Nokia used to be the go-brand for mobile phones amongst my friends. We loved the design, the way they always seemed to be ahead of the game when it came to new features like ringtones and interchangeable fascias and of course, everyone knew the standard Nokia ringtone from its use on Trigger Happy TV. They became very trendy among my age group back then. In 2018, everyone I know has a smartphone and none of them are Nokias, although they do have some awesome smartphones available. So, you may be forgiven for wondering why I’m reviewing the new Nokia 3310. Well, everything comes back around and mobile phones are no exception. I was given a two-week loan of this model in exchange for a review, so this is my chance to tell you if the retro phone with an updated design is worth the investment.
My first impression when I opened the package received was that the box housing the phone was really colourful and funky. It’s adorned with cartoon style lips and speech bubbles, musical notes, crazy patterns and a picture of the phone itself. When I opened the box my initial thought was that the phone is tiny and really light. It comes with a charger (micro USB), a set of ear buds and a quick start guide. I switched the phone on and was greeted with the Nokia jingle and the screen said, “Hi there.” That’s nice. All I get with my iPhone is a blinding white background and a picture of a half-eaten apple.
I tried the blue version of the phone but it comes in yellow, red or grey. As far as I know, you can’t change the fascia on this, which is a shame because while we’re enjoying a retro, early-noughties vibe, it might have been nice to keep the interchangeable fascia idea going.
Featured on this phone is a 2MP camera with LED flash. It’s at the rear of the phone, so no good for selfie enthusiasts but 2MP is pretty decent, when you consider that the screen size is very small at 2.4 inches. It also comes with 2G internet, which you would never have even thought about in the early days of owning a mobile phone. It means your browsing experience won’t be great but it will be possible.
There’s a space for a 32GB micro SD card, which could be used for storing photos or other files. It also has the Snake game loaded. It’s still addictive. In fact, I kept getting distracted from writing this review by playing it.
It’s an easy phone to navigate and it only took me a couple of minutes to familiarise myself with it. The menu screen has three initial options, namely Go To, Menu and Camera. Go To is where you program your favourite features so that you don’t have to go searching for them. You can simply press Go To and there’s a list of them. Menu takes you to a screen filled with icons where you can then choose a specific feature. My gripe here is that the icons are very ambiguous and it’s hard to tell just by looking at them what they represent. However, at the top left of the screen there’s the name of the icon in orange letters (although it took me a moment to realise this).
So, there’s lots you can do with this phone and these features aren’t all listed on the side of the box or on websites selling the phone. There are additional games available on the phone. Asphalt 6: Adrenaline and Diamond Twister 2 and the ones the phone suggests playing. Asphalt 6 is pre-loaded onto the phone but Diamond Twister 2 requires a cost of £3 and 1 SMS to unlock it and there are other games available on this basis too. There’s also the standard calculator, calendar, alarm clock and torch. The torch is pretty bright and you have to go through a menu and sub menu to switch it off so I can’t call it “handy” but I guess if you need a bright torch and aren’t in a hurry to switch it off, then it’s good. There is also a voice recorded and an FM radio. You can’t use the FM radio unless your earbuds are connected to the phone. It initially tunes in some stations but sadly it couldn’t tune in all the stations I know are available from my home, so the FM radio gets the thumbs down from me.
What I like most about this phone is the battery life. It’s possible to use it for up to 22 hours of talk time or 31 days on standby. I’m charging my smartphone twice a day at the moment and it’s extremely annoying. The thought of having a phone that lasts for 31 days on standby is a dream come true.
Overall, I have to say I really enjoyed trying this phone, and not just for the nostalgia. I can see this being useful for many different types of people. Seniors who don’t want to have a smartphone but like being contactable might enjoy this. Kids who need to be able to stay in touch with their family but for whatever reason can’t have a smartphone might also find this useful. Or perhaps people like myself, who have update fatigue and are sick of buying a smartphone, then finding it’s out of date two months later. I keep looking at the Nokia 3310 on my desk and thinking I might invest in one for when I’m out and about and it wouldn’t distract me in the same way. Then I could ditch my smartphone, especially since I can use my tablet to access the same apps and features I have on my phone. Do those on a tight budget really need both? In short, there are many reasons why someone would want a solid, dependable phone without all the fuss.
The Nokia 3310 is £39 when bought with a Pay As You Go 1 tariff. You can stay in touch as much as you want and never spend more than £1 a day. To read more about the tariff and and the Nokia 3310, you can visit the Vodafone website. It can be bought for £39.99 sim free.