Nokia 1 review

Not too long ago, Nokia was the largest manufacturer of phones on the planet. A great part of this success lay in the ability of the Finnish firm to tap firmly into the low-end of the market as well as the high-end.

Various devices over the years, in particular the Nokia Lumia 520typified this trend, selling by the bucketload while delivering value on all fronts.

Launched in 2018, the Nokia 1 is a strong attempt on the part of the recently reformed company (under HMD Global) to reclaim its throne. Boasting a price which undercuts almost all of its rivals, it can certainly turn heads. But making a budget smartphone now is a different game than it was in 2013.

While handsets then were slow and unreliable, now $100 / £100 / AU$150 can buy a device that – although demonstrably not bulletproof – can nonetheless impress with performance and more.

So, with this in mind, does the Nokia 1 do enough to succeed and claim its place in the annals of phone history?

Nokia 1 price and availability

  • Out now
  • RRP of $85 / £79.99 / AU$149 but often costs less

Launched for $85 / £79.99 / AU$149, the Nokia 1 is verging on impulse-buy territory for many.

And that was when it launched in April 2018, almost a year on and with the arrival of the Nokia 1 Plus, prices could come down further.

Key features

  • 4.5-inch screen
  • 1GB of RAM

With debate surrounding the smartphone-world focused so strongly on the high-end, devices like the Nokia 1 are framed by what they don’t have, as opposed to what they can do.

Regardless, the handset sports a series of specifications straight out of 2010. That is to say a 4.5 inch 480 x 854 screen, 1.1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737M chipset, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera, a 2MP front-facing camera and 8GB of internal storage.

The rear of the handset is removable (a trend which has sadly passed on), allowing access to the relatively large 2,150mAh battery.

No mention is made to whether Gorilla Glass is used in the design of this device, indeed the front cover may not be glass at all – not that this matters when the price of construction was so low.

Beyond these core specifications and characteristics, there is no marketing to really give the Nokia 1 an identity. That is aside from a slightly old-school addition on the part of Nokia, with various colorful ‘Xpress’ covers offered separately to the device, allowing users to customize their handset to their heart’s delight.