It's back! While there have been rumblings about a retro reboot of the beloved Nokia 3310, it just became a reality. The Nokia 3310 is officially coming back, and the new (old) phone is a retro reimagining of the modern classic '90s kids and early '00s teens fell in love with. Here's the good news: If you're waxing nostalgic for simpler times, this throwback might be just what you need. It's expected to hit stories between April and June of this year.
Let's face it: Most of us are literally addicted to our smartphones. The great thing about the Nokia 3310 reboot is that, according to the Daily Dot, you can't download apps; instead, it has only the basic features you actually need, like voice and text messaging, a headphone jack for listening to music, and a mini-Opera web browser (and, you know, the ability to make phone calls). And, remember the classic game Snake? The rebooted phone, which comes in four colors, has an updated version of Snake that still feels retro and fun.
While it might feel like a distant memory, or a dream, there was a time when you actually had to push buttons to use your cell phone instead of swiping or typing on a touchscreen. The Nokia 3310 is bringing that back too. Additionally, it has a 22-hour battery life, a slim and light design, and it's actually affordable at around $52. So, if you accidentally drop this phone in the toilet (who hasn't done this at least once?), it won't cost you a month's rent to replace it.
The rebooted classic, which was unveiled recently at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, also features two SIM card slots, Bluetooth 3.0, microSD card support up to 32GB, and a 2mp camera.
Now for the bad news. Because the Nokia 3310 runs on a 2G network, it might not operate in many countries, including the United States and Canada, according to an article in the Independent. As tech writer Andrew Griffin explains, "The phone only supports GSM 900 MHz and 1800 MHz, which are the primary bands used in most parts of the world like Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. But networks in North, Central, and South America primarily use 850 MHz and 1900 MHz — frequencies that the 3310 won't be able to connect to, and so won't be able to receive any information from."
According to CNET, the Nokia 3310 is targeted at emerging markets where basic cell phones are still the norm. Additionally, it's being touted as a great travel phone because it actually makes you less reachable (that is, your boss can't email you on the Nokia 3310 when you're on vacation backpacking through Asia). But, depending on where you travel, the Nokia 3310 may not work at all. If your goal is to be unreachable, I guess that's a good thing. You won't be lying when you say, "No, I didn't get your call, text, or email."
It seems that HMD, the Finnish startup building Nokia phones, came up with a genius marketing strategy to raise brand awareness about Nokia in general. Even if you can't use your beloved Nokia 3310, you're hearing the name Nokia, and that might make you consider one of their other phones because you're feeling all warm, fuzzy, and nostalgic for the Nokia 3310 that you can't have.
"The frenzy of nostalgia around the updated 3310 will deliver some much-needed consumer awareness that Nokia-branded devices are back on the shelves," Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, told CNET.
You've probably experienced a roller coaster of emotions from delight and glee to disappointment while reading this, and for that I apologize. While the Nokia 3310 may not be a practical reality everywhere, it's always fun to remember simpler times when a phone was just a phone. Maybe if enough people are into it someone can figure out a way to revive a network to support the Nokia 3310. Kind of like when stores started selling turntables again because everyone got nostalgic over records. Here's hoping.