Nokia is back with Nokia 3310

HMD stimulates muscle memory with cute ‘3310’, but drives business with smartphones

HMD, the new licensee of the iconic Nokia brand, is attempting to storm back into the smartphone market that Microsoft so publicly failed to crack.

HMD is betting on the residual strength of the Nokia brand with design excellence and supply chain management still infused in the DNA. Combined with manufacturing and logistics competence from partner Foxconn, it is betting on this as the ‘secret sauce’ to add to ‘good enough’ hardware specs. It is not attempting to compete in the flagship smartphone market, likely a smart move at this stage in its development. However the 3310 is almost an inverse flagship – such was the media interest, something probably never before seen for a feature phone…ever. Consumers might well head to the store to look at the 3310 but walk out with one or other of the Nokia smartphones.

HMD’s designers have managed to distil the essence of the original Nokia 3310 in a completely fresh design. It has retained the Snake game and Nokia ringtone to complete the retro experience. Though not cheap at around $45, we can see many people buying on nostalgia but finding the device pretty usable because for simple voice and text communications, the familiar interface and almost inexhaustible battery make it a sensible choice for digital detox weekends. For some markets HMD would be wise to plan a VoLTE product, however the complication of interfaces and standards for different VoLTE networks makes this proposition non-trivial.

The Nokia smartphones are all well designed. All channel Nokia’s reputation for quality. All offer a pure Android experience including support for Google Assistant. In this HMD joins LG’s G6 and Google themselves as the sole incorporators of Assistant (a list that likely won’t stay short for long).

Full specification of Nokia 3310:

The Nokia 6, is the same model as has been launched already in China. In international markets it will ship with a pure Android interface with the full GMS stack. Based on the Snapdragon 400 platform with a Full HD IPS display and a price tag of Euro 229 ($240).

The Nokia 5, slightly lighter weight in terms of technology. Slightly deeper in the Z axis, but sculpted aluminium design feels good in the hand. Like the 6 it also has an 8MP selfie camera. Priced at Euro 189 ($199)

The Nokia 3, incorporates MediaTek AP. Priced at Euro 139 ($145)

There is much more here than a tweek of old timers’, like me, sense of nostalgia. HMD (and Nokia) are making smart moves. The scale of the task is huge and the stakes are high, but with Foxconn minding the manufacturing and distribution, HMD stands a better chance than many in making a meaningful comeback.