4.5 inches 480854 resolution 218ppi
Rear: 5MP LED Flash
Android 8.0 Oreo Go
Quadcore Mediatek MT6737M CPU
8GB expandable via Micro SD
In the Box
Nokia 1 phone
USB cable for charging and data transfer
Nokia 1 sells for less than KShs 10,000, it is an entry level device that primarily targets the most affordable section of the market. Despite this, HMD has presented it in a beautiful and durable body. The plastic build comes in dual colors (black body with grey elements) and smooth curved rear for ergonomic handling, the curves rests nicely on the contours of the hand for a firm grip. The front is completely covered by the screen, with the company opting for on screen navigation buttons instead of capacitive ones – which is great. The rear only hosts the camera, the Nokia logo and the loud speaker.
This being an entry level device, the screen should be modest to keep the price low. Nokia 1 comes with a 480p screen, most people might frown at that especially because the market is filled with 720p and even 1080p at this price point, however, the with such a small screen size, the resolution builds up to 218 pixels per inch which is adequate to keep texts and images sharp. About the brightness, the display doesn’t hit high peaks, so long as you do not use the phone in direct sunlight, you should be fine. Colors are decent for the price so no complaints there.
The rear 5MP camera has been capped at 480p video recording which makes sense since the device only has a 480p display. The initial photos are good in bright lit scenarios such as sunny outdoors. On the other hand, low light photos are a bit grainy and blurry but that’s the norm for entry level devices.
The selfie camera was surprisingly a lot better than we expected, the 2MP outdid itself. The selfies had vibrant colored photos, maintains skin tones and hides blemishes. The only issue was the level of detail such as individual hair strands aren’t well defined but that’s nit-picking.
This is the best part of the phone, it comes with pure stock Android 8 Oreo Go, the “Go” part means that the operating system has been optimized for lesser hardware resources and low data usage. It has a suite of Go optimized apps too such as Google Search Go, Gmail Go, Maps Go, Files Go and more. The apps handle smoothly on the Nokia 1 despite the modest hardware oomph. In addition, being in the stock Go program means that future Android updates and versions such as P will be sent to the device as soon as Google releases them, no need to wait for months.
With the quad core CPU and optimized Android Oreo Go, the apps will handle smoothly especially if you do not go too hard on the multitasking due to the small 1GB RAM available. Simple 2D games run decently such as chess and checkers, as well as some popular 3D titles such as Temple Run.
Speaking of games, it is advisable to invest in a Micro SD card. Luckily, the small Nokia 1 can support up to a whopping 128GB Micro SD card to expand the internal 8GB. Still on cards, the device has dual SIM cards though due to its hybrid slot nature, the second SIM and the SD card share the same space so you have to choose between the two. Fortunately, despite the low price tag, Nokia 1 has 4G support, that is something quite rare at this affordable level (you can stream those World Cup soccer matches without a network stutter). Calls are decently audible on the earpiece and loudspeaker.
With the optimization present in Android Go version, and the small display resolution, we were having high hopes for the device battery longevity. We actually expect up to 2 days of battery usage, easily.
For a phone that costs less than KShs. 10,000, it sure comes with many pleasant surprises, for instance, the latest and smoothly operating Android Go, durable build quality, support for up to 128GB SD cards, 4G LTE network support and long lasting battery pack. Nokia 1 definitely makes a great first impression and redefines what an entry level device should entail. We highly recommend it for anyone looking an affordable smartphone that keeps up with the modern 4G era.