The original Nokia 8110 was circa 9 September 1997. It’s distinctive styling as a slider phone with an internal aerial and some extra functionality, e.g. snake game, made it an instant hit. But that was when we didn’t know what smartphones were to become.

The new Nokia 8110 4G is a modernised version that uses 2/3/4G. GadgetGuy had some fun remembering how to use a keyboard and discovering this unique feature phone.

Do you really care what it’s missing?

OK, so with the Banana phone, you’ll need to live without a few things. There’s no selfie camera, no Android apps and no wireless NFC connection. It is missing ‘Telstra LTE band 28’, meaning limited use outside 4GX areas. It may also need to drop back to 3G inside buildings. This might be an issue for a data-starved smartphone, but not for one that’s mainly for voice calling. 

No Android

Nokia 8110

It uses Linux based KaiOS designed for buttons, not touch. KoiOS uses JavaScript, and it seems competent for this purpose. Importantly it supports 4G, over the air updates, some simple HTML5 apps like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps and of course, games. It also has email and messages.

A limited form of Google Assistant (voice control) is available. Google Gmail/contacts or MS Outlook email/contacts will sync. But I do not recommend using it for responding to emails. See ‘buttons’ later.

Google Maps is slow – pedestrian pace. It is not turn-by-turn navigation. The browser will not render most sites well, and the buttons make it hard to type the site URL.

Screen

The screen is a fingerprint magnet. It has no ‘Gorilla’ protection – no issue as it is not a touchscreen. The glass is reflective making it hard to see under direct sunlight. And as it does not pretend to support a sRGB colour gamut, there is no point commenting about it further.

Buttons

My original Nokia muscle memory came back, and it was easy to set up using the 12 alpha/numeric keys. Although if you have complex passwords then expect some anguish – it is slow going.

You switch on the phone or answer a call by pressing a side button or sliding the cover down. Buttons are a little on the small side but are backlit so that you can use them at night.

The ‘home’ button has a cursor square around it (called D-pad). This needs fingernails to use with any precision. Thankfully, there are shortcuts to the most used items.

If you have poor eyesight or shaky fingers go for the Nokia 3310 3G phone  – it will be easier to use.

Camera

2MP for video and stills, auto flash, what more could you ask for? Well if you treat it as an emergency camera then its fine for recording important issues like car crashes and neighbours dogs doing their business on your lawn etc.

Call/sound quality

As a phone its fine. Call quality is as good as you could expect but lack of a volume key could be a concern if you have a hearing impairment.

Bluetooth SBC codec was OK, but we experienced connection issues. The fix was to disable/enable Bluetooth each time. I hope a firmware update fixes that.

The rear mono speaker is quite loud measuring 84dB ring and between 75-80dB for music. But the distortion is too much for music pleasure.