|Launch Date||March 28, 2018 (Official)|
|Operating System||Android v8.1 (Oreo)|
|Custom UI||Android Go|
|SIM Slot(s)||Dual SIM, GSM+GSM|
|SIM Size||SIM1: Nano|
|Network||4G: Available (supports Indian bands)|
|Colours||Warm Red, Dark Blue|
|Screen Size||4.5 inches (11.43 cm)|
|Screen Resolution||480 x 854 pixels|
|Pixel Density||218 ppi|
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)||61.58 %|
|Processor||Quad core, 1.1 GHz, Cortex A53|
|Internal Memory||8 GB|
|User Available Storage||Up to 5 GB|
|USB OTG Support||yes|
|Resolution||2 MP Front Camera|
|Image Resolution||2592 x 1944 Pixels|
|Camera Features||Digital Zoom|
|TalkTime||Up to 9 Hours(3G)|
|Standby time||Up to 360 Hours(2G)|
|Network & Connectivity|
|SIM Size||SIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano|
|Network Support||4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G|
|Wi-Fi Features||Mobile Hotspot|
|USB Connectivity||Mass storage device, USB charging, microUSB 2.0|
|Audio Jack||3.5 mm|
|Other Sensors||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer|
The Nokia 1 directly competes with the Redmi 5A, but both these phones differ very much in terms of internal hardware and build quality. The Nokia 1 has an advantage with the funky look, stock Android experience, decent cameras, latest operating system. However, on the flip side, it has an FWVGA display, aged MediaTek chipset, and low-capacity battery compared to the Redmi 5A. So, if you are in the market looking for a smartphone, the Nokia 1 is a perfect choice if you wish to have Stock Android interface if not, you can choose the Redmi 5A.
HMD Global made a comeback with the launch of Nokia 6 last year, and since then the company has been actively launching phones in India. The biggest challenge for any company is software updates, even in that regard, HMD Global has been very active. The company is consistently rolling out security updates and Android upgrades as well making the brand Nokia reach into the masses. In fact, HMD has placed Nokia phones in every budget right from budget to high-end. At the MWC 2018 event, the company introduced the Nokia 1 which is part of the Google’s Android Oreo (Go Edition); an OS designed for low-cost Android phones with less than 1GB of RAM. The Nokia 1 also falls on the same ship; it is an affordable entry-level smartphone that is aimed at users who wish to switch from feature to smartphone world. In our today’s review, we shall take a closer look at the Nokia 1 and see how well it fares.
The Nokia 1 sports a 4.5-inches FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) IPS display and is powered by the MediaTek MT6737M clocked at 1.1GHz Quad-core with Mali-T720 GPU. There is 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage that is expandable up to 128GB with microSD. It runs on Android 8.1 (Oreo) Go Edition. There is a 5MP fixed-focus rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP front-facing camera for selfies and video calls. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS. A 2150mAh battery.
The Nokia 1 packs a compact and nifty design which feels fresh when compared to the large sized phones. It has thick bezels above and below the display, which might be out of trend for today’s time but since we are talking about an Rs. 5,499 phone, we can’t expect more. It comes with a white plastic rim around the front part that gives the phone a funky two-colored tone look. It fits perfectly well in hands, and one-handed usage is also extremely comfortable. Since it is all plastic, the phone also feels light in hands, so it doesn’t hurt your hands even on extended usage.
Moving to placements, up front, you find the 2-megapixel selfie camera, proximity sensor, main earpiece, and down below the 4.5-inches screen are the three touch type capacitive buttons that are placed within the display. The power on/off switch and Volume rockers are present on the right side, while there is nothing on the left side. Top houses the 3.5mm audio jack, while the microUSB port with primary microphone is situated at the bottom. Flipping the phone to the rear is where you find the 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, speaker grills, and Nokia branding. The battery is removable and beneath sits the dual SIM card slots and a microSD card slot. Overall, the build and design of the Nokia 1 are impressive for the pricing.
The Nokia 1 sports a 4.5-inches FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) IPS display with no support for protected glass on top. Since the resolution is not very high, the colors look slightly pixelated and not very sharp. The viewing angles are good, and the brightness levels are also impressive. We were able to access the content even in bright daylight conditions and outdoors. The colors are washed out, but the touch response is smooth and responsive. Since there is no protected glass, we suggest you be extra careful while using the phone or you might end up breaking it.
The device was not able to handle 720 or 1080p videos even with a third-party video player like MX Player. The lack of sharpness in pixels is evident on zooming or looking closely at the display.
The Nokia 1 is powered by the MediaTek MT6737M clocked at 1.1GHz Quad-core with Mali-T720 GPU and 1GB RAM. Since we are talking about a budget phone, the performance is just about average. Apps open up reasonably quick, but they take a good 2-3 seconds of time to load completely. It can handle most of your daily essentials apps like dialer, messages, GPS navigation, browser, social media apps, but struggles very hard to handle in high-end applications. Unless you are using the phone continuously or run high-end applications, the phone, for the most part, stays smooth without any lag or stutters. Google has launched Android Go apps that includes Maps, YouTube, Files, Gmail, Gboard, the interface is very much optimized to handle those apps perfectly smooth.
In terms of gaming, we played games like Subway Surfers, Temple Run 2, Leo’s Fortune, Pokemon Go and for the most part the games ran fine, but then if you continue to game for an extended period, you will definitely notice frame drops. It doesn’t come with any fingerprint sensor or other biometric authentications except for the traditional pattern or passcode lock. Overall, the performance of the Nokia 1 is acceptable, but the Redmi 5A comes with a much better chipset.
The Nokia 1 packs a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP selfie shooter. The camera interface is very simple, it has toggles for the front camera, video, flash is present on the home screen and digging deep into the settings gives you options to tweak the camera options. Moving along, the images clicked in the daylight or outdoor conditions are good with decent colors and details. The pictures don’t come off dull or washed out which is a good thing. However, things change drastically in the low-light conditions. Photos clicked in the low light conditions had a lot of noise, and the colors were washed out. The rear camera can record up to 720P videos, and the quality of the videos is jerky since it doesn’t come with any OIS.
The front camera is a 2MP sensor, and the selfies are very average. There is too much noise in the image and are in no way social shareable. Overall, the camera of the Nokia 1 is very average.
The Nokia 1 packs a 2150mAh battery that is user replaceable but doesn’t have support for fast charging. With regular to moderate usage that includes listening to music, GPS navigation, browsing, taking calls, sending text messages, and social media, the Nokia 1 was only able to last until the evening utmost which is not very exceptional. Since the company is aiming to place it as an entry-level smartphone and a replacement to the feature phone, the battery life is something that was expected in the first place. The battery performance entirely depends on how limited your usage is.
If you are an extremely light and casual user, you can easily pull through till the end of the day, but if you are not, you will have to charge once again before the day ends. Since there is no fast charge, the phone took close to 2 hours 30 minutes to charge fully with the bundled adapter. Overall, the battery of the Nokia 1 is quite decent for casual users, but no very much for high-end users.
The Nokia 1 comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, and the company is also including earphones within the box. However, the headsets are not the in-ear style they are just basic ones. The speaker grill is present on the rear side, so it does muffle when you place the phone on a flat surface. However, the speaker is loud enough to cover an entire room, and we never missed a call or message. The sound via the headphones is also good enough, but you will have to spend some more on a pair of earphones for the better audio experience.
In terms of video, the phone was only able to play 480p videos, the 720p HD videos freeze or struggle to play smoothly without audio or video going out of sync. Overall, the sound and the video experience of the Nokia 1 is decent, but the lack of HD playback is a let-down.
The Nokia 1 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo right out of the box. Oreo is currently the latest O.S in the market available for public, and Nokia 1 is also one of the very few phones in the market to run on 8.1 Oreo, thanks to the Android 8.1 (Oreo) Go Edition. There is literally no additional bloatware, and all we get is plain stock U.I experience that is very much required for budget phones. This not only saves the space but also keeps the phone extremely smooth while using. It comes with Google set of applications pre-installed. Since it is a stock Android interface, there is not much in terms of customization, and you will have to rely on PlayStore apps for theming.
It comes with 1GB of RAM out of which around 600MB is free when just the default services are running in the background. Enough RAM is sufficient to run most essential tasks without throwing any lag or stutters. The interface is smooth, the animations are perfectly excellent, and the transitions render quite good too. We never noticed any lag or sluggishness in the U.I even when multitasking with 4-5 apps in the background. Overall, the software experience of the Nokia 1 is as good as it can get at this price range.