REVIEW: The new Nokia 3310 is great  -- so we threw it out a window

On Thursday, one of my colleagues threw my phone out of a fourth-floor window.

I hadn’t done anything to provoke him — in fact, I asked him to. I was testing out the new Nokia 3310, and wanted to see if it could live up to the indestructible reputation of its predecessor.

The original Nokia 3310, launched in 2000, was a classic of its time. This was long before the smartphone era. There was no camera, no Wifi, not even a colour screen. But it was massive hit, and sold 126 million units worldwide.

Nokia has now relaunched the cult phone. It has been given a facelift, had a camera added, and stuffed with a swathe of extra features, and sells for about $A79. (But don’t worry, Snake’s still there.) But is it any good? And more importantly, is it as tough as its predecessor? 

Read on to see what Business Insider thought of the Nokia 3310 — and how it fared after being thrown out a window…

First up, here's the original Nokia 3310. Now 17 years old, objectively, it's not great.

Earlier this year, the smartphone world was sent into a frenzy when the news leaked that HMD Global was releasing a new Nokia phone that would use the 3310 brand.

Business Insider/James Cook
You can practically hear the screaming tech bloggers.

And then in May, it finally launched!

Rob Price/BI

We also attended the London launch and you can click here to read more about it, if that's your jam »

First impressions of the new 3310: It's pretty neat. The design is far sleeker and compact than the original, while still playing homage to its design.

Rob Price/BI
Yeah. It's basic.

The 240x320-pixel colour screen may not be HD, but it's passable. The 12 buttons used for typing are pretty much as you remember them -- fiddly.

Rob Price/BI
We've got a very pretty office.

It's got an Opera web browser included, though you probably won't want to use it. 'Snake' is there as a retro throwback. But there are none of the apps that you take for granted on iOS and Android -- WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Rob Price/BI
It's available in a retro matte blue or grey, or a glossy, poppy yellow or coral-orange.

One of the big draws is battery life: It's a bit of a beast. Nokia promises 31 days of standby, or 22 hours of talk-time -- an order of magnitude more than the smartphones of today.

Rob Price/BI
The back. Exciting, right? That camera is all of two megapixels.

What you make of this phone will largely stem from your expectations. It's never going to compete with the latest (or even budget) Android or iOS devices. It's a feature phone with no touchscreen and an old-school keypad!

Rob Price/BI
Touchscreens have spoilt us.

But if you just want a backup that you can keep in your bag or car boot for weeks at a time in case of emergency -- suddenly, it becomes a lot more attractive.

You never know when you might need an emergency phone.

Of course, it's not the only option for cheap feature phones out there. Other reviewers have pointed out the similarities to the even-cheaper Nokia 150.

You want retro? *This* is retro.

But here's the thing: The Nokia 3310 does look good.

Rob Price/BI
It's simple. Clean.

If that makes you shake your head and scoff, then great! This isn't the phone for you. But looks *are* important, and for some people, worth paying a small premium for.

George Frey/Getty Images
Design matters.

But there's one more important factor that needs to be considered: How tough is it?

There's only one way to really test a phone: By smashing it.

We decided to put the new Nokia 3310 through its paces. First a drop test from pocket height -- absolutely no problems.

Rob Price/BI
It's happened to all of us before.

Next, we dropped it from shoulder height.

Rob Price/BI
An iPhone would struggle with this.

Few scuffs, still fine!

Rob Price/BI
Oh yeah.

So we ramped our efforts up a notch, and climbed onto a first-floor roof. How would it handle a drop that would easily shatter any modern smartphone?

Rob Price/BI
How often does this happen in the real world? Actually, we don't care.

The battery bounced out, but once rebuilt, it was still working alright.

Rob Price/BI

It was clear something more extreme was required. So my colleague took the phone, went up to the fourth floor, and threw it out of the window.

Rob Price/BI
Who among us has not once lobbed a gadget out of their office window in fury?

That *did* do something. Once put back together, it still switched on -- but the screen was broken and useless.

Rob Price/BI
Ah man.

So there you have it. It's a good phone, if it aligns with your expectations, and it's not totally indestructible -- but but it is pretty damn tough. You might have to turn to Ebay to get your hands on one though, as it was made in limited quantities and is sold out pretty much everywhere.

Leon Siciliano/BI
We don't do star-ratings, but if we did, this phone would get some stars. Good job.

Then we threw it against a wall.

Rob Price/BI
Because why not.

Game over.

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