Kshs 9,500 is the amount of money you will need in order to purchase the cheapest Nokia smartphone ever, the Nokia 1. Nokia 1 is being launched in Kenya eight months after Nokia launched the Nokia 3310, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. Shortly after Nokia 2 and Nokia 8 followed, paving the way for HMD Global to make a Nokia name for itself in 2018.
The Android Oreo Go edition based Nokia 1 that is targeting developing countries and basically anyone who wants a very low cost high end branded device will be available in Kenya very soon, since the global market started receiving the device in shops yesterday. It is a small sized 4.5 inches phone measuring 133.6 x 67.8 x 9.5 mm; and it is made of plastic. The screen is of IPS LCD technology with 480p screen resolution (480 x 854 pixels) – a screen resolution that ought to be dead at a time when electronic companies are already introducing 8K resolution screens in the market.
Generally the device ought to be very slow and sluggish, as it comes with a meagre 1GB RAM and a paltry 1.1GHz Quad core processor (Mediatek MT6737M to be precise). Nokia 1 should however serve users at close to normal speeds as the Android Oreo (Android 8) Go edition is the lite version of Android Oreo. The OS not only ensure minimal utilization of limited resources in entry level Android phones, but also has lite version of the stock Android apps like Google Maps, Gmail, Play Store and others. For example, when the full version Android Oreo would take up almost the entire 8GM internal storage that comes with Nokia 1, the Go edition takes up a meagre 3GB, leaving the user with 5GB for more apps, pictures and other files.
Nokia 1 comes with 8GB internal storage, but it allows SD card of up to 128GB to be added hence storage space should not be a big issue for selfie and home made video lovers. The selfie lovers will however have to put up with the 2MP front facing camera that phones such as Oppo, Infinix and Tecno have made us forget. Actually, even in the entry level market, poor selfie cameras cannot be less than 5MP. For Nokia 1, the 5MP sensor is what you’ll get at the rear end of the phone.
The selling point for entry level smartphones should be the battery life. This is because the phone features a very low resolution screen, has the low end Mediatek CPU accompanied with Mali-T720 GPU, and is bulky at 9.5mm thickness to allow for a thicker battery. Disappointingly Nokia 1 features a battery with only 2150mAh capacity, implying a full charge is likely not going to last for more than 8 hours at normal use. The true hours the battery can last should depend on the OS and Nokia skin; and maybe Android Oreo Go edition has been made to ensure minimal power consumption too. We should be able to test the battery life of this phone immediately it debuts in the market.
The most interesting feature on Nokia 1 is its support for 4G LTE network. Up to this point Nokia 1 is the only modest low budget phone that I am seeing that supports 4G at a price point below Kshs 10,000. Even Infinix and Tecno that have taken control of the low budget market segments do not have 4G devices at price points below Kshs 15,000; and if you bought one at below that price point and it has 4G capability, then it must be a rather useless device hardware wise.
Nokia 1 should enable those who have not started enjoying the beautiful fast low cost 4G Internet by Faiba 4G to start doing so immediately. I believe that just like Nokia 2 and the other Nokia devices that fully support Faiba 4G’s bandwidth including the VoLTE functionality, so will Nokia 1. This means that the phone isn’t just a phone for those replacing their old devices or those buying a smartphone for the first time, but also for those who have mid-range or high end smartphones that don’t have the Band 28 LTE bandwidth supported – just so that everyone living in areas with Faiba 4G Internet to enjoy Internet freedom.