Nokia 8110 4G review: a powerful smart feature phone

Disclosure: When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Nokia 8110 4G is a departure from the norm of 2018. It has no touchscreen, has a slider, has a hardware keypad, and is 4G-enabled. Lastly, it does not run Android or iOS. Rather, what powers it is a new OS by the name KaiOS. I have our Nokia 8110 4G review ready, and we bring you all you need to know about this odd device.

Nokia 8110 4G Review: Hardware

nokia 8110 4g dpad and keypad

The body of the phone is all plastic. At its price point, that is no surprise; it it? The display is a small 2.4 inches in size, and underneath it is a directional pad (d-pad), followed by the keypad that hides under the slider when not in use.

There is a micro-USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack at the top side of the device. The power key is at the top right corner. All the other sides of the phone are without buttons, which gives it a neat look and feel.

nokia 8110 4g slider mechanism

The slider mechanism feels a bit loose – like something that will degenerate quickly. There is a slight wobble when it is extended. Considering that you cannot avoid pushing it out every time you need to use the phone, that doesn’t look good.

Nokia 8110 4G Review: Software

This phone runs KaiOS, which is new but gaining ground in India and in North America. It is a simple, no-frills OS that provides smarter functionalities for feature phones. You can create a KaiOS account on the Nokia 8110 4G to access a number of services.

If you create and sign into your KaiOS account on the phone, you will be able to remotely lock or wipe your phone should it get stolen or lost.

The team behind KaiOS say there are apps available for the platform already, but the app store isn’t ready yet and so is not available on this device. KaiOS users on Reliance Jio are able to download apps from Jio’s own store, but until KaiStore is ready, Nokia 8110 4G users will have to make do with what is pre-installed on the phone.

Which is not much. If you want to use Twitter and Facebook on the Nokia 8110 4G right now, you have to make do with the mobile web versions of those services. They are pre-configured in the web browser’s homepage.

Update: KaiStore, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Twitter apps are now available for the Nokia 8110 4G via a software update. See our Hands-on with YouTube, Google Maps, Assistant, KaiStore on Nokia 8110 4G for details.

Nokia 8110 4G in Use

Nokia 8110 4G review - homescreen

If you are used to smartphones, perhaps the first challenge you will experience is not being able to interact via the screen. This is no touchscreen device. And then, there’s the old-school alphanumeric keypad and directional pad for navigation.

Once you get past those i.e. get used to them, the Matrix phone is a decent feature phone. It has two SIm slots – one is nano size and the other micro.

nokia 8110 4g gmail inbox

The 8110 4G supports a number of email technologies, including IMAP, SMTP, and ActiveSync. Gmail works, as does Outlook/Hotmail.

In addition, if you keep your contacts synchronised via Google and Outlook, you can import them to the phone. You can also import contacts from a memory card.

Nokia 8110 4G Review importing gmail contacts

But it took 20 minutes to import my 3638 contacts from Google. And after importing, I scrolled through the Contacts list to discover that it contains only email addresses. There were no phone number and name for each contact.

Horror! The problem got solved when I deleted about 2000 of the contacts: names and phone numbers began to show up in the contacts I had left on the phone. Apparently, the Nokia 8110 4G isn’t built for heavy users. Even with over 1,000 contacts left on the phone, when you open the Contacts app, there is a pause before the contacts load, and then you experience another pause/lag before you can scroll through.

In truth, the target market of the Nokia 8110 4G are not likely to have 1,000 people in their contacts, much less 2,000. Do note that if you need to delete multiple contacts, you will require some patience – more like put the phone down and get to attend to some other tasks. It took me a while to delete over 2,000 contacts.

The Nokia 8110 4G does not offer you multi-tasking, though some services run in the background. If you are doing something, like importing or deleting contacts, you have to stay there till it is done before moving on to your next task.

Nokia 8110 4G Review: Network & LTE Tests

nokia 8110 4g review 4g lte network

The Nokia 8110 4G supports 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. You can peg it to 2G only, 3G/2G Auto, or 4G/3G/2G Auto.

So, which of the available 4G networks does the Nokia 8810 4G support? The specs sheet says that it should support MTN, 9mobile, Airtel, Ntel, and Smile.

We put in an Ntel 4G SIM card but the phone wouldn’t latch on to the 4G network, though it auto-configured Ntel’s APN settings.

We put in our Smile 4G SIM card: same result as with Ntel. It did not pick the network.

A Glo SIM picked only 2G and 3G networks. That is fine, because the specs does not list Glo’s 4G network.

An MTN SIM card picked up 4G quickly, though it kept switching between that and 3G intermittently. We did not have Airtel 4G and 9mobile 4G SIM cards to test with, but given precedence, we can safely say that you will not have problem getting them to work on the 8110 4G.

nokia 8110 4g web browser

There is WiFi in here, as well as wireless hotspot. WiFi works fine, except that if you disconnect, the phone does not remember the login again when you need to reconnect to that same network. You have to type it in all over again.

For your pictures and music, there is a measly 4GB internal storage, of which only about 2GB is available for your use. You will need a micro-SD card to boost your available storage. The phone supports USB storage, which you can enable in the Settings.

Nokia 8110 4G Review: Camera

A 2018 mobile phone review will feel incomplete without the mention of cameras and photography, and so we shall mention it to fulfil all righteousness. The reason is clear: the 2 megapixel back camera on the Nokia 8110 4G is not going to get you any respectable photographs.

But again, this is a budget device for people who have not used smartphones.

Nokia 8110 4G Review: Battery

nokia 8110 4g back cover open

The 1500mAh battery performs adequately, keeping the phone on for about a work day of use. Of course, your experience will vary depending on how hard you push the phone. If you have an active 4G connection and use it as a hotspot, the battery will run out in a number of hours.

Nokia 8110 4G Video Review

Nokia 8110 4G Review: Final Words

nokia 8110 4g back

If you have gotten comfy with smartphones, you will find the Nokia 8810 4G a bit uncomfortable to navigate and use. But that isn’t a bad thing; the device is not targeted at smartphone users, but those billions who have either never used a phone at all or have used only the most basic feature phone.

The Nokia 8110 4G gives them a smarter feature phone that also puts 4G internet in their hands. What we are not sure of is how well a phone of this sort will do in certain markets. There are many entry-level smartphones that cost less than the Nokia 8110 4G, so even people who have never owned a smartphone before can get better value.

The Freetel ICE 2 costs much less. So does iTel A32F, which throws in a fingerprint scanner; as does the Fero A5002, just to mention a few. $97 or about N26,000 is a lot to pay for a non-smartphone these days.

You could buy the 8110 4G for the cool factor. Pulling out a nicely curved phone and extending the slider to take a phone call is cool and will get you some attention. Especially if you have the yellow colour. But we assure you: the black colour looks good with a well-groomed suit too.

I hope you found my Nokia 8110 4G review helpful. Let me know if you have any questions about the device.

More Resources On Nokia 8110 4G and KaiOS

If you are interested in more information about Nokia 8110 4G and KaiOS, you can go through the following articles:

Get Notified of New Content on

Don’t snooze on fresh, new posts. One email per day only! We do not share your contact with anyone.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a comment