Nokia has successfully brought back the nostalgia and captured the hearts of fans around the world when it re-introduced the Nokia 3310 on its comeback last year. This time around, the stage is set for yet another iconic Nokia feature phone – the Nokia 8110 4G – to be in the limelight.
Famously known as the “Matrix Phone”, the Nokia 8110 4G is a rebooted version of the Nokia 8110. Fans and previous owners of the Nokia 8110 would surely love a lot of things in this new device, the most obvious of which is that the Nokia 8110 4G is now a “smart” feature phone. In this review, we will tackle the usual smartphone functionalities that this new device is loaded with. Is the Nokia 8110 4G your next feature phone companion? Let’s find out.
The Nokia 8110 4G looks stunning in black but it stands out really well in yellow. Compared to the bulky design of its predecessor, the phone now looks slimmer and sexier. Its dimensions is 133.5 x 49.3 x 14.9 mm making it slightly bigger than the Nokia 3310 3G. Weighing at 117 g, the phone feels slighty heavy to hold. Its polycarbonate body doesn’t feel slippery and the keypad cover slides smoothly even without exerting too much force.
Using the fixed focus 2 megapixel rear camera of the Nokia 8110 4G and with great lighting, you will be able to get decent shots with the device. As expected from a feature phone, a front facing camera is absent together with a lack of other camera features. The pictures taken using the phone’s camera turn out fine with some little grain on it. The camera app is as basic as it gets as it only has two modes: Photo and Video. You do have an option to turn on the rules of third grid and a timer which you can set for up to 10 seconds. Here are some sample shots.
Operating System and Performance
Instead of Nokia’s own S40 OS, the Nokia 8110 4G runs on a brand new OS called KaiOS – a heavily modified Firefox OS that has been created from the ground up to work on feature phones. Although we’re glad to see that Nokia is brave enough to embrace a new OS, it may pose as a challenge for them as KaiOS comes with a few issues. It gets occasional lags at some point. Also, opening some basic apps will result into random crashes. We can’t really blame the specs of the phone for the issues we have encountered because on paper, the specs of the Nokia 8110 4G is actually eligible to run Android Oreo GO edition.
On the upside, KaiOS is complete with all the basic functions expected on a feature phone. You can call, text, and also browse the web. But what is amazing about the Nokia 8110 4G is that it also includes a ton of smartphone features such as a notification center, quick toggles, anti-theft using the “find your phone” feature, battery saver, and memory management. It is good to note though that installing java apps on this phone is impossible since KaiOS apps are HTML-based. Doing so will just show you that the file is not supported, which can be a huge letdown for some but is not really a deal breaker.
Despite its disadvantages, we’re really happy that the team behind KaiOS is very active on developing the OS. If you chat with the KaiOS team on Twitter, they will instantly respond to you and give you the answers you need unlike others which only gives you automated replies. Just 2 weeks ago, KaiOS pushed a firmware update for the Nokia 8110 4G, bumping the phones firmware from version 10.00.17.02 to version 12.00.17.06. The update now brings Google apps to the phone and also stability improvements which made the phone smoother to use.
One of the strengths of this phone (or for all Nokia phones for that matter) is the battery life. As promised, Nokia outdid itself once again by promising a multi-day battery life in their feature phones. In the case of the 8110 4G, heavy usage such as extreme browsing, streaming, texting, calling, music, and gaming will result into 1 day of battery life.
Moderate usage such as light browsing and gaming, light streaming and light texting and calling will keep the phone alive for up to 2 days. And finally for very light usage such as for calls and texts only, the phone will survive for a week.
The sound quality of the Nokia 8110 4G is acceptable. It is loud, crisp and surprisingly sounds louder than my Nokia 6. However, blasting it to full volume using the speakers will only make the sound quality bad. So if you are on loudspeaker mode make sure to balance the volume in between. Using the earphones that came bundled with the device though is a different story as the sound is good even in high volumes.
Overall, the Nokia 8110 4G is a great alternative phone or backup device. Basic functionalities like texting, calling, and browsing works very well. You’ll also get smartphone-like features such as a notification center and quick toggles. 4G and Wifi connectivity is also present and very reliable. If you’re not bothered with the occasional lags and random crashes then the Nokia 8110 4G is the feature phone for you. When buying it, make sure to check for software updates before using it. The newest update has already fixed some bugs that slow down the performance of the phone. And with the constant updates by the KaiOS team, we will not be surprised if you get a smoother user experience with the Nokia 8110 4G in the near future.
The Nokia 8110 4G is now available for €72 ($92) in Nokia stores near you. What do you think of Nokia’s latest nostalgic device? Let us know in the comments below.