When Nokia took the wraps of its 3310 revival earlier in the year, we were distraught; it only had 2G connectivity, and Australia's 2G networks are all but dead. There's good news though: Nokia today announced a 3G version of its spruced-up feature phone, and its going on sale in the middle of October for $89.95.
You’ll be able to get the 3310 3G outright through JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman, or as a prepaid device through Optus and Vodafone. Australia will be the first market where the 3G version of 3310 is available.
In terms of specs, the Nokia 3310 3G has a 2.4-inch polarised colour display, 6.5 hours of talk time, a month of standby, 32MB of expandable storage, and a 2MP camera. And most importantly, it still plays Snake.
The new 3310 feels familiar yet different, with the colour screen and thinner body giving away the fact it's just a little more modern. Build quality is solid, and you’ll be able to pick it up in a choice of four colours: black, azure, yellow, and orange.
HMD Global's - the start-up responsible for Nokia's revival - Chief Marketing Officer Pekka Rentala says that Australians will likely end up buying the 3310 as a secondary device. As such, the phone itself is pretty bare-boned. It can send texts, make phone calls, play MP3s, and "take photos".
"There are people who'll buy this as their only phone, but at the same time, we have so many smartphone users who'll buy the 3310 3G as their secondary phone," said Rentala. "Many of them will buy it for fun, it could be a summer phone, a [music] festival phone."
"There are many people who think it's time for a digital detox now and then, and I think this phone serves that purpose very well."
While the 3310 could fit the bill as a secondary device, the lack of app support could be an issue. Sure, you don't need Snapchat or Spotify, but personally speaking, I rarely call or text in the traditional sense these days. Most of my communications occur through the over the top services such as iMessage, WhatsApp and Telegram, and I'm sure many are now in the same boat. If I wanted to throw my SIM in the 3310, I'd be cut off many of my friends. And since there's no touchscreen, you'll also need to remember how the hell T9 works.
While I might be concerned about relearning T9, Rentala expects local 3310 3G stock to sell out before Christmas, citing strong international demand.
"Based on what we've seen in other markets where we've been selling millions of 3310s - even if we're working hard to manufacturer as many as we can, this phone has been sold out in many markets - we have the courage to expect quite high sales numbers in Australia.