By Nic Fildes
The market for retrograde technology has two forms. One is demand for stylish old appliances. My father, who runs a vintage camera shop in Melbourne, has no problem selling old slide-projectors to café-owning hipsters. And I once met a man who made a respectable living buying old radios, no matter what condition they were in, to sell on to the White Company to decorate its shops.
The other is attempts by cherished brands such as Kodak, Polaroid and Atari to retune the things consumers once loved about their old products for a new generation.
The Nokia 3310 falls into the latter category. It sold 126m units in its heyday making it as ubiquitous as almost any product you care to remember, barring the Sony Walkman. And this latest model has already sold out in the UK, with more units on the way.
HMD, a company formed to revive Nokia's brand in the phone market, has enjoyed unprecedented publicity since it revealed it was bringing back the 3310. The ex-Nokians that run HMD have talked about the revamped 3310 as a “workhorse” phone for those who can live without data. With one eye on the hipster market, they say the new-old model is a “festival phone” for revellers who may want to trade off their Instagram account for a device with a battery life that lasts a week.
But how useful is the 3310? Nokia alone sold 35m basic phones last year, so those who really want a workhorse that can handle calls and texts and have a long battery life have plenty of options well below the £50 cost of the 3310.
I tried going down the “digital detox” route by using the Nokia 3310 for a week. However, my first problem was charging the phone because it did not seem to want to turn on. After an hour I realised I had not put the battery in, having spent a decade using sealed smartphones.
Once I had fired it up, I looked around the phone and played a few rounds of the now-colourful Snake game. After that, I could not find a reason to pick it up and found myself breaking my detox within an hour.
One of the main selling points of the 3310 is its indestructibility, an appealing prospect for anybody that has had to live with a smashed iPhone screen for months. The internet is already full of people dropping their “Newkias” to test how robust they are.
I decided to give mine to my two-year-old daughter. After two days of mashing and bashing, the only visible signs of infant wear and tear were scratches on the back shell, so it passed that test.
There is nothing ostensibly wrong with the new 3310, which has a nice colour screen and a much better camera than its forebears. It can connect to the internet if you really want to wait 10 or more seconds for it to load. But it is little more than an expensive burner phone — as they are often referred to — for people who are happy with 2G networks. Those worried about data privacy could happily revert to one.
There is a market for the glove box phones for people who cherish battery life and basic functions. But having used the handset for two weeks, the 3310 struggled to make a case for itself as an essential tool for modern life. I misplaced the phone for two days and, at one point, I did not even notice.
1.What is the difference between the new 3310 and its forebear?
A.The new 3310 has better indestructibility.
B.The new 3310 has a nice colour screen and a much better camera.
C.The new 3310 adopts retrograded technologies.
D.The new 3310 is more colourful and stylish.
2.Which of the following statements about the new 3310 is true?
A.It is designed to secure stored data.
B.It is an essential tool for modern life.
C.Nokia alone sold 35m 3310 phones last year.
D.It is revived by a company named HMD.
3.Which of the following is not the target market of the new 3310?
A.Those cherish indestructibility and basic functions.
B.Those want a device with a battery life that lasts a week.
C.Those who live with a smashed iPhone screen.
D.Those worried about data privacy.
4.What is the author's attitude towards the new 3310？
(1)答案：B.The new 3310 has a nice colour screen and a much better camera.
(2)答案：D.It is revived by a company named HMD.
(3)答案：C.Those who live with a smashed iPhone screen.