It’s well-known that the fastest way to a millenial’s heart – and their wallet – is to target their nostalgia. Companies are aware of this phenomenon and taking full advantage, with recent examples like Disney’s live action reboots, new Star Wars movies, and the return of classic toys like the Tamagotchi (and if you’re hearing about this one for the first time, know that it’s too late – the scalpers have already snagged them all). It’s a free-for-all when it comes to re-living experiences and commodities of our childhood, which is why it didn’t come as much of a surprise when HMD Global announced the Nokia 3310 reboot earlier this year.
Initially, it didn’t seem as if the new 3310 would make its way to the States, but as luck would have it, it has – and it even comes with 3G connectivity. You can pick one up right now from Best Buy for just $59.99 if you’re so inclined, but if you’re buying it with the hopes that it will once again spark some nostalgic feelings, you’d be better off without; the new Nokia 3310 just isn’t that good at it.
I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago detailing how I already suspected this was the case, but since I’ve received one and experienced it first hand, I can confirm that nothing about this phone sparks nostalgia more than any other “dumb” phone you could find out there, which is fine since my main intention behind this purchase was to serve as my new emergency phone. I wouldn’t have complained if some warm fuzzy feelings of the past cropped up, though. But they didn’t.
The original Nokia 3310 was fondly remembered for a couple of reasons: it was futuristic for the year 2000 and tanky as heck. The new 3310 isn’t really either of those things. It’s bright and cute, but it’s also thin and lightweight. It did slip out of my hands once onto ceramic tile, but it didn't break. That’s more than I could say of a smartphone with glass on both sides, but other reviewers have done tougher tests on the new 3310, which have shown that the reboot isn’t exactly as “tanky” as its predecessor.
On the plus side, it has excellent battery life. Even with all the things that HMD Global added to the 3310 like a color display, camera, and 3G connectivity, it was nice not to have to worry about battery life for several days at a time. It helps that I mostly used the phone for calling and texting (and it has threaded messaging!) so somebody who actually wanted to use the browser or camera on a regular basis should expect to experience less battery life. Relatively speaking, though, battery life on this thing is great.
Texting with T9 is like riding a bike. Once you’ve mastered it, you never really forget it. My muscle memory was impressive in this regard. I did experience a little nostalgia in this instance as I tried out some of my old go-tos. My own name, for example, probably landed a lot of my friends on a list somewhere as “Anna” always corrected to “bomb". I also had a friend named Brooke, who we affectionately renamed “Arnold” as that’s how her name was always corrected.
Another topic brought up often with this device is Snake. Obviously, some aspects of the game have changed as its color display allows for fancy new graphics. Overall the game isn’t bad, and the full version comes with the phone. I enjoyed it even though I’m bad at it. There are a couple of other pre-loaded trial games on the phone, which you can choose to pay for if you want the full versions. They’re terrible, though. These games really make you appreciate the options we have for mobile gaming now.
Overall, I’m happy with the purchase. I can either use it as a back-up phone or a phone to send off with the kid on an as-needed basis. As I mentioned in my last article, I’d much rather deal with the limitations of a dumb-but-still-perfectly-functional cell phone than an outdated, barely usable old smartphone. With 3G connectivity and a 2MP camera – which you obviously wouldn’t use to take your next profile picture, but could come in handy in emergency situations or taking leak photos of unreleased high-profile smartphones – this phone still serves as an affordable option that’s perfectly suitable for certain situations.