Sorry, the new Nokia 3310 won't work in the US

But bringing the phones Stateside is very much "on our radar".

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read

Simple and cheap, it's easy to see how the roughly $50 throwback Nokia 3310 would be a phone people snap up as a second device or one for grandparents and kids. But if you've been dreaming of picking one up for yourself, you're in for a world of disappointment.

The new 3310 won't work in the US.

That's because it uses technology that US carriers don't support, specifically, the 900-MHz frequency. In order to work with a carrier such as AT&T, the 2G-only phone would have to use the 850 frequency in addition to 1900.

Watch this: New Nokia 3310 versus old Nokia 3310

"It's not that we're not not launching in the US," said Patrick Mercanton, the global head of marketing for HMD Global, which makes the Nokia phone. "It's that the US takes a little bit longer to ramp up."

HMD says it's been in talks with US carriers here at the Mobile World Congress show, about selling Nokia-branded phones like the 3310. And that's critical. Although more and more brands sell their handsets through Amazon, Best Buy and their own websites, the vast majority of phones sold in the US go through carrier stores.

For Nokia to really make its mark, it'd have to get the 3310 or one of its other new phones into a carrier's portfolio. And to do that, the phone would have to have the right compatible technology and pass carrier certification.

"We'll probably end with the US at some point," Mercanton added. "It's definitely on our radar... we want to go into the US because we want to have a global launch."

Watch this: Nokia 3310 and BlackBerry KeyOne: CNET editors react