Nokia‘s return to the smartphone scene wasn’t the second coming many probably anticipated. Instead, it felt less like the return of a king than a new company trying to find their footing. But, unlike new companies, Nokia does have the benefit of pulling our nostalgic heartstrings.
Remember the revitalised Nokia 3310? Yeah, I wasn’t the biggest fan of that handset. This year, though, Nokia launched yet another set of handsets, in which I found the real throwback device. And no, I’m not talking about the Matrix phone. I’m talking about the Nokia 1.
As far as its position in the product lineup goes, the Nokia 1 is pretty much as entry-level as a smartphone can get. It’s super plasticky, has a painfully low-resolution display, and it feels more like a toy in your hand than a smartphone — it’s not bad, it’s just basic.
But it’s supposed to be super entry-level. It’s the smartphone that “everyone” should be able to afford and it comes with a few tantalising features that may just tide you over from some of the other — better established — budget smartphone brands.
The first is its operating system. It runs on Android Oreo Go, which is the version of Android Oreo that’s super optimised for budget smartphones. This also means you’ll be getting a bloat-free version of Android, as well as access to all the Go optimisations and Go-optimised applications.
Of course, the Nokia 1 needs this because the handset specs are also about as entry-level as its body suggests. It’s got a 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS display in front, a MediaTek MT6737M processor inside mated to 1GB of RAM and 8GB of eMMC storage. There is a microSD card slot so you can expand internal storage further if you want.
There’s also a main 5MP shooter at the back and a 2MP shooter in front. Both of which are fixed focus so they’ll take photos but that’s about it. Nokia did pack a 2,150 mAh battery inside, which I think could produce some nice battery life when coupled with those specs.
That said, where the Nokia 1 lacks in raw performance, it makes up for in character. Remember how I said the Nokia 1 is a throwback phone? That’s because it is. This Nokia is a reminder of a simpler time. A time when phones were fantastic in plastic. A time when phones had removable back covers and removable batteries.
Nokia’s even selling a whole bunch of Xpress-on covers for the Nokia 1. Now when was the last time you heard the word Xpress-on?
Sure, it may not have the pedigree or instant recognition as the Nokia 3310 or the Nokia 8110, but it is also a phone you can certainly use in 2018. A phone that’s packed with the latest version of Android.
And it looks like it’ll be super cheap. The Nokia 1 will reportedly retail for about USD85 (around RM340). Will it make its way to Malaysia? We don’t really know, but if it does, it’ll likely be very competitively priced like the Nokia phones that preceded it.