back to article Nokia's reboot of the 5310 is a blissfully dumb phone that will lug some mp3s about just fine

The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic was the primary tormentor of late-2000s commuters*. With a powerful built-in speaker and room for a micro SD card, shellsuit-sporting hoodlums could serenade weary bus-goers with the latest computer-generated noise from the Ministry of Sound. Fond memories, right? Now you can relive them again as HMD …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

    when crossing some international borders. "No, I can't login to social media from this 'phone."

    But I don't know how long 2G will be enough everywhere.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

      Given that most operators are looking to refarm their 2G spectrum to be a higher G, I would expect this phone to cease to be functional in the moderately near future

      1. scrubber

        Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

        "refarm 2G spectrum...'

        Depends what they re-use the spectrum for. TV receiver? Emergency services broadcast scanner? Auto-driving disaster maker?

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

          TV is generally moving from the airwaves to the interwebs to make way for mobile networks.

        2. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

          O2 repurposed some of theirs as 3G around the time the iPhone 3G came out.

          EE repurposed some of theirs as 4G a few years later.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

      My gut feel is that 2G will survive for a long time, but 3G & 4G support will dwindle as 5G increases in coverage.

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

        Can't speak for where ever you are, but in Australia all 2G networks have been shit down since 2018 with the spectrum repurposed for the higher G's.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

          I looked up information by country, and it seems that it's already been shut down in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Canada. Taiwan, New Zealand, the United States, and Switzerland will be following suit soon, some of their providers already having dropped coverage while some others maintain it. The remaining areas where 2G will remain for some time are Europe, Africa, and South America, though details are not clear. Keep that in mind before buying something.

          1. VBF

            Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

            Add Thailand to your list - since about 2016, I think

        2. JimboSmith Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

          Can't speak for where ever you are, but in Australia all 2G networks have been shit down since 2018 with the spectrum repurposed for the higher G's.

          This has overtones of Officer Crabtree.

          Hov they alsoo shit doon the massaging sonters as wool?

          1. Beeblebrox

            Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

            Maybe nobody has thought of shitting down the 5G networks in Australia yet?

            I know why: 1st wave of covid-19 infections in Australia is still too low to reap the benefits of torching 5G towers.

          2. eldakka Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

            I was going to claim it's a typo, but I suspect it might be a Freudian slip.

          3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

            'shit down'.....sounded like an australian saying 'shut down' to me.

        3. Stuart Castle Silver badge

          Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

          I don't normally pick up on spelling mistakes, but re: "in Australia all 2G networks have been shit", from what I have heard of the Aussie phone networks, that was actually true before they turned off 2G..

    3. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

      It actually (inexplicably) seems to have a Facebook "app" on it.

      1. Quentin North

        Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

        GPRS and EDGE is still a thing on 2G networks.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Trollface

          EDGE. Oh yeah, that's when you spend all day on the edge of getting a connection.

          1. Jan 0 Silver badge

            >EDGE. Oh yeah, that's when you spend all day on the edge of getting a connection.

            It's fine if you just want to use a terminal over ssh.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

        I think I'd pay more for a phone that didn't have facebork on it so I didn't have to manually disable/remove it.

    4. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

      At least a decade more worldwide

      They can kill 3G and 4G quite easily but the 2G spectrum can't be killed outside of Japan and a few other places due to being used by Emergency services, most of Africa and South America and a whole lot more countries.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

        Many countries have already planned the reallocation of 2G (& 3G) frequencies for 5G services as it's the only way to provide sufficient bandwidth and soon you won't be able to buy much new equipment for 2G services. Note, reallocating some of the spectrum for 5G doesn't mean the emergency services can't continue to use it, as they only need a small portion.

  2. EUbrainwashing

    Does it manage and play podcasts I wonder?

    1. MiguelC Silver badge
      Facepalm

      if you download then somewhere else and store them in the sd card, sure. (RTFA, it doesn't do wi-fi)

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I've often wondered why someone felt the need to invent the term "podcast"

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        re:podcast

        That always used to confuse me, especially when it first started being used, a bit like 'the cloud'.

        Basically it's stuff we are already familiar with (as techies) but re-branded for the great unwashed.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: re:podcast

          You can do that with most terms describing something using modern technology. A lot of the terms are either technical terms that have been generalized or invented words that save time. An example is streaming, a technical term describing a method of sending data, and quite a generic one at that. The public seems to have redefined it to mean receiving video or audio data online, whether that data is streamed or predownloaded. They rarely use it for many other things where streaming is used, like streaming video out of their machine for a videocall or streaming data in both directions for a torrent download.

          In the case of "podcast", it's a relatively short way of saying "media file attached to a subscribable feed, likely an RSS feed". Just like "blog" is a short way of saying "a website on which articles are posted" or "wiki" is a short way of saying "a website that can be edited by the public". I don't see much problem condensing terms like that.

  3. Phlebas

    It's a piece of junk

    Having fond memories of the original I bought one of these as a cheap MP3 player and radio. I shouldn't have. Compared to the original it feels cheap and flimsy. However the most annoying aspect of the device is the MP3 player. I loaded up an SD card with some music files and started the player. It gave me a list of every file on the card with the only way to select a particular album being to scroll through the list to get to the start of the album I wanted to play. There's no wayy to list albums or navigate folders.

  4. JavaJester

    Obsolete on Arrival?

    It doesn't seem like a good idea to buy a phone that only supports spectrum living on borrowed time. The US announcement of 2G/3G sunset dates is the canary in the coal mine. Others will soon follow. That spectrum is too tempting a target for low band 5G.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Obsolete on Arrival?

      Yeah, but it's only thirty quid. If it lasts a year or two (and 2G will probably be around for a lot longer than that in the UK), you're still winning. Seriously thinking about upgrading from the 105 just to get threaded text messages and Bluetooth. Can't quite work out what internet it has though (WiFi? WAP?!) – personally I'd like it to have none, but it seems to have a browser for some odd reason.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Obsolete on Arrival?

        Looking back at the Nokia 3310 HMD reboot, a 3G version followed the 2G only one after about 6 months.

        Also the price was £49.99 but O2 were soon doing them for £20, which is where I got my backup phone.

        2G phones are no good for Three already. Vodafone have suggested sunsetting their 3G in a couple years.

  5. GrumpyUnicorn2

    Wireless FM radio

    I prefer a wired FM radio myself.

    I'll get my coat now.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Wireless FM radio

      I believe their statement there means that you do not have to plug in a wire to serve as an antenna. Most phones with FM radio capability do not have an antenna built in and use the wire connected to the 3.5MM jack to serve as the reception antenna; without it, you either get an error message or just get static. That said, I couldn't find a manual for this device and I'm certainly not buying one, so I cannot confirm my supposition.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Wireless FM radio

        If that's the correct explanation, then it makes sense. But it's not the first time I've seen the phrase "wireless FM radio" where wireless is being used redundantly because everything has to be "wireless" these days. Mind you, I'm old enough that I can still see the term "wireless FM Radio" and think the "FM Radio" part of it is redundant because I already *know* what a feckin' wireless is.

        Now get off ma lawn unless you are here to help me string the 30 foot aerial across to the washing line post.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Wireless FM radio

          Stringing aerials to the washing line post is a bad idea. I found that out years ago... when various trousers and sweaters ended up wrapped round the wire due to strong wind

          Beer because I needed one after having to climb the pole and cut down my own aerial to retrieve my clothes

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Wireless FM radio

          Update: Several months after this article, a review stated that a wire was needed for the radio. My assumption of earlier seems to have been incorrect.

      2. GrumpyUnicorn2

        Re: Wireless FM radio

        I hadn't thought of the need to plug in the headphones for the FM radio to work. I think it's unlikely to work without them because of the wavelength of FM radio compared to the size of the phone, even a quarter of the wavelength is still about 80cm.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Wireless FM radio

          Arial technology has improved considerably, one no longer needs a wire a multiple of the wavelength.

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: Wireless FM radio

            Indeed, the entire subject of fractal antennas is a fascinating rabbithole

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Wireless FM radio

          That hasn't been an issue for most of the lifetime of FM. Even the earliest portable radios could receive it with antennas much less than the wavelength. Consider a simple radio with a telescoping antenna. While it may need to be extended to receive weak signals, it still receives plenty with the antenna retracted. That size for many sets would fit just fine along the length of this phone. Whether they did it is another story, but if they did, it would work.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not

    Buy an original one, either new or used. There's a fair few around. I bought one recently for £15 to power a dedicated 5310 audio centre, and it's lovely and all, but the reality is that I use my smartphone and a Bluetooth speaker much more because its all so much easier

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    2G only paperweight

    2G only? How long before this thing's a paperweight? Here in US, Verizon quit allowing non-4G (with VoLTE) phone registrations a almost 2 years ago, AT&T has shut down their 2G network. T-Mo says they're dumping it around 2022. Sprint had no plans (hadn't even finished rolling VoLTE yet...) but got bought by T-Mo, who is rapidly dismantling their antiquated network to roll out additional 4G channels.

    Don't get me wrong, the cell cos sell a handful of "dumb phones" models here (the unofficial term since they are the opposite of smart phones.) But they support 4G and VoLTE, since everything earlier is getting shut off ASAP here. My dad has a LG Exalt LTE and it's odd.. the ONLY hint that it's not a 10 or 20 year old flip phone is the "4G" symbol at the top, better call quality (since it's HD voice), and waaaaay down in the settings (which do use the menu buttons -- no touch screen) there's a "wifi" and "hotspot" menu. Hook it up to a Linux box and be shocked to find that it's actually running Android 7 (properly locked down so nothing can be sideloaded onto the phone.)

    I'd suggest Nokia do that, do a 5310 LTE. It's not for me but it'd expand the potential market a lot.

    1. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

      Re: 2G only paperweight

      This thing actually running Android is exactly what I would expect. And my guess is that those people buying these things in the hopes of operating "off the radar" will be surprised to discover that it could well be recording a location history after all.

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