Nokia 3310 Will Be Just A Pretty Paperweight In The U.S.

The new Nokia 3310 may trigger nostalgia in anyone who remembers the old-style Nokia cell phones that were out in the 2000s, but that’s really all it’s good for. Well, it might also make a fun paperweight for people in the U.S. who have fond memories of their first mobile phone (if they’re old enough to have had a cell phone before the days of the smartphone).

Nokia 3310
Nokia: Press Release Photo

The youth of today might look at the Nokia 3310 and ask why it doesn’t have a touchscreen and how you use the browser. Then again, perhaps they’d think it’s cool because it’s retro.

Nokia 3310 needs low-tech 2G

Nokia and HMD (which owns the rights to make Nokia-branded devices) unveiled four phones at the Mobile World Congress this year, and one of them, the Nokia 3310, is just a feature phone (remember those??). The phone is basically an updated version of the classic Nokia millions of people around the world used at some point. This isn’t much of a surprise, as we heard rumors to this effect recently. The most obvious thing that makes it different from the classic Nokia is the fun colors it’s available in. In addition to the usual black and silver, it will also come in red and yellow.

Because the 3310 isn’t a smartphone, its specs leave much to be desired. Of course for €49, you shouldn’t expect much. It makes phone calls and sends text messages, possibly making it good enough for a child whose parents are worrywarts and want to keep tabs on it.

The problem with the Nokia 3310

Americans (and consumers in many developed countries) are spoiled, which means they have come to expect the best of the best, in technology and every other part of life. As a result, mobile networks in the U.S. have 3G technology at the very least, with 4G tech being rolled out in some areas. What’s worse is that the phone uses the 900MHz frequency, which isn’t supported by mobile carriers in the U.S., according to CNET.

HMD told the media outlet that they may aim for a U.S. launch with the phone eventually, although the spokesperson gave no timeline. That frequency issue is a big problem because no mobile carrier will clear a phone for sale on its network if the phone doesn’t even work on its network. It would be nothing but a paperweight, so why bother?

It’s unclear whether HMD will make changes to the Nokia 3310 to make it compatible with U.S. carriers or whether it will just sell the phone as a nostalgia piece to decorate your office with. We’ve heard that the phone was the talk of the Mobile World Congress because it’s a nostalgia play.

Nokia 3310 to launch in India

The 900MHz frequency and 2G requirement makes the 3310 just fine for most other global markets, however. The low, low price tag makes it clear that the phone was designed with developing markets and price-conscious consumers in mind. This is why it should come as no surprise that the phone will be launched in India, alongside its three siblings, the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6.

The Nokia 3310 is expected to launch no later than the end of May, but possibly before, HMD India Vice President Ajey Mehta told Gadgets 360 at MWC. The company is planning to take part in the Make in India initiative for its Nokia phones, although operations in India aren’t fully ready yet. Nokia will sell the new devices on and offline, with some being sold only online and others only offline.