At MWC 2018, the depth of the Nokia nostalgia revival was robust. The homeowners of the Nokia band, an organization known as HMD International, has revived an outdated Nokia favourite, as half ot its 'Originals' household of re-imagined Nokia-branded units. The brand new Nokia 8110 4G slider resembles Neo’s slider handset from the 1990s, however with a distinction in really feel and design to match the fashionable period. In addition to black, it additionally comes out there in yellow, and is curved. Welcome again to the Banana Telephone. 

Earlier than we proceed to the Nokia 8110 4G’s background and hands-on, allow us to summarize what the Nokia 8110 4G is and what it’s not. The reloaded Nokia 8110 4G is an entry-level smartphone, designed to return in on the low finish of the market. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 205 (two ARM Cortex-A7 cores, Adreno 304 graphics, and so on.) outfitted with 512 MB of RAM and Four GB of NAND flash storage (expandable utilizing microSD playing cards). The smartphone has a 2.Four” show with a 240&occasions;320 decision, primary imaging capabilities enabled by a 2 MP cam with a flash, and runs an working system primarily based on the KaiOS (a successor of Mozilla’s Firefox OS). The OS helps HTML5 purposes and fashionable applied sciences like 4G/LTE, NFC, and others.

Don’t anticipate KaiOS to compete in opposition to Android within the mass market section, however similar to its ancestor, KaiOS is aimed on the least expensive smartphones usually designed for rising markets. So although the Nokia 8110 4G is a smartphone that imitates a high-end characteristic cellphone from the mid-1990s, it prices like an entry-level smartphone right now, feeding somewhat off of nostalgia. 

Some Historical past

Nokia launched its first Eight-series cell phone designed to exhibit social standing of its proprietor in late '96. The cellphone was among the many first to make use of the slider form-factor, which was chosen as a result of it resembled 'trendy' clamshell telephones of the 1990s, and but was considerably completely different than Motorola’s StarTAC and MicroTAC. The Nokia 8110 additionally had a slight curve, designed to wrap round a face, which was very uncommon for the time and clearly turned a particular characteristic. The worth of the cellphone was quite excessive for the time, particularly contemplating its minuscule characteristic set. In the meantime, due to its extravagant design, the 8110 shortly obtained its nickname: the 'banana cellphone'. Afterward, a producer of aftermarket enclosures for cellphones even launched a vivid yellow case for the 8110 with Chiquita logotype for many who needed an eye catching “banana cellphone.”

The unique Nokia 8110 promoting. Supply: DeviantArt.

The unique Nokia 8110 was quite closely marketed in numerous high-profile and way of life magazines, making it unimaginable to overlook. Again then, GSM networks have been solely beginning to roll out in lots of nations, which is why Nokia co-advertised the 8110 with Radiolinja – the world’s first GSM operator (many don’t bear in mind this model, which is now known as Elisa). The truth is, like many others, I first noticed the Nokia 8110 on an commercial someday in 1997. Regardless of being one the world’s first cellphones in slider form-factor, the unique Nokia truly didn’t impress me a lot. In the long run, this was simply one other plastic cellphone with an antenna, and whereas its dimensions have been smaller when in comparison with most different GSM handsets of the time, however they weren’t remarkably small, particularly when in comparison with its successors. It was two years later when a modified Nokia 8110 caught my eye — that is when it was utilized by characters in The Matrix film launched in 1999.

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The Nokia 8110 from The Matrix. Supply:

By late 1999, Nokia already provided its smaller and extra superior Eight-series handsets, similar to the 8210 (a plastic sweet bar, co-released with Kenzo and that includes detachable covers of various colours), the chrome-plated 8810 (this was one of many world’s first cellphone with and inside antenna and chrome plating), and the 8850/8890 with metallic plating. Consequently, whereas the Nokia 8110 product placement in The Matrix attracted consideration to the model, however it hardly drove gross sales of the unique 8110 as extra subtle and stylish units have been already out there. For people who actually needed expertise, Nokia provided the 7110 with a scrolling wheel and a spring mechanism that may routinely open the duvet (this mechanism was featured on the 8110 from The Matrix).

Nonetheless, within the march to revive a model with system recognition, HMD International has determined to re-release the Nokia 8110. There have been a lot of causes for this determination, however the principle ones in all probability have been: a widespread recognition of the system as a result of it was featured in The Matrix (and a lot of different motion pictures), its distinctive nickname, an affordable case manufactured from polycarbonate, and an extravagant form-factor that’s barely used right now.

Design and First Impressions

The 2 key issues in regards to the re-released 'Originals' line are the nostalgia and the attention-grabbing design. Whereas final yr’s Nokia 3310 re-design was not notably superior, for some it was what the physician ordered for folks uninterested in smartphones and unwilling to purchase costly refurbished cellphones from the late 1990s or the early 2000s. The brand new Nokia 8110 4G naturally continues this custom.

Not our bananas. Even HMD/Nokia will get it.

The brand new Nokia 8110 4G telephones from Nokia will are available in full black or full yellow enclosures, manufactured from polycarbonate. The handsets are quite nicely constructed, as they don’t look or really feel low-cost, however the general impression is that they don’t seem to be as stable as Nokia’s previous plastic fashions (such because the Nokia 8210, 8310, 6310, and so on.). After all, these days we’re used to cellphones manufactured from aluminum or glass, so any plastic handsets really feel like entry-level fashions. Nevertheless, with sliders and plastic smartphones, they have a tendency to bend and put on out over time. In case of the Nokia 8110 4G, the plastic cowl for the keyboard feels fairly unfastened on samples. Over time they might get much more slack, however this is determined by utilization mannequin and different elements. This was in all probability one of many the explanation why Nokia moved on to chrome and metal-plated plastic with its Eight-series sliders again within the late 90s and early 2000s. The Nokia 8800-series moved on to chrome steel, which was then used for quite a few Eight-series and E-series merchandise. 

Whenever you cost nicely above common for a handset, you could make sure that it appears to be like and appears like a stable system. Whereas a metallic enclosure is by definition dearer than a plastic one, the worth is essential for the 'Originals' telephones — they should be inexpensive. The 8110 G will value about €80 ($98) with out taxes, and there are doubts it was potential to squeeze a metallic or metal-plated enclosure into its BOM. Right now it’s unclear why Nokia determined to not go together with a better value, elevate its BOM value and use a barely higher form of plastic together with a spring mechanism.

It’s apparent that apart from appears to be like, this 2018 cell phone has nothing to do with the 1996 handset internally. Nevertheless, two issues strike the attention if you examine the outdated witht he new: the brand new makes use of an inside antenna and a comparatively giant 2.Four” coloration display screen with a 240&occasions;320 decision. Again within the nineties, widespread use of the ceramic antennas present in right now’s cellphones didn’t make enterprise sense: that they had excessive costs and sometimes mediocre efficiency at occasions. Nokia used them primarily for costly units at first, however it will definitely began to make use of them for extra inexpensive Three-series and 5-series telephones. Such antennae allowed handset makers to maneuver away from exterior antennas, making cellphones extra compact, and cozy to make use of (typically at a value of antenna efficiency and/or battery life). At present, it’s arduous to think about a cell phone with an exterior antenna, and this new re-design doesn’t have one.

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A coloration TFT LCD is one other a lot appreciated factor on the handset, but it’s clear that it utterly adjustments the general design and impressions in regards to the cellphone. Moreover, the decision of the show and PPI aren’t excessive by right now’s requirements and naturally these have an effect on basic impression — as an alternative of nostalgia in regards to the outdated occasions, the Nokia 8110 4G offers a sense of a low-cost smartphone in an unorthodox form-factor. The identical may probably be stated with a few of the different re-released designs final yr.

Shifting on to the keyboard – the keys are quite huge, however since they’re very tight and utterly flat, they don’t seem to be as comfy to make use of as on previous-gen sliders from Nokia. Conserving in thoughts that few folks these days dial numbers manually, however select them from menus and even use voice dialing, keys are hardly an enormous drawback. Then once more, if we examine the keys to the 'outdated' Nokias, this comparability is not going to bode nicely for the brand new one.

Software program & Options

As famous above, the Nokia 8110 4G depends on an affordable platform for inexpensive smartphones. It’s unimaginable to impress anybody with the Snapdragon 205 that includes two ARM Cortex-A7 cores right now, however the 8110 4G shouldn’t be meant to set efficiency information. What it has to do is to deliver again good reminiscences. But, it form of fails there as nicely.

Nokia’s cellphones from the 1990s bought well-liked primarily due to two causes: they featured a pretty ergonomic design, and the quite simple software program had a particular model. The Nokia 8110 4G runs KaiOS, developed particularly for entry-level smartphones, a lot of which use a keyboard. The OS can use contextual tender buttons and a Four-way navigation button, similar to Nokia telephones again within the day, and it’s easy to make use of. Nevertheless, KaiOS doesn’t supply the unique Nokia really feel and magnificence. The truth is, it appears to be like nearly precisely the identical as KaiOS on low-cost smartphones all the way down to the font dimension, however with some customizations to the UI. The latter works, and is sort of snappy, however that could be a promise of KaiOS usually.

One other benefit that Nokia advertises about KaiOS is its comparatively excessive power effectivity: the brand new Nokia 8110 4G options as much as 25 days standby time and as much as 7 hours of speak time on a 1500 mAh battery.

The Nokia 8110 4G comes preloaded with numerous applications for the fashionable age, similar to a primary Web browser, Fb, Twitter, Google Assistant, Google Maps, and so on. Given the show and the keyboard-based navigation, such apps aren’t notably comfy to make use of. Mainly, they only should be there for a 'simply in case' state of affairs. After all, there may be additionally a brand new model of Nokia’s Snake recreation that appears higher than ever, however remember that on account of miniature show, this title can be amongst a couple of video games that may truly work nicely on this cellphone.

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The Nokia 8110 4G
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 205
2x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.10 GHz
Adreno 304
Hexagon 536
StorageFour GB + microSD
Show2.45" QVGA curved show
CommunitySKU 1 (Europe)
2G: 900, 1800
3G: WB-CDMA 1, 5, Eight
4G: FDD-LTE 1, Three, 5, 7, Eight, 20,

2G: 900, 1800
3G: WB-CDMA 1, 5, Eight, 39
4G: FDD-LTE 1, Three, 5, 7, Eight, 20 TDD-LTE 39, 40, 41 (38)

LTE SpeedsObtain: 150 Mbps
Add: 50 Mbps
Dimensions133.45 &occasions; 49.Three &occasions; 14.9 mm
Weight117 grams
Ingress SafetyIP52: Partly protected in opposition to mud,
protected in opposition to drops of water
Rear Digicam2 MP sensor with a LED flash
Battery1500 mAh
OSGood Characteristic OS powered by KaiOS
Connectivity802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Four.1,
microUSB, headphone jack
NavigationGPS, AGPS
SIM MeasurementNano SIM + Micro SIM
ColoursBlack, Yellow
Launch International locationsUS, UK, EU, and so on
Worth~€80 with out taxes

Some Ideas

The unique Nokia’s Eight-series cellphones have at all times been on an intersection between artwork, expertise and expertise. HMD’s 'Originals' are completely different: they should resemble their ancestors, encourage nostalgia inflicting homeowners to re-live their previous feelings, and be adequate for thousands and thousands of people that nonetheless bear in mind the unique mannequin.

When HMD launched a re-imagined Nokia 3310 final yr, it solely needed to supply a barely revamped characteristic cellphone that may resemble the unique one. Regardless of this, we felt the 2017 Nokia 3310 didn’t actually seem like the unique one, and it didn’t really feel like the unique one. It was additionally extra breakable, one of many key points of the unique. However to a level, it preserved the spirit of its ancestor.

Issues are a bit completely different with the Nokia 8110 4G. With this one, HMD needed to replicate not solely design, however the expertise with the world’s first standing slider cellphone. The brand new handset doesn’t look precisely like the unique one, however it has preserved the form-factor and the distinctive bended form. The keyboard is completely different (and never superb), and the software program doesn’t look the identical, however this isn’t essentially dangerous as it’s a completely different cellphone with a totally completely different characteristic set and even utilization mannequin of handsets has modified in 20 years. It’s disappointing that the sliding cowl didn’t really feel notably stable, however it’s nonetheless an eye fixed catcher, particularly in yellow.

However does it make you’re feeling nostalgic? If sure, then €80/$100 shouldn’t be a too excessive value for a great temper for a few weeks. If not, you may get a a extra highly effective cheap Android-based cellphone for ~$100 ~ $120 within the U.S. as a secondary one. Pulling out a $400 mid-range smartphone in a crowd received't be observed by anybody. However this? It can flip heads.

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