In a time before tablet-sized smartphones with 12 megapixel cameras, Retina HD and LTE, there was the Nokia 3310, which featured T9 keyboards and the beloved Snake game.
For those who are feeling nostalgic for simpler times, HMD Global, the Finnish company that owns the Nokia brand, has some good news announced at the recent Mobile World Congress gathering in Barcelona — the Nokia 3310 is back.
While the relaunched version is supposed to mimic the original, there are some shiny new features that bring the mobile device into modern times such as a color screen, 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and microSD slot. In addition, it’s also supposed to have a more lightweight design and the option of a red, dark blue, gray or yellow shell.
HMD Global boasted the Nokia’s most impressive feature is a long battery life, which allows 22 hours of calling and one month standby time. And, yes, the phone will include an updated version of Snake pre-installed.
However, what we’re most interested in, of course, is the browser capabilities. While the device may be a little more “dumb” than it is “smart” since it doesn’t support mobile apps, it still supports internet surfing through Opera Mini on a 2.5G mobile network, which is going to be pretty slow.
While the worldwide mobile browser market share remains saturated in Google Chrome, UC Browser and Safari, there’s still a market for some of the less popular options, such as Opera which hits at only about 10 percent of the worldwide market share and comes in at less than 1 percent throughout the United States.
Nonetheless, developments like HMD Global’s redesigned Nokia 3310 challenge the notion that QA teams and developers don’t need to test for the underdog browsers. While it’s difficult to predict the market the Nokia 3310 will draw in competition with iPhones and other Androids, many envision its usefulness to older and younger users, travelers or people who just want to go on a “digital detox.”
Furthermore, the Nokia’s 2.4 inch screen, which is twice as large as the original version, still does not match the 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch displays of the common mobile users on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Even if a web design is optimized for Opera Mini, that screen resolution and size is going to throw off any layout that does not have a very deliberate responsive design.
Whether you believe that consumers will actually trade in their devices for Nokia’s $50 “feature phone,” the idea certainly has gained traction in recent news and on social media as people reminisce about tech from the early 2000’s.
You may not think that you need to be catering your QA strategy for Nokia’s upcoming 3310 user base, but it’s one more mobile device and browser version you’re going to have to test if you underestimate the number of people who are looking to simplify their lives in exchange for Snake.