Nokia 3310 | A Phone For The Privacy Oriented?
As a man with plenty to hide, I’ve always been, in principle anyhow, a strong advocate of digital privacy. But then Facebook and its reptilian proprietor came along and somehow convinced me to throw all my convictions out of the window by promising to connect me with thousands of vapid people from my childhood whom I hadn’t bothered to keep in touch with for the better part of a decade. Now here I am, digitally compromised; a victim of my own foolishness whose tirades about lizard people controlling the world’s central banks lurk around the internet so that any determined adversary can use them to destroy my career.
In an attempt to mitigate my situation, and after purging all traces of my existence from the web, I purchased my first feature phone in a very long time, the Nokia 3310. It was my hope that this humble little device would allow me to function as a normal person would, but without the baggage of being tethered to social media and having apps use my private conversations with close confidants as a pretext to show me ads about therapists in my area. And if I’m being honest, the Nokia 3310 performs splendidly on both counts. While I may have originally impulse purchased this phone as a part of a maniac episode, several months of using it as my primary device have warmed me to it. Unlike other phones of mine which I look at as mere tools, I see my Nokia 3310 as something slightly more meaningful, my shield against an increasingly intrusive world. Given that it uses a variant of Firefox’s now failed phone OS, I can at least rest easy knowing that recordings of my intimate conversations will never make their way into Google or Facebook’s servers.
The Nokia 3310 contains certain features that are in my opinion totally unnecessary, like a cheap re-skin of Snake and some other pitiful games you’ll never want to play but still set the normies on a nostalgia trip. It also links to a homeless man’s version of the App Store, where they have the audacity to try and charge you real money for unnecessary services. An ideal version of this phone would forgo all the bloat and keep things simple. Functionally, the Nokia 3310 doesn’t do a whole lot aside from phone calls and text messages. But once you put in a memory card, you can actually start making use of the camera and music player. It does have a web browser, but given the old timey keyboard and primitive navigation buttons, it’s about as intuitive as driving a car when you’ve replaced the steering wheel with a sharpened pencil. Despite being fairly rigged, the phone is surprisingly susceptible to scratches, particularly the back cover which takes a beating every time you try to pry it open to remove the battery.
Despite its out-dated hardware, the Nokia 3310 can pair with pretty much any device via Bluetooth without problems. Battery life is acceptable, and remembering to disable the internet connectivity on the phone will practically double it for a few days to the estimated lifespan of the observable universe. Given it’s rather chick looks, whipping this bad boy out in public will always draw people’s attention, leading to extremely thoughtful inquiries into the state of your mental wellbeing.
The Nokia 3310 is far from perfect and could use a good deal of refining when it comes to ease of use and eliminating many unnecessary features that are little more than marketing gimmicks. Still, it really is an incredible phone if you’re looking to get a digital detox, protect your privacy, or secretly organise a right-wing coup with your buddies. I give it a respectable 7 on 10 when used as a primary phone, and 9 on 10 as a secondary phone.
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