The Nokia 1 is a $149 phone aimed at the unlocked, pre-paid sim market. Its quality and heritage alone make it a good buy. But more than that. With the right use case it is more than fit for purpose.
I admit to being a little perplexed at how to review a $149 phone. What should my expectations be? Does it need to take great photos or play music? Well no, it does not, so any of these things are a bonus.
A $149 phone is just as crucial to its buyer as a $1000 phone is to someone better off. While it is back to basics, reliability needs to be right up there.
A $149 smartphone should
Be reliable and take a knock or three
Use a pre-paid sim from any MVNO or carrier (not locked to a carrier)
Make and receive calls, SMS and have good reception – a real bonus if it has 4G
Handles email, calendar, contacts
Takes adequate photos (unless you are a ‘photo-phile’)
Battery should last at least a day
The screen is reasonably outdoors readable
Sure a $149 phone will reach its limits faster than other phones. Anything else is a bonus.
The Nokia 1 met or exceeded all those paradigms.
Nokia 1 – In the box
USB 5V/1A charger
Micro-USB to USB-A cable
And a removable 2150mAh battery.
The first impression is a small, plastic, almost toylike phone with big bezels. Insert the battery, charge it and up comes Android 8.1 Go Edition. I like the grippy feel and the smaller 4.5” 16:9 fits well in-the-hand.
Specifications – Nokia 1 Model TA-1079 (single sim for Australia)
There is only one specification that matters – price. Can it do a good job for $149?
Rather than go through the full suite of tests and a lengthy review (which we did anyway), GadgetGuy’s comments below encapsulate our findings.
Nokia 1 TA-1079 SS (Black with white highlights)
4.5”, 854 x 480, 16:9 ratio, 218ppi, IPS screen 5-finger touch. 24-bit for 16M colours. 61.8% S-T-B-R. Plastic screen has no ‘toughened’ glass so can scratch.
250nits and contrast 2000:1 makes it just daylight readable. Colours are vibrant but not accurate.
MediaTek MT673M ARM-A53 Four-core 1.1GHz Media Tek calls it the most cost-effective all-in-one solution. Many sub-$250 phones use it.
The adage – never use a four-cylinder to tow a caravan! There were some lags, but overall it did well.
Will play basic low fps games like Angry Bird
1GB LPPDDR3 8GB eMMC (5GB free) MicroSD slot it 128GB.
Android Go is for 1GB. Yes, it can be laggy, but overall it’s pretty good. MicroSD for both internal or external memory and apps
5MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels LED flash HDR (can slow things down – disable it) [email protected] (.92MP)
Passable daylight photos but limited depth of field. The video is ‘rough’ at .92MP