Blast from the Past – The Banana Phone


Since the smartphones have taken over, and quite frankly, the market is full of them, I thought I would try and get my hands on a device from the past. A device, which , in its era, was the most popular and must have device for everyone in the world. In 1998, Nokia gave the world, a device which would go down in History as ” The Matrix Phone”. Say hello to the Nokia 8110, aka, the banana phone. While the world was still getting used to the concept of a cellphone, Nokia was already two steps ahead of the rest, and instead of giving the people, a sorry experience, they gave them a glimpse into the future with every product they churned out.
The 8110 was a member of the reputed 8xxx family of phones released by Nokia, and what this device brought to the table was simply extra-ordinary. Its design and styling, introduced to the world, the very first “sliding form factor”, which means, the device featured a slider which protected the keypad while the phone was unused, and could be lowered when the owner wished to use it. The slider , when lowered, used to curve outwards, thus giving the device, a banana like appearance, and has been, since then, lovingly called ” The Banana Phone”.

Originally, the phone was designed specifically as a business phone, and was thus, one of the lightest and smallest phones of the time, but still featured a better battery then its predecessor , the 2110. Little did Nokia know, that the phone would later feature in the cult hit ” The Matrix” after which, it would take its place forever, in the mobile Hall of Fame.

When it came to the features, it was already way ahead of its curve. The Finns released an upgraded model dubbed the 8110i, which featured smart messaging, which enabled the users, for the first time, to send/receive ringtones. Later on, Nokia stopped marketing the smart messaging feature, but did not abandon it. The later devices of Nokia also supported the smart messaging feature.

The battery technology was also a bit ahead of its time – there was a slim 400 mAh battery along with an extended 900 mAh battery. Phones today boast batteries unto 4000 mAh or even higher in some cases , but back then, 900 mAh was the stuff of dreams.

The spec sheet may not be loaded for today’s time, but here is what you would get in every Nokia 8110.

Dimensions-141*48*25 mm
Weight-152 grams
Display-Monochrome Graphic
Camera  –
Hardware  –
Battery-Li-ion 400 mAh + extended 900 mAh
RAM  –
Storage-125 phonebook entries
Operating System  –
Durability  –

All in all, the phone may not look like a superstar today, but trust me, if you ever got a chance to own one of these phones, even as a collector’s item, you would definitely sleep with a smile on your face.


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