In Depth

Nokia 3310: Critics torn on retro mobile

New handset has better graphics and a camera, but is that enough to compete with today's smartphones?

Nokia's iconic 3310 phone officially went on sale today, but critics are torn whether it is still relevant in today's smartphone-dominated market.

Announced at the World Mobile Congress (WMC) in February, the Nokia 3310 is almost identical to the 17-year-old phone it's based on.

Texting and dealing is done through the 12 physical buttons, although the three buttons and the navigation rocker switch below the screen are new.

Popular puzzle game Snake is also back, this time with better graphics to match the new screen's higher resolution and user interface.  

It also offers a standby battery life of up to a month while the old pin charger has been replaced with a modern micro USB connector.

Nokia's new 3310's blends traditional design with several features added in, but how does it stand up 17 years later?

The Daily Telegraph says it "is considerably lighter and thinner" and so "very pocket friendly", although it might not "survive the same beatings that many originals took".

Users will also enjoy "something that would have been unimaginable on a phone in 2000" - a "two megapixel camera on the back".

Texting is "perfectly reasonable", says TechRadar, and the upgraded visuals means  Snake is easier to play.

However, the site warns not to expect "blockbuster graphics" as they would "ruin the appeal" of the mobile.

ArsTechnica says the new 3310 has retro appeal, but is simply Nokia's basic 150 mobile "wrapped up in a curved glossy shell and sold for a millennial-gouging £50."

According to the website, it is a "spectacularly basic phone that's only good as a backup" and may have more use as mobile for music festivals.

Gizmodo agrees, saying the 3310 has "all the features you'd want from a feature phone", such as a "stellar battery life", but little more.

The Nokia 3310 is on sale now for around £50, but buyers will need to register their interest at Carphone Warehouse to get one.

Nokia 3310: Iconic phone 'to return at World Mobile Congress'

15 February

Nokia is expected to announce a "homage" to the iconic 3310 phone at this month's World Mobile Congress (WMC).

A report in VentureBeat says HMD Global Oy, the Finnish manufacturer behind Nokia's devices, is expected to relaunch the "nearly indestructible" 3310, almost 17 years after it originally entered the market.

Known for being one of the "best-loved" and "most resilient" devices to enter the modern era of mobiles, the revived Nokia 3310 is expected to go on sale for €59 (£50) and could be pitched as a "reliable second phone" for smartphone users, says The Independent.

It is not yet know what features it could have, but the original 3310 was able to receive text messages, work as a stopwatch and operate as an alarm clock. It also featured the popular black and white game, Snake.

Along with the 3310, VentureBeat claims HMD could also unveil a pair of new Nokia smartphones at WMC. 

The Nokia 3 and 5, each featuring Nougat, Android's latest software, are expected to be priced at around €149 and €249 (£127 and £211) respectively, the site says.  

HMD will hold its WMC event on 26 February and it is expected to centre around Nokia's involvement in the European mobile market. 

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