Nokia 1 first impressions: Goes big on nostalgia and low on price with replaceable Xpress-on covers

The Nokia 1 smartphone comes with basic hardware but a rather interesting feature set because of the Android Go software.

Announced at the Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC), the Nokia 1 is all set to become a true remake of the humble 3310.

The smartphone comes with basic hardware but a rather interesting feature set because of the Android Go software.

The Nokia 1 will support Xpress-on covers

The Nokia 1 will support Xpress-on covers

Starting off with the design, there are one too many hints that the device is inspired by the old 3310. Fans will remember the nostalgic blue colour which also made it on the newer 3G-enabled model of the 3310 launched last year by HMD Global.

Another reminder comes from the white band around the display which is again reminiscent of the 3310's design.

While most would ignore the design bit when it comes to smartphone that is priced at around $85, you have to remember that this device comes from Nokia.

The brand played another nostalgia-inducing card trick with the inclusion of Xpress-on covers. Yes, these are similar to the body shells one could replace on the good old 3310.

With the rather interesting take on design, the hardware and software keep up as well.

The smartphone comes with 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS display which may not look fancy but gets the job done. Inside, there's a quad-core MediaTek MT6737M SoC clocked at 1.1 GHz coupled with 1 GB of LPDDR3 RAM and a mere 8 GB of internal storage. Thankfully, Nokia will let you expand the internal storage up to 128 GB using a microSD card.

There's a fixed-focus 5 MP rear facing camera and a 2 MP front-facing camera, which is also a fixed focus unit. The rear camera does offer an LED (so you can be thankful to Nokia for that).

Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE radios, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, an FM radio, a micro-USB port and even a 3.5 mm audio jack.

As for the battery, HMD felt that a 2,150mAh battery is more than sufficient for this entry-level smartphone.

While the hardware may sound a bit too little even when you consider the smartphone's low price tag, Nokia has one thing going for it and that's software. With Android Go Oreo Edition on board, along with custom Go apps from Google, including a Google Assistant Go app, this smartphone should be able to perform despite its humble hardware as the firmware has been optimised to run on devices with 512 MB of RAM.

Be sure to follow our MWC 2018 pageTwitter and Facebook channels for LIVE updates from the show floor.

Disclaimer: Tech2 was invited to MWC 2018 by Huawei, who were responsible for all expenses related to travel and accommodation.

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