There is just something about the nostalgia that Nokia evokes with the reboots of its classic phones. And we aren’t complaining. Last year at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), HMD Global had pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and rebooted the Nokia 3310 phone—the darling of the era gone by. This year, the company carried on that trend with the reboot of the Nokia 8110 4G. You may also remember the original 8110 from the year 1996 as the ‘banana’ phone, a loving reference to its shape. It has taken Nokia a while to get this phone to the stores, and now finally, the phone is being launched in India, and will be priced at Rs5,999 onwards. It goes on sale October 24.
The original 8110 had a small monochrome display, an external antenna and a sliding keyboard cover to answer and disconnect calls. That was enough for the phone to get a sighting in the Matrix movie. The updated version has retained the design of the original, and still is the chunky phone with the banana-esque personality. Even more so, because this is available in the yellow colour too. Despite the updates and the dash of modernity, the Nokia 8110 4G still remains true to its roots—it is a feature phone and has no aspirations of being a smartphone alternative. That being said, it isn’t as black and white as you might imagine.
The Nokia 8110 4G, as the name suggests, will connect to 4G mobile networks. There will also be a WhatsApp version for the phone, so that you are never torn away from friends and family if your trust Android phone’s battery dies suddenly. It will also run Google Maps, YouTube and Facebook, though some apps may essentially redirect you to the web browser versions. The phone runs KaiOS, which is a Linux based operating system for phones. The same operating system also runs on the JioPhone, for instance. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2015 processor. There is a 2.4-inch display, 2-megapixel camera, which we would suspect is just to tick off the checklist. There is 4GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot if you wish to add more storage space for music, for instance.
There are certain other basic apps preloaded on the Nokia 8110 4G, including a basic web browser, calculator, FM Radio, music player, voice recorder and even a take on the original Snake game. In fact, this phone is on papers at least, smarter than the Nokia 3110. Life becomes simpler since it supports syncing of contacts and calendars from Google Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.
HMD Global claims that the battery life is still as robust as the original Nokia feature phones, with standby time as much as 25 days before you’ll need to search for the charger and juice it up again.
Perhaps, one could say that the price tag of Rs5,999 is on the higher side for a hybrid between a feature phone and a smartphone, but you are certainly paying a bit of a premium for the nostalgia as well as the fact that this will stand out in a sea of sameness. And we wouldn’t grudge that fact.
HMD Global has partnered with Jio to launch the Nokia 8110 4G phone in India, and Jio will be bundling over 500GB of data with the phone.