When it comes to mobile phones of the new millennium, none can match the nostalgic power of Nokia. Legendary the world over for being indestructible, and for bringing us the best mobile games of all time. Now, at long last, Nokia is coming back, by popular demand, with its own range of smart phones.
It all started with the 3210, in 1999. It was the first mass market mobile to have an internal antenna, and the first to target the masses, rather than middle-aged businessmen. It was the first phone to come with games, and arguably the first to introduce the concept of a phone as a multifunctional accessory. Of the three games it came packaged with, one stands above all. Snake - the second-greatest mobile game of all time - would only be outclassed by Snake II when the 3310 came a year later.
The 3310 is where things really popped. Containing a calculator, network monitor, stopwatch, personal planner and four videogames (again, Snake II is the king among them), the 3310 marks the point at which mobile phones would really become more than just, well, phones. These days, phones are an essential part of our everyday lives, and it can be argued that that all that started with Nokia.
On top of all that, the things were nigh-on unbreakable. Dropping a 3310 wasn’t going to harm it at all, though your floor might not have been so lucky. The things have even been known to survive bullets and explosions, in a display of resilience not seen since the Nintendo Gameboy. Combined with a battery life of approximately “until the end of time” and you’ve got a phone that in many ways can shame even the giants of today.
With a history like that, it seems almost obvious that they’d have been pioneers of the smartphone market, right? And yet… they weren’t. After the awful Nokia N-Gage, the brand just sort of faded away, its legend becoming lost to time.
Lost, but not forgotten. As it turns out, we have kept Nokia in our hearts, crying for their triumphant return. And they have listened.
“We are proud to announce that the Nokia brand will be returning to the worldwide mobile phone and tablet market” says the company in a press release.
“Every day our fans continue to ask for Nokia smartphones… In a recent survey, we found that Nokia smartphones are amongst the top five considered brands for purchase by smartphone buyers – and they aren’t even available yet.”
And so there you have it, with the scars of the N-Gage finally healed, Nokia is ready to return and make our dreams come true. Could this be a whole new era of smartphones with long battery lives and screens that don’t shatter on impact with anything harder than a light tap? We can only hope.
At the very, very least, I hope they give us Snake III.