Just like last year's Mobile World Congress, HMD Global plays on nostalgia once again with the Nokia 8110. Meanwhile, Lenovo teases the Motorola RAZR.
During the 2017 MWC, the Chinese company revealed its retro remake of the beloved 3310 handsets. It was an unexpected success as consumers who previously owned the original wanted to buy one.
Now, the manufacturer took another model from its older lineup and generated a similar hype among potential buyers. It seems like Lenovo acknowledges the existing demand for something familiar and hinted at the possible return of the iconic clamshell phone.
Same Form, New Technology
Sources noted that unlike HMD Global's approach with the older Nokia models, which are redesigned with a modern look but still run on Symbian OS, Lenovo hinted that its retro handset might come with modern features.
"With the new technology, particularly foldable screens, I think you will see more and more innovation on our smartphone design, according to Yang Yuanqing, the company CEO. "So hopefully what you described will be developed or realized very soon."
The Demand For Clamshell Smartphones
Ever since Apple introduced the original iPhone, smartphone design followed the same candy bar form factor for the longest time. However, there still appears to be a market for flip-type phones, especially in Asia. Samsung continues to manufacture premium flip handsets that run on Android with all the latest hardware onboard.
Meanwhile, Lenovo is internationally recognized for its Yoga lineup of devices that showcase bendable form factors for its laptops and 2-in-1 products. Some sources speculate that the new RAZR phone might have a foldable touchscreen that stretches from the top to bottom. Whereas the Nokia models rely on physical buttons, the retro Motorola handset could sport touch only controls.
In 2016, Motorola posted a video on YouTube that paraded the RAZR mobile phone. It carried a nostalgic vibe that supposedly hints at the company's intention to revive the series in the future. Lenovo's comments during MWC 2018 seems like the plan is definitely on its way.
The new Motorola RAZR continues to be a speculation until Lenovo shares a proof of concept or working model soon. However, the Nokia 8110 is real and has already created a demand for more retro handsets from HMD Global.
The original model was made famous by The Matrix movies and was dubbed the banana phone due to its curved shape. The modern 8110 is reportedly LTE-ready and runs on a Qualcomm 2016 Mobile Platform chipset with 512 MB of RAM.
It comes with 4 GB of internal storage and a 2.4-inch QVGA screen. Sporting a 2-megapixel main camera the device supposedly lasts 25 days on standby.
It will be available sometime in May for an estimated $97 and come in black and yellow paint jobs, possibly an inside joke taken from its nickname.