Close your eyes and picture your first phone.
Chances are you're picturing the Nokia 3310, a midnight blue and grey marvel that launched in September 2000 and introduced many a phone fan to the mobile world. With its swappable and customisable plastic case, hidden antenna, T9 text input and the legendary game Snake, the 3310 is rightly remembered as one of the greatest phones ever.
And now it's back.
Nokia has had a few lean years after completing the sale of its phone business to Microsoft in 2014, but a handful of former employees have banded together to resurrect the Nokia name with a range of new Android phones. And to show they haven't forgotten what made the Finnish brand so popular, they're rebooting the 3310 as a colourful modern feature phone.
Well, I say modern: this is no smartphone. It's 2.5G, so you can surf the web, just, with the Opera Mini browser. You can get on Facebook and Twitter if you have to, but that's pushing it. The camera manages just 2 megapixels. The screen measures 2.4 inches corner-to-corner with a resolution of 240x320 pixels -- frankly, we're lucky it's in colour.
But as in the year 2000 these limits come with advantages. Mainly, the battery lasts a month. A month! With a talk time of 22 hours, you can talk on this phone longer than some smartphones will sit in your pocket not doing anything.
The new 3310 updates the original's famous design with more rounded edges, more subtle buttons and a general smoothing, a bit like the modernised Mini Cooper or those multicoloured Daleks, only better. It's also substantially thinner. It's a playful, fun redesign from Nokia and is sure to win favour with retro phone fans.
The new version comes in the familiar midnight blue and silver-grey, as well as a bright sunshine yellow and warm orangey-red. You can't change the cases, unfortunately, as only the back comes off to get at the removable battery and microSD card.
The phone is priced at 49 euros. In the UK, Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone will sell the 3310 for £50. Pricing and availablility for the US and Australia have yet to be announced, but the 49-euro price tag converts to about $55 or AU$75. Nokia is confident the perky design and friendly price will endear the new 3310 both to retro phone fans and a younger generation looking for an affordable, disposable phone. You could whip the new 3310 out at a festival, for example, without being too embarrassed.
And the big question: Does it have Snake? Yes. But in an example of trying too hard to modernise things, it's a weird colour version with updated graphics that involves travelling diagonally. The old version was better.
The rebooted 3310 was announced in Barcelona today at mobile extravaganza MWC, alongside a special edition of the Android-powered Nokia 6 and two midrange Androids, the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5. Look out for full reviews coming soon.
Nokia 3310 specs
- 2.4-inch screen
- 2-megapixel camera
- 22 hours of talk time
- That's it