Nokia’s 3310 has had a modern-day makeover and is set to return to the mobile phone market. Will you be queuing up for one?
Back in December 2015, I asked if you were using your smartphone as a ‘phone’ anymore. As the featured image, we had a modern-day iPhone alongside a classic Nokia 3310.
Why did I choose the 3310 for a comparison shot? Because it’s a classic – one of the world’s best-selling phones’, heaped with nostalgia and the device that launched thousands of internet memes.
— Rex The Gemini (@O_RexBryant) February 15, 2017
Now, 12 years after its ‘retirement’, it’s rumoured to be making a comeback.
In terms of technology, 12 years is a long time. And in the past 12 years, we’ve seen the mobile phone industry make gigantic, game-changing strides since the 3310 ruled the roost.
Apple’s iPhone 3G revolutionised the way we use mobile tech in 2008 – paving the way for a new generation of touch-screen phones and tablets with readily available access to high-speed internet.
We’d soon end up with smartphone games more graphically impressive than the previous generation of dedicated games consoles – a long way from the 3310’s incredibly addictive and much-loved game, Snake II.
Snake was as synonymous with the 3310 as its ‘indestructibility’ and generous battery life.
If Voldemort had had a Nokia 3310
— Finland Explorer (@FinlandExplorer) November 16, 2016
Not only that, but it was also incredibly simple to use – the more I type, the more it sounds like the perfect device! But would it work for a modern-day user?
Well, a study by GSMA intelligence found that almost half of mobile phone users worldwide still only use their devices to make voice calls and send SMS. So it would seem that, for many people, a phone like the 3310 is more than adequate.
But, as goes the old saying: if it ain’t broke (it’s ‘indestructible’, remember?), don’t fix it?
Newsbeat contacted Nokia about the rumours, and it responded:
‘Though we’re as excited as everyone else to hear their news, as we have often said about such stories, we do not comment on rumour or speculation.’
But that hasn’t stopped people getting a bit excited on social media about a potential rerelease. Many have also been sharing their memories of the device.
I’ll never forget making sure no one was using the phone line before dialling up the internet with a 56k modem and asking Jeeves for the latest ringtones. You had to manually input each sound into the Nokia ‘composer’ before setting the tempo. It was a long, painstaking process – but the results made it well-worth the effort.
According to a quick Google search, here’s what the Indiana Jones theme I once spent an eternity putting in looked like:
3, 08, 48, 5, 0, 1999*, (hold 0)888**, 288**, 08, 38, 4999, (hold 0)88, 588, 08, 68, 7, 0, 4999*, 088**, 688**, 08, 78, 199*, 2, 3, 38**, 08, 48, 5, 0, 1999*, 088**, 288, 08**, 38, (hold 4)999, 588**, 08, 58, (hold 3)9*, 08**, 2, 08**, 58**, (hold 3)9*, 08**, 2, 08**, 58**, (hold 4)9*, 08**, 3, 08**, 28, 199
Still, whenever there’s a new device released, my dad will chime in with his memories of the Motorola 8500X – now that was indestructible – complete with a lively aerial that’d shoot straight up your nose if it was in your top pocket! He still has it somewhere – I’ll dig it out for community tonight!
Update: 27 February 2017
It’s official, Nokia’s 3310 will be relaunched. It’s return has been officially announced at the World Mobile Congress.
The new phone will be less of a smartphone using 2.5G connectivity and an operating system that allows web browsing, but a smaller range of apps.
The camera is only two megapixels. But it’s battery life will probably win a lot of people over – the colour screen phone will have a month’s standby time and over 22 hours of talk time.
And most importantly the phone will have an updated version of Snake!
So are you tempted to by the 3310?