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MWC 2018: Nokia 8110 returns, along with a range of new Nokia smartphones

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HMD Global, maker of Nokia phones, has unveiled a packed lineup of new devices at the Mobile World Congress tech fair in Spain. Along with a new version of its Nokia 8 flagship and two new mid-range phones, the company took the wraps off a $149 smartphone and a rebooted version of 1998's Nokia 8110.

Exactly one year since HMD brought the Nokia brand back in a big way at last year's MWC, the company appears to be doubling down on its strategy of producing solid Android hardware across every price point, while partnering up with Google to take responsibility for the software. And, of course, supplementing this business with a healthy dose of nostalgia.

The resurrected 8110 caused the most buzz at HMD's announcement. Made famous by The Matrix, the 8110 was a premium Nokia phone with a chrome finish and a sliding cover over its keys. Unlike with , HMD this time appears to be embracing an old-school aesthetic while also constructing a modern, functional phone.

The new 8110 is designed to keep what was great about the original — a compact, hardy construction, sliding the cover to answer and end calls — and certainly seems more simple and straightforward than an iPhone or full Android device, but it features 4G connectivity, voice over LTE calling and access to a basic app store for Google services and social media. It will also be able to sync calendar data, and like the new 3310 comes with a modernised version of the iconic game Snake.

The phone will launch in May this year in both black and a funky banana yellow, although Australian availability has not yet been confirmed. It will have a global price of €79, or around $124, according to HMD.


On the other end of the scale, HMD introduced a new version of its . The Nokia 8 Sirocco has a new stainless steel and Gorilla Glass 5 body — with increased water resistance — and improved ZEISS optics. While the guts of the phone are much the same as last year, the design has been updated with a shorter overall footprint but a bigger 5.5-inch OLED screen (compared to the 8's 5.3-inch LCD), resulting in an edge-to-edge display closer resembling other flagship phones. The device will release in Australia in May, at $1199.

Also tweaked was the Nokia 6, which was originally released last year as the most expensive of that also included the Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. It will now come with ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging and, like the new 8, a sturdier and more compact body. The new version of the 6 will retail for $449 in Australia and is expected in early May. Last year's Nokia 7 will be joined by a larger version, suitably named the Nokia 7 Plus, which straddles the line between mid-range and flagship with its big 6-inch screen and $749 pricepoint.

The three new smartphones are part of the Android One program, meaning Google controls the rollout of software onto the devices. Users of the new Nokia smartphones will get the latest Android features and fast security updates, with Nokia preferring not to add its own spin on the operating system like other manufacturers including Samsung, Sony and LG do.

Finally, HMD unveiled the Nokia 1, a tiny smartphone that runs the "Go" version of Android 8.0 Oreo, which is usually reserved for phones released in developing nations. Android Go uses much lighter apps and cuts back on optional extras so that services work smoothly on less-powerful devices, but maintains the security standards of regular Android.

The Nokia 1 features a 4.5-inch LCD screen, 5MP primary camera and 2MP selfie shooter, plus 4G connectivity and 8GB of storage expandable by SD card. Though it's available in red or blue, HMD will sell coloured click-on covers to switch up the style, in a throwback to some iconic Nokia handsets. The Nokia 1 launches in Australia in May, at $149.