Nokia 6310 review: Reboot provides relief from apps and social media

Two weeks with the new Nokia 6310: Rebooted version of the iconic ‘brick phone’ is a welcome relief from social media and annoying apps – and Snake is just as fun as we remember!

  • The latest reboot in Nokia’s series is an upgrade on the original 6310 from 2001
  • It comes with a 2.8-inch screen, a 20-day battery life and the classic game Snake
  • The phone’s camera is just 0.3 megapixels resulting in some very grainy images
  • But its very basic features and lack of apps may be ideal for a smartphone detox

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It was one of the most popular phones in the early 2000s, and now the Nokia 6310 is back for the modern era as part of its retro series of reboots.  

The latest revamp in the series, the new 6310 is priced at £60 ($80) and comes with a 2.8-inch screen, a 20-day battery life and the classic mobile game Snake.

It also features bigger buttons, a zoomed-in menu and a durable polycarbonate shell that can ‘take the knocks and bumps of everyday life’.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to dramatically cut the time I spend looking at my smartphone during my free time. 

Over two weeks, the rebooted Nokia 6310 has provided a welcome relief from social media and annoying, intrusive apps – and it may just be the answer to a complete smartphone detox for 2022. 

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Nokia’s revamped version of 6310 is ‘the perfect tonic’ for a yearning for nostalgia, according to the Finnish company 

The new Nokia 6310 (right) is pictured next to the original 6310, which was released in 2001. Arguably the new model has little resemblance to the original, which bears the question, why has Nokia given it the same name? 

NOKIA 6310: SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES 

The Nokia 6310 was first released in 2001 and has been re-released in 2021 to mark its 20th anniversary.

The new version comes with a larger screen, larger buttons, but the same lengthy battery life and sturdy body.

  • Name: Nokia 6310 (20th anniversary)
  • Price: £59.99
  • Colours: Yellow, Black
  • Camera: 0.3 megapixels 
  • Memory: 16MB RAM, 8MB internal
  • Screen: 2.8 inch curved
  • Shell: Polycarbonate 
  • Battery standby: 21.7 days
  • Battery talk time: 19.4 hours 
  • Features: FM Radio (Wired/Wireless), MP3 player 
  • Included: Micro USB Charger 

Ever since Nokia announced an updated version of its legendary 3310 handset in 2017, it’s added a stream of rebooted versions of old classic phones to the market. 

Nokia phones are now released by HMD Global, which purchased the rights to the Nokia brand name in December 2016.  

According to a company spokesperson, the new 6310 is ‘the perfect tonic’ for a yearning for nostalgia and has been ‘refreshed and reinvented,’ to match modern needs.  

My uncle owned the original 6310 about 20 years ago and to me it was the epitome of an exciting device, with lots of buttons and a two-tone gold and black trim. 

Adam Ferguson, head of product marketing at HMD Global, said the original was one of the ‘trailblazers in making mobile go mainstream in 2001’.  

Back to the present day, and the first thing I noticed when getting the reboot out of the box was that it does look very retro indeed – in fact, its bulky black appearance would suggest it even pre-dates the original if it weren’t for its big colour screen. 

The 2001 Nokia 6310 was tall and slim with a 1.8 inch 120×160 pixel screen, while the new version – which is available in both black and yellow – is slightly stouter to fit in its 320×240 pixel 2.8-inch screen. 

What was really pleasing about using the new Nokia 6310 was feeling actual physical buttons under my fingers again.

One of the things that really infuriates me about modern smartphones is that actually being able to make a call – surely the fundamental purpose of any mobile phone – is such a faff.

Usually, after unlocking my Android smartphone I have to swipe at the screen, enter the passcode, find the phone app and toggle between multiple pages – ‘Recents’, ‘Contacts’ and ‘Places’ – before finding the keypad and entering the phone number.  

With the new 6310 I have to press one button to unlock before typing the number, or I can just press the down button on the keypad to browse my contacts.

Do you remember when mobile phones used to be that simple? Sometimes I really believe less is more and it’s comforting to me that Nokia appears to understand that.

I’ll admit most of my time with the new 6310 was playing Snake, the seriously addictive mobile game that was a mainstay of Nokia’s greatest ’90s and ’00s models.

For the uninitiated – perhaps youngsters who have only ever existed in a Snake-less smartphone era – the game involves controlling a snake in its hunt for morsels of food, which make it grow longer and longer. 

Snake was included on the rebooted 3310 released in 2017, but Nokia received some criticism for changing the much-loved gameplay.

Instead of being able to make the eponymous snake turn at 90-degree angles like the classic version of the game, snake moved in big, long arcs on the 3310. 

If you think this sounds like a trivial change, you’re wrong. 

I’m happy to report that Snake on the new 6310 has the classic 90-degree turns in its hunt for food. Sometimes it really a case of, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. 

Snake fans will be glad to hear the new Nokia phone is loyal to the original game, unlike the Snake installed on the rebooted 3310 in 2017

One thing I love about owning a smartphone is having a decent camera that I can fit in my pocket – and admittedly this can’t be said of the new 6310. 

The phone’s camera is just 0.3 megapixels – which compares with the 12 megapixels on the iPhone 13, Apple’s latest flagship device – leading to some seriously grainy images. 

I wouldn’t quite describe myself as a social media addict, but I do love having the option of snapping high-quality photos and posting them online. 

The new Nokia phone has Facebook pre-installed in case users are desperate for social media, as well as an internet browser that takes some time to reach the desired webpage.

However, I think this long wait time is a good incentive not to pick up the phone every minute to go on the internet, in keeping with any digital detox.

The 2001 Nokia 6310 (pictured) had a 1.8 inch 120×160 pixel screen and a memorable two-tone gold and black trim

Additional great features are an FM radio, which emits really clear audio from a front-facing speaker, and other feature phone classics including an MP3 player, voice recorder, calculator and alarm. 

Overall, I think I could use the new Nokia 6310 on a permanent basis if it weren’t for the fact it doesn’t have WhatsApp, which is where so many of my vital communications take place these days. 

My only criticism is the new model arguably has little resemblance to the original 6310, which begs the question, why has Nokia given it the same name? 

I’m sure the answer to this is it helps generate more interest from consumers than its reboot series would otherwise get.

But for its next update – likely Nokia 3410 from 2002 – I’m really hoping the firm makes more of an effort to replicate the original, at least in terms of appearance. 

BUYERS SNAP UP BASIC RETRO-INSPIRED HANDSETS LIKE THE REBOOTED NOKIA 3310 WITH LIMITED FEATURES

Nokia’s rebooted 3310 (left), released in 2017, is pictured here next to the original 3310, released in 2000

From the Nokia 3310 to the Motorola Razr, retro classic phones are slowly but surely making a comeback. 

Experts claim that one of the biggest draws of these basic phones is the nostalgia associated with them, as well as the significantly lower price tag than smartphones.

People may be finding they don’t need all the functionalities offered by more expensive smartphones, and would rather have the simplicity of a paired-back device.  

In February 2017, Nokia released a new version of the 3310 phone, 17 years after the original version was launched.

The retro device features a month long standby, the much-loved game, Snake, and costs just £49.99 ($66).

It’s since released the Nokia 2720 Flip (an updated version of the Nokia 2720 Fold from 2009), and updated slidey ‘banana’ Nokia 8110 from 1996 and the 6310 from 2001. 

According to Counterpoint Research, HMD Global’s shipment of feature phones (the company that owns the Nokia brand) grew by 12 per cent between Q2 and Q3 in 2021. 

Counterpoint Research data also shows that HMD Global is the biggest feature phone manufacturer in Europe, holding a 38 per cent market share.  

In October 2017, Motorola revealed that it was bringing back its iconic RAZR phone, joining forces with British firm, Binatone, to create the Binatone Blade. 

Motorola also took inspiration from the original RAZR flip design to create a pocket-sized flip phone that folds down a horizontal crease in the screen, released in February 2020.   

When it was announced, James Brown, director of gadget insurance provider Protect Your Bubble, said he thought the device may be capable of becoming a ‘fashion icon’ once again but he doesn’t think it will grab a large market share.

Motorola’s reinvented Razr flip mobile has a 6.2 inch foldable screen, which bends in half to shut in the same way as older ‘clamshell’ handsets. But it’s far from cheap – it costs a whopping £1,200

‘The Motorola Razr returns after a long absence from the phone shops in the biggest comeback since the Nokia 3310 was relaunched,’ Brown said.

‘Fans still have a huge affection for the iconic flip-phone of the mid-noughties, and Motorola will be hoping that it can cash it on their nostalgia.

‘This piece of mobile phone history may not grab significant market share from the smartphone heavyweights, but it could well ruffle a few feathers and become a fashion icon all over again.’ 

However, the new Motorola Razr is far from cheap – it costs a whopping £1,200.

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