Hey all of you over 30, Nokia is relaunching their classic 3310 – The device that marked a milestone in people’s phone-owning experience is on its way back.
Remember this classic? Guess what — it’s being reincarnated.
A couple of days ago, serial tipster and mobile news soothsayer Evan Blass of Venture Beat leaked the news that Nokia is launching a homage to perhaps the best phone ever created — the 3310. Making its way into the hands — and hearts — of millions the world over, this handset was launched around the time the world clocked over from 1999 to 2000. And what a phone it was.
For those born after 1985, a quick primer: the Nokia 3310 was diminutive, palm-sized phone that went on to becoming one of the best-selling devices ever. It was affordable, and superbly comfortable to use. But above all it was bloody tough. Everyone who’s ever owned this phone — I did for a couple of years — has at least a couple of stories extolling its legendary resilience. In my case it had fallen multiple times onto tiled floors, even skidded down a gravel road as it fell off a bike. The phone didn’t just survive the battering, it thrived. Apart from looking barely scuffed, brushing down its plastic shell and rubbing away the dust had it looking like nothing ever happened. Oh and it only needed charging about twice a week. It was truly a device like none other.
A few weeks from now at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) at Barcelona, the Finnish company (that has now licenced phones bearing the Nokia brand to be manufactured under the company HMD Global Oy,) will be making a few historic announcements. Apart from launching a trio of Android phones, marking their first foray into the segment, they are slated to relaunch the 3310. Whether you’re suddenly nostalgic about the phone that saw you through your first job, got you your first date, or simply helped you survive the turn of the millennium — all the while providing thrilling hours of playing ‘Snake’ — this is huge news.
In the early days where mobile phones did little apart from calling and text messaging, manufacturers really did have a great time with aspects like design and robustness. In these pre-touchscreen times, phone designers weren’t constrained by the display being the largest physical feature on the phone. Most of those devices were built for T9 texting, around monochrome screens with a resolution of 84×48 — the dimensions of screen icons and emojis these days. It was a time when having a mobile phone rocked our world with the heady ability to connect with people when outdoors, something we take for granted in today’s Full HD, octa-core, 4G world.
Which is why devices like the 3310 will always hold a special place — it was representative of an era marking massive change, a lot like what millions of first time phone users are going through today but with pervasive mobile broadband and affordable touchscreen devices.
According to speculations, this phone will be priced at €59 (approximately Rs 4,194,) a price that fully gels with the nostalgia.
Irrespective of whether I’m using the latest multi-core, VR-ready, 2K powerhouse smartphone today, I’ll most definitely be buying this little ripple of history when it arrives.