It almost seems funny, looking back at some of the first phones I had, and seeing just how much they have changed to becoming so much more than just a device to make calls and text with. Back when the most exciting thing about my Nokia 3310 was the 'Snake' game where an ever increasing length of dots moved around the screen, the relatively new technology was limited enough that the hardware needed to provide the jazz to the proceedings.
Initially, official Nokia 3310 and 3330 covers were produced, trying to enable phone users to have some variety to their friends' phones. Pretty soon, other companies starting jumping on the idea bandwagon, taking the fundamental shape of the phone and making front and back covers to go with them. I must admit, I had my fair share of these, whether I bought them or acquired them, and they certainly made it more fun.
If you didn't have the covers on, then it was a simple case of having a gnarly block housing the phone's working elements. The covers clicked on quite well, and these Belkin ones were often a lot cheaper than Nokia's official ones tended to be. I remember paying around the £10 mark for a double set (front and back) although you could just as easily get a single front cover if you wanted to. Nokia ones tended to cost more, around double I believe. Nowadays, it'd only be a matter of a couple of pounds or thereabouts if you have a good look around. After all, these phones are nearly forgotten.
The covers click on very easily, securely attaching themselves to each other as well as the body of the phone. My standard one was a blue one that came with the phone, but my favourite one was a quirky silver one a friend gave me that lasted quite a while, even the 'paint' flaking away before I stopped using it in favour of my Motorola Razr when that was still a new one on the market.
It wasn't all great, though, and quite often I'd find that the slightest knock could break one of the clips and render the cover virtually unusable, flimsy at best. This happened quite a bit, and so I always had a standard stock of the covers, and made sure they were well clipped on. You could drop them and they'd stay intact, but the wrong tap to the wrong part could easily break it, I found.
You can also get patterned covers, and I think these were perhaps the most popular when Nokia ruled the roost with these phones. Whether it be funky patterns or specific themes, they were all the rage and even though these different ones inevitably costed more, you'd see them everywhere. Nowadays, you rarely see a 3310, and when you do it's often accompanied by a scoff and an incredulous 'What is THAT!' by a teen who thinks he's just seen something from the Middle Ages.
However, as phones such as the iPhone and Blackberry start to show that bigger phones can be better once again, the comfy to hold 3310 is just as good as everything else if all you need or want to do is phone or text. Their reliability, sturdiness and battery life, as well as their simplicity in terms of operating, mean that they're worth having, even if only as a backup emergency phone you can rely on anytime you need. If that's the case, then it's worth getting hold of some of these covers: they're quirky and fun, and provide a visual difference to something that could otherwise be a boring exterior, like so many phones are these days. Recommended.
When I first started using mobile phones i always really wanted a Nokia, as then they were the company that made the most stylish handsets with the best features and all at affordable prices. I owned the Nokia 3310 after a long engagement with a Nokia 3210. As with my previous handset, the 3310 allowed the user to buy clip-on covers for their phone and Nokia made a VERY extensive range of colours/designs/styles. Obviously, other companies created their own ranges of 'unofficial' merchandise and Belkin had their own stylish covers.
The Nokia 3310 covers either came as a front cover (usually plain colours) or as a pair. The pairs of covers fitted both the front and back of the phone, so you could do away with the boring back cover originally on the 3310. The cases completely wrapped round the phone and the two covers were very easy to clip on and remove. Made from durable plastic, the covers came in such a range of designs to suit every personality. At around £10 for the Belkin cases they were both well made and well priced. I think the official Nokia cases were around £20 and so there was always people looking for cheaper alternatives to the official accessories.
I have trusted Belkin with various computer accessories also, so they get the thumbs up from me. The covers also come with a 'jelly' keypad which is basically a keypad that goes under the covr and is matching with the clip-on covers you buy. You can use the original buttons, and these were plastic, but the jelly buttons matched the fascia so they were more popular. I found, though, that it was much easier to keep the original 'official' Nokia keypads because they allowed my fingers to glide across the buttons and be able to type much quicker. Overall, the Belkin fascia's were a real alternative to the officla Nokia ones, but the 'jelly' keypad let them down a little.
Back in the days of the Nokia 3310 it used to be relatively easy to customise your phone by changing the front back and keypad. Just about all my friends had a the same phone so in an attempt to try to be a bit different I went for a lime green cover from Belkin.
There were of course a large variety of covers on sale at the time but the one I bought from a competitors ended up in the bin. The cheap plastic design made the paint flake off in no time. If you wanted a cover to last then you bought the metallic ones from Belkin. I bought the pack for around £10 from the Carphone Warehouse. For your money you received a plain cover for the back and the section for the front in matching colours. You also had a removable keypad but in my case it was exactly the same as the original so I didn't bother changing it over.
Taking the existing cover off was a little tricky. The back was easy enough to slide off but when you tried to remove the front you had to use quite a lot of force - you had the feeling that any second the front was going to snap in half. You then simply clicked the new front on, slid on the back and voila you have a new look phone.
The cover was great, despite 2 years of daily use and abuse it never showed any scratches or signs of the paint flaking away. There was also no problem of dust getting behind the screen as had happened with the earlier plastic model I had tried. Using the cover made no change to access to the buttons or signal strength...in fact all it did was make your phone look rather cool :-)
There was a time when anyone with a Nokia 3310 had considered buying an extra fascia cover for it. Back in the day I had a lovely red toned Belkin fascia case for my phone which was much more exciting to look at than the one the phone came with. I still have both my 3310 and 3210 phones in working order and so talking about snap on phone covers for them still seems relevant.
At the time you could buy a large variety of what were termed as X press on type covers. The Belkin one I had for this phone was an almost soft toned semi metallic colour which I found looked very attractive and much nicer then the dull blue grey case the phone came with. The red colour was the same all the way around the two sides of the case, which I thought gave it a nice sleek appearance.
I found it rather hard to get the original cover off so had a bit of assistance from the OH with gently snapping the existing phone covers off, so that I could re use the originals if needed. Once off, the bare bones of the phone were exposed, which was a good time to give the phone a quick blast of air from a spray can (if you have that type of thing to hand it can be very useful). This ensures a good clean surface when the new cover goes on.
My red Belkin fascia went onto both the back and front faces of the phone and clicked simply into place. Well I thought they did, as like I say I didn't fit them on. Once on my standard looking Nokia phone was transformed into a thing of beauty. A scarlet hussy of a mobile phone, which really looked rather cool as far as I was concerned. We got both front and back cover pieces in the one pack, so the over all colour match on both sides was excellent.
You can still buy Belkin covers for the phone at certain mobile phone specialist shops. We have one locally and its like an Aladdins cave of all things mobile related. The larger stores no longer stock the Belkin cases for the 3310, but there was a time when stores like Argos has them in all sorts of funky colours and designs.
At the time when I purchased this red Belkin fascia case, I paid £9.99 for it. That was about right for a Belkin cover and so I thought I had gotten good value. Once thing about the case which I liked was the way it made the keys on the phone stand out more to the eye. Even though it wasn't an original Nokia case, the fit was good and the durability of the case was almost on a par with the original. The cover was easy to wipe clean with a soft damp cloth too.
To rate my Belkin 3310 Fascia case I feel it deserves a 4 star rating. It looked great when on the phone and the fit was good. I found that it didn't effect the phones signal strength or interfere with the every day operation of the phone at all. The price I paid was pretty standard at the time, but to compare it with prices today you would need to shop around. Our local phone accessory shop seems to stock a plethora of similar cases for all sorts of models, for which the going rate is £7.99.
Based on that, it would seem rather than the cost of a similar Belkin fascia case having risen in price, they may have actually become much cheaper.
Either way for anyone with a still working Nokia 3310, they are worth looking into if you fancy ringing the changes with a new mobile phone cover. They work well and do make your phone stand out from the crowd.