Nokia 3310 is back once again, ready to woo us with its candy-bar design in colourful options, and a battery that lasts longer than the average smartphone. Nostalgia aside, how easy is it to go back to a feature phone? How many of us, often glued to our smartphone screens, can endure a feature phone for our daily tasks? I tried and here’s what I learnt with my usage of the Nokia 3310.
For those who don’t know, Nokia 3310 is priced at Rs 3,310 in India, but finding it in offline stores is a task. Most of the mobile dealers near my house in South Delhi were selling the phone at Rs 3,500 or Rs 3,600. So the offline market means you’ll have to be prepared to pay extra. Also the Nokia 3310 was sold out, with one dealer telling me the next batch will come on June 4. Just like me, you might find yourself going on quite the hunt for the Nokia 3310.
In my mind there’s no doubt, Nokia 3310 plays the nostalgia card very well. When I posted picture of the Nokia 3310 on my Instagram, everyone wanted to know where I got it from, that it looked ‘adorable,’ and how they want this phone. I’ve also seriously contemplated getting this phone for my aging parents, given they are comfortable with feature phones.
But how practical is the phone? Well, I took the plunge and put my primary SIM inside this device. Thus Nokia 3310 was my primary device for a grand total of two days, and here’s why I couldn’t extend this usage.
Nokia 3310 is not a bad phone, and in fact it will remind many people of the old feature phone era, where one could be rough with their device without worrying about the display cracking at the slightest drop. One needs that extra push when pulling out the battery. In fact, I was being too gentle when taking out the battery. This is a phone that demands no fear, unlike smartphones where one is constantly worried about cracks or scratches.
A user will need micro-SIMs for this, and this is a dual-SIM device. One is a hybrid slot for a microSD card + microSIM. The Nokia 3310 has a numeric keypad, and one has to go back to the good old days, where typing a text message was quite an art. And, yes, it took time. Of course, muscle memory meant that I kept touching the screen, in the hope of getting a response, even though I knew perfectly well this isn’t a touchscreen phone.
Honestly, the first few hours with Nokia 3310 were blissful. I was free of WhatsApp, emails, Facebook Messenger. All those dreaded pings, alerts telling me I had missed this or that, or this needed to be done, or how someone in the family group has posted yet another long message about the benefits of a food item.
I even ventured out of the home, no longer tethered to the iPhone 7. One of the advantages of not having a smartphone was that I wasn’t looking at the screen anymore. You could say I was free of that burden because the Nokia 3310 is not buzzing with alerts.
The options to entertain yourself with the Nokia 3310 are limited. There’s Snake, which after a point becomes pretty pointless. There’s a demo version of Asphalt 6, and figuring out the controls is not so tough. But after a point, I gave up. Also there’s the harsh truth that most of us have moved on to games like Asphalt 8, Candy Crush, or whatever else. Snake won’t be enough to keep anyone glued to this phone.
Then, in a couple of hours, I ended up realising there are no alerts. Panic sinks in that I might have missed something important. Since none of the numbers are saved, and there’s no Truecaller, and I have no clue who is calling me, and whose calls I should avoid.
Figuring out how to reply to a text message that one has already read can be a task. I’ve done it before, but it takes a minute or two before your mind can register the familiar path to typing on a numeric keypad. Saving numbers on Nokia 3310 is also an exercise. Two pictures, and two contact saved, plus a couple of text messages later, the phone has run out of space. After all, it comes with only 16MB storage. For the rest, get ready to use the microSD slot.
On the Nokia 3310, one has to quickly navigate to the settings to turn off those annoying keypad tones. It has a 2MP camera, but let’s face it most of us want more, and that selfie camera is missing here.
So what purpose does the Nokia 3310 end up serving? Well, the reason you would buy a phone is covered pretty well. For the actual calls. Sure some of us have moved on to WhatsApp calls, but for those who make actual calls from one mobile number to another, Nokia 3310 nails it.
I’ve used this phone to do half an hour call interviews, and used another phone to record the call. The quality is not compromised, and no one can tell that you are using a feature phone.
Then there’s battery. Nokia 3310 has a battery that won’t die, at least not suddenly. I charged it last Thursday, and yes it takes a while to get to full, but I’ve not charged it since then. The 22-hour plus daily battery life claim is grossly underestimated. Most of us won’t be on a call every second of our life, and so it is safe to say the Nokia 3310 will have a life far beyond the average one or one and half days.
The question still remains: Should you be heading out to buy the Nokia 3310? If you’re a smartphone addict like myself, you’re too far gone. There is no hope for redemption. Sure you could carry this tiny thing in your pocket, and show off to your friends for the novelty of it. But beyond the glossy colour, you might find yourself bored of the Nokia 3310 too soon. Eventually, this phone will end up in the drawer with other gadgets that are not used daily.
But if you’re sick of the smartphone world, and need a feature phone just to make calls, then get the Nokia 3310. Because when it comes to feature phones, this still beats the competition hollow.