The Nokia 3310 is coming back. No, seriously! That’s the rumour, at least.
According to ever-reliable leaker Evan Blass at VentureBeat, Nokia and HMD Global plan to launch an homage to the classic, durable 2000 “dumbphone” that sold in droves back when. The €59 device will reportedly be positioned as a backup or secondary handset after it’s unveiled at Mobile World Congress on 26 February.
And honestly, we’re excited. Many of us here at Stuff have fond memories of the Nokia 3310 back in its heyday, and while smartphones have given us mobile abilities and experiences we couldn’t have imagined all those years ago… well, the nostalgia is simply overpowering.
Just like last year’s sadly-false rumour of a Motorola Razr reboot, we want this to be true. Why? Let us count the reasons we loved the original.
1) Incredible battery life
Our smartphones today have three to four times the capacity of the Nokia 3310, yet they seem to last for about a day, tops. Meanwhile, the 900mAh cell of that old favourite was reliable for days of uptime, if not nearly a week.
Granted, the difference is obvious. Modern smartphones have bright, bold, ultra-sharp screens and processors that blow away top-end PC innards from when the 3310 was king. Meanwhile, the Nokia 3310 was lauded for its ability to play Snake, the all-time classic mobile game, and display text messages with its then-pristine 84×48 display.
Even so, the idea of only needing to charge a phone a couple times a week – rather than every single night – is hugely appealing.
2) Seriously, Snake!
Smartphones, in all their glory and power, enable so many different kinds of games. Simple or complex, short or sprawling: their screens are blank slates for developers to deliver so many kinds of creative experiences.
And yet there’s also beauty in working within extreme limits, and that’s exactly what the Nokia 3310 does with Snake II. Oh, Snake – wonderful, addictive Snake. It’s nothing more than guiding around a little pixel creeper to snag fruit, but it’s a legend for more than just being one of the only games around. Also, yes, we’re aware that you can play Snake on smartphones. Shush.
3) It won’t break
Sure, the Nokia 3310 could break, but it probably won’t. As one editor reflected upon using it for a week in 2013, "the phone’s as tough as old boots." Dropping it shouldn’t be a problem. Using it as a melee weapon in the zombie apocalypse is probably fine, too. It’s a tiny, plastic brick. In fact, the Nokia 3310 even spawned a meme about how ridiculously durable it is.
Contrast that to nearly any modern smartphone, which runs the risk of splintering into a million tiny glass shards with the tiniest of falls. Yes, Gorilla Glass 5 is surely strong and cases are available, but the Nokia 3310 recalls a time when phones were built to last – rather than built to be repaired and replaced frequently, despite the massive costs.
4) Dumb isn’t bad
Freaked out about being tracked everywhere you go and having all of that info chucked into some database? We hear you. As apps and services strive to make our lives easier and save even minor instances of momentary hassle, they’re also logging so much data about how and where we use the devices. It’s unsettling.
The Nokia 3310 would never do such a thing. It has no Internet. It knows nothing of apps or downloadable games. Granted, the new feature phone version might have some added tricks, but the original had texting, phone calls, and that’s all. And that was great.
Besides, we’d guess that your old muscle memory will kick in once you’ve been texting with number keys again for a few days, and you’ll blast out sentences faster than you ever could with a touch keyboard.
Also Read › Why I’m swapping my iPhone for a Nokia dumbphone
So we’re all buying it, right?
Truth be told, we’re not going to chuck our current smartphones of choice for a Nokia 3310 revival, and we’re not actually more excited about the prospect of a 17-year-old feature phone reboot than we are about the Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G6.
But while modern advances are swell, the good ol’ days of mobile tech gave us some great memories, and some of the Nokia 3310’s best features have sadly been diminished in the name of technological advances and the constant need for bigger and flashier.
Besides, if the new Nokia 3310 is real and it seriously does sell for approximately £50, we might buy one just for the novelty. Let the Nokia comeback begin!