The Return of the Nokia 3310 Feature Phone, and Why We’re Excited as Heck!

HMD Global Oy may release a refreshed version of Nokia 3310 at MWC 2017 in Barcelona

It’s back! Or, at least, it might be back. Alongside three smartphones, the extremely popular Nokia 3310 could be the fourth phone showcased by HMD Global, the company that has exclusive rights to sell phones under the Nokia brand name.

The Nokia 6 has already been launched, albeit only in China, but it will be officially launched at the Mobile World Congress 2017 to be held later this month. HMD intends to unveil two more smartphones in the low-to-mid-market range: Nokia 3 and Nokia 5.

According to an article by famed leaker Evan Blass on VentureBeat, the Nokia 5 will come with the same Snapdragon 430 SoC as the Nokia 6, but will have a 5.2-inch screen with 720p resolution, as opposed to the 5.5-inch display with full HD resolution on its larger sibling. The Nokia 5 will also have half the RAM (2GB) and a 12MP rear camera instead of the 16MP one on the Nokia 6.

The base model, the Nokia 3, will likely have specs similar to the Nokia 5, but could see a stripped down version to help meet its lower price point of about $150.

But the real star of the show could be the homage that HMD intends to pay the hugely popular Nokia 3310. For those unfamiliar with this model, this was the phone that you could literally stand on, pick up and keep on making calls! With a really strong build and lots and lots of battery life, this particular model sold over 126 million units since it was launched in 2000.

The feature phone is expected to make a nostalgic revival attempt, and at the target price of less than $60, it might be worth picking one up as a second phone – just for calls, texts and the occasional Snake game.

At this point it looks like HMD is only targeting Europe with the four models of Nokia. They seem to be moving across the globe on their way to the most lucrative smartphone market in the world – the United States. Starting in China, they will now move to Europe and, eventually, to the U.S., assuming they’re able to pick up momentum for the devices in other parts of the world.

The reason we’re excited is because this could signal the comeback of feature phones in a big way. These phones represent a very important phase in the growth of mobile devices. At their peak they were literally ruling the world – until iPhone came along. Can such phones profitably exist in today’s market? That’s the big question the Nokia 3310 will help us answer.

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