The Nokia 3210 is the worst telephone I’ve utilized in 2024

A person holding the Nokia 3210, showing the screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Where do I even begin with the Nokia 3210? Not the unique, which was one of many coolest telephones to personal again in a time when Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace wasn’t even a factor, however the newest 2024 reissue that has come alongside to save lots of us all from digital overload, the horror of social media, and the countless distraction that’s the fashionable smartphone.

Except behind this facade of marketing-friendly do-goodery hides a weapon of torture, a tool so foul that I’d fairly sit by way of a number of showings of Jar Jar Binks and the gang hopelessly attempting to convey again the magic of A New Hope than use it.

The Nokia 3210 actually is that unhealthy

A person holding the Nokia 3210.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Right, let’s get some issues straight. If your younger baby desires a telephone, the Nokia 3210 is a superb first cellular. If you desire a telephone with a long-lasting battery, it’s additionally superb. If you don’t have any curiosity in fashionable know-how in any respect and solely need calls and SMS, it’s completely acceptable if you happen to’re keen to pay the 75 British kilos worth, or round $95.

But exterior of these use instances, I can’t think about who would need to personal it or why you’d need to endure the ache of utilizing it.

It begins off OK, because it’s fairly quaint when it’s a must to insert a battery contained in the telephone earlier than powering it up, and there’s no query the form, dimension, and weight are all way more agreeable than large, heavy fashionable smartphones just like the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. The battery actually does final for days and days, too, however this vaguely pleasing wave of nostalgia (or discovery, relying in your age) instantly disappears whenever you begin utilizing the telephone.

The Nokia 3210 with an Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max (left) and the Nokia 3210 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends


This is what you’ll hear for fairly a while after you get going as a result of the Nokia 3210 beeps like a censored YouTube video with each keypress and at an obnoxiously loud quantity. The quantity operate (as soon as you discover it, as there are not any buttons) has no impact, leaving you frantically looking by way of the telephone to search out some technique to shut it up whereas each bleeping keypress reminds you of your failure. It was only the start of its mission to make me by no means need to use the telephone ever once more.

Not appropriate for 2024

A person holding the Nokia 3210.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

There’s no Wi-Fi, and regardless of it being 2024, the 4G sign the place I reside is pitiful, so it may possibly battle to attach even when I’m sitting at dwelling. There’s no technique to put any apps on the Nokia 3210, and on the very least, I would like WhatsApp as I reside within the U.Okay., the place it’s the legislation. Having no apps is seemingly a part of its supposed enchantment, so it may possibly ween you off social media with out completely disconnecting. Very noble, however why, then, is a Facebook app pre-installed?

It’s a silly choice, and it might have made the 3210 way more usable if that different Meta property, WhatsApp, had been pre-installed. I might really keep away from Facebook and social media but nonetheless successfully talk with my pals. The lack of Wi-Fi additionally means there’s no net shopping with out utilizing your community’s information, and since you received’t use the Nokia 3210 on a full smartphone contract with limitless information (it’s pointless), this may get costly fairly rapidly on a primary, pay-as-you-go contract.

HMD Global, the corporate that makes Nokia-branded devices today, will argue that is one other “benefit” of the entire digital detox factor. But many of the stuff I seek for utilizing my telephone isn’t frivolous, it’s data I would like. If you’re the identical, then the 3210 will rapidly financially punish you for it. Not to fret, although, because the display screen is woeful. The 2.46-inch LCD is colourful however virtually inconceivable to see in daylight and at every other angle other than immediately in entrance of you. Trying to have a look at an internet site would be the least of your issues.

A photo taken with the Nokia 3210.
Photo taken by the Nokia 3210, in all its 1600 x 1200 pixel glory Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

What else? There’s a dire 2-megapixel digicam on the again, the wretched Snake recreation that’s as overused by Nokia as Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You the second October comes round annually, and it’s a must to be taught to kind utilizing an alphanumeric keyboard once more. No, it’s not nostalgic, it’s gradual and annoying.

I don’t know who that is for

The Nokia's 3210's rear panel and battery.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Why have I taken towards the admittedly cute and well-designed Nokia 3210 a lot? It’s as a result of I don’t know who it’s for. I don’t purchase the entire “digital detox” factor promoted by HMD Global, the place the traumatized are apparently abandoning smartphones for function telephones.

Why do that? Why not simply delete social media accounts and uninstall apps from a contemporary telephone? It’s the identical finish outcome because the Nokia 3210 purports to supply, with out the added inconvenience of not having Wi-Fi and no helpful apps and options — from WhatsApp and Uber to cellular funds and navigation.

It’s not likely for somebody who doesn’t care about all this, both. An aged individual could want calls and SMS, however the 3210’s tiny keypad isn’t made for anybody with poor dexterity, and why would you need to spend a lot cash on a telephone that’s actually just for emergencies? No, the Nokia 3210 is a nostalgia play, like these all-in-one game consoles you plug into the fashionable HDMI port in your fashionable tv, get your retro gaming thrill, after which promptly overlook about. HMD Global simply received’t say it.

The HMD Global logo on the back of the Nokia 3210.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Approached like this, the Nokia 3210 turns into a dialog piece and is difficult to dislike. A enjoyable throwback to when cellular tech was in its infancy and social media didn’t exist, that ought to come out at events the place individuals who don’t care about tech right this moment will reminisce concerning the one they’d again within the good outdated days.

Well, this drained outdated tech cliche will rapidly be consigned to the previous if you happen to truly attempt to use the Nokia 3210 as your telephone in 2024. It’s a curio from days passed by that, in any respect different occasions, belongs within the drawer the place you left the unique in 2007 when the iPhone got here out.



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