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The Return of an Icon: Nokia 3310 Makes a Comeback

iconic Nokia 3310 returns

Do you remember “Snake”? If you’re under 20 you likely missed out on playing the popular cellphone game. For those who did waste countless hours playing the addictive and frustrating game, you’re in for a treat: the phone that made the game famous is returning. Those of us lucky enough to experience the glory that was the Nokia 3310 can rejoice because it’s making a comeback at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 27.

While having Google Maps in my pocket has certainly made my life easier, the imminent return of the Nokia 3310 is exciting for me because I relish any return to minimalism and think many people would benefit from owning a dumbphone.

The 1990s saw somewhat of a cellphone boom with Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia dominating the industry. Nokia was known for building ‘value for money’ phones, meaning you were getting a great deal. Initially released as the Nokia 3210, in August 2000 the company launched a new and improved model with better build. Sadly, the model was discontinued in 2005, but only after selling 126 million units. Then, with the arrival of the first iPhone in 2007, the mobile market was forever transformed.

In a word? The Nokia 3310 is… Legendary.

Features of the Nokia 3310:

  • A black and white screen
  • Low screen resolution (a measly 96 x 65)
  • No Wifi
  • No Bluetooth
  • No camera

Sure, this phone came out pre-Android and pre-iOS. But it did have apps. There was a built-in calendar, a stopwatch, and games, like the aforementioned Snake (II). Plus, it had a removable, customizable casing. Super cool, no?

With the return of the massively successful Nokia 3310, we can expect the following things (if it is in keeping with the original):

  • The screen won’t crack.
  • You won’t have to keep an extra battery pack charged or a charging cord in every conceivable place.
  • It will be indestructible and durable and any other adjective you can think of that means it is one badass piece of tech.
  • It will be notification-free

~ ~ ~

You may think I’m throwing around the word icon a lot. In the world of technology – in particular, electronic – design, we reserve icon status for very few things. Anything remotely old is quickly thrown out the window as society moves on to the newest tech. But the Nokia 3310? It transformed the mobile phone industry almost 20 years ago and is an icon of Nokia’s durability. The revamped version is said to retail around $62 so if it’s anywhere near the quality of the original, sales just might skyrocket. My suggestion is if you wish to escape the intrusive and distracting smartphone’s grasp, simplify your life and purchase a Nokia 3310 this year.

I’m interested to see how Nokia is modernizing the 3310 model. I’m also curious whether people will actually be keen on the old-school phone when it becomes a reality, sitting in their palm, fitting awkwardly in their pocket, or weighing down a purse. For now, as it lives on the pages of the internet, the return of the Nokia 3310 is a welcome nostalgic reminder of simpler times. But how will people react when it fails to take a good selfie??

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