Nokia 8110 4G review: Hands on with the reimagined Matrix phone

Nokia’s 3310 relaunch last year was a surefire hit. Pulling at the heartstrings of nostalgic owners of the almost 18-year-old indestructo-phone, the success of the 2017 re-do was never in question. Never mind that I wasn’t all that impressed when it did launch.

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But, flash forward another year, and another MWC tech conference is here. And Nokia, under the watchful eyes of Finnish firm HMD Global, is back with another modern re-imagining of a beloved phone from the pre-smartphone era. This is the Nokia 8110 4G, a phone that you might remember from the Matrix movies. Err, yeah.

Nokia 8110 4G review: UK release date and specifications

  • 2.4in QVGA display
  • Dual-core 1.1GHz Qualcomm MSM8905
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB of storage
  • 2-megapixel rear camera
  • Non-Android, feature phone
  • Part of “Nokia Originals”
  • 20-day standby time
  • Banana Yellow and Black
  • €79
  • May 2018

Nokia 8110 4G review: Design, key features and first impressions

Like I said, the Nokia 8110 4G is a phone for hopeless nostalgics. The design, well, that’s pretty much in keeping with the original’s banana-like appearance – in fact, Nokia knows how silly it looks, and is launching it in Banana Yellow. Like its namesake, there’s a cover that hides the numeric keypad although this isn’t spring-loaded, as the mechanism adds extra bulk and weight according to HMD.

And, given its slightly-different name, this new Nokia 8110 is 4G-enabled. Why would you want this on a non-smart feature phone you may ask? Well, Nokia wants its customers to use this as a 4G hotspot or, alternatively, scroll through your Facebook feed with the dedicated app.

Likewise, Snake has slithered its way back. Although, and this was our biggest qualm with last year’s 3310 re-imagining, it’s not the same Snake as you remember. Instead, it’s colourful and there are a few challenge levels to keep you satisfied. Rather than sticking with the original, Gameloft has tinkered with Snake’s simplicity a little too much for my liking.

What you also get with the 8110 4G is 90s-levels of battery life. Nokia says you can expect up to 20 hours of standby time, and eight hours of talktime over 4G networks.

Nokia 8110 4G review: Early verdict

It’s early days with the Nokia 8110 4G. I’m impressed by what I’ve seen so far, even if its specs are underwhelming. The big issue, however, is that I remember being excited about the 3310 and, well, it ended up being quite a disappointment.

Still, this isn’t a device that’s intended to replace your main phone, is it? This is something you get some dusty old codger as a birthday present, they laugh about it for a few minutes and bore you with their favourite memories of the good old days, play Snake and then lob it in a drawer for it to never be seen again. At least, that’s what happened with my 3310 last year.

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