Saturday 20 March 2021

Nokia 8310 (2001)

Launched March 2001

Twenty years ago mobile phones were becoming very popular, no longer the plaything of yuppies or sales reps the early 2000s saw the beginning of a golden age of handset design. Although primitive by today’s standards, phones of this era were developing rapidly and the space of just a few years saw colour screens, cameras, Bluetooth, multimedia and packet data.

One feature that was highly prized was size – but unlike today when bigger phones are considered better, two decade ago the race was to make things smaller. Into this market came the Nokia 8310, an exquisitely designed but very tiny device that formed part of Nokia’s “perfect” 8000 series of high-end mobile phones.

Nokia 8310
Nokia 8310

Weighing just 84 grams, the 8310 had a brightly-lit monochrome display, but surprisingly it also packed in an FM radio and was the first Nokia phone to feature GPRS. One key feature was the swappable Xpress-on covers which allowed to customise your phone with whatever style you wanted. Some built-in games such as the popular Snake II and the must-have early noughties infra-red port rounded off the feature set. The thing would run for days on a single charge, as would most phones of the time.

It wasn’t cheap, retailing at £400 or so in the UK. This of course just made it rather more exclusive and more desirable, and it ended up being one of Nokia’s iconic designs of the time. These days they are pretty common, and if you want a no-frills retro 2G phone then you can get a good one for about £30 or so. 

Image credit: Nokia

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