device are 115.6 x 51 x 12.8 mm and it weighs about 130 grams.
The phone is available in four colours and in two finishes. The Yellow and Red variants are available with a glossy finish, while the Blue and Grey variants are available with a matte finish. The original 3310 was available in six colours. There are no buttons around the sides. The Micro-USB port is at the top of the device and the 3.5 mm jack is at the bottom. The phone is made in India.
There is a curved glass on the front, which gives the phone an appearance of a bezel-less design. The Nokia logo is along the top edge, beneath the outer glass. The 2.4” QVGA display sits inside. The TFT display used is not especially stunning or bright, one of the areas where the low price point of the device shows. The resolution of the screen is 240x320 pixels.
There is an expandable micro-SD storage slot that sits flush over one of the two SIM card slots. It is easy to slide the memory card into the SIM card slot instead of the memory card slot. The on board storage is a little disappointing, with just 16 MB available. Investing in an additional memory card is absolutely essential to use this phone. The expandable storage supports a maximum of 32 GB.
Nokia has not listed the specifics about the chipset, or the amount of RAM and the processor on board. In one of the offline retail stores that we visited, the shopkeepers were joking about how the phone could very well be using the “motherboard” from the original. The specifics do not seem to matter much for this category of phones, as there is not much to choose between and the requirements, and the apps are in any case not as demanding as they are on smartphones.
OS and Software
The phone has the Nokia Series 30+ operating system and there is no support for Java applications. There are however, a few applications available that have been developed for the platform. The Opera browser comes pre-installed, with bookmarks that include Facebook and Messenger. The phone does not support WhatsApp. The UI is crafted for the phone, with shoutouts to the interface of the original.
There is just one pre-installed game on the phone. This is three less than the number of games shipped with the original 3310. Unfortunately, there is no Space Impact. The one game on the phone is Snake, and it is actually good enough to take up a significant portion of your time. The game has a series of levels and interesting challenges. For those who prefer the original, there is an endless mode hidden in the settings.
There are a couple of Gameloft titles that can be purchased through the phone. Asphalt 6: Adrenaline and Diamond Twister 2 are in the phone, but users need to pay to use them. The games cost about Rs 50 each and the payments can be made through the operator itself, with an additional charge for sending an SMS.
There is an Opera Mobile store for downloading new apps. Pre-installed apps include Notes, Calendar, Calculator, Weather, and an app to manage the dual SIMs. There is a basic music player for mp3 playback, and a radio. The phone does not ship with a music streaming service or an application for navigation, let alone offline turn by turn navigation. Music and maps used to be the strong points of Nokia feature phones.
The phone ships with the original roster of ring tones and a separate one can be set for each SIM card. The familiar feature of “profiles” is also available. The “outdoor” profile is liable to disturb your neighbor if used at home. One of the strong points of the device is that it is available in twelve regional languages, apart from English.
Copying contacts is a pain, and can be done through the SIM card itself, through Bluetooth, or through database files. NokiaPowerUser has a good guide to importing contacts.
There is a 2 MP camera on the back with an LED flash that can also be used as a torch. There is no front facing cam, so selfies also have to be taken in the nostalgic way, using guesswork and the primary cam on the back. There are 15 levels of digital zoom supported within the camera app. The camera settings can be manipulated from the main camera menu. There is a slider for brightness and a toggle for flash. The burst mode can be set to off, 3 shots, 4 shots or 6 shots. The self timer has three options, off, 2 seconds and 10 seconds. An "Image effects" menu allows users to choose grayscale, sepia, a green tint, a blue tint, and colour inversion. Any of these selected options apply to all photos once they have been set, and have to be manually toggled again to return to the basic settings.
There is a slight lag between taking a shot and capturing a shot. Usually, the resulting image is sharper and clearer than what appears on screen when the camera is triggered. The photographs are not great, but they add to the nostalgia factor. Capturing images on the new 3310 is similar to the experience of capturing colour photos on old Nokia feature phones such as the 3220.
Battery and Connectivity
The phone has a 1,200 mAh battery, which is removable for easy replacement, as the phone is likely to outlast the battery. The capacity is an improvement over the 900 mAh battery on the original. The sticker on the battery has to be handled carefully when removing the battery to slide in or remove the SIM cards or a memory card. The sticker is liable to peel off, and easily develops kinks along the edges.
The standby time of the device is rated at 31 days. Max talk time is at 22 hours, continuous mp3 playback for 51 hours, and FM playback for 39 hours. The battery life offered by the device is one of the most impressive among the current lineup of Nokia Series 30+ devices.
The phone only supports 2G connectivity. This is a strange choice as 2G is actually being phased out from markets. There is no functionality to set up a wi-fi hotspot. However, most Indians access the internet through spotty 2G connections, so the supported connectivity might be appropriate for the use case.
There is a Micro USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5 mm jack. Once connected to a machine, the phone prompts for the mode of connections, with only two options. There is a charging mode and a mass storage mode. A prompt to disable the mass storage mode persists on screen for as long as another device is being used to manipulate the files on the phone. Files can be transferred through Bluetooth as well, and the standard used is Bluetooth 3.0. The phone has support for Nokia “SLAM”, which allows for rapid sharing of multimedia files over Bluetooth, without the need to pair two devices.
Price and Verdict
There are other, cheaper Nokia phones in the market that have nearly all the features offered by the new 3310. The Nokia 150 is one such device, and the 3310 actually has a brochure for the 150. Nostalgia is just about the only reason anyone would want to go in for this phone. The device is priced on the higher side, considering what it offers, but its very existence proves that feature phones are not yet dead.
Apart from Snake, the new phone offers almost nothing more than the original.
If users want to detox from modern technologies, they might just be better off finding an original 3310 online. The 2017 edition is available for Rs 3,310. If the budget of a user is in this price range, it makes more sense to get a Lyf.
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Published Date: May 19, 2017 02:24 pm | Updated Date: May 19, 2017 02:24 pm