Rs 5,499 Nokia 1 directly Xiaomi Redmi 5A and challenges 10.or D. Both these handsets come with the common version of Android. Does the Nokia 1 give a tough competition to these handsets on the back of Android Go? Let’s know through review…
Nokia 1 Design
The compact and nifty design of the Nokia 1 makes it stand out. Especially when the market is dominated by handsets with big screens. There are wide borders at the top and bottom of the display. At the same time, the white colored rim on the edge of the front panel works to give it a cool look. In the design of Nokia 1, you will see a glimpse of the old Lumia smartphone.
The power and volume buttons are on the right and their position is comfortable. Button response is also good. There is a headphone socket on the top and a Micro-USB port on the bottom. The rear camera and single LED flash are housed inside a capsule-like design on the rear. Its white colored border works to enhance the design further.
The simple and colorful design, the express-on rear shell makes the Nokia 1 feel something unique. It should also be noted that despite taking precautions during the review, the removable shell was easily scratched.
As expected, the Nokia 1 is made of plastic and doesn’t feel premium. With a thickness of 9.5 mm, this phone cannot be called slim, but it fits easily in the hands. Under the back cover is the battery which can be taken out. Separate slots for two SIM cards and microSD card are also provided.
Nokia 6, Nokia 8 And Nokia 3 With such handsets, HMD Global has created a reputation for offering strong and durable handsets. Nokia 1 also carries forward this strategy of the company. During the review, the phone fell from our hands a couple of times, but nothing happened to it.
Nokia 1 Specification, Performance and Software
The Nokia 1 is a smartphone that has been specially designed for the Android Oreo Go platform. Android Go is a less feature-rich incarnation of Google’s popular Android OS. This is for budget smartphones that come with a weak processor and 1GB or less of RAM.
The Nokia 1 is clearly not a powerhouse. It is equipped with quad core MediaTek MT6737 processor and the highest clock speed is 1.1 GHz. The phone has 1 GB RAM. The battery is of 2150 mAh. 4.5 inch IPS screen with 480×854 pixel resolution.
There is only one variant of Nokia 1 which is with 8 GB inbuilt storage. It is possible to use a microSD card up to 128 GB if needed. Talking about the camera, you will get a 5-megapixel fixed focus rear camera along with LED flash. It has a 2 megapixel fixed focus front camera. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, FM radio, Micro-USB, and 3.5mm audio jack.
The basic user interface is very smooth. But the phone becomes slow only when 5-6 apps are open in the background. We found that the phone slowed down for simple tasks like scrolling through the Twitter feed, viewing mobile optimized websites and chatting on WhatsApp.
First party apps like messaging apps also took longer than expected to open. The default Maps Go app sometimes couldn’t find our location. With some apps open in the background, and you are playing games, the phone gets hot. Frankly speaking, the user experience reminded us of the budget smartphones of the days when everything was slow and boring. As of today, such complaints are not found even in this price range.
The experience of playing games on the Nokia 1 was very bad. Subway surfer game, which usually runs smoothly in every smartphone, was getting stuck in this handset.
In Android Go, Google has designed all the default Android apps in such a way that they consume less data. Apart from this, changes were also made to the system UI and kernel, so that 512 MB RAM can work.
On paper things look very tempting. But our first experience with Android Go wasn’t great. The default applications also sometimes work, sometimes not. The subscription and personal recommendation features are missing from YouTube Go. This app crashed several times during testing. The good thing is that you can decide in which resolution to download the video. This way it becomes easy to take control of the data and storage.
The Google Go application is fascinating. You get shortcuts for features like translate, gif search and voice search. With the help of Files Go app, users will be able to manage storage.
It also has Nokia’s Glance Screen feature. You will see notifications of missed calls, alarms, mails, messages etc. in the lock screen.
Overall our experience was not satisfactory either. What is the reason for this? It is difficult to determine. If the Nokia 1 was on the regular Android version, then the phone’s weak specification could be blamed. However, the Android Go platform is designed for this type of hardware only. Whatever be the reason, but the image of this platform has been tarnished due to performance.
We weren’t expecting too much from the 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS display. It is very dull and washed out. It is not easy to read anything on it in sunlight. Touch response is satisfactory and viewing angles are quite good.
Call quality was good in our experience. However, there were some complaints of call drops even in areas with good signal. The loud noise comes from the only speaker on the phone, which grabbed our attention. The sound does not crack even at maximum volume. The quality of the earphones that come with the phone is very average. There is nothing surprising in this considering the price.
Nokia 1 Cameras and Battery Life
Like other low-end phones, the Nokia 1’s cameras disappoint. Photos taken with the rear camera in low light have a lot of noise, and colors look washed out. Photos come out better in better light. However, the shot lacks detail. Fixed focus seems to struggle when taking macros and close-up shots. You’ll be able to record videos up to 720 pixels at most. We found that the recorded clips came with noise.
Front camera is also average. It gives poor results in low light. Selfies taken during the day are a bit better, they can be used on social media. The camera app is easy to use. It also has a manual mode. You will be able to control the white balance and exposure.
The Nokia 1 died in our HD video loop battery test in 8 hours 45 minutes which is disappointing. The battery hardly lasts a whole day in normal use. We found that it became necessary to charge the phone every day by 7-8 pm. It also takes 2 hours to fully charge, which is disappointing.
The biggest complaint with the Nokia 1 is the price of Rs 5,499. Had the price of Nokia 1 been kept further lower, it would have been a great option for users who are looking to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones. If Jio users keep the cashback offer in mind, then its effective price becomes Rs 3,299. But other users should check some other options before buying this phone. Because in today’s date there are many great options under Rs 10,000.
The Redmi 5A and 10.0r D are priced around the Nokia 1, which have a much better user experience. Android Go is still in its early stages, but the current shortcomings cannot be ignored.