Nuggets: Nokia's 3310 allows text chats with all your mates

"Why not just speak into the handset?" I hear you cry. Hey, get with the wireless revolution

Here's a cheeky new handset from Nokia. The 3310 will allow real-time text conversations, with either one other person or lots of people, and lets you include pics and smilies in your text messages. You also get to send messages of up to 480 characters, and personalise the little beastie with new covers and screen savers. There are four cool games -- including the improved and ever-popular Snake II in which the phone vibrates if you steer your snake into a wall.

The real-time conversation feature, called Nokia FriendsTalk, sounds pretty funky. Basically, it's just like instant messaging, so the phone will keep a record of the conversation, which is a big improvement on firing SMS messages back and forth and forgetting what's just been said.

The obvious problem is that you can only have these chats with another Nokia 3310 user, and even then it might not work between different network operators. Fingers crossed that mobile text chatting doesn't descend into the same kind of mess as Instant Messaging.

Those of you who see your mobile as an extension of your personality will be delighted to know that you can customise the 3310 to your heart's content. Yeah, we know that replaceable fronts are sooooo old hat, but as well as double-sided Xpress-on covers you also get to modify the display graphics and pick a snazzy screen saver.

You can look forward to seeing 3310s in the shops by October. Nokia hasn't got final pricing yet, but apparently it shouldn't cost much more than the 3210, which retails for around £99.

Anything else? Oh right, you want some facts and figures.

  • Nokia 3310

  • Price to be announced, but probably around the £100 mark

  • 113g

  • 113x48x22mm

  • Dual-band compatible at 900 and 1800

  • Supports real-time and group messaging

  • Predictive messaging, screen savers, removable covers, four games, picture messaging

  • Available from most mobile phone retailers from October

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