BARCELONA, SPAIN—Feature phones are cool again! At least that’s the feeling you get when you are holding the new Nokia 3310, a candy bar feature phone made out of weapons-grade nostalgia.
It doesn’t really have apps, you’ll be texting with T9, it has a new color version of Snake, and of course it plays the traditional Nokia tone when you get a call.
The new 3310 is no longer a “brick.” It’s a lot rounder than the old one—it feels like a well-worn river rock. I actually would have liked if it was a little squarer and more reminiscent of the original. Given that it has a really light plastic body (79g) and a plastic screen, it can probably stand up to lots of abuse (though no one would let me test this at the event 🙂 ).
Like everything about the Nokia 3310, the screen is tiny. It has a 240×320, 2.4-inch color display with a polarized layer, which should make it easier to see in the sunlight. The tiny screen paired with a dead-simple OS leads to tons of battery life.
Nokia is promising a month of standby time out of the 1200mAh removable battery, along with 22 hours talk time, which is 10 times more than the original 3310.
The MicroUSB port is curiously on the top of the device, while a headphone jack sits on the bottom. On the back is a whopping 2MP camera with an LED flash.
The back pops off, revealing a removable battery and a spot for a MicroSD card (32GB max). The device comes in four colors with two finishes, a matte black or light gray, and a glossy red, or yellow.
There’s no touchscreen. You get the traditional feature phone controls: a 5-way D-Pad just below the screen, with left and right action buttons that correspond to labels on the screen.
The OS is Series 30+, an operating system originally made by Mediatek for Microsoft’s Nokia.
Unlike the other Nokia/HMD feature phones, which are loaded with Microsoft products like Skype and Bing, I didn’t spot any Microsoft influence here. S30+ means you aren’t exactly going to get a ton of apps.
There was a “Games & Apps” store, but given that the devices had no Internet access, I couldn’t see what was in there.
Speaking of games, it comes pre-loaded with a fancy new version of Snake that was whipped up by Gameloft! It’s in color now.
There were also a few other Gameloft games, like Asphalt 6. Web browsing is handled by Opera, but I can’t imagine you’ll want to do much web browsing on the 2.4-inch screen.
As fun as the new 3310 is; does anyone want to spend money on a feature phone? The long battery life, high nostalgia factor, and Ksh.5200 ($52) price might earn it a few niche customers in the US, but most of the 3310 units seem headed for the developing world, where HMD already has a line of feature phones.