Nokia has launched the Nokia 1 smartphone in India. It is Nokia’s first phone based on Google’s new Android Oreo (Go Edition) platform. The phone is priced at INR 5499 ($85) and will be available starting Wednesday, March 28. The Xpress-on covers will be sold separately in April for INR 450 ($7) each, and will be available in azure/gray or yellow/pink.
Reliance Jio customers will get a cashback of INR 2200 ($34) and also 60GB of data.
The Nokia 1 is Nokia’s cheapest smartphone yet based on the Android Oreo (Go Edition) platform. Go Edition comes with Google’s suite of optimized apps for services like Gmail, Assistant, Search, Maps and YouTube that consume less data and have smaller file sizes. The Play Store is also optimized to show you lite version of other apps. The OS itself takes up less space compared to standard version of Android Oreo and has data saving features built-in.
As for the Nokia 1 itself, it’s a fairly barebones device with a 4.5-inch, 854×480 resolution IPS display, MediaTek MT6737 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. The phone also has a very basic 5MP rear camera with LED flash and 2MP front camera.
The Nokia 1, along with the whole Android Oreo (Go Edition), comes across as a tone deaf effort, especially in markets like India, which already has a great variety of capable affordable devices. For example, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A costs INR 5999, which is slightly more than the price of the Nokia 1 but has significantly better hardware and runs full version of Android rather than the nerfed Go Edition.
Go Edition only works if you’re paying considerably less, almost feature phone prices and still getting a good smartphone experience. If you’re paying as much as a much capable and fully featured Android smartphone then you’re better off just buying that.