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The Test: Nokian 8210 4G – Simplicity and frustration

The Test: Nokian 8210 4G – Simplicity and frustration

If you’re somewhere in the younger middle age and above, you’ll probably feel a little nostalgic when you see a plastic mobile phone with buttons that say “Nokia”. At least that’s how I feel when I open the box of the tiny Nokia 8210 4G that borrows its name from this tiny little phone that was among the smallest to roll out without the buttons becoming unpressible. Perhaps nostalgia and those who need some sort of digital detox are the target audience for this phone. Or if you need a second, cheaper phone that you don’t have to worry about as much and it doesn’t have to have all the smart features.

However, the fact that it says “Nokia” on the phone is mostly catchphrase. Behind the phone is HMD Global, which bought the manufacturing of Nokia phones and the right to use the brand. If it were to say “HMD Global” instead of “Nokia,” much, if not all, of the nostalgia points would be gone. It’s bigger than the old name (thank goodness), has a bigger screen and somehow feels flatter. The screen has a size of 2.8 inches and a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, therefore it has a “slightly” lower resolution than we are used to nowadays. The 8210 4G is light, but it’s also very plastic. It feels cheap, but the buttons are as I remember them.


Some of the newness and novelty seen in the 8210 4G include the fact that it supports 4G (although it may not be a phone suitable for surfing). It also has Bluetooth and a 0.3MP camera, the latter of which may not be considered a novelty anyway.

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The question is also how useful is the bluetooth connection. Pairing the phone with a pair of headphones isn’t much of a problem, but for the life of me I can’t get the phone to play audio through them, even though I’m told the sound will now go to the paired device when I plug in the headphones. I try several different pairs of headphones and over the ears and reconnect the bluetooth an excessive number of times, but the sound keeps coming out of the phone speakers. The frustration grows even more when the radio app tells me that the audio experience could be improved if I plug in a pair of headphones, when I’m sitting with the headphones on and I’m connected to the phone.

Also note that I wrote that I had no major problems connecting headphones to the phone. But it wasn’t entirely clear how to deal with the half-hidden menu options and other clutter. The easiest is probably to use the 3.5mm input and a decent pair of headphones with a wire.

If you want to listen to something other than the radio, you have to load mp3 files into the phone via the micro-USB jack. The phone’s internal memory fills up pretty quickly, but you have the option to insert a microSD card with up to 32GB of memory.


It is entirely possible to manipulate the phone to access the various functions. To speed things up a bit, you can add shortcuts to the top two buttons on the keyboard, but to my surprise, you can’t add Snake as a shortcut, instead you can select things like Music, Radio, Messages, Camera, Photos, Calendar, Alarms, and so on.

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There is no app store

There are no opportunities to download new applications in the phone, so you have to be content with the available entertainment and tools. Facebook is available as an alternative, and if you like browsing, Opera mini browser will work. The experience of trying to surf the Internet on the Nokia 8210 4G isn’t too frustrating, so I manage to read a little bit of news before I get upset and give up because the interface is so slow and cluttered.

However, there are some games where Snake and Tetris are probably the crown jewels, if you can put it that way.

To whom and why

Yes, the Nokia 8210 4G probably isn’t something you buy as your only phone unless you’re in desperate need of a digital detox or don’t really want to get more out of your phone than calling and texting. And even sending text messages and then using the T9 to type the words can be at least as frustrating as it was in 2001. It can also be a fun thing, a nostalgia trip or just a platformer for Snake and Tetris. If it’s worth it for around 900 crowns, well, it probably depends on how strong the feelings it evokes in you.