Thanks to HMD Global, Nokia is back. This Finnish company has secured the rights to sell Nokia branded phones for ten years. Nokia, once a leader in mobile phones, has a strong nostalgia attached to it. To cash in on that, HMD made an announcement to bring back the Iconic Nokia 3310 with a hardware refresh.

In India, the phone launched for Rs 3310. Clever number, but is it justified? Especially when most feature phones in India cost around a grand.

Design


A remake is a tough job. Tougher if the original is as solid as the 3310. Yet, HMD has managed to back the phone in a modern shell without taking away the retro charm. Both the new and old 3310 adhere to the same design language. However, HMD has ditched the blocky industrial nuances with sporty curves. The transition is similar to how cars have evolved in recent times.

The larger display area implies that a screen is now more important. At the same time, a number keypad gets all the attention it rightly deserves. The keypad is reminiscent of the original 3310. There are certain changes such as the addition of a D-pad. What I dislike most is the lack of character in the back panel. In no way, the new 3310's back resembles or pays homage to the original phone.

The phone has a slim profile, which is a good thing. It is under 1.3 cm compared to the 2.2 cm thickness of the old Nokia 3310. Moreover, the phone is sturdy and can withstand a few drops. Many people won't appreciate the unnecessary weight loss the 3310 has been put through. A light body just does not feel right for a phone deemed "indestructible" by countless memes.

Display



The Nokia 3310 features a 2.4-inch LCD screen with 240x320 pixels. Since it is a feature phone, the pixel density is fine. To complement the curvy design of the handset, HMD has curved the display glass to some extend. The phone has manual brightness controls. To aid the sunlight readability, HMD has used the polarisation layer on the display. This technology was first implemented on Nokia 701 back 2011. There's even a way to change the colour mode for the phone. It doesn't make any significant difference though.

Is the display better than the monochrome screen found on the original 3310? Technically, yes. However, I find the old 3310's retro screen more charming.

Software And Performance



The Nokia 3310 (2017) runs on Series 30+ platform. Although it comes with an app repository, there's nothing useful in there. Just imagine an app store without WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Yes, it is that bad. HMD has even omitted 3G support in times when Jio is offering 4G VoLTE phones for Rs 1500.

Not all is lost though, as the 3310 (2017) is quick in menu navigation. Not because it is powerful, but the fact that it hardly has any feature. The phone does excel at simple tasks such as making calls though. Typing on a numeric keypad after a long time is fun too. It feels nice to have that tactile feedback for every key press. With T9 word prediction activated, you can type a lot faster. Too bad, it is not going anywhere though, unless you happen to chat using SMS.

There's not much to talk about the 3310 (2017) as a media consumption device. However, it does pack-in a music player. To enjoy that though, you must purchase a microSD card as the phone only has 16 MB internal storage. The phone comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack, which is one aspect where it beats the latest iPhone.

Camera



The Nokia 3310 sports a camera just for the sake of it. You get a 2-megapixel sensor that produces such bad shots that you can't tell Justine Bieber from Justin Trudeau. I know they share some similarities and are both liked by teenagers, but still.

The camera has an LED flash to keep it a company. More than photography though, it is more useful in great Indian power-cuts. There are 'image effects' such as Greyscale (not the one that Jorah has), Sepia, Blue Tint, Green Tint etc.

There's even a video recording mode. The resulting videos are so bad that they make Yeti sighting videos look high definition. Seriously, rather than shipping the phone with such useless camera, HMD should have ditched this feature altogether. At least, that would have made the 3310 (2017) more faithful to the original.

Battery life

In terms of battery life, this new phone is as good as the original 3310. I almost used it for a week before charging it. The 1200 mAH capacity isn't much by today's standards, but the dearth of features help it last longer.

Should You Buy It?

The Nokia 3310 is a mixed bag. Sure, we like its design and form factor. It is ideal for making calls and has long battery life. On the other hand, the camera is so terrible, you wish it wasn't there. The phone claims to be a modern take on the original, yet misses out on two most popular services WhatsApp and Facebook. Without these apps, the screen upgrade is only good for viewing contacts and SMS in colour.

All things considered, I would have still spent over three thousand rupees on the new 3310, if it had done the nostalgia right. Unfortunately, apart from the design-cues, the 3310 (2017) is nothing like the original. On the inside, it is just another feature phone that cannot justify its price.

If you are looking for a decent secondary phone, Nokia's other devices such as the Nokia 216 and Nokia 150 offer better value.

Techspot Rating Pros Cons
3/5 A modern take on a classic design; Great build quality; Long battery life. Fails to deliver nostalgia; Expensive; Terrible camera.