My first phone was a Nokia 3310. I was 11 years at the time and this was given to me as a gift. Back then, the Nokia 3310 was known as a brick. Why? Because it was incredibly durable. From being thrown across one end of a room to another, to being dropped from my hands countless times, to even making its way through a washing machine, saying the Nokia 3310 was strong was an understatement. You also only had to charge it around once per week and you were good to go,
The death of a hero, and the rebirth of a legend
17 years later and with the life, death, and rebirth of Nokia, HMD Global, the Finnish company who acquired the rights to manufacture phones under Nokia’s brand name launched a revamped edition of the Nokia 3310.
Unveiled at MWC 2017, the Nokia 3310 (2017) packed a 2.4” TFT display along with a 2MP camera, an FM radio, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and even a MicroSD slot. At the time, the Nokia 3310 (2017) came with support for 2G networks. This was a problem because internet access was extremely slow, and also countries such as the US, Australia, and Singapore were phasing out 2G networks.
HMD Global then launched a 3G variant of the Nokia 3310 (2017). The updated variant of the Nokia 3310 (2017) upgraded the internal memory from 16 MB to 64 MB and also increased the dimensions of the phone by around 13%.
Nokia 3310 Meet 4G, 4G Meet Nokia 3310
Fast forward a few more months, and it appears that a new version of the Nokia 3310 is in the pipelines. This time, with 4G LTE support. According to a listing by TENAA which is China’s version of the FCC, the upcoming edition of the Nokia 3310 (2017) will support both TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA.
In addition, the device will be running Yun OS for the Chinese market. In case you didn’t know what that was, Yun OS is developed by Alibaba Cloud, which is a subsidiary of the Alibaba group. Utilizing the code base from AOSP, Yun OS isn’t exactly an Android operating system, it uses the runtimes, framework and various tools from Android.
For International markets and where available, the Nokia 3310 4G might possibly ship with Android Go Oreo Edition. It will also supposedly pack 1 1.5Ghz dual-core processor and 256MB of RAM. There are also rumors of 512MB of internal storage which can be expanded to 32GB via the MicroSD slot.
Is this the right move?
A major drawback of the 3G variant of the Nokia 3310 (2017) was the 3G itself. If you’ve used a Nokia phone back in the day, you would know that their selling point was the battery. But with the Nokia 3310 (2017), the 3G functionality was its own Achilles Heel. The standby time and talk time of the phone immediately dropped resulting in another frantic search for a wall socket and charger to charge your phone (much like what we do currently).
With the addition of 4G LTE capabilities, it’s quite possible that this frantic dash charge (pun intended) might increase further. If you look at the specs of the device, it comes with a removable 1200mAh battery. While the fact that it is removable that you can replace the battery with a spare battery once the existing one is drained (much like in the good old Nokia days), the question of exactly how long the battery will last with 4G remains to be seen.
While taking an age-old classic to modern times may work in certain scenarios, in our opinion, it is a questionable decision. HMD Global did an interesting move by breathing fresh life into a classic such as the Nokia 3310. Adding 3G and 4G capabilities to it will certainly keep it up to date with the latest trends, but at what cost? After all, like we stated above, the whole point of the 3310 was its battery life. What good is 3G and 4G if your phone doesn’t have the juice to use it?