Nokia 3210

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Nokia 3210
SeriesNokia 3000 series
Compatible networksGSM 900 / 1800
First released1999; 25 years ago (1999)
Units sold160 million
PredecessorNokia 3110
Nokia 5110
SuccessorNokia 3310
Nokia 210 (2019)
RelatedList of Nokia products
TypeBasic phone
Form factorCandy bar
Dimensions123.8 mm × 50.5 mm × 22.5 mm (4.87 in × 1.99 in × 0.89 in)
Mass151 g (5.3 oz)
Operating systemSeries 20 UI[1]
CPUTexas Instruments MAD2PR1 (based on ARM7TDMI)
MemorySIM card only - up to 250 names in phonebook
BML-3 (NiMH) 1250 mAh
Display1.5-inch backlit monochrome graphic LCD display
84x48 px, 64 ppi, 5 lines[2]
SoundMonophonic ringtones
Data inputsAlphanumeric keypad

The Nokia 3210 is a GSM cellular phone, announced by Nokia on 18 March 1999.[3]


A Nokia 3210 with a black keypad

The 3210 was designed by Alastair Curtis in Nokia's Los Angeles Design Center.[4] The development was led by Frank Nuovo, who had designed the sleek and curvy Nokia 8110 in 1996. The team wanted to create an "expressive" and personalisable handset beyond the usual business-oriented mobile phone market, inspired by the Casio G-Shock and Sony Walkman designs. The phone thus became highly influential.[5]

Notable features[edit]

Nokia 3210 fitted with an aftermarket fascia

The Nokia 3210 has a total weight of 151 g. The handset measures 123.8 × 50.5 × 22.5 mm and features customisable fascias which clip on. It was thinner than previous Nokia models.[citation needed]

It was the first mass market phone with an internal antenna, after the feature had been introduced by Nokia on the luxury phone Nokia 8810 in 1998. Reception, although poorer than that of its predecessor, the 3110, was still very good.[original research?]

Three games came preinstalled: Snake, Memory (pairs-memory game) and Rotation. The addition of such games encouraged high sales within a youth market which was enlarging at a very fast rate. Some versions of the 3210 included the "hidden" games React and Logic. They were activated by special software using a data cable.

The 3210 was the first device that came preloaded with Nokia's Composer software, which allowed users to manually 'compose' monotone ringtones. It was possible to send the ringtones to another Nokia phone.

Picture messages sent via the SMS texting service were implemented in the handset, allowing users to send preinstalled pictures to one another. These included a "Happy Birthday" picture amongst others.

The handset was competitively priced and aimed specifically at teenagers and young professionals. This was at a time when few young people had access to a mobile phone, being generally identified with older professionals and business people.

The 3210 was originally designed with a vibrate alert function. Nokia decided not to implement this feature on some handsets within certain jurisdictions. A few months after its UK release, some mobile phone repair shops offered customers a handset upgrade to the vibrate function for a small fee.[original research?]

Handset specifications[edit]

  • Standby time (h): 55–260
  • Talk time (min): 180–270
  • Charge time (h): 4
  • Ringtone composer
  • Dual band: Yes
  • Vibrating alert (optional)
  • Speed dialing
  • 3 games:Yes note some models to like 3310
  • Internal antenna
  • Green backlight
  • Interchangeable fascias


A combination of cutting-edge features such as internal antennas and T9 text entry ensured the 3210 huge commercial success. Much of the phone's success can also be attributed to an advertising campaign aimed predominantly at young people, a first in the mobile phone industry. The inclusion of 3 games, changeable "Xpress-on" covers (as on the previous Nokia 5110), an internal antenna, customisable ringtones and competitive prices led to the handset's huge popularity with those aged 15–25.[citation needed]

With 160 million units sold,[6][7] the 3210 is one of the most popular and successful phones in history. It is considered one of the most significant handsets Nokia ever developed.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Zaspomínajte si s TOUCHIT: Legenda menom NOKIA 3310 | TOUCHIT". 9 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Nokia 3210 - phone from the past: description, characteristics and advantages". Henry engineering. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Nokia unveils a mobile phone for ultimate convenience and personalization". Nokia. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Alastair Curtis Bio" (PDF). Nokia Press. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  5. ^ Oremus, Will (20 September 2016). "The 1999 Handset That Finally Made Cellphones Cool". Slate.
  6. ^ "Nokia's best-selling phones: in pictures". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  7. ^ Walker, Tim (17 November 2011). "Nokia: The giant with its fingers crossed". The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 June 2022. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  8. ^ "The Nokia 3210 was the greatest phone ever made". Wired.