The ‘Matrix phone’ is back: Nokia 8110 retro reboot coming (Update: Pre-order in UK)
Update, August 9, 2018 (10:28AM EST): The previously-announced reboot of the “Matrix” phone from HMD Global is finally available for pre-order in the U.K.! Although it missed the goal of May by a long shot, better late than never, eh?
The device will cost 69 pounds (~$89) and is available for pre-order from Carphone Warehouse, EE, O2, Vodaphone, and more. It will launch in stores on August 15, 2018.
Original Article, February 5, 2018 (11:11AM EST): HMD Global ended its MWC debut last year with a nostalgic sucker punch thanks to the Nokia 3310. At this year’s event, the Finnish OEM doubled down on the retro vibes with yet another reborn classic – the all new Nokia 8110 4G.
Much like its namesake, the Nokia 8110 4G features a sliding cover that hides and protects the numerical keypad, as well as the original 1996 feature phone’s curved design that earned it the nickname “banana phone”. Fun fact: it was also known as the “Matrix phone” after it starred in the 1999 sci-fi movie. Now you can be as cool as Neo in 2018, just don’t forget your black trenchcoat!
The reimagined Nokia 8110 4G also includes 4G LTE connectivity — it’s in the name after all. This will enable users to check and sync emails, contacts, calendar events, make VoLTE calls, and use the phone as a wireless hotspot.
While there has been a 4G-enabled version of the Nokia 3310 for the Chinese market, HMD Global is taking things a step further with the Nokia 8110 4G by switching the operating system to KaiOS – a custom operating system based on Firefox OS. HMD Global says it wants to expand the definition of what a feature phone can be with the Nokia 8110 4G – a device it refers to as part of the “Originals” family alongside the Nokia 3310.
This all starts with the aforementioned KaiOS app store which provides access to traditional smartphone apps on feature phones. For example, we were told that a Facebook app with messaging capabilities will be available at some point down the road.
We were also told by an HMD Global official that an “assistant” app may be in the pipeline. Considering Google Assistant is already available for the KaiOS-powered JioPhone and that HMD and Google are seemingly good pals thanks to their extensive Android collaborations… well, it doesn’t take a genius to join the dots on this one.
The Nokia 8110 4G — available in Traditional Black and Banana Yellow — launches this May for €79 in Europe, which translates to just under $100 stateside. We’ll keep an eye out for detailed availability information and global pricing, but for the time being, be sure to let us know your thoughts on the return of the banana phone in the comments.