During Mobile World Congress 2018, OEMs started to introduce the world to Android Oreo (Go edition). Android Go offers smooth performance on entry-level specs, allowing for genuinely good cheap phones. At first, the US only had one Android Go device, but it looks like a second will join in the near future, the Nokia 1.
While the specifications are similar to the other Android Go offerings (and therefore nothing special), with it being a Nokia branded device, not only can users expect great performance, but a durable phone that can survive any minors drops and tumbles. It's definitely an interesting phone, especially considering its price, so I'll give you all of the juicy details below.
- OS: Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition)
- CPU: MediaTek 6737M
- GPU: Mali T720
- RAM: 1 GB LPPDDR3 RAM
- Storage: 8 GB eMMC with microSD support (up to 128 GB)
- Display: 4.5" IPS 854 x 480
- Rear Camera: 5 MP
- Front Camera: 2 MP
- Battery Capacity: 2,150 mAh (removable)
- Ports: 3.5 mm headphone jack, micro USB 2.0
- Other: IP52 protection, FM Radio, 3.5 mm headphone jack
First, you shouldn't look at the specs to gauge the performance of this device. With Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition), this entry-level smartphone will run as smooth as phones three times its price. This is the result of Google creating a "lite" version of Android which looks and operates similarly to stock Android but uses fewer resources.
Android Go was designed from the ground up to work with phones with limited resources, specifically those with 512 MB to 1 GB of RAM. Additionally, Google has created Go editions of their suite of apps which also operate smoothly while requiring fewer hardware resources.
Google opened the platform to third-party app developers which resulted in many of your favorite apps also having "Go" editions available. The Play Store on the Nokia 1 will promote these apps, informing you of which one is the Go edition (although, the entire Play Store is still available, including non-Go edition apps).
The Nokia 1 has a removable back plate called a Xpress-on Cover. These polycarbonate covers will come in an array of colors, but are limited red and blue at launch. The covers provide a little bit personalization and allow for access to a removable battery (a feature long abandoned by most smartphones).
Nokia has made a name for themselves by offering durable devices even at the low end of their price spectrum. The Nokia 6 (2017) made our list of the four most durable budget phones. The expectation for the Nokia 1 will be a continuation of this durability, and its IP52 rating backs up this claim. The 5 indicating dust protection from particles larger than 1 mm, and the 2 indicating protection against condensation.
With the Nokia 1, users will receive a few advantages over the other manufacturers' offerings for Android Go devices. Unlike Android One, Android Go updates are handled by OEMs and networks, which means they can be delayed. But as 2017 has shown, Nokia is one the best manufacturers when it comes to updates. Nokia has upgraded all phones in their lineup to the latest version of Android within months of its release. Additionally, Nokia is one of the best OEMs for security patches as well.
Initially, HMD (the company behind Nokia) indicated the Nokia 1 (along with the entire Nokia lineup introduced at Mobile World Congress 2018) will not make an appearance in the US. However, according to (NokiaPowerUser, retail sources are somewhat hopeful of a May–June US release for the Nokia 1.
This idea is strengthened thanks to confirmation by HMD's chief product officer, Juho Sarvikas, that the Nokia 6 (2018) would come around the same time, counter to the previous statement. As for pricing, the Nokia 1 will be priced at $85.
With the Nokia 1, those on the strictest of budgets can enjoy smooth stock Android at a price we could previously only dream of for smartphone. What do you think of the Nokia 1? Are you interested in Android Go? Let us know in the comments below.