Notebookcheck

Nokia 1 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, 👁 Florian Schmitt, Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Alex Alderson), 05/27/2018

Little number 1. The Nokia 1 is the entry-level model into the world of smartphones: under 100 Euros (~$115), a small format, and even a replaceable battery. Find out in this review whether the Nokia 1 is good enough for everyday use.

Nokia 1

Nokia’s model offensive continues. The Finnish manufacturer clearly wants to be successful again in every corner of the smartphone world. The Nokia 1 succeeds the Nokia 2 as Nokia’s smallest smartphone. The Nokia 2 is relatively cheap and small itself. The Nokia 1 has a 4.5-inch IPS display and runs Android Oreo (Go Edition), a leaner version of Android that Google promises will provide devices with 8 GB internal storage double the available storage out of the box.

The Nokia 1 lacks much competition, the most comparable smartphone currently being the Lenovo B. We will also be comparing the Nokia 1 to the Lenovo Moto C, the Gigaset GS170 and the Nokia 2. It will be interesting to see what the differences are between the two budget Nokia devices.

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Nokia 1 (1 Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
4.5 inch 16:9, 854 x 480 pixel 218 PPI, Capacitive Touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 5.2 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: microSD up to 128 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, FM Radio
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B20/​B28/​B38/​B40), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.5 x 133.6 x 67.8 ( = 0.37 x 5.26 x 2.67 in)
Battery
8.2 Wh, 2150 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 9 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 360 h
Operating System
Android 8.1 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix Contrast autofocus (AF), LED flash, Videos at up to 720p/30 FPS
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker on the back of the device, Keyboard: Virtual keyboard, Charger, USB cable, Headphones, 24 Months Warranty, Bandwidth Download/Upload: 150 Mbps / 50 Mbps LTE; IP52 certified, SAR value: 0.66 W/kg Head, 1.2 W/kg Body, fanless
Weight
131 g ( = 4.62 oz / 0.29 pounds), Power Supply: 40 g ( = 1.41 oz / 0.09 pounds)
Price
100 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Aesthetically, the Nokia 1 is reminiscent of classic Nokia devices. The Nokia 1 has a removable back and battery like classic mobile phones and a two-tone design akin to the Nokia Lumia 620. Theoretically, you could replace the back cover for aesthetic reasons, thanks to the Xpress-on covers. The Nokia 1 feels good in the hand due to its rounded corners. Meanwhile, the overall design feels more playful than serious.

The display visibly distorts when we applied pressure to the front or the back of our test device. Likewise, the removable cover creaks when we apply pressure or try to twist the device. The Nokia 1 is relatively thick too at 9.5 mm.

Size Comparison

145.5 mm / 5.73 inch 73.6 mm / 2.9 inch 9 mm / 0.3543 inch 154 g0.3395 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 72.3 mm / 2.85 inch 9.5 mm / 0.374 inch 139 g0.3064 lbs143.5 mm / 5.65 inch 71.3 mm / 2.81 inch 9.3 mm / 0.3661 inch 161 g0.3549 lbs133.6 mm / 5.26 inch 67.8 mm / 2.67 inch 9.5 mm / 0.374 inch 131 g0.2888 lbs132.5 mm / 5.22 inch 66 mm / 2.6 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 144 g0.3175 lbs

Connectivity

The Nokia 1 has 8 GB internal storage and 1 GB RAM, which is the absolute minimum for current smartphones. Neither the Nokia 2 nor the Lenovo B offer any more in this regard. Thanks to the lean OS, there is nearly 5 GB of internal storage free out of the box. The Nokia 1 supports microSD cards too, so the internal storage can be expanded by up to 128 GB. Oddly, our test device does not recognize our reference Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSD card. Other microSD cards can be formatted as either external or internal memory.

Software

One of the most exciting aspects of the Nokia 1 is that it runs Android Oreo (Go Edition). This is a leaner version of Android designed for budget devices that have little internal storage and RAM. Google uses a trick to reduce the OS size that reminds us of Firefox OS. Google has slimmed down its apps, with some just running in the browser. This is the case for some non-Google preinstalled apps too. Google services are online as well, so most data does not have to be stored on the device. The downside of this is that your device will need to be online to use many features otherwise they will not work. A network connection is typically required for Google Service on traditional Android though.

The Nokia 1 comes with Files Go preinstalled, which is a Google file manager, among other Go styled apps. There is also a custom feature that cleans data to maximize the internal storage on the device. Oddly, we had problems when exchanging data between a Windows PC and the Nokia 1. Our test device would not display the contents of folders in Windows File Explorer.

Nokia 1 homescreen
Nokia 1 homescreen
Google Go
Google Go
Preinstalled Google Go apps
Preinstalled Google Go apps
Display settings
Display settings

Communication & GPS

The Nokia 1 supports 802.11 b/g/n standards. Most devices in this price range only support these minimum Wi-Fi standards too. 5 GHz networks cannot be used, which limits transfer speeds. These are fine for a budget device though.

While the Nokia 1 supports European UMTS bands, it lacks support for 1900 MHz. This omission means that the Nokia 1 will struggle for a signal in certain parts of the USA. On the other hand, the Nokia 1 supports all nine LTE bands, which is unusual for such a cheap device. Our test device had an okay reception during our tests, which we conducted in a built-up area.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=449)
228 MBit/s ∼100% +364%
Nokia 2
Adreno 304, 212 APQ8009, 8 GB eMMC Flash
55.4 MBit/s ∼24% +13%
Gigaset GS170
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.4 MBit/s ∼22% +1%
Nokia 1
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 8 GB eMMC Flash
49.1 MBit/s ∼22%
Lenovo Moto C
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
43.7 MBit/s ∼19% -11%
Lenovo B
Mali-T720, MT6735M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
39.5 MBit/s ∼17% -20%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=449)
217 MBit/s ∼100% +324%
Nokia 2
Adreno 304, 212 APQ8009, 8 GB eMMC Flash
54.2 MBit/s ∼25% +6%
Nokia 1
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 8 GB eMMC Flash
51.2 MBit/s ∼24%
Gigaset GS170
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.9 MBit/s ∼23% -3%
Lenovo B
Mali-T720, MT6735M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
47.7 MBit/s ∼22% -7%
Lenovo Moto C
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
47.2 MBit/s ∼22% -8%
GPS test – inside
GPS test – inside
GPS test – outside
GPS test – outside

The GPS module could not locate us indoors. Conversely, it could pinpoint our location outside to an accuracy of four meters. The Nokia 1 has no compass, so there is no compass option within navigation apps like Google Maps.

We took the Nokia 1 on a bike ride to test its navigational skills against the Garmin Edge 520, a professional navigational system. Our test device performed well comparatively. The Nokia 1 is good enough to be used for navigation if you do not need absolute precision.

GPS test – Garmin Edge 520: Overview
GPS test – Garmin Edge 520: Overview
GPS test – Garmin Edge 520: Route through a wooded area
GPS test – Garmin Edge 520: Route through a wooded area
GPS test – Garmin Edge 520: Route across a bridge
GPS test – Garmin Edge 520: Route across a bridge
GPS test – Nokia 1: Overview
GPS test – Nokia 1: Overview
GPS test – Nokia 1: Route through a wooded area
GPS test – Nokia 1: Route through a wooded area
GPS test – Nokia 1: Route across a bridge
GPS test – Nokia 1: Route across a bridge

Telephone Function & Call Quality

Android Go integrates the standard Google Phone app, which has many features and is easy to use.

Call quality is acceptable. However, call partners sound echoey and there tends to be a lot of background noise when the call volume is set too high. The sound is much better at medium volume. Moreover, the microphone cleanly reproduces our voice both when taking a call regularly and when on speakerphone. Our call partner sounds rather distant when on speakerphone though. Overall, the Nokia 1 has good call quality for a cheap smartphone.

Cameras

Photo taken with the front-facing camera
Photo taken with the front-facing camera

The Nokia 1 has a 2 MP front-facing camera and a 5 MP rear-facing one. Those specifications alone should indicate not to expect high-quality photos by current smartphone standards. The Nokia 2 is our only comparison device that is equipped with slightly higher resolution optics; the Lenovo B and the Moto C are equal to the Nokia 1 in terms of camera resolutions.

Front-facing camera photographs look blurry and have a noticeable blue tint to them. Furthermore, there are artefacts at the edge of the image, while the dynamic range is lacking in both dark and light areas. The camera has no problem with focusing on objects that are the appropriate distance away from the camera though.

The main camera has an LED flash, but generally photographs look quite dark. The camera has poor dynamic range, while details look washed out. Low light-performance is worse, with shots coming out blurry and poorly lit. Picture quality is respectable for a device at this price though.

The 5 MP camera can record videos up to 720p at 30 FPS. While colors look rough and uneven, exposure is accurate and the autofocus works without issue.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

We also tested the Nokia 1 under controlled lighting conditions. Shots taken under these conditions have uneven colors and make areas of uniform color look blotchy.

Overall, the test chart looks sharp. The Nokia 1 particularly struggles with reproducing text against a red background though.

ColorChecker: The target color is in the lower half of each area.
ColorChecker: The target color is in the lower half of each area.
Photograph of our test chart
Photograph of our test chart
Test chart in detail
Test chart in detail

Accessories & Warranty

The Nokia 1 comes with a charger, a USB cable, a set of headphones and some brief instructions in various languages.

The Nokia 1 comes with 24 months warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Operation

The display has a plasticky feel which feels cheap. This does not impede using the device, with the touchscreen working precisely throughout testing. Apps were easy enough to use despite the small display, with the device usually registering our intended input. It is worth bearing in mind that our test device suffers from input lag when first launching apps like Skype. This is probably because of the low system performance.

The Nokia 1 uses Google Gboard as its default keyboard, which works well.

The power button and volume rocker are on the right-hand side of the case. Both are easy to feel with the device in hand and each has a clear pressure point.

The keyboard in portrait mode
The keyboard in portrait mode
The keyboard in landscape mode
The keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array

The display has its downsides, namely the rather low average maximum brightness of 251 cd/m². By contrast, both the Moto C and Lenovo B have significantly brighter displays. However, brightness is not everything as the Lenovo B uses an outdated TN-LED panel rather than the more modern IPS technology used in the Nokia 1. The small screen offsets the relatively low 854x480 resolution. While not stellar, we could not pick out individual pixels.

247
cd/m²
234
cd/m²
253
cd/m²
252
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
255
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
249
cd/m²
255
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 262 cd/m² Average: 251.4 cd/m² Minimum: 13.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 257 cd/m²
Contrast: 2133:1 (Black: 0.12 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.82 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 5.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
89.7% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.3
Nokia 1
IPS, 854x480, 4.5
Nokia 2
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Gigaset GS170
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Lenovo Moto C
TFT, 854x480, 5
Lenovo B
TN LED, 854x480, 4.5
Screen
-40%
-60%
-54%
-74%
Brightness middle
256
527
106%
418
63%
364
42%
309
21%
Brightness
251
503
100%
418
67%
355
41%
302
20%
Brightness Distribution
89
91
2%
92
3%
92
3%
96
8%
Black Level *
0.12
0.68
-467%
0.45
-275%
0.31
-158%
0.46
-283%
Contrast
2133
775
-64%
929
-56%
1174
-45%
672
-68%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.82
5.3
-10%
9.7
-101%
10.4
-116%
9.8
-103%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.75
9.2
22%
18.9
-61%
18
-53%
19.7
-68%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.2
5.8
-12%
11.3
-117%
12.7
-144%
11.5
-121%
Gamma
2.3 96%
2.12 104%
2.27 97%
2.04 108%
2.33 94%
CCT
7107 91%
7894 82%
10414 62%
12904 50%
12460 52%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9270 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The Nokia 1 has an impressively low black level at 0.21 cd/m², which helps yield a high 2,133:1 contrast ratio. Colors pop and look vibrant.

We also used a spectrophotometer and CalMAN software to more precisely measure color accuracy. The average value in ColorChecker is considerably lower than those scored by all our comparison devices. Equally, the Nokia 1 has a grayscale value that is closer to the ideal than its competitors. Even the violet portion is relatively small.

CalMAN: Colorspace
CalMAN: Colorspace
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Color accuracy
CalMAN: Color accuracy
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: Saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ ms rise
↘ ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 92 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ ms rise
↘ ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 61 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.6 ms).

We could only use our test device in the shade when outside because of the low screen brightness. In terms of viewing angles, we only noticed issues at acute angles. There are clear color shifts, but images are still recognizable.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Using the Nokia 1 outdoors
Using the Nokia 1 outdoors

Performance

The Nokia 1 is powered by a MediaTek MT6737 processor. This CPU has problems loading some benchmarks; many fail to load and some cannot even be installed. The benchmarks that do run demonstrate that the Nokia 1 is often slightly ahead of equally priced devices. The limited performance is noticeable in daily use despite the lean OS. For example, many apps take time to load, while there is often input lag. The home screen usually feels smooth though.

Graphics are handled by the ARM Mali-T720 MP2, which supports at least OpenGL ES 3.1. Graphics performance is acceptable but not outstanding.

PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Nokia 1
2335 Points ∼44%
Nokia 2
2304 Points ∼43% -1%
Gigaset GS170
2600 Points ∼49% +11%
Lenovo Moto C
2313 Points ∼43% -1%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (2313 - 2768, n=12)
2537 Points ∼48% +9%
Average of class Smartphone (2630 - 11440, n=388)
5333 Points ∼100% +128%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Nokia 1
3054 Points ∼53%
Nokia 2
3109 Points ∼54% +2%
Gigaset GS170
3344 Points ∼58% +9%
Lenovo Moto C
2877 Points ∼50% -6%
Lenovo B
2125 Points ∼37% -30%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (2415 - 3624, n=17)
3144 Points ∼54% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (1077 - 14946, n=556)
5785 Points ∼100% +89%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Nokia 1
571 Points ∼75%
Nokia 2
9 Points ∼1% -98%
Gigaset GS170
558 Points ∼73% -2%
Lenovo Moto C
534 Points ∼70% -6%
Lenovo B
9 Points ∼1% -98%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (9 - 703, n=17)
353 Points ∼46% -38%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1745, n=635)
760 Points ∼100% +33%
Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 1
176 Points ∼9%
Nokia 2
251 Points ∼12% +43%
Gigaset GS170
210 Points ∼10% +19%
Lenovo Moto C
177 Points ∼9% +1%
Lenovo B
145 Points ∼7% -18%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (176 - 384, n=17)
216 Points ∼10% +23%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 16996, n=635)
2070 Points ∼100% +1076%
Memory (sort by value)
Nokia 1
505 Points ∼33%
Nokia 2
233 Points ∼15% -54%
Gigaset GS170
610 Points ∼40% +21%
Lenovo Moto C
419 Points ∼27% -17%
Lenovo B
311 Points ∼20% -38%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (419 - 942, n=17)
622 Points ∼41% +23%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 7500, n=635)
1530 Points ∼100% +203%
System (sort by value)
Nokia 1
859 Points ∼29%
Nokia 2
901 Points ∼30% +5%
Gigaset GS170
1170 Points ∼39% +36%
Lenovo Moto C
883 Points ∼29% +3%
Lenovo B
799 Points ∼27% -7%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (859 - 1394, n=17)
1073 Points ∼36% +25%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 14189, n=635)
2994 Points ∼100% +249%
Overall (sort by value)
Nokia 1
457 Points ∼30%
Nokia 2
149 Points ∼10% -67%
Gigaset GS170
538 Points ∼36% +18%
Lenovo Moto C
432 Points ∼29% -5%
Lenovo B
136 Points ∼9% -70%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (176 - 588, n=17)
391 Points ∼26% -14%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 6097, n=635)
1501 Points ∼100% +228%
Geekbench 4.4
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Nokia 1
943 Points ∼20%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (938 - 1065, n=7)
988 Points ∼21% +5%
Average of class Smartphone (663 - 21070, n=325)
4691 Points ∼100% +397%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia 1
1252 Points ∼26%
Nokia 2
1118 Points ∼24% -11%
Gigaset GS170
1595 Points ∼34% +27%
Lenovo Moto C
1254 Points ∼27% 0%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (1252 - 1595, n=11)
1465 Points ∼31% +17%
Average of class Smartphone (883 - 11598, n=384)
4726 Points ∼100% +277%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia 1
492 Points ∼35%
Nokia 2
423 Points ∼30% -14%
Gigaset GS170
581 Points ∼41% +18%
Lenovo Moto C
450 Points ∼32% -9%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (450 - 581, n=11)
533 Points ∼37% +8%
Average of class Smartphone (390 - 4824, n=384)
1426 Points ∼100% +190%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 1
666 Points ∼35%
Gigaset GS170
772 Points ∼41% +16%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (666 - 946, n=14)
753 Points ∼40% +13%
Average of class Smartphone (486 - 4519, n=476)
1888 Points ∼100% +183%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 1
60 Points ∼4%
Gigaset GS170
74 Points ∼5% +23%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (60 - 220, n=14)
89.1 Points ∼6% +49%
Average of class Smartphone (53 - 7150, n=476)
1478 Points ∼100% +2363%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Nokia 1
75 Points ∼5%
Gigaset GS170
93 Points ∼7% +24%
Lenovo B
Points ∼0% -100%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (75 - 265, n=14)
111 Points ∼8% +48%
Average of class Smartphone (68 - 6319, n=477)
1423 Points ∼100% +1797%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 1
663 Points ∼38%
Nokia 2
539 Points ∼31% -19%
Gigaset GS170
781 Points ∼45% +18%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (663 - 781, n=13)
742 Points ∼42% +12%
Average of class Smartphone (293 - 4540, n=516)
1754 Points ∼100% +165%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 1
61 Points ∼3%
Nokia 2
120 Points ∼6% +97%
Gigaset GS170
227 Points ∼12% +272%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (61 - 227, n=13)
126 Points ∼7% +107%
Average of class Smartphone (43 - 11302, n=515)
1936 Points ∼100% +3074%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Nokia 1
76 Points ∼5%
Nokia 2
120 Points ∼7% +58%
Gigaset GS170
152 Points ∼9% +100%
Lenovo B
Points ∼0% -100%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (76 - 164, n=13)
146 Points ∼9% +92%
Average of class Smartphone (55 - 8165, n=518)
1674 Points ∼100% +2103%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 2
7150 Points ∼50%
Gigaset GS170
8178 Points ∼58%
Lenovo Moto C
7209 Points ∼51%
Lenovo B
7072 Points ∼50%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (5462 - 11340, n=17)
8181 Points ∼58%
Average of class Smartphone (735 - 45072, n=676)
14217 Points ∼100%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
4150 Points ∼19%
Gigaset GS170
3167 Points ∼14%
Lenovo Moto C
2706 Points ∼12%
Lenovo B
2239 Points ∼10%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (2706 - 6147, n=17)
3356 Points ∼15%
Average of class Smartphone (536 - 209204, n=674)
22183 Points ∼100%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
4577 Points ∼26%
Gigaset GS170
3666 Points ∼20%
Lenovo Moto C
3142 Points ∼18%
Lenovo B
2640 Points ∼15%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (3142 - 6843, n=17)
3861 Points ∼22%
Average of class Smartphone (662 - 97276, n=674)
17924 Points ∼100%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia 1
5.1 fps ∼13%
Nokia 2
5.4 fps ∼14% +6%
Gigaset GS170
6 fps ∼16% +18%
Lenovo Moto C
5.1 fps ∼13% 0%
Lenovo B
4.1 fps ∼11% -20%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (5.1 - 10, n=16)
6.11 fps ∼16% +20%
Average of class Smartphone (0.5 - 322, n=694)
38.1 fps ∼100% +647%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia 1
14 fps ∼50%
Nokia 2
9.6 fps ∼34% -31%
Gigaset GS170
11 fps ∼39% -21%
Lenovo Moto C
13 fps ∼46% -7%
Lenovo B
11 fps ∼39% -21%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (6 - 14, n=16)
10.5 fps ∼37% -25%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 120, n=703)
28.1 fps ∼100% +101%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nokia 1
1.9 fps ∼9%
Nokia 2
1.6 fps ∼7% -16%
Gigaset GS170
2.2 fps ∼10% +16%
Lenovo Moto C
1.6 fps ∼7% -16%
Lenovo B
1.5 fps ∼7% -21%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (1.6 - 4.5, n=16)
2.42 fps ∼11% +27%
Average of class Smartphone (0.8 - 175, n=600)
21.9 fps ∼100% +1053%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nokia 1
8 fps ∼41%
Nokia 2
4.4 fps ∼23% -45%
Gigaset GS170
4.8 fps ∼25% -40%
Lenovo Moto C
7.8 fps ∼40% -2%
Lenovo B
5.5 fps ∼28% -31%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (2.1 - 8, n=16)
4.71 fps ∼24% -41%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 115, n=609)
19.4 fps ∼100% +143%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 1
1.2 fps ∼7%
Gigaset GS170
1.4 fps ∼8% +17%
Lenovo Moto C
5.5 fps ∼31% +358%
Lenovo B
1 fps ∼6% -17%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (1.2 - 5.5, n=16)
1.644 fps ∼9% +37%
Average of class Smartphone (0.87 - 117, n=466)
17.9 fps ∼100% +1392%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 1
6 fps ∼36%
Gigaset GS170
3.4 fps ∼20% -43%
Lenovo Moto C
1.2 fps ∼7% -80%
Lenovo B
4.2 fps ∼25% -30%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (1.2 - 14, n=16)
3.98 fps ∼24% -34%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 110, n=468)
16.7 fps ∼100% +178%

Legend

 
Nokia 1 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Gigaset GS170 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto C Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo B Mediatek MT6735M, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash

Web browsing is a slow experience. Pages take a while to load, with pictures arriving some time afterwards. The Nokia 1 performs comparatively poorly in browser benchmarks too. The experience in complex HTML5 websites, like Google Interland, is a jerky one albeit still usable.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (10 - 302, n=532)
41.9 Points ∼100% +263%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (11.6 - 21.9, n=17)
15.2 Points ∼36% +32%
Gigaset GS170 (Chrome Version 59)
14.342 Points ∼34% +24%
Lenovo B (Chrome 56)
12.64 Points ∼30% +9%
Lenovo Moto C (Chrome Version 60)
11.676 Points ∼28% +1%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
11.607 Points ∼28% 0%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
11.55 Points ∼28%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (894 - 49388, n=693)
6801 Points ∼100% +257%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (1730 - 3383, n=17)
2386 Points ∼35% +25%
Gigaset GS170 (Chrome Version 59)
2284 Points ∼34% +20%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
1948 Points ∼29% +2%
Lenovo B (Chrome 56)
1929 Points ∼28% +1%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
1907 Points ∼28%
Lenovo Moto C (Chrome Version 60)
1730 Points ∼25% -9%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Lenovo Moto C (Chrome Version 60)
19879.3 ms * ∼100% -5%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
19274.5 ms * ∼97% -2%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
18927 ms * ∼95%
Lenovo B (Chrome 56)
18130 ms * ∼91% +4%
Average Mediatek MT6737 (10615 - 30114, n=17)
17043 ms * ∼86% +10%
Gigaset GS170 (Chrome Version 59)
16722.7 ms * ∼84% +12%
Average of class Smartphone (571 - 59466, n=718)
10523 ms * ∼53% +44%

* ... smaller is better

We cannot provide an objective test of the microSD card reader as it fails to work with our reference card. Subjectively, the reader was slow to access our Kingston microSD card that did work. Positively, our test device accesses its internal memory quickly; the Nokia 1 outperformed all our comparison devices in internal memory benchmarks.

Nokia 1Nokia 2Gigaset GS170Lenovo Moto CLenovo BAverage 8 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-21%
-8%
-9%
-59%
-42%
88%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
61.18 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
21.34 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
10.7
16.8 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
29.1 (11.2 - 63.4, n=21)
49.2 (1.7 - 87.1, n=428)
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
81.93 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
37.41 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
13.5
24.16 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
43.1 (16.3 - 84.2, n=21)
67.5 (8.1 - 96.5, n=428)
Random Write 4KB
9.1
8.1
-11%
10.45
15%
10.9
20%
4.2
-54%
5.35 (1.08 - 14, n=51)
-41%
22.3 (0.14 - 250, n=752)
145%
Random Read 4KB
25.7
17.44
-32%
18.34
-29%
18.37
-29%
12.4
-52%
18.1 (8 - 50.5, n=51)
-30%
47.6 (1.59 - 196, n=752)
85%
Sequential Write 256KB
51.8
50.77
-2%
44.79
-14%
44.55
-14%
8.1
-84%
22.1 (6.22 - 54.8, n=51)
-57%
97.6 (2.99 - 590, n=752)
88%
Sequential Read 256KB
208.3
131.15
-37%
197.86
-5%
179.28
-14%
115.6
-45%
129 (38.1 - 289, n=51)
-38%
275 (12.1 - 1504, n=752)
32%

Games

The Nokia 1 can run simple games like Angry Birds 2 without issue. More complex games like Arena of Valor are playable too and without major slowdowns. They will take a while to load though.

Touchscreen controls and the positional sensor worked fine throughout our testing.

Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2
Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor

Emissions

Temperature

We suspect that the SoC is close to the rear-facing camera as that is where surface temperatures get the hottest. The top third of the device averages 34.2 °C under load, with the hottest point reaching 36 °C. This is hot and could be uncomfortable if you put the device in your pocket after using it heavily. These are not dangerous temperatures though. Conversely, the rest of the device remains significantly cooler, averaging 28.3 °C.

Max. Load
 33.3 °C
92 F
28.9 °C
84 F
27.5 °C
82 F
 
 34.3 °C
94 F
28.8 °C
84 F
27.6 °C
82 F
 
 32.7 °C
91 F
28.5 °C
83 F
27.6 °C
82 F
 
Maximum: 34.3 °C = 94 F
Average: 29.9 °C = 86 F
28 °C
82 F
28.9 °C
84 F
36 °C
97 F
28.3 °C
83 F
29.2 °C
85 F
35.6 °C
96 F
27.7 °C
82 F
29.3 °C
85 F
33.7 °C
93 F
Maximum: 36 °C = 97 F
Average: 30.7 °C = 87 F
Power Supply (max.)  44 °C = 111 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.9 °C / 86 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 34.3 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 36 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.2 °C / 83 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Heat map of the front of the device under load
Heat map of the front of the device under load
Heat map of the rear of the device under load
Heat map of the rear of the device under load

Speakers

Pink Noise speaker test
Pink Noise speaker test

The Nokia 1 has a small mono speaker that is located on the back of the device. The positioning makes it easy to cover it up when holding the device. Fortunately, there is a little plastic nub above the speaker which you will only feel when your hand is over the speaker.

The speaker gets up to around 70 dB(A), which is not especially loud. There is no distortion at any volume, but the sound is unbalanced. There is no mid-bass or bass, but high tones are rendered linearly. Overall, the sound is perfectly fine for a cheap smartphone.

There is a 3.5 mm jack to connect devices like headphones or external speakers. The sound produced is clean and we had no issues during our tests. The same goes for streaming audio via Bluetooth too.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs203039.62531.643.73132424034.947.15040.355.96328.8538028.149.81002741.512522.54016021.438.520021.232.425020.133.631518.440.140018.146.550019.950.463016.36180016.566100015.969.812501669160015.569.2200015.370.3250015.168315014.966.9400015.168.7500015.164.4630015.163.9800015.167.81000015.265.11250015.258.91600015.255.7SPL7328.179.4N28.61.143.1median 15.9median 63.9Delta1.91128.629.524.922.424.625.726.42330.831.723.623.420.222.119.922.817.619.819.128.819.128.617.434.716.941.616.847.815.153.916.560.915.668.91574.415.574.515.374.215.772.115.570.515.574.115.473.215.874.1167715.873.216.16116.157.117.36527.984.9158.7median 16median 650.616.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseNokia 1Nokia 2
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Nokia 1 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 26.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 33% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 58% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Nokia 2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 35.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.9% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 85% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 9% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 90% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life

Power Consumption

The Nokia 1 does not have exceptionally good power consumption but still consumes significantly less power under load than either the Nokia 2 or the Lenovo B. Our test device consumes a maximum of 4.3 W under load, which averages out at 3.5 W. On the other hand, the Nokia 1 consumes considerably more at idle than our comparison devices. This may be SoC related though as the Nokia 1 consumes less power on average than the average for a MediaTek MT6737 device.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.9 / 1.5 / 2 Watt
Load midlight 3.5 / 4.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Nokia 1
2150 mAh
Nokia 2
4100 mAh
Gigaset GS170
2500 mAh
Lenovo Moto C
2350 mAh
Lenovo B
2000 mAh
Average Mediatek MT6737
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
13%
12%
12%
-14%
-14%
Idle Minimum *
0.9
0.55
39%
0.54
40%
0.64
29%
0.869 (0.54 - 2.2, n=16)
3%
0.882 (0.2 - 3.4, n=782)
2%
Idle Average *
1.5
1.02
32%
1.56
-4%
0.96
36%
1.987 (1.35 - 3.4, n=16)
-32%
1.74 (0.6 - 6.2, n=781)
-16%
Idle Maximum *
2
1.09
45%
1.6
20%
1.33
33%
2.11 (1.39 - 3.5, n=16)
-6%
2.03 (0.74 - 6.6, n=782)
-2%
Load Average *
3.5
4.48
-28%
3.18
9%
4.59
-31%
4.14 (2.18 - 6.51, n=16)
-18%
4.07 (0.8 - 10.8, n=776)
-16%
Load Maximum *
4.3
5.32
-24%
4.42
-3%
4.63
-8%
4.94 (3.61 - 6.96, n=16)
-15%
5.92 (1.2 - 14.2, n=776)
-38%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The Nokia 1 has a 2,150 mAh battery that lasted 9 h 12 m in our practical Wi-Fi test. In this test, we run a script that simulates the load required to render websites. The battery is replaceable though, so you could swap in an additional battery rather than having to charge the device. Our test device lasted longer than most of our comparison devices in our Wi-Fi test. The only device to beat the Nokia 1 in this test is the Nokia 2, which lasted 50% longer.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 12min
Nokia 1
2150 mAh
Nokia 2
4100 mAh
Gigaset GS170
2500 mAh
Lenovo Moto C
2350 mAh
Lenovo B
2000 mAh
Battery Runtime
52%
-20%
-6%
-20%
Reader / Idle
1159
WiFi v1.3
552
840
52%
442
-20%
517
-6%
442
-20%
Load
278
H.264
529

Pros

+ removable battery
+ long battery life
+ swappable back covers
+ affordable price
+ lean OS
+ many LTE bands
+ decent GPS
+ high contrast and color accurate display
+ dual-SIM
+ dedicated microSD card slot

Cons

- issues with PC data transfer
- not all microSD cards are compatible
- frequent noticeable stutters
- slightly delayed reaction to inputs

Verdict

The Nokia 1 in review. Test device courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de
The Nokia 1 in review. Test device courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de

What can you expect from a smartphone that costs less than 100 Euros (~$115)? The Nokia 1 does not offer world-beating performance, but Nokia has produced a smartphone that does well for the money. The Nokia 1 is for those that have low demands from a smartphone. In return, you will get a smartphone with many positives. The Nokia 1 has a decent display with an impressive contrast ratio and good color accuracy. GPS is accurate, the speakers sound fine and the cameras are passable, albeit low-light performance is poor.

The occasional lags and stutters are annoying and will take some getting used to. However, this level of performance should be expected from a sub 100-Euro (~$115) smartphone. The good battery life and replaceable battery may somewhat compensate for the low performance.

The Nokia 1 is a decent budget smartphone that gets the most out of its limited resources. The removable battery, good display and interchangeable covers all impressed us.

The limited internal storage and RAM is offset by Android Oreo (Go Edition) which gives users more storage space and memory than traditional Android. There may be problems with exchanging data with a computer of which you should be aware. There will always be compromises at this price point, but this one is frustrating nonetheless. The Nokia 1 is only around 20 Euros (~$23) cheaper but offers much of what the Nokia 2 does, albeit with a smaller screen and lower resolution optics.

Nokia 1 - 05/18/2018 v6(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
68%
Keyboard
63 / 75 → 84%
Pointing Device
74%
Connectivity
33 / 60 → 55%
Weight
94%
Battery
92%
Display
81%
Games Performance
5 / 63 → 7%
Application Performance
27 / 70 → 39%
Temperature
93%
Noise
100%
Audio
53 / 91 → 58%
Camera
46%
Average
64%
75%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nokia 1 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2018-05-27 (Update: 2019-03-11)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.