I vividly remember when I first saw Charlie’s Angels I couldn’t get the eyes off the Nokia 8210. I must have been in my early teens in 2000 and the geek in me wanted the ‘it’ phone at the time. At the time, I was too young to get a cell phone, and now 22 years later, I got the chance to review the redesigned Nokia 8210 as a technical writer.
The new Nokia 8210 brings back the era of simple phones, but with a few modern touches. Like the rest of Nokia’s originals, the revamped 8210 is a throwback to nostalgic collectors like me, but it’s also a well-intentioned social media detox tool. I’ll tell you who should and who shouldn’t buy a reboot of the iconic Nokia 8210 in 2022.
Familiar design but with a twist…
I knew I was in for a treat with the Nokia 8210 4G as soon as I took it out of the clear plastic box. There was a sense of nostalgia when I heard Nokia’s signature startup tone when I turned on the phone. The new Nokia 8210 doesn’t exactly resemble the original model released two decades ago, but they do have similarities in design. While both phones have a similar silhouette, the new model is larger in size. I would say that the design template of the new Nokia 8210 is based on the redesigned Nokia 6310 and it shows in the way the reboot version is handled.
That said, the new 8210 retains the air of an old-fashioned function of yesteryear, but don’t expect the same extreme durability from this newer model. A large 2.8-inch color screen graces the top half of the phone in place of the original version’s monochrome display, with a four-way button and a central menu button. The display is bright enough to read text messages in direct sunlight. On the back of the phone is a VGA camera that can’t compare to the advanced cameras found on modern smartphones. The back panel can be removed. This gives you access to the SIM card, microSD card slot and a removable battery, something you can’t do on smartphones. On the top is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a flashlight, while the bottom houses the micro USB port for charging.
Basic controls and menus
If you used a Nokia phone before, you know exactly how to use this device. To navigate, you must use a square button to select highlighted items and a border around it to move up, down, left or right. In the main menu you will find messages, music, photos, a camera, videos and a radio. A voice recorder, alarm clock, calendar, calculator, file manager, settings, extras, preloaded games, call log, dual SIM settings and contacts are also in the main menu.
I am familiar with a Nokia phone so getting used to the old menu system was easy. But when I gave the phone to a teenager, I got responses like “where’s the touch screen?” and “why do menus look different?” I understand that for a smartphone user who uses a touchscreen on phones from day one, using the Nokia 8210 can also be very different and challenging. Take, for example, typing on a numeric keypad. It’s hard to type long sentences on a T9-era keyboard — and yes, it’s excruciating. But the keyboard is fine for typing quick messages when you’re in a hurry. I use the predictive text feature a lot to send messages, which automatically corrects letters and predicts which word is needed.
A tool to curb your smartphone addiction
I am attracted to a simple life, but somehow my relationship with simplicity is complicated. I grab my phone late at night and shop for random things at thrift stores when I should be sleeping. Throwing out a smartphone completely isn’t a solution for me, but using a feature phone at alternate times might solve this problem. Using the Nokia 8210 4G at certain times of the day has worked for me, but I’m not sure if this trick will work in your case. The Nokia 8210 does not have WhatsApp, LinkedIn, or a modern app. It doesn’t even have Wi-Fi, but it does support 4G connectivity and basic browsing capabilities. The idea of switching to a Nokia 8210 can work if you give up social media completely and embrace texting as a way of communicating.
Who should buy the new Nokia 8210 4G?
The retro-inspired Nokia 8210 4G has a way of staying with you, even if you’re already an iPhone user like me. In my case, I struggled to separate my work life from my personal life and apps like LinkedIn were a hindrance. I think feature phones can give you respite from the frenzy of social media and trolling if you want a little break from Instagram and Facebook. At its core, the Nokia 8210 4G is a fresh take on the classic Nokia 8210 that continues the legacy of the Nokia brand and what a phone stands for. You can call, text, play Snake, listen to wireless FM radio and even save music to the phone.
The device is small enough to fit in your pocket but with a large screen so you can always keep up with the action and the battery life lasts for days. While it’s easy to overlook the 2022 feature phone, I’d say the Nokia 8210 has a lot going for it with the retro form factor. At Rs 3999, Nokia 8210 4G may seem like a premium price to pay for nostalgia, but think of it as a tool to curb your addiction to social media and mindless scrolling rather than focusing on meaningful things in life.