The Nokia 3310 – one of the most popular cell phones in the world just after the turn of the millennium (along with its variations) – is having a surprising resurgence in popularity, amidst reliable rumors that Nokia will re-introduce a modernized version of the phone at the Mobile World Congress later this month.
However, all signs point to the reiteration being a “dumb” phone, that is, the kind of brick we were all sporting before the iPhone ushered in the smartphone era. That makes the rumored reintroduction the stuff of clickbait, a flash-in-the-pan indulgence of nostalgia that should get people talking, but not much else. The rumored going rate for the new generation is only 59 Euro; the source speculates that it will be hawked as a second phone.
It sounds like a tough sell, even for nostalgic mobile enthusiasts. There are a number of mobile and desktop solutions that can fulfill the need for a second phone, if indeed you ever encounter it. Instead, we wish that smartphone manufacturers (Nokia included) would take a cue from the traits that made the trusty little bricks endure so long in the public memory. Here are the Y2K-era selling points we’d like to see come to smartphones.
The original Nokia 3310’s indestructibility is the stuff of legend (not to mention memes). On the other hand, it would be a foolhardy move to rock a smartphone without a case.
Yes, we appreciate the recent trend toward increased water resistance and incrementally tougher builds, but that’s not enough. Now that smartphone ownership is nearly a given, the industry isn’t cutting consumers any deals. Not only must we pay for more expensive phones, we have to pay for the data plans and the third-party accessories to go with it. We’d be thrilled if more smartphones were capable of surviving impacts and drops without additional protection.