The Nokia 3310 celebrates it’s 20th anniversary in 2020, and this is another historic handset from the past. For those of a certain age, it is almost impossible not to know someone who owned one of these, or perhaps owned one yourself. For sure, this phone went some way to shaping the development of mobile phones in the early years.
The Nokia 3310 had a well-trodden path to follow: developing on two massive successes in 1999’s Nokia 3210 and 1998’s Nokia 5110. The aim was to target what became the new mass market for mobile phones: not businessmen but younger, casual recreational users. This was achieved by a easy-to-use system, as well as highly customisable exterior.
The phone further developed on the developments seen by previous models and featured an even rounder design than previous models, as thanks to another new battery design the phone was even lighter.
Nokia also released another version of the phone into the market, the Nokia 3330. This was cosmetically identical, and all accessories worked with the original Nokia 3310, the main difference is that it offered a WAP browser – the early version of internet for phones.
This was again a hugely successful handset. At approximately 120 million sales, this was not as large as the Nokia 3210, although this can be explained by a greater level of competition coming into the market at the time of the Nokia 3310. The basic formula of the phone went unchanged, and this is evident in the follow-ups Nokia 3410 and Nokia 3510.
The design of the phone was loved so much that in 2017, Nokia chose to re-release the handset again, keeping a similar look but updating the phone with all the current capabilities such as a camera, music player and colour screen. This was released at a fraction of the cost of the original Nokia 3310.
Pros of Nokia 3310
There was no messing with the good stuff: previous users of any Nokia handset would have been right at home on this. The ease of use was a core strength of the phone.
The phone exterior also improved, with a slightly more ergonomic finish to this than the Nokia 3210. The phone was lighter with a rounder shape.
Perhaps driven by demand of users, the gaming side of things improved, with things like Space Impact and Bantumi improving on previous graphics. The phone also featured a sequel to the popular ‘Snake’ game. On the audio side, there were more ringtones and the ability to compose your own, or receive one by text message.
The price of the phone had drifted down somewhat: the Nokia 3310 was not a high-end phone at time of release. By this time Nokia had other phones out appealing to high-end users: the Nokia 6210 for business, the Nokia 8850 for fashion, and the Nokia 7110 for a higher budget. This made the 3310 quite affordable.
Cons of Nokia 3310
Users may feel slightly cheated that this version came without WAP, the mobile internet protocol considering that the very similar Nokia 3330 did. Although limited in scope, some applications were useful.
Battery life dipped slightly in this model compared to older phones. The battery capacity went down slightly, and although the phone came with two types of batteries, the higher capacity one was still less than what was in the Nokia 3210 and added weight to the phone.
Future Prospects and Current Pricing
This phone was popular. It’s great utility and superb durability meant that users of this phone that just required the basics could use this for a very long period of time. Many models still work flawlessly and retain their good condition unlike newer phones where software bloat can play a part.
The sheer amount of phones available mean there are large amounts of refurbished handsets still hitting the market which puts a limit on the price for now, but demand is healthy for this phone.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.