This week, Mobile World Congress (MWC) returns to Barcelona, Spain. This is the platform most smartphone manufacturers use to release their latest handsets, or even tablets. With the exception of Apple who prefer to do their own thing, and again this year so will Samsung. We can expect to see some ground breaking new smartphones….. and even a modern day twist added to a familiar old one.
Nokia, Nokia, Nokia, Nokia
Not content with arriving at MWC2017 after years in the mobile wilderness with just one new handset, Nokia turned up with four!! They also managed to steal the show, and the headlines, with one of them.
The 6 is not really a new handset, having been on the market in China for a while, but it is now being shared with the rest of the world.
Being the flagship of the four devices, the 6 packs the biggest features yet, the price tag, will make you think twice!
Stand out points are the 5.5 inch IPS LCD screen encased in a single block of aluminium. The unibody design houses dual speakers with Dolby Atmos for an immersive sound. Powered by Android 7.1 (no longer a Windows phone) this is now a great option for those 12-18 year old teens.
Neither the 16 MP camera on the back or the 8 MP at the front will any awards in todays smartphone market but will still offer enough punch for those who rely on their handsets for pictures.
There is no official release date as yet but the device will be £195 or £255 for the Arte Black model which comes with 64GB of on board storage compared to the 32GB.
Next up the 5, billed as a more affordable and compact version of the flagship 6!! That was only £195, which in todays smartphone market is a steal for any device bearing a name such as Nokia.
So how have they achieved this? Well, on the outside the 5 and 6 are very similar, again crafted from a single aluminium block and finished in the four main colours; Tempered Blue, Silver, Matte Black, Copper.
The screen size is reduced down to 5.2 inches and the rear camera downgrade to 13MP, with the front remaining the same. Gone are the dual speakers, replaced instead, with a single stereo speaker.
The onboard storage is fixed to a tiny 16GB but with the SD slot you can expand this up to 128GB.
There is no official release date as yet but the device will be around £160.
Then we arrive at the 3, the entry level handset that gives you the basic smartphone features without any of the, sometimes, hefty cost.
You can probably see the trend here. Release the 6, cut a few specs off to give us the 5, then trim that back some more and we have 3 handsets from the 1 design! Well, it’s worked.
With the 3 we are down to a 5inch screen, still in the great unibody design and same colour options. The rear camera is now an 8MP shooter as is the front. Onboard storage remains at 16GB but still expandable to 128GB. Unlike the 5 and 6, this model only comes with Android 7.0 installed, but at this end of the market, that does not matter.
Amazingly, the 3 is expected to be around £120 when it is launched.
Drumroll please….. The Return of the 3310!
If you are of an age where you are beginning to look at certain face creams for those lines around your eyes, or, is that a grey hair?!?! Then you will no doubt remember first hand, the greatness that surrounded the original 3310, after its launch back in 2000. To be fair even those still blessed with their youth know about the original. It has been an internet meme and reference point now for a number of years such was its notoriety.
To celebrate, maybe, Nokia’ return to the forefront of the smartphone market, they have announced a modern day version of the legendary 3310. Rather than being given a new name or product number, it is simply known as “The new Nokia 3310”. Easy enough.
For the purists among us, this is not a 3310. Not even close. It is however a very well deserved nod of the head to an iconic handset from the past, and more importantly, an absolutely brilliant marketing ploy by Nokia.
Forget the specifications on this one, if you want them you can read them here, but they are not what is going to make this phone a big seller. This is not a smartphone, it is a mobile phone, a cell phone. A device that, at best, gives you 2 features. Make/receive calls and send/receive texts.
Now add the nostalgia, brand, history, battery power, reliability of the 3310 name and Nokia now have a handset that will sell by the thousands. Why?
The reported average global selling price of the handset is rumoured to be around £40-50. So now you have a very cheap handset, that history says will never let you down!
Now think of the uses for it. Do you have elderly relatives who are not tech savvy but need a phone for safety? 31 days stand by time!!
Going backpacking and need an emergency phone in case of emergency? Bright case, reliable as a brick (often know as one to be fair) and cheap, the new 3310 will do.
How about a music festival? First pay as you go phone for the kids? Emergency handset for the glovebox in the car?
All that and I have not even mentioned the new version of Snake that comes loaded on the handset!
Well done on stealing the show at MWC Nokia!