The Nokia 3310 vintage phone renewed

The Nokia 3310 in 3G

Yes, seems crazy. The Nokia 3310 in 3G?? Who needs a relatively dumb phone, an artifact of nearly 20 years ago? To which I reply, who doesn’t?

Partly it’s my distrustful self: I know our phones are spying on us. That doesn’t bother me much, because, “what do I have to hide?” but it’s not quite that simple. Sure, the venerable 3310 in 3G has a battery and antenna. And, our location is broadcast to the carrier and to whoever else is interested in the data. But in this Nokia 3310 — originally marketed in the early 2000s — there is less smart software on top, to guild the lily.

To me, the anachronistic Nokia is sort of fun, and sort of like survival gear — a phone without encumbering, attention-leeching extras. We review a lot of stuff in the necessity category, here at Wharf21. For example, most recently, the Klecker Tool Carrier Carabiner and a bike saddle bag. And in the pre-iPhone era, Nokia used to be the leading mobile phone maker in the world.

Phone architecture

Also, last year — I think it was last year — I listened to NPR and MSNBC interviews with Edward Snowden. I’m not a fan of the NSA whistleblower. I’m fascinated by his insights — but… I rather distrust why and how he ended up in Moscow. If Goldfinger — in the early James Bond classic — had explained that the bus took him to Fort Knox because of road trouble elsewhere,  I wouldn’t have accepted that either.

Anyway: there was a point in one of the interviews where Snowden (who is smart) discusses phone security. He mentions that in his personal phone he disconnects both the microphone and the camera. I mean he goes into the innards of the mobile phone and, with the right tools, removes the electronic components. If he needs to use the phone, he connects his own external microphone which is not as easily spied on.

Which is extreme, and most of us don’t do it because, well, “what do we have to hide?”

Privacy advocates — and Snowden himself — say that isn’t really the point. Our data is ours, how is it that we wind up giving control of it to all these agencies and corporations? Check out WIRED magazine’s article “Watch Edward Snowden Teach Vice How to Make a Phone ‘Go Black'”. I’m not arguing the point — simply showing how the Nokia 3310 is so appealing. So basic. It’s a phone, and it even does some other stuff! I want the Nokia 3310 in 3G. I just do… LOL…

Back to simple

Hey! It’s an unlocked single-SIM that runs on AT&T, Metro PCS, Cricket, Mint. (This is the U.S. version — there is also a British one, from HMD Global, the Finnish company.) It’s durable and loud. It comes in four colors. You can play Classic Snake. Its battery lasts forever (ok, a very long time…). It has Bluetooth 2.1 for pairing. And a camera– you won’t like the picture quality, but it’s not for that. PLUS (to paraphrase a great review on Amazon) if you are looking to detox yourself from social media and smart-phone addiction, this is the way.

AND it has an FM radio! Opera mini-browser (which you probably you won’t use — wait till you see how small the screen is…).

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