Nokia 1 hands-on

Not everyone has the money to buy a flagship caliber smartphone, and for some, they might not even have the means to pick up even a mid-ranger. HMD has been known to focus its efforts on mostly cost-conscious devices, but they're diving into new depths with its Nokia 1 – its first affordably priced Android Go phone.

Right from the get-go, we instantly notice how its design is impacted by such an incredibly low price. It's no surprise to find a lot of plastic used here with the design of the phone, which is certainly a justifiable reason why it's priced what it is. Despite the lower build quality, it's a design that's charming because of its rounded edges and the option to remove its rear casing for any of the other colorful Xpress-On covers that the manufacturer will be making available for the Nokia 1.

So, what do you get for a phone that costs $85 at launch? Well, it features a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, a quad-core 1.1 GHz MediaTek 6737M chip, 1GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, 5MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, and a 2,150 mAh battery. Checking out the interface, which is running Android 8 Oreo Go Edition, you'll find direct access to most of Google's popular services that have been optimized for the low-tiered hardware. It's not buttery smooth, exhibiting some sluggish cues with normal actions – so this is something you'll have to be mindful about, but it's the drawback for having such a low-priced smartphone.

As we mentioned earlier, the Nokia 1 is meant for users who are on a tight budget, but still want to have access to core smartphone features. When it comes down to the fundamental aspects of a smartphone, the Nokia 1 does nicely to deliver in that area – albeit, you'll need to be patient when it comes to its performance. With a launch price of $85 at launch, it's a smartphone on an extreme diet.

Related phones

  • Display 4.5" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek, Quad-core, 1100 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2150 mAh(9h talk time)



1. blkkobra

Posts: 42; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Looks kinda like the old Lumia 550. But at half the price I'd say this is a decent sub-$100 offering. Probably targeted at parents finding a first phone for their kids or old people who don't use apps.

2. Shott3r

Posts: 20; Member since: Nov 28, 2017

Not trying to sound out of touch, but at the $85 price point I'm assuming most people are paying cash, not installments, right? Aren't you massively better off getting a gently used 2-3 yr old flagship than this thing?

3. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

2-3yo used flagship for $85? is there any? even if you can find one, the condition wont be good :-/ But I think I can find a low-end with 720p screen, SD410, and other usable specs at $85. (or if you really want oreo, get redmi 4)

4. Subie

Posts: 2364; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Used, with no return policy or warranty doesn't appeal to everyone. Don't forget that those 2-3 year old flagships could also be at end of life when it comes to software and security updates. But yes, if you can really find a 2-3 year old flagship for $85 you'll at least be getting more computing power and a few extra features for the money.

5. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

The only flagships you can find in this price range would be: Samsung Galaxy S4. iPhone 4S. Now, would you rather have a smartphone that runs on the latest software and will be updated for at least 2 years or are you willing to buy an ancient beat-up phone with completely worn out battery, tons of wear and tear and practically ZERO support from the developer? iPhone 4S can run iOS9 and its SUPER laggy. More so than a low-end Android. And The S4 can only run a heavily bloated version of Android Kitkat unless you go the flashing route. The cameras are their only strength as The Nokia 1 doesn't even has auto focus! Oh well...

6. biostangoodtang1984

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 14, 2018

Its size so small eaisly to grap in hand....

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