back to article It's a phone with a peel, but you'll have to wait a bit more for retro Nokia

HMD Global insists its much-delayed Nokia 8110 4G "banana phone" will officially hit UK shelves this month, half a year after it was announced and Amazon began to take orders. In the meantime, imported models and outright fakes have flooded the market. These aren't hard to find. Newsagents have been selling imported 8110s for …

Bogus copies to be replaced

Keanu Reeves will undoubtedly find this news most excellent

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Re: Bogus copies to be replaced

Sadly, the ones you can buy are all bogus...

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We already 'ave one

I've had one since mid July, bought online from a UK supplier. It's not tied to a UK network but I live in Ireland.

There are a few silly UI bugs in the shipped software but the update is pretty good. It makes a great wifi hotspot and the audio quality is lightyears ahead of any smartphone.

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Re: We already 'ave one

Interesting. This is what I thought I wanted for a while, something to act as a hotspot for my iPad when required, but let me use the phone for mainly talking. But I think I'm now used to being able to check satnav, bus/train times on the browser and email on the phone. So I guess I'm now hooked to smartphones.

Which is a shame. I much prefer the ergonomics of a flip-phone / slider.

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Re: We already 'ave one

I carry an Android device (normally switched off) for when I want to browse my RSS feeds. That is what the hotspot is for.

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The Nokia phone prop used in the Matrix film was modified with a spring opening mechanism that wasn't present in the stock model.

I liked the slider form factor - there was a Samsung feature phone c. 2005 (when Samsung ran billboard ads for three models, proclaiming the world's thinnest slider phone, candy bar phone and flip phone) I had that I got on well with - save for faults common to every phone vendor ( Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson) back then - no 3.5mm headphone socket, and never twice the same power connector even between similar phone models.* When you finished a call you slid the keyboard cover back with a satisfying thunk - no pocket calls.

* Til the EU pushed for MicroUSB. We'll see more of this topic later today, because the EU is now pushing to mandate USB-C on waste reduction grounds, even though wall chargers haven't typically incorporated the cable for a decade. As for wall chargers themselves, were seeing incompatibility, since we have Qualcomm's adaptive charging (seen in Samsung phones, even the Exynos versions) and incompatible weird stuff from the likes of OnePlus. They'll all charge at 5v 2.1 A, but they won't fast charge (at 9v in the Qualcomm case) incompatible phones. Android phones have always been a mess with their connectors, since not all have supported USB OTG over micro USB, and USB - C is already muddied, with some phones not supporting USB Audio properly.

I'm an Android user, and so I note with interest the range of quality 3rd party Lightning peripherals, such as 3D scanning, audio and imaging peripherals.

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"and never twice the same power connector even between similar phone models"

Nokia had 3 power connectors in the entire time they were making phones (original, smaller one and MicroUSB).

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@Dave 126 "The Nokia phone prop used in the Matrix film was modified with a spring opening mechanism that wasn't present in the stock model."

I had the 7110 which had the spring,... and tbh the slide felt a bit flimsy, and I thought one day I'm going to press that button and it's going shoot off and hit the floor. Never did, and I still have it in a box full of old phones and accessories in my attic.

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I loved my 2 Motorola RAZRs, 15 years ago. The best ergonomic mobile I ever had - because they could be thinner and wider as they folded in half. Microphones that reached your mouth for less external noise and no accidental dialling. Sadly after that flip-phones became rare and I went for Samsung slider. Which I reallly liked.

Except I dug it out of a drawer a few years later for Mum, and it was bloody impossible to use. Well OK, I exaggerate, but it took quite a while to set up and get her addresses into it, and it was actually quite hard to show her basic stuff like changing volume and ringtones. The later Nokia dumphones were also pretty shit in UI terms, compared to the old classic green screen ones. But not as obscure as that old Samsung. which was even worse than the RAZR it replaced. The RAZR's shit software was forgiven for how great it felt in your hand.

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Some Nokia phones that had both round pin and mini USB ports couldn't charge through the mini USB port - it was for data only (trust us, we tried). You're right though, compared to others Nokia was well behaved over its power connectors - and a Nokia charger could be found nearly anywhere. However, there was still a period when their lower end feature phones didn't have a 3.5 mm headset socket.

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The N8 could be charged through USB, although it drew 500mA max. Charging through the Nokia charge port was faster.

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Anonymous Coward

I loved my 2 Motorola RAZRs, 15 years ago.

Yup - another upvote for the v3(i) RAZRs. The UI was terrible, but the form factor was IMHO as close to perfection as anyone has come since, apart from the idiotic decision to use a shiny keyboard. Later imitations did have that at least corrected. It was the only phone you could have in a pocket without it even being noticeable and, small as it was, it came with changeable batteries.

Also, it was genuine Motorola so it still had good reception despite its small size.

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Re: "and never twice the same power connector even between similar phone models"

i had three Nokias between '96 and 2004, all used the same power connector, ah the joy of being able to leave one at work, one at home and keep one for travel without thought or added expense.

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Re: "and never twice the same power connector even between similar phone models"

I wasn't thinking of the N8; can't remember which Nokia it was that couldn't charge through its Mini USB data port, which is why I deliberately used the word 'some'.

Only drawing 500mA when in data mode was common to a lot of devices back then - many devices would only draw more if they detected the data lines on a cable were shorted, supposedly to protect a computer. This wasn't the case with the Nokia in question (during the era of a gazillion Nokia models, c. 2006) - it just wasn't charging through mini USB at all.

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Yup - another upvote for the v3(i) RAZRs. The UI was terrible, but the form factor was IMHO as close to perfection as anyone has come since,

The V3 was lovely (still got a couple decaying in a box somewhere), but IMHO the best mobile ever was the Ericsson T28 and variants. A proper spring loaded flip to answer model that looked oh-so-cool, diminutive in the pocket, but still very useable by my large and clumsy paws, slim, charged from a non-plugging cradle, great reception, halfway decent battery life. Nothing Nokia ever made was a covetable as the T28.

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Want one, well I did.

RAZR, awesome physical design, it was the only phone I actually, all but , lusted for.

As you say, once you got it, the way you accessed its limited functions were a wee bit disappointing.

Still, I always loved the feel, the way it looked, it was wow! at the time.

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Anonymous Coward

Ring ring ring ring BANANA PHONE.....

Time to dig up something from the archives:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCE4y9O7vTM

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Speaking of which...

...what happened to the 4G 3310?

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The counterfeit models lack the Nokia branding and make use of a deprecated OS such as Symbian.

They may have the Harmattan/Belle look (later ripped off by Samsung) but I really doubt it's Symbian under the hood. But if they are, they'd be worth buying...

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Yes.. that was my thought: if someone really managed to get Symbian running on any post-2011 chipset, their talents are seriously wasted at a fake phone-maker.

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The China feature phones we have over here run a generic MediaTek chipset, the one also used by fake smartwatches as well. No Symbian.

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Joke

Well at least the yellow 8110 should match my Bananaman costume.

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Perfect for the Banana Hammock

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I bought this a month ago in the Netherlands. Expected too much from it I guess, because I was quite disappointed when trying to actually use it. The (formerly known as FirefoxOS) KaiOS is one steaming pile of bugs, freezes, and random crashes. In the first day, the phone got stuck in the call log screen, started sending texts randomly, reset itself multiple times and when the one function I got it for was turned on (4G to wifi sharing), it emptied the fully charged battery in less than four hours.

On the upside the battery is removable, and you'll be glad for that because the only way to reset the OS when it freezes is taking the battery out.

If you were looking for an alternative to Android, be ready for another disappointment because it has all the Google apps built in, from Maps to Assistant to Gmail, and they cannot be removed.

Wanted to build your own apps then? Too bad, KaiOS won't let you build apps unless they can approve the app before you build it. This really is too bad, because while there is CalDAV support, there is no CardDAV support, and building it yourself does not appear to be a realistic option.

On the hardware side the backlit buttons are OK, and the slider is nice, but there is no button that will pop the slider out like on the old model, you have to grab the plastic thing and pull it down yourself :(

Was hoping this could be a real alternative to smartphones, but especially on the KaiOS side it just isn't ready yet.

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Thanks for the review! I was thinking about getting one of these but I might sit tight for a bit until it settles down.

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Anonymous Coward

Downvoted just because of "there is no button that will pop the slider out like on the old model" - the old model didn't have that either.

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Didn't know that, I was under the impression the old model had it but I guess I've just seen too many movies :-)

The buggy OS is a problem though, really wish they had tested that better or that they're working on patches for the bugs.

Wouldn't mind paying more for it even, I think there's a market for high build quality featurephones that are spyware-free. Not that the build quality is that good on this model, but it's good enough to survive hitting the floor, something that can't be said about the average glass smartphone..

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Well there we go, a good idea strangled at birth by Google loading its smorgasbord of slurping shit onto it.

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re: a good idea strangled at birth

As far as I can tell the google services are gmail, assistant, search, and maps. That and (probably) WhatsApp in the future, plus twitter and facebook.

Given the limitations of the platform I presume that the data being slurped were one to use this as a primary device would be slightly less rich than, say, an android phone that comes bundled with all of those things as well?

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I had the original Nokia 'Matrix' phone many years ago. It was generally a pretty good device, and looked cool, but I can vouch that I too was deeply disappointed it didn't have the spring release on the keyboard cover. It never looked quite the same as the movie when you had to manually pull the cover down!

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I had the 8110 but traded in for a 7110 - the spring release made all the difference!

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Paris Hilton

The thumb action to slide the cover open was trivial, and banging it against a leg/desk to close was satisfying.

The sliding contacts getting dirty and making the microphone intermittent was a tad annoying though.

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Wasp T12 Speechtool

Does it have compressed widescreen, sympiot keyboard with large '5', Sharonized ceramic cast body with yellow / black HazTape graphics, intelligent thermotones, voice authority enhancement, text insult dictionary and card expansion flange ?

No I thought not.

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Re: Wasp T12 Speechtool

It doesn't have an extra large 5, but during Nokia's hubristic era they released phones with keypads even dafter.

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Re: Wasp T12 Speechtool

You were obviously downvoted by someone who never saw a 3650, 7600, or 7610.

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Re: Wasp T12 Speechtool

Thanks Dan 55! Can't remember model numbers, but i was thinking of Nokia with circular keypad, Nokia with scroll wheel instead of keypad, and Nokia that looked like a cubic lipstick with no keypad at all. Strewth. See the Nokia documentary on BBC iPlayer for how non-native Nokians were screwing things up.

You were only likely to see the lipstick phone in the wild if you kept the company of young women at the time.

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Anonymous Coward

No iCloud Synch

Apparently there's no synch for Mac contacts or calendar via iCloud and no plans to make it available. Only way is via GMail, so it's not much use to me. Shame really. The original 8110 was my first phone and I fancied the new one just to leave in the car.

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Joke

Re: No iCloud Synch

just to leave in the car.

Isn't that why luxury cars had carphones?

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Happy

What still annoys me

is that phones went from "one hand" devices to "both hand" devices, consequently I would like to operate it with one hand even without looking at it. Still right now I use a 15 year old Nokia but it's a clam cell bastard you open the wrong way every second time and sometimes you end the call by accident. And yes I know there is stuff you can (or could) push into your ear but I don't want any of that either.

(As for internet on a not so smart phone/screen, Opera mini is quite good.)

Well nothing is perfect.

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Unhappy

Nokia 6310i

Still miss mine.

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Took a look at Kaios Site

What put me right off the phone (apart from the Google services pushing on the apps page) was the 'partners' list.

The usual fat guys lining up at the banquet table, Google, Facebook, Twitter.

Assisting the connection of those in emerging markets, you can almost here the giggling glee of the fat diners, fingering their empty salve-collars with greasy fingers.

It's only banana shaped to assist insertion deep into virgin markets...

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Anonymous Coward

My Vega+ can do all this.

^ this.

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A particular 8110 ringtone is my choice on my P20pro

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Devil

Hmm, this gives me an idea

I'm going to make a fake version of this that does nothing but plays Banana Phone, over and over and over again.

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