- Nostalgia for the win
- Great battery life
- Now with microSD!
- No 3G
- Why not buy a smartphone instead
We review the new Nokia 3310, a 2017 update of Nokia’s classic feature phone with all-new OS and modern upgrades. Is the updated 3310 just a throwaway novelty, or a genuinely usable handset?
Nokia is on a welcome resurgence in 2017 with the launch of the new Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 handsets, a trio of affordable Android smartphones set to take on the likes of the Moto G5 and Sony Xperia XA1. We’re even expecting a fourth, flagship-style device to hit soon: the enticing Nokia 9.
However, the Nokia announcement that received the most attention at MWC 2017 was the reveal of an updated, all-new 3310 feature phone. Yep, the classic is back in a reimagined form, with new features like Bluetooth and micro USB support in tow. Not to mention a fresh new OS, which still has plenty of retro styling.
So why would you want to buy a 3310 in 2017? Well, there’s the obvious nostalgia value, plus the handset could make for a dependable secondary handset for festivals and trips. After all, this feature phone boasts up to a month of battery life and can even be used to get online.
Read next: Nokia 3310 (2017) vs Nokia 3310 (original)
Nokia 3310 (2017) review: Design
The Nokia 3310 has been refined for this 2017 release and we have to admit, that smart design work is a large part of the phone’s appeal.
You can pick it up in a couple of bright, shiny colours, with the red and yellow models both standing out and demanding to be flashed on the tube. More sombre types can go for the dark blue and grey handsets instead.
That compact and lightweight build and curved frame make for a mobile that’s super comfortable to fondle. However, the plastic casing does pick up light scratches rather easily. Handle with care if you don’t want to scuff up and ruin that pristine finish.
Beneath the dinky screen you get a number of buttons. That central directional pad is used to navigate through menus, while the two surrounding buttons answer or hang up calls, as well as selecting the on-screen menus above them. Then of course you have a dial pad, which is also used to type – ahh, the joys of constructing an email on one of these little buggers.
You can actually prise off the back end of the new 3310, to access the removable battery and card slots.
Nokia 3310 (2017) review: Screen and media
A 2.4-inch screen is your portal into Nokia’s updated Series 30+ operating system. This polarised panel is super-bright too, so can easily cut through glare when outside.
Of course, the WVGA resolution means images will look rather blocky, while colours are far from realistically reproduced. What do you expect at this price point, a gorgeous Full HD screen?
You can actually listen to MP3s on the Nokia 3310 in this 2017 incarnation. You only get 16MP of storage built-in, but a 32GBB microSD memory card can be slotted inside to expand if desired. There’s also an FM radio on board.
A tiny speaker on the back end trumps out a tinny bit of audio when watching video or playing music, bbut we’d recommend using earphones instead. The pair that comes bundled with the new 3310 is only good enough for taking calls really, and they shred your inner ear with too much use. Luckily this handset has Bluetooth support built in, if you want to go wireless, as well as the 3.5mm jack.
Nokia 3310 (2017) review: OS and features
As mentioned, the updated 2017 version of the Nokia 3310 sports an updated interface compared with the original feature phone.
To see the OS and the various features in action, check out our video tour at the bottom of this review. In a nutshell, you get all of the usual feature phone tools, including an alarm clock, calendar, calculator, audio notes and so on. On top of this you can browse the web with the Opera Mini Browser, play games such as the updated Snake and use the 2-megapixel camera to shoot basic snaps. More on this later.
Nokia 3310 (2017) review: Performance and battery life
As this is a feature phone, performance is of course pretty basic. Not that you’ll want to attempt anything demanding anyway. You can play simple games like Snake and Asphalt 6, which have the kind of stunning frame rate you’d expect.
Sadly there’s no 3G support, so you’re stuck with 2G for getting online. Be prepared for lots of shoe tapping as you wait for websites to load, if you actually dare to use the browser for whatever reason.
Battery life is of course fantastic, as with all feature phones. You can get days of use as long as you aren’t hammering Snake to try and beat your high score, or hours and hours of talk time per charge. That 1200mAh battery doesn’t take long to fill back up either.
We’re glad to see micro USB connectivity included too, which makes charging the 3310 and copying files on and off pleasingly simple.
Nokia 3310 review: Camera
Slapped on the back of the new Nokia 3310 is a 2-megapixel colour camera, complete with LED flash. This is of course a very basic shooter, although you can quickly capture shareable snaps when needed.
Functionality is as simple as it comes, with a point-and-snap mentality. You can turn on some ugly filters if you want to, digitally zoom and even switch to busrt mode for capturing lots of shots in quick succession (as long as you have a microSD card slotted inside). And the new Nokia 3310 is even capable of capturing some basic video footage.
Don’t expect any kind of detail or realistic colour reproduction from your shots and you’ll probably get on fine with the 3310’s camera. It’s perfectly fine for capturing random snaps when you have nothing better available. Check out a couple of our test photos in the image below (click to enlarge).
Nokia 3310 (2017) video review and tour
If you want to see the Nokia 3310 in action, check out our full unboxing and in-depth hands-on session in the video below. This shows off all of the 3310’s main features, including a bit of gaming, web browsing and even some YouTube streaming.
Nokia 3310 (2017) review: Verdict
Should you buy the Nokia 3310, for a bit of retro fun and nostalgic joy? Well, that depends if you’ve got £50 sat in your pocket and nothing better to do with it. There’s a reason these phones aren’t seen any more in the UK, and that’s because they’re obsolete.
After all, smartphones offer greater connectivity, fuller functionality and bigger, better displays. You can pick up blowers from the likes of Alcatel for the same cost as the 2017 edition of the 3310, with full 3G or even 4G support and proper touch interfaces.
For all of the kitsch cuteness that the 3310 offers, it’s also quite tedious to use for anything other than phone calls. Still, that cute factor alone wins it a three-star score, because anyone who buys it will do so simply to own a slice of history.
Thanks to Vodafone for the review sample. You can pick up the Nokia 3310 from Vodafone right now.
|OS||Nokia Series 30+|
|Storage||16MB + microSD|
|4G LTE||No (2G only)|