Nokia 3310 returns as HMD reimagines a classic (and Snake)

HMD hopes that its licensing of the Nokia brand brings in the punters for what might otherwise be viewed as three very vanilla Android phones, but at the same time it’s also announcing another new handset that plays into another side of its brand strategy. Today, it unveiled the 3310, a small “candy bar” feature phone that is a reimagining of one of the classic Nokia handsets from its heyday as the king of the mobile phone industry.

Priced at a bargain-busting €49.99, the 3310 will roll out globally in Q2 in Warm Red and Yellow, both with a gloss finish of the polycarbonate exterior; and Dark Blue and Grey both with a matte finish.

The aim of the 3310 is partly to tap into some Nokia nostalgia but also to take a page from the old company’s playbook: to develop a device that can potentially onboard people to other Nokia devices.

nokia-3310-3-of-2“How do we get people on to their first Nokia smartphone?” asked Juha Sarvikas, HMD’s chief product officer (and one of the many ex-Nokians populating HMD’s attack on the market). “This is reverse engineering as a backup.”

At the same time, there is a very modern idea here, the new concept among some that it’s not actually that cool to constantly be tied to your device. “This is also your detox weekend phone,” Sarvikas added. Indeed, what it lacks in exciting software and expandability, it makes up for in battery life. Battery time in standby mode is 25.3 days, with talk time of up 22.1 hours.

The backstory to this phone is that alongside HMD acquiring the right to use Nokia licensing for its smartphones, it also acquired Nokia’s old feature phone business from Microsoft for $350 million. It has continued to produce a range of those older devices, which retain some popularity especially in emerging markets and with late-late-adopters who have yet to make the shift to higher end smartphones (or don’t want to make that switch at all).

Now HMD is building on that business with a new attack — or, I guess, you could call it a Nokiattack.

“There are a lot of legendary phone models in Nokia’s history,” Juha Sarvikas, HMD’s chief product officer (and one of the many ex-Nokians populating HMD’s Nokiattack on the market). “We thought long and hard about whether we should be bringing back a legend… and then we decided to remake the 3310.”

Build on the S30+ operating platform — which was never actually developed by Nokia but by MediaTek for Nokia as a new generation of Nokia’s classic S30 (and part of what HMD acquired in turn from Microsoft who bought that business from Nokia) — the 3310 may not come with the ability to load apps, but it comes with the basics of what you might need in a basic phone today: voice and text messaging, internet browsing (by way of an Opera Mini browser); music listening (51 hours of MP3s); a camera for taking snaps; two SIM slots; and the classic game Snake.

Technical specs:

    • System: Dual band 900/1800 MHz
    • Software platform: Nokia Series 30+
    • Dimensions: 115.6*51.0*12.8mm
    • Weight: 79.6 g (including battery)
    • Display: 2.4’’ QVGA (240*320)
    • two Micro SIM slots
    • Curved window with polarised layer for better readability in sunlight
    • Connectivity: micro USB, 3.5mm AV connector,
      Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM
    • Camera: 2Mpxl camera with LED flash
    • MicroSD card support up to 32 GB
    • LED torchlight