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Nokia 1 Plus quick review: A bigger, better Android Go smartphone

first_imgHMD at MWC 2019 announced five new Nokia phones, mimicking last year’s MWC keynote. This means we have a feature phone, an entry-level Android Go phone, a couple of affordable Android One phones, and a premium flagship smartphone. The Nokia 1 Plus is the company’s newest Android Go phone, and it comes as a bigger brother of last year’s Nokia 1.HMD at its keynote said that the Nokia 1 was the best-selling Android Go device last year. Android Go, as you may be aware, is a customised Android software made by Google that is designed to be optimised for phones with bare-boned specs. With the Nokia 1 Plus, HMD is offering a similar bare-boned, entry level hardware, but with a design that is now much more appealing and in keeping with the modern taste. On the sidelines of MWC, I managed to get some hands-on time with the Nokia 1 Plus, and here’s are my initial thoughts.The design of the Nokia 1 Plus has been updated compared to the Nokia 1. It gets a taller display, fewer bezels and a bigger body compared to the pebble-shaped Nokia 1. While I am not denying the pebble-like form factor of the Nokia 1 had its charm (especially with the interchangeable Xpress-On covers),the Nokia 1 Plus looks and feels more up-to-date. It has a lightweight yet sturdy build, with a good amount of display and a great in-hand feel.What makes the Nokia 1 Plus feel so good to hold is its unique 3D nano textured polycarbonate back panel. There are micro dots on the panel that you can feel as you slide your finger across the back. This offers a really nice grip and assures one that it won’t slide out of the hand easily. The plastic unibody panel seamlessly curves around the sides and the frame and all the way to the display, offering good ergonomics, which looks especially good on an entry-level phone.advertisementThere is no fingerprint sensor or face unlock on the Nokia 1 Plus. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microUSB port to charge the device. The power and volume buttons fall on the right side. The Nokia 1 Plus will be offered in black, red and blue colours. The Nokia 1 Plus sports a 5.45-inch FWVGA+ screen on the front with an 18:9 aspect ratio. So not only do you get a bigger display, but the bezels have been reduced as well. This is a standard FWVGA+ panel that offers a resolution less than 720p and average brightness levels. On first look, I found the colours on screen to look good, but based on a limited interaction it is hard to talk about the clarity and legibility under various lighting conditions.The Nokia 1 Plus is powered by an entry-level 1.5GHz quad-core MT6739WW chipset. As an Android Go device, the Nokia 1 Plus offers 1GB of RAM, but HMD is now offering two storage options – 8GB and 16GB. The latter variant will come in handy for users who like to store a lot of music and videos. These are entry-level specs, so the device will not handle intensive usage. Browsing through the UI was smooth enough and opens opened without a lot of lag.The speed at which apps open and load is noticeably faster on the Nokia 1 Plus compared to the Nokia 1, and this is largely because the latest device runs on Android Pie (Go edition). This is a more polished version of Android Go, which takes care of some of the slowdown issues and bugs from the previous generation. The software feels a bit more optimised, but it’s still too soon to tell without really getting into it.The Nokia 1 Plus comes pre-loaded with Google’s suite of Go apps designed and optimised for Android Go. This means Google Go, Gmail Go, YouTube Go, Maps Go and so come pre-installed and are optimised to take up little memory and storage. You also get full access to the Google Play Store such as regular Maps, WhatsApp, Facebook and more.The Nokia 1 Plus gets an 8MP rear camera with flash and a 5MP front-facing camera. It’s best not to expect too much from the cameras on this entry-level smartphone. A couple of photos captured under artificial lighting looked decent, but lacked clarity while zooming in. The handset houses 2,500mAh battery, which may sound less, but it should be good enough for a low-intensive Android Go phone.On first look, the Nokia 1 Plus feels like a solid improvement over the Nokia 1. It now comes with a form factor that is more suitable for mass market. The larger display and textured back looks quite attractive for an entry-level smartphone. The Nokia 1 Plus is priced at USD 99 (approx Rs 7,000), and its India availability hasn’t been announced. Considering India is one of the key markets for Android Go smartphones, you can bet HMD will not be waiting too long to launch the device there.advertisementALSO READ | Nokia 3.2 and 4.2 quick review: Affordable Nokia phones with trendy displays and buttonsALSO READ | Nokia 9 PureView with five rear cameras, in-display fingerprint sensor launched: Price, specifications and all you need to knowALSO READ | Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 3.2 Android One phones launched at MWC, price in India may start around Rs 10,000last_img

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