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Nokia 3310 (2017) hands-on review

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BARCELONA: THE RUMOURS were true. The Nokia 3310 made its comeback at Mobile World Congress (MWC) and has been upgraded to sport a colour screen, rather than the monochrome display of old.

Priced at a mere £50, it’s set to please those looking for the simple life, one free from the narcissistic nature of Instagram and the like.

We got to play around with the nostalgic handset at the show. Here’s what we think.

Design and build
The 2017 version of the Nokia 3310 isn’t an exact replica of the traditional handset, but it certainly feels close enough to invoke a good old bit of nostalgia. The buttons are similar in shape and the contrasting border around the display is still there.

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Obviously, it wouldn’t feel like a 3310 if it wasn’t made of a nice and cheap-feeling plastic, so we were very pleased with how bargain-basement the build is. It’s chunky, every button press feels cheap and we love it. It also comes in some seriously bright neon-esque colours, which make the whole user experience even more fun (and tacky).

Display
The new Nokia 3310 has a 2.4in 240 x 320 resolution screen, which is quite the upgrade over the original’s monochrome 1.5in offering.

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As you’d expect, it’s piss poor, but that’s the beauty of it. This phone is all about getting as far away from the polished 1080p screens as possible, and it certainly does that. It’s brightly lit, and pixelated as any early-2000 phone, but it does the job: it’s easy to read and navigate.

Performance
Can you believe that the Nokia 3310 2017 edition has no WiFi, no 4G, no app store, and not even any access to Facebook (gasp!). Instead, it has good old SMS messaging and a phonebook you can store all your friends’ numbers in so you can actually call them.

Playing around with the 3310 was a delight. It was nowhere near as snappy as your current handsets, and this in itself takes you right back. But the important thing here is that it was quick enough to run a good old game of Snake, which Nokia would have been hanged for if they’d left out.

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Obviously, we had a go. The game has been given a bit of a makeover; you now control a more animated amphibian that collects juicy-looking red apples from various points across the 2.4in screen’s real estate. In our opinion, it’s a bit too busy now. Nokia should have kept it as simple as the good old snake was, but the fact that it’s there at all is enough to make us fall in love with the 3310 all over again.

Battery and connectivity
The 3310’s crappy resolution makes sure battery life doesn’t disappoint. This thing can be charged and left lying around on standby for a month before it needs plugging in again, and you can talk for an entire day without needing to reach for the microUSB cable. It’s also got a 3.5mm headphone jack for all your MP3 playing needs, too, something even the latest iPhone doesn’t have.

Camera
Compared with the phone cameras of today, well, you just simply can’t compare. Think back to the first smartphone camera you ever used – that’s how the 3310 feels. 

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It’s slow, jittery and takes horrible snaps that look beautifully sentimental in their own right. Taking you back in time is one – possibly the only – thing that the 3310 does perfectly. µ

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