Nokia 3310: 17 years old and still capable of stealing the spotlight

Nokia 3310

Do you remember the Nokia 3310? Of course you do. Even if you don’t think you do, you do. Back in an age when phones were identified more often by numbers than names like Galaxy, iPhone, Xperia, and other conveniently memorable sub-brands, the Nokia 3310 is often described as “the most reliable phone ever made”. And what better way to live up to that reputation than making a valiant return 17 years later?

HMD Global, the company that now sells phones with the famous Nokia brand name, will reportedly launch a “modernized” version of the iconic device alongside two new mid-range Nokia smartphones, the Nokia 5 and Nokia 3, on February 26 at MWC. Although the report surfaced just yesterday, the 3310 has all but stolen the spotlight.

In a world dominated by smartphones, hardly do you hear anybody talk about the so-called “dumb phones” anymore. While they’re still available and actively produced, it makes sense that they’ve long been forgotten. Their functionality appeal hit their limits long ago. How can a device with a 2.4-inch non-touch display, 9-key physical keypad, FM radio and MP3 player, and slow, shoddy Internet connection (if there is any Internet connection, that is) compete with the feature-packed behemoths we have today?

I’ll tell you how: You hit ‘em in the face with nostalgia. Or, you know, something gentler, like tug at their heartstrings, because being hit in the face with a Nokia will just break… well, you know the jokes.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m excited about this. While I never owned the 3310, I did own a 6010, so the love for old Nokia candy bars is deeply rooted somewhere in the back of my brain. In some of my more desperate attempts to get away from the habitual craving to check my phone every few minutes, I have quietly researched modern basic phones to see if anything tickled my fancy, including the newer Nokia 150 “dumb phones”, which also began selling in the UK yesterday. Yet, despite my desire to get away from being too connected, I found that basic phones were too compromising. With smartphones, I’m too connected; with basic phones, I lose my camera and means of listening to music (streaming services).

Ultimately, I’m not expecting anything fancy from the new 3310 with a rumored price of €59, but I do find it curiously refreshing that this is the headlining smartphone for HMD Global at MWC. It’s not surprising, really, given that nostalgia is a total cash cow. Nintendo, Disney, and Pepsi are all taking advantage of it; why not Nokia? The only thing that could make this even more entertaining is if Motorola decided to reboot the RAZR, which would be totally cRAZRy, right guys? Guys?

With MWC officially kicking off on February 25, we have less than two weeks before we will see what this new Nokia 3310 is all about. Although a lot of great phones will be making their debut at this event, there’s always room for more, and what’s a party without old friends?

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