5 Nostalgic ’90s Highlights from the Rebooted Nokia 3210


Yes, ‘Snake’ is included, and I’m still terrible at it.

If you were of phone-buying age in 1999, there’s a good chance you encountered the Nokia 3210. This flagship mobile from Nokia was a highly sought-after device, symbolizing social status, instant communication, and, of course, Snake.

Now, in an era where dumbphones are making a comeback and TikTok has revived an obsession with the ’00s, HMD and Nokia have resurrected the iconic 3210. This updated version, priced at £74.99, features Bluetooth, 4G connectivity, a USB-C charger, a 2-megapixel camera, and a 2.4-inch screen. Despite its gimmicky nature, I’ve found myself awash with nostalgia while using it.

For me, the Nokia 3310, which replaced the 3210 in 2000, had a more significant impact during my childhood. Technically my mum’s phone, my sister and I would often “borrow” it from her netball bag and pretend we had numerous contacts (calls Nanna). Nokia actually rebooted the 3310 in 2017, prompting Mashable’s senior editor Stan Schroeder to switch to it for a week.

Nokia is banking on Y2K nostalgia to sell these reboots, with the 3210 available in colors like “Y2K Gold” and “Grunge Black”. I’ve been testing one in “Scuba Blue,” which perfectly matches my 2000s bedroom decor, complete with a bright blue inflatable armchair, fake gerberas, S Club 7’s debut album, Lip Smackers, and Groovy Chick merchandise. The nostalgia trip provided by the 3210 highlights just how much we appreciate modern smartphones and the significant technological advancements over the past 25 years. This isn’t a phone review, but rather a ’90s kid reconnecting with a reboot and all the memories it brings.

Here are five nostalgic elements that brought me back to my ’90s self with the Nokia 3210:

1. I’m Still Terrible at Snake

The first thing that comes to mind with the Nokia 3210 is Snake. Yes, the phone includes an updated version of Snake, and it quickly reminded me that I was never good at this game.

2. Tactile Texting Induces High School Anxiety

I’m a fast typist on a smartphone, but texting on the Nokia 3210 is a different beast. Each tactile button covers three to four letters, making predictive text a challenge. Typing out a short message took me about 10 minutes, bringing back memories of high school anxiety and choosing my words carefully. Hilary Duff’s “LOL” SMS in A Cinderella Story had a significant impact back then.

3. The Phone Actually Fits in Your Pocket

Remember when phones fit in your pocket without sticking out? The 3210, at 122mm by 52mm, fits perfectly in my jeans pocket, making me feel like I’m carrying a burner phone.

4. The Camera is Low-Key

The 2-megapixel camera on a 2.4-inch screen feels like using a Game Boy Camera. With only 128 MB of space, you won’t take many photos, though there’s MicroSD support. Basic filters and editing tools are available, but a point-and-shoot camera is a better option for capturing the nostalgia.

5. You Can Play the Radio

The Nokia 3210 gets decent radio signal, a feature I rarely use on my smartphone. As a diehard radio enthusiast and former presenter, I enjoyed tuning in like I was searching for Three Dog on my Pip-Boy in Fallout. The phone also supports MP3s, though I haven’t figured out how to add them yet.

After a week of using the rebooted Nokia 3210, I won’t be ditching my smartphone. I rely on Maps, Spotify, WhatsApp, and other apps to function. Although the 3210 has internet access via Opera Mini, it’s challenging to connect. Ultimately, the 3210 is a sweet but pricey reminder of an old mobile, and nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool.

For more information on the Nokia 3210 reboot, visit Nokia’s official website or Nokia 3210

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