Nokia looks to the past again with 8810

Retro is start­ing feel re­ally old, writes MICHAEL SI­MON

Android Advisor - - Contents -

At last year’s Mo­bile World Congress, HMD Global whipped the geek crowd into a frenzy with a fun re­boot of the Nokia 3310, com­plete with bright colours, hard keys, and candy bar nos­tal­gia. They’ve done it again at MWC 2018 with the 8110, but this time around the game might be a lit­tle played out.

Pop­u­lar­ized by Keanu Reeves’ char­ac­ter in The Ma­trix, the 8810 was a weird phone for 1999 and it’s even weirder in 2018. On the out­side, it looks very much like that 20-year-old phone, with a slider mech­a­nism that pulls down to re­veal a full set of keys. It’s just as long, cum­ber­some and clunky as it was back then, and the specs haven’t been up­graded all that much ei­ther:

Dis­play: 2.4in QVGA Pro­ces­sor: Qual­comm 205 RAM: 512MB Stor­age: 4GB Cam­era: 2Mp Bat­tery: 1,500mAh

Like the 3310, HMD has jazzed up the 8110 with a bright yel­low en­clo­sure that gives it a dis­tinctly toy-like ap­pear­ance. The phone is ready for 4G GSM net­works, and at £69.99, it’s cer­tainly an im­pulse buy rather than a com­mit­ment phone.

Nokia is once again billing it as a “va­ca­tion phone” that you bring with you when you want to un­bur­den your­self, but with a full slate of Google ser­vices: Search, Maps, and As­sis­tant, as well as Face­book and Twit­ter apps, you won’t re­ally be forced to un­plug with the 8110. A case could be made for car­ry­ing around a 3G 3310 as a phone-only va­ca­tion phone, but the new 8110 is too much of a mod­ern hand­set to ex­pect peo­ple not to use it as a reg­u­lar smart­phone.

So es­sen­tially Nokia has built a phone for geeks who don’t mind throw­ing away £100 on a hand­set

that’s go­ing to gen­er­ate a few laughs when they pull it out for the first time. Even with a low price tag, it’s hard to imag­ine who would plunk down any amount of money for an 8110, un­less their go­ing for ironic Neo with their Hal­loween cos­tume.

Go Go Go

A much more sen­si­ble bud­get op­tion is the Nokia 1 $85 (£TBC). While it too looks like some­thing out of the past, with gi­ant bezels and a small screen, the Nokia 1 has one huge thing go­ing for it: An­droid Oreo.

It only has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of stor­age, but it’s run­ning Google’s new An­droid Go OS, which is some­thing like the An­droid One pro­gram but with­out the strin­gent hard­ware re­quire­ments. Tai­lored for phones light on re­sources like RAM and stor­age, An­droid Go has its own set of apps and ser­vices that run lean and mean, and save your data so you get a pre­mium op­er­at­ing sys­tem in a cheap hand­set.

So if you ab­so­lutely have to have a cheap Nokia phone, I’d pick this one over the 8110. It might not draw as many stares, but it’ll be eas­ier to use, more com­fort­able to hold, and a whole lot more prac­ti­cal in the long run.

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