Nokia 1 review

Nokia 1 is not only the cheapest Nokia Android smartphone, but it is also the first handset of HMD Global to run on Android Oreo Go Edition. Let us know that this is an avatar of Android, which has been made keeping in mind the budget smartphone. Especially for users who want to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone.

The Nokia 1, priced at Rs 5,499, directly challenges Xiaomi Redmi 5A and 10.or D. Both these handsets come with the common version of Android. Does Nokia 1 challenge these handsets strongly on Android Go? Let’s know through the review …

Nokia 1 design

The compact and nifty design of the Nokia 1 serves to give it a distinct identity. Especially when the big screen handset is dominated in the market. The display has wide borders at the top and bottom. At the same time, the white colored rim on the side of the front panel works to give it a cool look. In the design of Nokia 1, you will get a glimpse of the old Lumia smartphone.

The power and volume buttons are on the right side and their positions are comfortable. Button response is also good. There is a headphone socket on the top and Micro-USB port on the bottom. The rear camera and single LED flash are inside a capsule-like design on the rear. Its white colored border serves to improve the design.

The simple and colorful design, express-on rear shell makes the Nokia 1 feel somewhat unique. Also tell that despite taking precautions during the review, easily removable shells were scratched.

As expected, the Nokia 1 is made of plastic and does not feel premium. This phone with a thickness of 9.5 millimeters cannot be called slim, but it fits easily in the hands. There is a battery under the back cover that can be taken out. Separate slots for two SIM cards and MicroSD cards are also provided.


With handsets like Nokia 6, Nokia 8 and Nokia 3, HMD Global has created an image to offer strong and durable handsets. Nokia 1 also carries forward this strategy of the company. During the review, the phone dropped from our hands a couple of times, but nothing happened to it.

Nokia 1 specification, performance and software

Nokia 1 is a smartphone that is specifically designed for the Android Oreo Go platform. Android Go is a low-feature avatar of Google’s popular Android OS. This is for those budget smartphones that come with a weak processor and 1 GB or less RAM.

Nokia 1 is obviously not a powerhouse. It is equipped with a quad core MediaTek MT 6737 processor and the highest clock speed is 1.1 GHz. The phone has 1 GB RAM. The battery is 2150 mAh. The 4.5-inch IPS screen is 480×854 pixels 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 fixed focus rear camera of 5 megapixels and also LED flash. It has a fixed focus front camera of 2 megapixels. 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 opened in the background. We found that the phone started slowing down in simple tasks like scrolling Twitter feeds, viewing mobile optimized websites and chatting on WhatsApp.

Messaging apps like First Party Apps also took longer than expected to open. The default Maps Go app could not find our location many times. If some apps are open in the background, and you are playing the game too, the phone becomes hot. Frankly speaking, the user experience reminded us of the budget smartphone in those days when everything was slow and boring. Even today, such complaints are not found even in this price range.


The experience of playing the game on Nokia 1 was very bad. The subway surfer game, which usually runs smoothly on every smartphone, was stuck in this handset.

In Android Go, Google has designed all the default Android apps so that they consume less data. Apart from this, changes were also made in the system UI and the kernel, so that 512 MB of RAM can also be used.

On paper, things look very breathtaking. But our first experience with Android Go was not very great. Default applications also work, sometimes not. Subscription and personal recommendation features are missing from YouTube Go. This app crashed many times during testing. The good thing is that you can decide in which resolution the video is downloaded. In this way it becomes easier to control data and storage.

The Google Go application is attractive. You get shortcuts for features like translation, gif search and voice search. Users will be able to manage storage with the help of Files Go app.


It also has Nokia’s Glance Screen feature. You will see notifications of missed calls, alarms, mail, messages etc. in the lock screen.

Overall, our experience was not satisfactory. What is the reason for this? It is difficult to determine. If Nokia 1 was on a common Android version, then the poor specification of the phone could be attributed. However, Android Go platform is designed for this type of hardware only. Whatever the reason, but due to performance, the image of this platform has been discounted.

We were not 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 drop even in areas with good signal. The only speaker given in the phone is the loud sound which caught our attention. The volume does not break even in the maximum volume. The quality of the earphones that comes with the phone is very average. There is nothing shocking in view of the price.

Nokia 1 camera and battery life

Like other low-cost phones, Nokia 1’s cameras disappoint. In low light, pictures taken from the rear camera have too much noise, and the colors appear washed out. Photos are good in better light. However, the shot lacks details. Fixed focus seems to conflict while taking macros and close-up shots. You will be able to record videos of maximum 720 pixels. We found that the recorded clips came with noises.


The front camera is also average. This gives poor results in low light. Selfies taken during the day are slightly 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 white balance and exposure.

In our HD video loop battery test, Nokia 1 succumbed in 8 hours and 45 minutes, which is disappointing. In normal use, the battery hardly lasts all day. We found that it was necessary to charge the phone every day from 7-8 pm. It also takes 2 hours to be fully charged, which is a disappointment.

Our decision
The biggest complaint from Nokia 1 is the price of Rs 5,499. If the price of Nokia 1 was kept low then it would have been a great option for users who are looking to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone. If the Jio user keeps the cashback offer in mind then its effective price becomes Rs 3,299. But other users should investigate some more options before buying this phone. Because in today’s date there are many great options for less than Rs 10,000.

The Redmi 5A and 10.0r D are priced close to the Nokia 1, whose user experience is much better. Android Go is still in its initial stage, but the current shortcomings cannot be ignored.

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