back to article Nokia’s big comeback: Watches, bathroom scales, a 3310 PR gimmick, Snake, erm...

Nokia held its long-anticipated phone comeback in Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art – while treating us to an archaeological virtual tour through Nokia’s own ancient history. This was a full frontal assault by Nokia: the HMD venture, which has a 10-year licence to use Nokia’s brand on phones, isn’t just some remote …

  1. armyknife

    Hello Nokia

    Welcome back Nokia.

    Perhaps Psion will now get it's act together? ;-)

    1. Michael B.

      Re: Hello Nokia

      They are just a name on a piece of paper in a Motorola ( not the bit that was sold to Lenovo) filing cabinet now.

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: Hello Nokia

        "[Psion] is just a name on a piece of paper in a Motorola [..] filing cabinet now."

        Yeah, I doubt there's much prospect of them releasing a sequel to Flight Simulation on the ZX81. ;-) I remember "hacking" the BASIC listing to include "amusing" reasons for why you crashed (or just messing around randomly with various bits I didn't understand).

        As for the new 3310... er, yeah.

        Or rather... nope. It looks more like some no-name Chinese company made a cheap knockoff of the 3310 case in a lazy and unconvincing attempt to exploit nostalgia, but had to compromise the appearance in order to make the case fit the modern, generic, dirt-cheap feature phone hardware it was actually based on.

        Which I suspect is what happened anyway, the only difference being an official seal of approval. This is even more pointless than I anticipated on Friday- as I said then, you can either faithfully mimic the design and appearance of the original 3310, or you can modernise it, in which case it's not going to look like a 3310, so why bother?

        The unconvincingly updated appearance reminds me of the late-1990s "New Beetle" in that it's obvious what it's meant to be modelled after, and shares some memory-triggering design cues from its predecessor, but relies on people not having seen- or used- the original for some time and not noticing (or at least caring) that there are more fundamental differences in the shape and layout when you see them side by side.

        If most people think this is nitpicking and that this model's "feature phone" design is close enough to the original... then I think that proves my point. Of course it's closer to the original 3310 than a smartphone, but you could say that about almost *any* generic, dirt-cheap feature phone from the late-noughties to the present day (which is what the icon interface reminds me of, to be honest).

        The one thing they could- and should- have updated without needing to compromise the design is the one thing they didn't. I mean, 2G only- seriously? In this day and age? I've got a cheap mobile-equipped tablet that includes "4G" LTE, FFS! If they're going to charge £40 for a phone that's comparable to those selling for half the price, the least I'd expect would be 3G.

        Why bother if they're not going to accurately reproduce the original, at least superficially? Well, because it got them into the news with a bunch of "Nokia's back" publicity, and gave journalists an excuse to write nostalgia pieces about the 3310, regardless of whether the new "3310" is as convincing as the silver-faced Marilyn Monroe robot in Red Dwarf.

    2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Re: Hello Nokia

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/27/the_psions_is_back_meet_gemini/

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes you wonder

    Why they never adopted Android in the first place and went with Elop & Co to rape the company and staff.

    A wasted decade, when the writing was on the wall with Nokia N95 being the last good one, and N97 (a disater with Symbian). I would still buy a Lenovo or Motorola, since they have an established ecosystem in place.

    And why would anyone by a 3310? They should give it away when buying the Androids, or maybe with a Multibuy cornflakes packs. People have wisened up to smartphones and 3310 will just be a talking point. 2 days battery life versus 28 days earlier. And 2G ?Who would want that? And to what tangible benefits. If they want a spare backup phone, theres enough of Nokia 100 or Acatels around for under a tenner.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Makes you wonder

        Make it a slider. Can you imagine talking to Morpheus on a phablet? Lame.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Makes you wonder

          "Can you imagine talking to Morpheus on a phablet?"

          ^^^ That. Or a BT headset that looks like a metal beetle with an LED has nested in your ear cavity.

          "the Ballmer acquisition, and the Nadella bloodbath."

          Be fair! It should read; "the Ballmer's giant fuck-up, and the Nadella quick repair kit."

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Makes you wonder = "Two days battery life"

      It says standby up to a month and 22 hours talk time, plus replaceable battery. It does look worth having as the glovebox emergency phone, I can retire the Palm Pre 2 that currently does the job.

      Also the 6 seems to have a low power Qualcomm 430 and a promise of regular updates - which may mean they are hoping to get a share of the corporate market. Adequate performance for work, much cheaper than TCLBerry.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: Makes you wonder = "Two days battery life"

        "... the glovebox emergency phone, ..."

        My experience of having a 'glovebox emergency phone' on a PAYG card is that the carrier (Vodafone) cut it off after 4 months of not being used. I asked them what happened and they said it was 'for security reasons' and they suggested that I call my own home land line every month, "just to make a connection with a couple of rings", then it would be fine.

        This was about five years ago and I don't know if the carriers are still as stupid.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Makes you wonder = "Two days battery life"

          I asked them what happened and they said it was 'for security reasons'

          Bollocks. They have (if memory serves me right) Amdocs maintain their backend systems on an outsourcing contract and the payment terms are per luser. So if a luser is permanently inactive and not generating any revenue they want to get rid of it.

          Your only choice of glovebox phone in Europe is Hutchinson - Three in the UK and O2 in most other countries. They still run the billing themselves. That, however, precludes you from using an old 2G only phone as they insist on the phone being 3G capable.

        2. M7S

          Re: "I don't know if the carriers are still as stupid."

          O2 certainly is.

          I've a number of phones kept in kits for emergency use by various rescue services, every few months we have to get them all out and make calls for that reason.

        3. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Makes you wonder = "Two days battery life"

          This was about five years ago and I don't know if the carriers are still as stupid.

          The carriers (including Three) will disconnect phones if not used for some months. Basically, will all of them you need to use the phone once every 2~3 months.

          The advantage of Three and a couple of others (eg. Asda mobile) is that your credit doesn't expire. Thus with a Three PAYG you can put £10 on it and as long as you send one text (2p) or make a call (3p) every few months the phone SIM will remain live; your only issue is remembering to keep the phone's battery reasonably charged...

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Makes you wonder = "Two days battery life"

          "My experience of having a 'glovebox emergency phone' on a PAYG card is that the carrier (Vodafone) cut it off after 4 months of not being used."

          What's the legal position with respect to making calls to actual emergency services (i.e. 999 at least, I'd assume)?

          It's supposed to be the case that phones are required to be able to make calls without credit- and even without a valid SIM. (For example, my 4G-enabled Android tablet displays "Emergency Calls Only" when either the credit is out or there's no SIM in it at all).

          However, it's not clear whether the networks are legally required to *accept* calls from unidentified devices (i.e. those without SIMs), thus I'm not sure whether the handling might differ depending upon whether you have a SIM with no credit or no SIM at all. Anyone else know better?

          For obvious reasons, I haven't actually *tried* dialling 999 in either case to test it...!

          (Of course, I understand that in real life most people would want an "emergency phone" that can dial more than just 999 anyway.)

    3. Mark Jan

      Re: Makes you wonder

      Why they never adopted Android in the first place and went with Elop & Co to rape the company and staff.

      That was Elop's job.

    4. Test Man

      Re: Makes you wonder

      "Why they never adopted Android in the first place"

      Because if they did they'd be where everyone not called Samsung is now - with less than 1% market share, and looking exactly like everyone else.

      At least with Windows they had a chance. Pity it didn't work out though but it was a differentiator

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Makes you wonder

        As opposed to Windows where they ended up with, um, a less than 1% market share?

        1. jaywin

          Re: Makes you wonder

          To be fair, if Microsoft hadn't taken the actually pretty good WP7 and then decided to start from scratch with a new incompatible version not once, but twice, they might actually have got some people to buy them.

          I'm fearing the day my Lumia 930 dies. There's nothing new out there today that's as good*.

          (* Disagree? Give me suggestions - I'm looking for a replacement and can't find any I like)

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: Makes you wonder

            WP7 was doomed anyway due to its own old technology - WP8 had better chances, but it was too late - and it wasn't helped by Windows 8 trying to enforce tiles on desktop users. Not it was helped by Nadella vindictive approach to management. His WP10 is an OS with inherent personality issues, an OS in search of devices to run on, and will slurp your data just like Android does - all losing points against Android.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Makes you wonder

      yeap.. 2G?!??! f hell.. I like that its a S30+ phone, so I could install some 2FA apps , but being on Three there is no f way to use that phone on 3's network....

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: Makes you wonder

        same here. I already have a 100. a dual sim 3g 3310 would be an excellent backup phone.

    6. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Makes you wonder

      I would not buy a 3310. Now a redesigned E71 or E72 running a reasonably up-to-date version of Android properly customized for a qwerty keyboard... I will be tempted.

      The hardware was bombproof, the usability of the original was phenomenal. I used it for several years including two 5000km summer road trips using Nokia maps. It just worked. Sure, the UI and software was hideous, but it just worked.

      So, actually, the last great Symbian phone was not the N95, it was the E71. The 95 was not bad either - it survived a few years of SWMBO usage and then a year of use by junior until he dropped it on the school lawn and the contractor's lawnmower terminated it. It was not nearly as good as the E71 though.

    7. Mage Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Makes you wonder

      Because they got MS to pay them billions for a phone division, managers, staff and factories that were going to be worthless. MS didn't get the name or a scrap of IP and now has nothing to show for it.

      Their main business is Infrastructure. This consumer stuff is a sideline.

    8. getHandle

      Re: Makes you wonder

      I bet the chief exec-level remuneration was a lot better, and involved a lot less work, going with Elop than, you know, actually running a phone business.

    9. GreggS

      Re: Makes you wonder

      I was once having a conversation with a Nokia engineer and a colleague of mine asked him why they didn't use Android. His response? "Why would we? The only people who make money out of Android is Google."

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Makes you wonder

        It's not just Google that benefits from Android; Microsoft makes quite a lot of money too, via patent royalties.

  3. stucs201

    I was hoping for more from the 3310

    Other than some nostalgic styling I see nothing interesting about the new 3310. As the article says it's basically the exact same entry-level feature phone that Nokia have never stopped making.

    I'd actually been hoping (but really not expecting) that they'd take the opportunity to actually make a good feature phone again. For years they've been inferior to older models (3G and >2mp cameras used to exist on feature phones, but not anymore). If they'd instead done a phone with modern capabilities (4G, Wifi, decent camera, high DPI (but still small) screen, etc) but with buttons and an S40 style interface I may have actually been interested (though I'll accept I'm probably in a minority).

    1. Diogenes

      Re: I was hoping for more from the 3310

      Given 2G is about to switched off in Australia, Telstra has already done so, Optus will follow come 1 April, this is useless to me. Given my use case a 3310 is perfect, if only I could get it on 3G

      1. kmac499

        Re: I was hoping for more from the 3310

        so was I, the 8210 much better as just a phone, smaller, neater and fits in a shirt pocket perfectly. The only app I need is a bodged connection to my Google contacts to sync up.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: I was hoping for more from the 3310

      The problem with a 3310 now, is that the only methods of communication it supports, 2G calls, and texts, are essentially wide open to eavesdropping.

  4. Mark Jan
    Meh

    Underwhelmed and Disappointed

    I use a Nokia 808 and have done for years. I love its 42MP camera which despite its age, still beats any camera on any smartphone. I don't need a 1001 apps.

    Based on the circulating rumours I was expecting an announcement of a high end Nokia 8 or 9.

    I am therefore, underwhelmed and disappointed.

    (Or maybe Nokia / HMD are having another "just one more thing" moment later in the week...?)

  5. G2
    FAIL

    very disappointed

    the new 3310 is 2G-only: GSM 900/1800 MHz

    not even 3G / 4G LTE voice-only ... i'm disappointed. i loved the form and functions of the old phone but i didn't care about the GSM-only aspect of it. If it had voice 3G / LTE/ VoLTE support it would have been a huge come-back... but GSM-only? *facepalm*

    The mobile networks have evolved since ... my current cell phone provider here doesn't even use 2G/GSM anymore, minimum support that they offer is 3G and they also have 4G on 2100 and 2600 MHz

    Nokia basically re-introduced the buggy whip in an age when people are using autonomous cars :(

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: very disappointed

      'Nokia basically re-introduced the buggy whip in an age when people are using autonomous cars'

      I believe there's still a market for buggy whips in certain markets, see icon...

  6. jonfr

    No 3G and lack of quad band support

    It is a minimum requirement that phones today at least support 3G, since many mobile networks are going 3G only and soon only 4G. It is possible to make a 4G VoLTE only phone without a browser or anything else. A range of frequency bands would be required, resulting in a slight more drain on the battery.

    I have two Nokia 301.1 feature phones and they have both GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and 3G 900/2100 (not U.S compatible, but I'm not going there anyway so it does not matter). The minimum requirement have changed since 2000 and feature phone makers have to upgrade their minimum requirement for those phones.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: No 3G and lack of quad band support

      Yes, 3G is a minimum. If battery life suffers, how about making it with a monochrome LCD screen with a backlight when needed? Get rid of the camera and make the phone a bit thicker so it can have a larger battery?

      1. tapanit

        Re: No 3G and lack of quad band support

        Get rid of the display altogether. It's not needed - as older readers may recall, landline phones didn't have displays (with very few exceptions).

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: No 3G and lack of quad band support

          re: as older readers may recall, landline phones didn't have displays

          Mobile phone with a dial, now that would be something!

          Thinking about it, you couldn't dial in a hurry - dialling 999 took time and as for international numbers, so giving you time to catch your breathe and compose yourself...

          But actually with Siri et al. you could have a phone without screen or keypad - a bit like a mic with a loudspeaker attached. From research done a while back, I suspect it would be a flop - reason? just shove a mic into someone's face and ask them to speak...

          1. Michael Strorm

            Re: No 3G and lack of quad band support

            "Mobile phone with a dial, now that would be something!"

            Disregarding one-off artisan (gag!) fake retro contrivances only an insufferable hipster would use for real, there still exists this device. I'm not sure whether it counts as a "mobile phone" in the modern sense, but it definitely has a dial.

            Probably doesn't have 4G though. Nor 3G, 2G or 1G.

  7. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Shite

    I knew this would be nothing like the 3310. Wake me up when SonyEricsson remarry and re-release the w810i, or even better the w995 which is still my favourite phone of all time.

    1. shade82000
      Thumb Up

      Re: Shite

      W810i FTW.

      Best pre-android phone I had.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Shite

      I had a t610, k750i, k850i and w995. The 850 and 995 were great little phones and survived longer than my Sony Xperia SP.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want a 3310 if they do a green one either factory or by changing the cover. I've been looking for a vibrant green Nokia basicphone for a few years (it's a personal thing) but often the ones that come up 2nd hand on ebay are more expensive than this new one.

    My company phone is a ZTE F320, and it's absolute carp. The irony is they switched from Nokia to save cash (the Nokia was ~£20, the ZTE is ~£10), but my previous Nokia lasted 9 years and I am on my 4th ZTE in as many years, all replacements purchased new.

    Already got an android for my own stuff but at work I don't want data, I don't want 3G, or dual SIM, just something to make and receive calls that I can turn off when I don't need it and keep work & private lives separate.

    Good to see they are still quoting ludicrous standby and talk times though. Has anybody ever achieved the quoted times for any phone ever made? I mean in normal use, so not disabling 2G wifi bluetooth etc. 15 years ago they were saying 15 days standby time and although they were better than smartphones and I regularly got 5 days if I didn't use it, I have never managed to go 15 days between charging on any device.

    1. Horridbloke

      Good grief...

      You want a vibrant green phone for WORK?

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      I actively discourage people from calling me on my mobile and prefer talking to friends (in person)instead of texting them. (and yes, I'm know I'm an unfashionable relic who hasn't moved with the times)

      It's perfectly feasible to get a month out of an old fashioned Nokia on standby.

    3. Michael Strorm

      "My company phone is a ZTE F320, and it's absolute carp."

      Sounds a bit fishy to me...

  9. David Gosnell

    Wellies

    I used to love my Nokia wellies. That division also was flogged off, but at least still seems to be operational, but a shame a new pair would cost more than this phone.

  10. Keef

    It's been said here before...

    But my wish is for a slightly updated 6310I.

    That was a great phone,

    I wish I hadn't recycled my last one.

  11. ForthIsNotDead

    6310i

    Just give me a 6310i.

    Well, no need for me, since I already have two of them. One is absolutely pristine, the other smashed to bits, but still works. Refuses to die.

    A 6310i with, say, a calendar, outlook sync, an SD card slot and a headphone socket for MP3s.

    I think I'd be very happy with that - not having a browser wouldn't bother me. Bring back WAP that's what I say!

  12. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Wiley Fox

    Best avoided in my experience. I ordered one on the basis on the Reg review. Despite their website specifically saying the parcel fits letterboxes, their courier failed to deliver, ignored my alternative delivery options (three neighbours and a hedge as a standby) and returned it to a warehouse in the middle of nowhere. By the time I'd arranged time off work and blagged a lift from a mate, they'd returned it to WF. Cue a few weeks of increasingly angry emails asking for my phone or refund, all of which were compeltely ignored.

    In my book there's a word for those sort of business practices, but in deference to libel laws I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to think of one. Suffice to say I strongly advise avoiding WileyFox like the plague.

    I ended up with a Motorola G4, which was even cheaper than the WF - £130 - and is great. The only thing I've missed is an internal compass, without which FlightRadar24's "point phone at plane, get data readout" feature doesn't work. Why anyone pays £800 for a phone beats me.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one...

    who preferred the key layout of the 3210...?

    Saying that, the 3310 I had did last longer than my 3210 did before it broke. I'm therefore considering getting the new 3310 to use alongside my android phone, because I'm fed up with having a lousy 2 day battery life when I don't have any apps running. Put simply, 99% of the time, I don't need a smartphone.

    1. Michael Strorm

      Re: Am I the only one...

      I always thought the 3210 was better-looking than the 3310. I also don't get why the 3310 seems to be the one targeted for nostalgia. The 3210 was the first mobile that was both good-looking (no aerial) yet still affordable enough to become a hit with the younger end of the market (i.e. teens, students, young professionals) it was aimed at. The 3310 sold to much the same market, but was obviously more of a follow-on.

      FWIW, I'd have thought the popularity might have been because the 3310 outsold the 3210, but according to Wikipedia, the latter sold 160m to the former's 126m.

      All that said, wasn't the key layout and user interface of the 3320 very similar to that of the 3310 anyway? The only differences I can see- and remember- lie in the cosmetic styling of the buttons.

  14. TeeCee Gold badge
    Meh

    Of course....

    ....if you really want a crappy stick with buttons and battery life that gives Methuselah a run for his money, then you could get something like the ZTE F320, which has the added advantage of 3G.

    That has snake on it too and "free with cornflakes" pricing as a bonus.

  15. paulf Silver badge
    Trollface

    I was expecting big things from the Nokia comeback...

    ...but there is a complete lack of courageous decisions as the Nokia 6 spec notes:

    "Connector 3.5 mm headphone jack"

  16. Warm Braw Silver badge

    NFC "sharing only"

    Both the 3 and the 5 have NFC which is described as "sharing only", by which I infer that it doesn't do payments, probably to avoid the cost of a secure element. Not sure about the future of Android Pay unless Google can persuade a few more manufacturers to put the necessary kit into the phones.

  17. kensal

    They actually spenf money making the damn thing (3310) and now their going to lose money making these new smartphones too. You'd think they would have learned from yesteryear. Its just another overpaid CEO thinking he knows the market better than anyone else yet its plain to see the wasted effort Nokia are trying to make.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    I've had a Doro for years, gonna stick with them for a while.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid move

    Maybe Nokia just wanted to stir some passion among the afficionados of yesteryear and revive some Nostalgia.

    So they should give them away as souvenirs to those who buy their Androids, like a bogof offer. Apart from that, I dont see this gaining traction at all.

    Or as someone mentioned, free with Multipack Cornflakes/Shreddies whatever !

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