In 1996 the original Nokia 8110 slider “banana” phone was released; three years later it hit the big time in the hand Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. Fast forward 22 years and the Nokia 8110 has been reloaded.
The Nokia 8110 was groundbreaking in its day as one of the first to feature an ergonomic shape, with the slider shooting down and out curving gently towards your mouth. But it will always be remembered for that moment when Reeves shoots down the slider picking up the phone to Morpheus before dropping it from the ledge of a tall skyscraper after he has stepped out the window of his office.
That is the kind of nostalgia HMD Global, the company now operating the Nokia phone brand, wants to rekindle. It succeeded with last year’s Nokia 3310. Now it’s time for a slightly more sophisticated reboot.
The new Nokia 8110 is still just a feature phone, running a forked version of the dead Firefox OS created by KaiOS that HMD is calling “Smart Feature OS”, but it has a few things you might not expect from a phone with a real numeric keypad and polycarbonate slider.
It’s got 4G, for one. Facebook will also be available through an app store at some point and there will be some form of access to Google’s Assistant, Maps and search, as well as email, texts, Twitter and even Snake.
“The Nokia 8110 comes with the craftsmanship you expect from a Nokia phone, delivering durability and reliability as standard,”HMD said. “With a familiar and easy to use interface, it features intuitive tactile mechanics, with slide to answer and end calls, as well as an addictive helicopter style spin on its axis.”
HMD suggests the 8110 is a great “weekend phone” that gives people the “chance to switch off, have fun and relax in the knowledge that all your smartphone essentials are there when you need them”.
Whether there will be as many people attracted the reboot of 1999’s coolest phone as last year’s 3310 remains to be seen, but the new Nokia 8110 will be available in black or “banana yellow” in May for €79 (£69).