The reimagined Nokia 8110 4G created quite a buzz when it was first announced. The yellow model was sold out pretty much as soon as it was on sale. And not so long after that, the market was flooded with fake Nokia 8110 units that lacks 4G and runs on a totally different operating system.

The Nokia 8110 4G pays homage to the Nokia 8110. Other than the naming convention and the slider design, the reimagined Nokia 8110 4G was meant to be an entry level device rather than being a premium device like its predecessor, hence, some compromise were obvious.

The Nokia 8110 4G, the excitement and then the frustration

Meant to be a bridge to gap between dumb phones and smart phone, the idea of what Nokia 8110 4G was meant to be, was brilliant, at least on paper. Running on Kai OS, it initially has backing from many manufacturers and had the attention from Google. In theory, this smarter feature phone provides multi day battery life, has the ability to use Whatsapp which is among its crucial selling point and the ability to sync with Google server for contacts, calendar and e mails. But it does this within the footprint of a feature phone.

In reality, Kai OS was far from complete to give users the smarter phone experience. In fact, it lags behind legacy operating system like the Symbian S60V3 devices out there which practically was able to do all the above, with a multiday battery life with a much premium build quality back in the days.

The design of the Nokia 8110 4G did not help either. The keypads were dead flat with poor tactile feedback, the narrow dimension makes typing difficult and the slider was far from being robust. This coupled with the bug that causes double input to be registered with a single key press made the typing experience horrible and the very idea of using this smarter feature phone became a frustrating choice.

Is Kai OS in trouble

The prospect of a smarter feature phone is good, but it needs a solid hardware and mature software. Symbian devices in general, in its many forms and factors, are known for excellent typing experiences. The smarter phone means you will be doing more work on your phone than just the occasional text, calls and browsing. So, it was not just a matter of having a smarter OS on any device, but the design of the device should complement what the OS was meant to do.

But Kai OS itself seems half baked at the time of its release. With the latest Kai OS 3, the limited availability as seen on devices such as the Nokia 2780 which is a US specific device paints a new understanding. The lack of Whatsapp is also concerning especially when it is one of its key selling points. There is more to Kai OS development that I share in my video here.

The feature phone

Do we need a smarter feature phone? If that is the case, then any budget Android Go devices will be able to do the trick and execute it better. If it is just for basic use with valued added feature, the S30 platform can be developed further as seen with the recent Nokia feature phone devices where market specific apps are included.

What is holding up Nokia from rebooting the Symbian operating system, at least the S60V3? That would instantly sweep the market and give users a more fluid and solid experience.

So, what do you need from a feature phone device, especially if its not your primary device?

As usual do stay connected for updates on the go.