HMD Global, the company now behind Nokia’s mobile phone business was up to its old tricks again by relaunching another classic handset at this year’s Mobile World Congress, but it also brought some fresh Android devices to the table too.
Nokia 8110 4G hands-on
We’re undecided on whether or not bringing the 8110 back from the dead is yet another attempt to simply tug on people’s sense of nostalgia or there’s a real demand for a feature phone such as this. It’s likely a little bit of both but either way we were pleased to get some hands-on time with this revived feature phone favourite.
Unlike last year’s rereleased 3310, HMD is skipping straight to a 4G variant of what was affectionately known as both the ‘Matrix phone’ and the ‘banana phone’. This curved slider features harder edges and lines when compared to the original, with a tightly positioned backlit number pad and a five-way navigation key, that feels cramped to use.
The lightly textured matt polycarbonate finish works nicely against those clean lines and offers a tactile feel with plenty of grip. The phono’s banana-like appearance comes from its curved profile, which means it sits nicely in the hand and when held against your face, and of course, it now comes in Banana Yellow (as well as black).
There’s a curved 2.45-inch QVGA display on the front that’s… fine, as well as a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera above the loudspeaker that offers a surprising amount of functionality for a feature phone. The new 8110 charges its sizeable 1500mAh battery via microUSB and features a 3.5mm headphone jack too, which is needed if you want to make use of the integrated FM radio.
Despite its humble foundation, this 4G-capable 2018 iteration of the 8110 isn’t as dumb as you might first imagine. Hardware-wise it packs in 4GB of storage, offers dual-SIM functionality, supports VoLTE and sports hotspot functionality to boot. The software is rather interesting too, with this being the first Nokia to run KaiOS; and HTML5-based mobile operating system that accommodates smartphone-level experiences on a feature phone platform.
Through partnerships with key companies, the 8110 comes with its own app store and can run tailored versions of everything from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube. Snake is onboard out-the-box too, naturally.
Nokia 8110 4G specs
|Screen||2.45-inches QVGA (320×240) TFT LCD|
|Audio||AAC, AMR, MP3, MIDI & Vorbis support, loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone jack, FM radio|
|Rear camera||2-megapixels w/ LED flash|
|Processor||1.1GHz dual-core Qualcomm 205|
|Colours||Traditional Black, Banana Yellow|
|Extras||VoLTE, dual-SIM, hotspot functionality, IP52 drip protection|
Nokia 8110 4G price and availability
HMD has slated the 8110 4G to arrive in May and will sell for around €79.
Nokia 8 Sirocco hands-on
Similarly to LG, HMD used MWC 2018 to unveil an updated iteration on last year’s Nokia 8 flagship. A Snapdragon 835 processor still serves as the heart of the phone but the hardware and design around it have all been improved upon in a myriad of ways.
It’s smaller in every direction compared to the original Nokia 8 but squeezes in a larger 5.5-inch display. Swapping LCD for a P-OLED technology means greater contrast, punchier colours and truer blacks too, plus the Sirocco’s panel curves rather sexily over the edges of the phone’s front. It feels very reminiscent of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge as a result.
That 3D Gorilla Glass 5 also encompasses the phone’s back, granting you Qi wireless charging too. You’ll now find the fingerprint sensor beneath the rear camera, but one absentee that will be missed is a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
The new dual 12-megapixel rear cameras can still lend their talents to snapping a quick ‘Bothie’ but also improve on the original with 2x lossless optical zoom and optical image stabilisation (OIS) to boot. On the flip side, the front-facing snapper has taken a tumble resolution-wise, dropping from 13-megapixels down to 5-megapixels, but at least low light performance should be improved thanks to larger 1.4 µm pixels.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco looks more luxurious than last year’s flagship, packs in more memory, a bigger, smarter battery and runs Android 8.0 Oreo out the box. We just left wondering how tempting consumers will find it considering the wave of new rivals with Qualcomm’s newer processor going for a similar asking price.
Nokia 8 Sirocco specs
|Screen||5.5-inches, QHD (2560×1440), P-OLED, 3D Gorilla Glass 5|
|Audio||3x AOP microphones + 24-bit audio recording w/ 132 decibels peak|
|Dimensions||140.93mm x 72.97mm x 7.5mm|
|OS||Android 8.0 Oreo|
|Front camera||5-megapixel w/ f/2.0 aperture|
|Rear cameras||12-megapixel (wide-angle) w/ f/1.7 aperture, OIS + 13-megapixel, dual-tone LED flash|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Storage||128GB. MicroSD expandability up to 256GB|
|Battery||3260mAh w/ Quick Charge 4.0, Qi wireless charging|
|Extras||IP67 certified, always-on display|
Nokia 8 Sirocco price and availability
We’re expecting the Sirocco to arrive in early April, with European pricing cited as around €749.
Nokia 7 Plus hands-on
If the Sirocco sounds too rich for your blood, the new premium mid-range Nokia 7 Plus might make for a more suitable choice. It’s the first of the company’s phones to tote an elongated 18:9 aspect ratio display, with an expansive 6-inches to play with. The price/performance balance it strikes should also give the likes of OnePlus and Honor cause for concern.
The body is comprised of the same 6000 Series aluminium we encountered on last year’s top Nokias, with some premium diamond-cut chamfer work and distinctive colour combinations to choose from too.
Aside from offering the same clean Android One-based Oreo software experience, the biggest appeal has to be the phone’s dual rear camera setup. The dual 12/13-megapixel sensor packs a wide aperture, electronic image stabilisation and up to 2x lossless optical zoom. The phone’s big footprint also means there’s room for a huge 3800mAh battery, suggesting HMD’s claims of two days use per charge might readily be attainable.
All in all, not a bad feature-set for a phone that’s almost half the price of the flagship Sirocco. Stay tuned for our full review.
Nokia 7 plus specs
|Screen||6-inches, Full HD+ (2160×1080), IPS LCD|
|Audio||3x AOP microphones|
|Dimensions||1158.38mm x 75.64mm x 7.99mm (excluding camera), 1158.38mm x 75.64mm x 9.55mm (including camera)|
|OS||Android 8.0 Oreo|
|Rear cameras||12-megapixel (wide-angle) w/ f/1.75 aperture, EIS + 13-megapixel w/ f/2.6 aperture (telephoto)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660|
|Storage||64GB. MicroSD expandability up to 256GB|
|Colours||Black w/ copper accents, white w/ copper accents|
Nokia 7 Plus price and availability
Like the Sirocco, the Nokia 7 Plus will be available from early April for only €399.