Saturday 23 June 2018

Nokia 1 ★★☆☆☆

HMD Global has been launching all kinds of new phones & legacy Nokia phones as well for the past couple of years. This time they decided to launch the cheapest Android smartphone running Android 8.1 Oreo, The Nokia 1.

At first glance, you’ll realise why it’s a sub £80 phone. It’s all plastic, has a dull 4.5” screen (with more bezels than screen!), 5MP rear camera, barely there front camera, 8GB of memory of which you can use only 4GB & 1 GB RAM with a Mediatek Processor. What am I gonna do with so much power!? That being said, the back of the Nokia 1 is replaceable with “xpress-on” covers that HMD sell similar to legacy Nokia phones. It does have Dual SIM support, a removable battery & a Micro-SD card slot, 4G, Wi-FI and most importantly a 3.5mm jack. Sadly though, on the inside of the phone, there’s not much you can do.

The Nokia 1 runs on the Android Oreo Go edition which is the scaled down version of the Android Oreo, for budget phones that still need the latest software. The phone does support regular apps like Twitter, FB, Whatsapp etc. but Google has provided special lite variants of their in-house apps like Youtube Go, Maps Go, Google Go and so on. These apps are a hit and a miss and would not give all features you’d be used to when using on a normal Android phone. The user experience overall was laggy & it kept throwing quite a few crashes/errors. Hopefully, upcoming software updates would fix these issues. A useful feature is the Glance Screen where notifications are displayed on the lock screen even when the display is off, which is not something you’d expect on a device in this price range.

The rear camera can only click in natural light, you’ll need to take studio lighting wherever you go if you want any clicks indoors or in low light! The front camera is slow and average. Video recording maxes out at 720p so do not attempt to use it unless you want your videos to look like being shot in the 90s! 

In conclusion, the phone is only useful if you are coming from a feature phone to the world of smartphones or if you need a secondary phone with basic features. The Xiaomi Redmi series of budget phones is a better option in this price range.

Pritesh Khilnani
Nokia 1 at CeX

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