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Nokia C1 Unboxing and First Impressions

Targeting consumers on an ultra-tight budget, HMD Global Oy recently launched the Nokia C1 in the Philippines.
Meet Nokia C1

Priced at PHP 2,990, it is armed with a Nokia-grade tough-looking body, compact size, and the lightweight Android 9.0 Pie (Go edition) OS.

Here are our first impressions. Check it out!


Nokia C1 unboxed
Nokia C1 unboxed

Nokia C1 came in a square box with the same pull-out design as the Nokia 2.3. Once you pull out the main box, you get to see the phone first.

Deeper in the box, you will find the paperwork, 5V USB wall charger, and micro USB cable. There are no earphones, and cases included in the box.

There is no SIM ejector tool included because the back panel is removable allowing you to remove the battery to access the SIM card slots.

Build Quality/Design

Nokia C1 Xpress-On back cover
Nokia C1 Xpress-On back cover

Nokia C1 has a removable polycarbonate back panel called Xpress-On cover. It has a matte finish which makes it kind of susceptible to fingerprints. It comes in two colors in Red and Black. The whole phone including the frame looks quite tough for the price.

Nokia-tough body!

The front panel is not a curved glass design which makes the design feel dated. No screen protection included as well. The 5.45-inch screen is small with an 18:9 screen aspect ratio. Bezels are thick, but that's understandable for a budget device.

The device itself is easy to hold due to its small size. There is a minimal camera bump as well. There is no fingerprint sensor here too.

The device measures at 147.6 x 71.4 x 8.7 mm which is smaller than most modern devices nowadays.
You can find the power button and volume rocker at the right side of the device, a dedicated Google Assistant button at the left along with the SIM tray, a 3.5mm headphone jack up top, and the micro USB port, and mic at the bottom.

The speaker grill is found at the bottom part of the back panel.

The textured finish adds more grip to it as well. It fits comfortably into my hand and can be easily used with one.

The phone weighs at 155 grams, a standard given the size of the device and battery.

Initial findings

1. The 5.45-inch TFT screen at 960 x 480 FWVGA+ resolution is a refreshing size especially nowadays when 6-inch devices are considered small already.

Even at 480p, the screen looks sharp at this size. The screen can get bright but does seem to lean on the warmer side of things in terms of colors.

2. In terms of specs, the 1.3GHz MT6739M quad-core processor along with the PowerVR GE8100 is slow but can be expected at this price point. The use of 1GB RAM feels a bit of dated choice as well.

There is a 16GB of expandable storage and a removable 2,500mAh battery to round up the specs.

3. It is running the Go edition version of Android 9.0 Pie which is light enough to run smoothly even with the limited specs it has. It highlights Lite versions of apps, as well as Google Go apps, which can give its users a decent app experience.

4. The 5MP f/2.4 rear camera is pretty basic. It has autofocus as well as an LED flash. For selfies, it also has a 5MP sensor with an LED flash.

5. It has no fingerprint sensor, but face unlock is present. The Google Assistant button is a welcome addition as well. It has the basics with WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio, and GPS. It only has up to 3G in terms of mobile date though.

Nokia C1 Specs

Display: 5.45-inch TFT screen w/ FWVGA+ 960 x 480 resolution at 197 ppi
CPU: 1.3GHz 64-bit MT6739M quad-core processor
GPU: PowerVR GE8100
ROM: 16GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 64GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 5MP f/2.4 w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5MP w/ LED flash
Battery: 2,500mAh (removable)
OS: Android 9.0 Pie (Go edition)
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio, GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, proximity
Others: Face unlock, Google Assistant button, Xpress-On Covers, Colors: red, black
Dimensions: 147.6 x 71.4 x 8.7 mm
Weight: 155 g
Price: PHP 2,990

As of the moment

The Nokia C1 is looking to be a decent pick for a backup phone. You can easily use it for communication and some basic tasks.

However, its use of 1GB/16GB storage and the lack of 4G LTE is a bit of a let down even at this price point.

No matter, I will be using this as my daily driver to fully assess its capabilities.

Watch out for the full review soon!
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