If you're of a certain vintage, you'll remember the Nokia 8110. It was the phone with a slider cover that you could snap open to answer calls – and snap shut to end them. It was the phone used in The Matrix. It was the phone with a subtle curve that quickly earned it the nickname 'banana phone'.
Well now it's back, rebooted and refreshed by Nokia to better meet the demands of the modern world. The classic curve remains, as does the slider cover function. The new handset is slimmer, lighter and packs a full colour screen. Plus there's a camera, 4G connectivity, the voice-activated Google Assistant, Google Maps, email, YouTube, a web browser, app store and more. It's technology that Neo could only dream of.
An unpeeled banana phone.
Oh, and not only does it come in classic black, it's also available in yellow for a true banana phone experience.
There's something instantly loveable about the new Nokia 8110. Sliding the phone open to wake the screen is oddly satisfying. The mix of retro looks with modern features lets you reminisce about those simpler pre-smartphone days without having to sacrifice the convenience of e-mail on your phone or the ability to do a quick web search using voice commands. It's possibly the first slider phone on which you can also slide into someone's DMs.
Up close with the Nokia 8110.
The Nokia 8110 has a sturdy feel to it. Years of using fragile glass-fronted smartphones will probably have you treating it with kid gloves at first. But you'll soon notice that the slider isn't as bendy as you expected and that the keypad responds best to a firmer touch. The keys are tightly spaced but do a good job of interpreting your buttons presses.
Nokia have put a lot of thought into the software of the 8110. There's no touchscreen, so you navigate your way through the phone using the upper set of buttons on the keypad. Everything is laid out in either a grid or a list with simple colours and clear labels.
Getting around the 8110 is easy.
When things get complicated – like when you're keying in text – you get little clues to remind you how typing on a number pad works. Nineties kids will be glad to hear that predictive text mode is available. As well as trying to predict what you're typing, this now lets you choose from a list of alternative suggested words, a little bit like auto-complete on a smartphone.
The 8110's online experience is an interesting one. It has the speed to load pages very quickly. Navigating is a little tricky depending on the website, but mostly manageable with a little practice. Also impressive are the apps specifically designed for the phone. Google Maps and Assistant were particular surprises, offering a very familiar and full experience that's well tailored to the 8110.
A very full Google Maps experience.
If you're tired of the demands a smartphone places on you – the constant notifications, the distracting pull of social media apps, the privacy problems – the Nokia 8110 might be just the right phone for you. You can still use it to surf and snap if you must, but really this is a phone that offers you a simpler life. And you don't have to be bananas to want that.
The Nokia 8110 is now available SIM free at Carphone Warehouse. Buy your banana phone now.
Nokia 8110 available in black and yellow.