How I Turned My Nokia 3120 Into a Smartphone

Nokia 3120 with Google
Nokia 3120 with Google

I hate smartphones. I hate that the people who assemble them can’t afford them. I hate that kids in China sell their kidneys for them. I hate consumerism and the instant gratification mentality that they promote.

Most of all I hate change. I’m comfortable in my stupidphone world. Trying to get me to upgrade my phone is like telling a fat person to lose weight. From a rational perspective, I know that it’ll improve my life. But my emotional side says I don’t feel like it.

Most recently, a member of Barnacle’s advisory board threatened to resign if I didn’t get a smartphone. So I turned my Nokia 3120 into a smartphone.

First I had to upgrade my phone plan. I went from paying $10 a month for 600 minutes of voice and no text messages, to $50 a month for 500 GB of data and unlimited voice and text.

Nokia Connectivity cable

Then I used a Nokia Connectivity Cable and Nokia PC Suite to install a WAP browser. Through this browser I could access Mapquest’s text-based site and look up directions (Google Maps disabled its text-based site last year).

It works surprisingly well for a decade-old device. I’m not sure why it takes 4 minutes to load a text-only web page, but that’s less embarrassing than calling up Jim and telling him that I got lost again.

Nokia uses Series 40 as the operating system for its dumbphones, which supports mobile Java applications. Mobileheart has archived compatible applications for email and messaging. I didn’t actually install them because by this point I had spent all day getting this crap to work and was ready to commit suicide.

Can your smartphone do this?

Helpful link for setting up a Nokia 3120: T-Mobile’s Internet and Data settings