HMD Global took advantage of MWC this year to present five new devices. The one that immediately caught my attention was the Nokia 8110 Reloaded, a new take on the sliding 8810 smartphone that was originally launched in 1998. It's back, this time with the 4G. Will HMD Global have another winner on its hands this year?
Design and build quality
The original model of the Nokia 8110 was launched in 1998, a full 22 years ago. HMD Global has decided to bring it back for MWC 2018 in a 4G version. The most distinguishing characteristic of this cell phone was the sliding cover which covered the keypad and most of the front panel. Needless to say, it was a compact device before the advent of phablets with large color displays. It was a small brick, notoriously resistant to shocks and falls.
The new Nokia 8110 Reloaded keeps the curves and spirit of the original model. Also present are the physical keypad buttons and the classic keypad cover: holding this cell phone in hand is like taking a leap backward in time, and into the Matrix (yes, the original device was in the movie). Its plastic body gives the impression of an economical, budget device.
Facebook and Snake are here at launch, but not WhatsApp
Last year, the Nokia 3310 was revived and despite the curiosity it aroused, it lacked an important app, WhatsApp. Sadly, the 4G Nokia 8110 doesn't offer WhatsApp support either...But it might be possible with YunOS on the device to install a WhatsApp APK. Once we get a device to test in the newsroom, we'll try it out and let you know the results.
It has the classic Snake game, the serpentine distraction that kept many users in the '90s glued to a tiny display. Like last year, unfortunately it is not the original game but a revisited color version. It is still a pleasant reminder of the past to pull out in the boring moments of the day.
What can it do?
What can you actually do with the Nokia 8110? For software, the phone runs YunOS so you can download apps and games from the app store, including Twitter and Google Assistant. Thanks to 4G support, you can take advantage of VoLTE calls. For connectivity, it has Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS / AGPS, micro USB 2.0 and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The user interface is very simple and intuitive; to move around the menus, you have to use the main physical cursor button. The 1,500 mAh battery promises good battery life: will the new generation succeed in keeping up with its predecessor?
On the Nokia 8110 4G, you can also listen to FM radio and expand the 4 GB of internal memory by inserting a microSD card in the dedicated slot. Should you feel the need to snap some shots for social media with this phone, be advised that its rear camera is packing just 2 MP.
The Nokia 8110 will be released on the market starting from May for a price of 79 euros, which is equivalent to about $97. You can choose between two colors: Black or the more flashy Banana Yellow. Personally, I prefer the yellow, as it captures the spirit of the device and is more fun. Who is this device aimed at? To the nostalgic former owners of the Nokia 8110, to the fans of vintage mobile phones and to those looking for a durable backup device with good battery life.
Of course, that's a lot of money for an entry level phone, especially when you look at the alternative smartphones on the market. But when talking about the Nokia 8110 4G, like the Nokia 3310 presented last year, the decision is a matter of the heart, not of price.
What do you think? Are Nokia phones due a comeback?