War of 4G Feature Phones: Nokia’s 8110 Banana Phone to Compete With Reliance JioPhone

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It seems that last week has been all about the news of reviving iconic last generation phones and blowing into them a new life. After the wave of reviving the Nokia 3310, HMD Global brought back the new Nokia 8110 4G or what some people fancy to call it “The banana phone”. Probably inspired by the success of their surreal revival of the Nokia 3310, Nokia might be thinking of paving way for a new success with another makeover of the old device.


Like last year in the case of 3310 ‘the banana phone’ is expected to knock on the doors of market starting May, as that’s when it starts shipping. However, amidst all this innovation, it is fascinating to note that while companies strive to prosper based on design and latest high-end technologies, companies look towards India as a pretty viable market for the feature phones. This, although might not be the best choice for everyone out there, but can be a compelling reason to invest in the device for a certain demographic.

The simple interface, long-lasting battery, economic price category, and ease of use make these phones a pretty attractive deal for someone who favours small handy devices over the present gen, big screen smartphones.

And like a lot of you might already have guessed, the biggest contender of Nokia is, of course, going to be the ‘India ka smartphone’, the wildly popular Reliance JioPhone. Let’s dive deep into the specifications and check for ourselves, if Nokia is really going to be standing tall right beside Jio.

The previous design of the phone owed a lot of its popularity to the engineering brilliance of the slider which used to cover the keypad. Also, after the popular sci-fi movie, “The Matrix” the sales went fiery because the looks and design were almost a trendsetter, and the saying wouldn’t be an overstatement because Nokia really is serious about bringing a successor to that very same design year after. Also, the new colour variants which Nokia plans on rolling out this year are bound to bring a surge of nostalgia for the lovers of the Nokia 8110, traditional black and banana yellow.


On the other side of the table, we have the minimalistic JioPhone which has apparently targeted a simpler customer base who prefer the ease of use over everything. Plain mainstream black colour, simple form factor and traditional design have been the trademark moves of Jio for their feature phone which they rolled out last year with a lot of fervour.

However, the speculation is, customers who brought in Nokia 3310 placing the trust in the company are going to keep their faith and might make the new 8110 the latest hit of the company. But will the device match the sales figure of the JioPhone? That is the real question.

Talking about the ‘banana phone’, the Nokia 8110 4G has a 2.4-inch QVGA display and is powered by a 1.1GHz dual-core Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform coupled with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage but sadly with no option on the expansion side.

A 2MP camera on the back of the device and a 1500mAh battery are said to give enough juice for 25 hours of standby and over nine hours on VoLTE. HMD Global confirmed that the new Nokia 8110 runs on the feature phone OS KaiOS, which also runs the JioPhone. The greatest feature of the device might really be on the software side, under which the company says that the device ships with its own app store through which you can download apps like Google Maps, Facebook, Google search, Twitter etc.


Also Whatsapp support on the device is a big possibility in the near future! Emails, calendar, sync are also enabled which make the Nokia 8110 4G very appealing for the people of almost all age groups and preferences. Coupled with the power of 4G VoLTE with the features mentioned above the phone can become a real killer.

Talking about the popular JioPhone, the 4G VoLTE feature phone sports a 2.4-inch colour display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 SoC or Spreadtrum chipset similar to the Nokia 8110 4G. The phone offers 512 MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 128GB using a microSD card, this is one place where JioPhone has the upper hand over the Nokia 8110.

The JioPhone also runs KaiOS with Jio’s own apps pre-installed like JioTV, JioCinema, JioMusic etc. The sad part is that Jio fails to provide their customer with apps like Twitter, Maps etc. which by the way amount for a sizable population of the users. It will be interesting to see whether Jio will allow the Nokia 8110 4G users to download these apps. The JioPhone recently got Facebook app support.

Talking about the most competitive place for the feature phone market -pricing- it seems that Jio holds the ground firmly in this area. Due to their very appealing Rs 0 scheme whereby customers can make a down payment of Rs 1500 and make subsequent monthly recharge, and at the end of three years get a full refund for the device, it seems that their strategy has worked quite well so far as the company managed to sell more than 15 million JioPhones and is doing extremely well by aggressively promoting the JioPhone.

Although, we don’t have an official price for the Nokia 8110 4G just yet, but a simple conversion from its Global retail price gives us a cost of Rs 6350 (79 euros). But looking at the current scenario, the competition from JioPhone, the previous Nokia 3310 which was priced at Rs 3310 (Oh the irony!) it can be said with confidence that Nokia is going to bring the price down further for the Indian Market.


Also, Nokia’s entry-level smartphone, the Nokia 1 based on Android Oreo (Go Edition) is also set to attain a price lower than Rs 5500. This puts HMD in a tight spot for the pricing of the phone, because of the pressure from all sides and fierce competition in the feature phone space.

But it entirely depends on how HMD Global prices the Banana phone in the country. If the company is looking for sales, the phone will be priced aggressively. However, that hasn't been the case with HMD Global since reviving the Nokia brand as it banked primarily on nostalgia and user experience aspects. So expect the Nokia 8110 4G feature phone to be priced over Rs 4,000 in the Indian market.

It will be very interesting to see the revival of yet another iconic phone from the previous generation, although the news might not be that exciting for a lot of people because the feature phone market is not that saturated right now, but for some fans of Nokia and the previous users of the 3310 or the 8110 this news might have brought them to the edge of their seats! We can’t wait to see how ‘the banana phone’ fares in the market? What do you think? Is it going to be lost like just another device in the market or is it really going to sell like ‘bananas’?

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