The white ring around the Nokia 1's black bezel contrasts nicely with the brightly colored back cover. Of the five phones that Nokia introduced on Sunday here at Mobile World Congress , the Nokia 1 doesn't stand at the front of the feature queue. Instead, it's built for anyone who wants an affordable easy-to-use phone, primarily for gasp making calls, but still wants to be able to be able to go online, take a photo and listen to tunes.
In other words, all of the things that we really use phones for today. Announced last year , Android Go uses less power and memory and runs leaner Google Play apps. Jessica Dolcourt's deeper look at Android Go will give you more details. All of that results in a phone that's perfect for keeping in your car for emergencies, giving to young kids as a starter phone or taking with you when you travel abroad -- it also fits two SIM cards. Google has made lighter versions of its popular apps to use less power and battery on the Nokia 1.
On the outside, the Nokia 1 has a minimalist design in plastic, but the combination of the replaceable rear covers in either dark blue or warm red give it a little bit of style. You get a fair bit of screen to play with on the Nokia 1 Plus. It measures in at 5. Those are decent numbers for an ultra-budget smartphone. The bevel around the screen is relatively thin, too, which helps keep the phone compact without sacrificing screen size. The catch here is that x is quite low by smartphone resolution standards. This is all the more apparent on a 5. Text is often fuzzy, especially when browsing websites that use smaller font sizes.
Images, on the other hand, look perfectly fine, albeit less crisp than on a higher-resolution screen. You can't expect a surplus of storage from an ultra-budget smartphone, but I was still surprised by how little space the Nokia 1 Plus comes with out of the box. Thankfully, this is easily remedied by installing a microSD card, as the Nokia 1 Plus supports cards up to GB in size.
One last noteworthy feature is the inclusion of a 3. It's one of the few advantages budget phones have over the latest flagship handsets, and it remains an attractive selling point for anyone who likes listening to music on the go. Camera Decent specs mask a slow, low-quality camera that struggles in both light and dark scenes Action shots are pretty much out of the question Video is grainy and especially susceptible to changes in light Read our full review of the Nokia 1 Plus's camera On paper, the Nokia 1 Plus would seem to have a pretty decent camera.
You've got an 8MP lens around the back for standard photography, while the front-facing selfie camera clocks in at a respectable 5MP. Of course, specs rarely tell the whole story. That's very much the case with the Nokia 1 Plus.
Nokia 1 Plus
While image quality is solid, the camera struggles to focus even in optimal light, taking multiple seconds to bring the subject into clarity. Another lengthy delay stretches between the moment you hit the shutter button and the moment where the phone actually takes the photo. These delays grow even longer in low-light conditions, where the LED flash does a relatively mediocre job of illuminating the scene. Action shots are similarly sub-par. Moving objects come out blurry, so you'll probably want to think twice before taking the Nokia 1 Plus to a football match or other sporting event.
The story is much the same when capturing video. You're limited to filming in p, which leads to grainy and indistinct footage. Moving between areas of differing illumination also causes problems, with the camera over- or under-exposing the scene for multiple seconds before adjusting accordingly. To see for yourself how the camera on the Nokia 1 Plus performs, check out the sample photos below:. Performance Android Go squeezes an impressive amount of performance out of meagre hardware Doesn't handle video well at all Fast-tracked security and system updates provide extra peace of mind Read our full review of the Nokia 1 Plus's performance From a pure hardware perspective, the Nokia 1 Plus is pretty meek.
Unsurprisingly, this leads to some pretty mediocre results in Geekbench 4's CPU performance test compared to other similarly-priced phones, as you can see below:.
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Like the Nokia 1 before it, though, the Nokia 1 Plus has an ace up its sleeve. It runs on Android Pie Go, the spin-off version of the regular Android operating system optimised for better performance on low-powered hardware. The difference this makes is night and day. Navigating the simplified Android Go interface is surprisingly snappy, with only minimal slowdown compared to what you'd see on other budget phones running the full-fat version of the Android operating system.
This responsiveness extends to a range of apps built specifically for Android Go.
Vodafone Nokia 1 Plus
Gmail, Facebook, Google Chrome and other popular apps offer Go-specific versions that run far better than you might expect on phones like the Nokia 1 Plus. Browsing the web on Chrome, for instance, proved quite smooth. It did chug a little on image-heavy web pages, but not so much as to be intrusive. While Go-optimised apps make it quick and easy to check your email, browse the news and follow social media on the Nokia 1 Plus, the vast majority of Android apps don't have Go-specific versions. You can still install these apps on the Nokia 1 Plus, but their performance can range anywhere from acceptable to completely unusable.
Take YouTube, for instance. Even with the Go-optimised version of the app, loading up a video quickly exposes the limitations of the Nokia 1 Plus hardware. Try to pause, rewind or perform any other action and the app is likely to seize up completely, freezing the entire phone for multiple seconds before it catches up with itself. As an example, I tried switching a video from portrait mode to full screen and had to wait a full 10 seconds for the action to complete, with choppy audio from the video continuing to play all the while. Other non-Go apps are similarly slow to load up and interact with.
Switching between apps using the Android multi-tasking feature is especially rough, with the Nokia 1 Plus locking up on me multiple times while swapping from one app to another. Performance optimisations aside, there's another benefit to the Nokia 1 Plus running Android Go.
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Google handles the security and system updates for Android Go instead of delegating it to smartphone manufacturers. This typically means updates come faster and more consistently than they do for phones running regular Android. This is good news for anyone running a 5GHz or a dual-band 2. Despite its large frame, the Nokia 1 Plus houses a relatively small 2,mAh battery.
That's not unusual for an ultra-budget phone, but it does limit the phone's capacity for all-day battery life under heavy use. The low-powered MediaTek processor does offset this slightly, but as you can see in the graph below, benchmark testing places the Nokia 1 Plus much lower than many other budget handsets:. Once again, though, Android Go comes to the rescue. When testing the phone under typical day-to-day use, I found it more than capable of lasting a full day on a single charge.
Nokia 1 Plus review: Features, pricing, specs compared | Finder
This is largely thanks to Android Go's strict power management, which fastidiously closes apps and shuts down services while they're not in use. Having to wait for those apps and services to boot back up can be frustrating, but the extended longevity is a worthwhile trade-off.
Android Go can't make up for the painfully slow charging time of the Nokia 1 Plus, though. You can get around this by taking advantage of one of the Nokia 1 Plus's neater features: its removable battery. If you're on your phone a lot or you're not going to have access to a power outlet for an extended period of time, you could purchase a spare battery or two and swap them in and out as needed. It's not an ideal solution, but it does give you a bit more flexibility than you get with the embedded batteries in most modern smartphones.
The Nokia 1 Plus is designed for a very specific audience — namely, folks looking for a cheap smartphone capable of handling calls, emails, social media and some light web browsing. This is exactly what it delivers. The camera isn't great, and charge times are frustratingly long, but those are minor complaints in light of how much power Android Go squeezes out of the phone's humble hardware. Combine that with its sleek design and sizeable screen, and the Nokia 1 Plus represents excellent value for money. The Nokia 1 Plus has quite a bit of competition in the ultra-budget space.
Within the Nokia family, you can pick up the larger and more powerful Nokia 2.
You could also look to the Alcatel 1X , which packs a much higher-resolution screen while still benefitting from the optimisations of Android Go. If none of those options do it for you, head over to our round-up of the best budget phones currently on the market for more recommendations.
The Nokia 2. Read more…. Nokia's Tough lives up to its billing, and while it's a simple feature phone, it's an easy recommendation to add to your tradie tools — or fishing tackle box. To ask a question simply log in via your email or Facebook or create an account.