Nokia 8110 4G 'Banana phone' brings the nostalgic factor back with the same curved design but with improved features. But, does it really hit the right chords to take on the Jio Phone that is currently the top feature phone of the year 2017?
HMD Global, the company that now owns the Nokia branded phones, started out last year with the launch of four smartphones at the MWC 2017. The Nokia 3310 (2017) that was launched alongside Nokia 6, Nokia 5, and Nokia 3, banked upon the nostalgic factor that people had with the original Nokia 3310. At this year’s edition of Mobile World Congress (MWC), HMD Global launched the Nokia 8110 4G as the rehashed version of classic Nokia 8110 phone that became immensely popular after featuring in the cult movie ‘The Matrix’. Also known as ‘Banana Phone’, the Nokia 8110 brought a new way to people wherein they could answer and disconnect calls by just sliding the slider down and up, respectively. HMD Global is pinning hopes to recreate the success with the Nokia 8110 4G that the Nokia 3310 has enjoyed so far.
The Nokia 8110 4G is set to make entry into the Indian markets later this year where the feature phones have been resurrected in a totally different way, thanks to the breakthrough launch of Jio Phone. While the smartphone market in India is flourishing, giving almost every mobile phone maker an opportune moment to either enter or launch the smartphones initially, the feature phone market is equally sustaining among the users who have remained stuck to the basics of mobile phone use. Much like the Nokia 3310, the Nokia 8110 4G will have a herculean task of making its presence felt in the overcrowded feature phone market in India.
After Jio Phone was launched last year in India at an ‘effective’ zero price tag, it led to a change in the feature phone pricing and they are now available at much affordable price points, thanks to the cashbacks offered by partner telcos such as Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, and Idea Cellular. This means that the price range for feature phone markets in India is already touching the rock-bottom, coupled with the tariff plans and other offers. The Nokia 8110 4G will have to be competitively priced in India to counter the other feature phones, especially Jio Phone that recently got itself the top position in feature phone brands, in addition to cannibalising the smartphone sales in India, as well.
The Nokia 8110 4G was launched at a price of 79 euros that roughly translated to Rs 6,400 in India. The company is, however, expected to launch this phone in India at a much lower price that will just fit right in the feature phone price segment. Since HMD Global is expected to launch the full slew of smartphones – Nokia 1, Nokia 6 (2018), Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 8 Sirocco – along with the Nokia 8110 4G, the prices of the smartphones are likely to be competitive. The Nokia 1 Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphone is also likely to be priced below Rs 5,000, so HMD Global will have to put a very competitive price tag on the Nokia 8110 4G.
The price of Nokia 3310, HMD Global’s first feature phone in India, was set at Rs 3,310 at the time of launch. This price point didn’t quite justify the features Nokia 3310 packed, as opposed to much capable, higher-specced smartphones at the same price. The Jio Phone, which is although a feature phone but comes with smartphone features, is effectively cost-free to the buyers where a deposit of Rs 1,500 at the time of purchase is refunded to the buyers after they meet the laid conditions of recharging the Jio number with minimum Rs 49 for over 36 months. HMD Global will need to consider the overall price that the customer would pay for a higher-specced device, instead of a feature phone with just little extra features. Also, HMD Global recently began offering the Nokia 2 and Nokia 3 budget smartphones under Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ campaign to make them more affordable – something that the company may go for with the Nokia 8110 4G in India.
The Nokia 8110 4G ‘Banana Phone’ is one of the iconic Nokia phones that are still loved by many. Basking upon the success of the Nokia 3310, HMD Global brought one more phone out of Nokia’s ‘originals’. The Nokia 8110 4G has been redesigned to sport two new vibrant colours, just like the Nokia 3310 that too came in shiny and gaudy look. It was launched in two colours – Traditional Black, which resembles the original Nokia 8110 colour model, and Banana Yellow, which, well, is a term introduced to bring about the nostalgia for the ‘Banana Phone’. The phone has a curved body with a physical keypad covered by a slider that can be used to take and end the calls.
The Jio Phone, on the other hand, has the bar form factor with the conventional feature phone design without a slider. It has the standard T9 keypad, however, with some dedicated buttons for Jio apps. The Nokia 8110 4G not only tickles some user’s persisting fancy of having a slider phone but also looks better than the Jio Phone. However, it will be interesting to see whether Nokia 8110 4G will manage to dethrone Jio Phone from its top spot, much because of the nostalgic design, as opposed to the data, calling, and app benefits offered by Jio Phone.
Talking about the specifications, the Nokia 8110 4G comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display while the Jio Phone sports a 2.4-inch colour display. Both Nokia 8110 4G and Jio Phone are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 mobile platform and run on KAI OS. The Nokia 8110 4G and Jio Phone bear resemblance in terms of the RAM and storage as well – 512MB of RAM with 4GB of internal storage – however, Jio Phone comes with support for expandability that Nokia 8110 4G doesn’t. The Nokia 8110 4G has a 2-megapixel camera on the rear, which is similar to the one found on Jio Phone, however, unlike the Nokia 8110 4G, the Jio Phone has a VGA selfie camera. The internals of Nokia 8110 is powered by a 1500mAh battery while the Jio Phone packs-in a 2000mAh battery under the hood.
The Nokia 8110 4G supports apps such as Gmail, Google, Maps with a future update promised to bring support for Facebook and WhatsApp. The Jio Phone, on the other hand, comes preloaded with Jio apps such as JioTV, JioCinema, JioMusic, JioMoney, and JioChat among others. It was earlier reported that the Reliance Jio is working with Facebook to bring the popular Facebook and WhatsApp apps on the Jio Phone, but these are not available as of now. The Jio Phone can also be used to cast media content on TV with the help of a dedicated USB cable, while Nokia 8110 4G doesn’t support this yet.