Will there be affordable, interchangeable covers sold at stores once again, and will you hear polyphonic ring tones in trains and buses in the near future? Apparently so, as HMD has plans to reissue the legendary mobile phones at the turn of the millennium: the Nokia 8000 and the Nokia 6300. This is set to happen either in 2020 or most probably in 2021, where such phones will be known as "feature phones" and will arrive with these handsets boasting a cult following of their own.
After all, people these days are more used to having smartphones with touchscreens in their pockets. But as Roland Quandt wrote on Winfuture, Nokia will only introduce a limited number of smart features while riding on the nostalgia wave. Technically, these feature phones will also be adapted to current mobile phone standards with LTE support. It is rather unlikely that the devices will come with 5G, as there really isn't any point in doing so (while ensuring that costs are kept low).
What are the models in the pipeline?
Take note that brand-new functions happen to be a small matter when it comes to feature phones anyway. Rather, you should be looking forward to having your fingers dance over actual keys as opposed to touch-typing on a virtual keyboard, complete with robust plastic cases, and a rather functional LCD display without any touch sensitivity available on the new Nokia models. The original Nokia 6300 that was launched in 2007 shone with a 2-inch display at a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. With this display, you were able to view photos taken by the 2-megapixel camera, which is located on the back of the device. Selfie cameras were something that has not been thought up of yet in 2007.
According to Quandt, the device, which up to now has only been sold as the Nokia 8000, is supposed to tie in with the Nokia 8000 series, which has been around since the 1990s. With the Nokia 8110 4G being released a couple of years ago, this was a device based on a previously released handset that really evoked a strong sense of nostalgia. However, the premium feeling of the high-end mobile phones of that era is missing here. Within the same mobile phone series, there were already metal housings at that point in time, inclusive of plastic sliders that cover the keypad - an untypical function that is lost in today's modern-day handsets for obvious reasons. Whether Nokia will integrate such a feature remains unclear at the moment. Most likely, both devices will again be delivered with the rather capable operating system known as KaiOS, which even allows the installation of WhatsApp.
What are feature phones good for these days?
Why are these devices known as feature phones? Simple: feature phones happen to have been worked upon to cater to minimal mobile phone standards, and are of course, rather niche products. However, they are very practical if you want to be reachable at all times, for instance, with a dual SIM card. This is because battery life is usually very long (perhaps up to a week!) due to the extremely low-power displays and simple hardware. In addition, the devices provide people with an opportunity to participate in the digital world, especially for those who aren't used to a touchscreen because of their age or physical limitations.
In addition, reissues happen to be popular gifts due to their cult following, as well as among collectors. Shortly before Quandt's Leak, for example, the Raspberry Pi 400 was launched, a home computer which, like its well-known predecessors from the 1980s, is housed within the confines of a keyboard. Such feature phones are also suitable for those who want to venture out on a digital detox, i.e. the conscious avoidance of technology for a certain period of time.
What are your experiences with feature phones and what do you think of the new models from HMD? Feel free to discuss it with me and the rest of the NextPit team in the comments!
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