At the beginning of the new millennium, cell phones were losing their novelty and turning into a necessity.
Nokia had been leading the global mobile phone market for a little more than a decade.
The Nokia 3210 from 1999 — which remains the fourth-highest selling mobile phone of all time — had been followed by the 3310, a phone which amassed sales figures of over 126 million.
Known for its unparalleled durability, the 3310, to this very day, remains one of the most iconic phones the company ever made.
Fast forward seventeen years to the present day, and Nokia has gone through a whole lot: from the record-breaking highs of the early 2000s, to the recent acquisition of its once unbeatable feature phone division by HMD Global.
As we find ourselves inching closer to the post-smartphone era, Nokia under HMD is looking to rejuvenate a household name alongside the growing influence of affordable smartphones.
With this in mind, HMD Global announced the return of the 3310 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this February, and released it in Pakistan yesterday (June 16, 2017).
How far along has the 3310 come in seventeen years?
Keen to build on Nokia's legacy, the new 3310 maintains the candy bar form factor of its predecessor and also features a pre-installed Snake game to remind its users of Nokia's glory days before smartphones took their market share by storm.
In addition to incorporating nostalgic elements into the 3310, the features of the phone have been improved from the ground up.
The display makes up for the most notable changes, as the Nokia 3310 (2017) ditches the 84x48 monochrome display of the original 3310 in favour of a more modern 2.4 inch 240x320 TFT LCD.
The Nokia 3310 also features a 2MP camera for the very first time in its seventeen-year history and will be capable of supporting microSD cards of up to 32GB, a departure from the limited call log storage of the original 3310.
The new 3310 also sees a significant 53-gram reduction in weight, now down to a mere eighty grams along with a 10mm thinner profile as a result of what seemed like a seventeen-year long diet.
Along with a revamped Snake game, the Nokia 3310 will now also feature a web browser that will run over the phone's rather controversial 2G connectivity.
So, is 3310 (2017), nothing more than Nokia's play at the nostalgia card?
More definitely than not, the relaunch of a phone as iconic as the 3310 after seventeen years looks to be no more than an attempt by the brand to rise back to prominence.
For an expected price of Rs5,700, the new 3310 leaves much to be desired; and while the lack of GPS and 3G on the phone are hard to ignore, the consistency of its design with the original 3310 looks enough to lure a sizeable amount of nostalgic customers towards the rejuvenated 3310.
As to what it seems, Nokia does not expect the 3310 to open new streams of revenue for the company. Instead, it hopes that the induced nostalgia with the relaunch of the 3310 will help make the brand relevant again; ultimately paving the way for the company's more meaningful smartphones that are built to take on the status quo this year.