For the budget-conscious, the Nokia C1 Plus is worthy of your second look. It's a decent smartphone at only ₱3,590.
The Nokia C1 Plus is the company's entry level smartphone that's making a mark below the ₱4K market segment. In fact, the smartphone is only priced at ₱3,590. HMD Global is also saying that the Nokia C1 Plus is the most affordable 4G-powered Nokia smartphone.
Nokia C1 Plus Review
Apart from the very practical price, the Nokia C1 Plus is powered by Android 10 (Go Edition). Other specs are very modest but we are curious about the handset's overall performance. Join us in this Nokia C1 Plus review, and let's find out if this comes with a good value for its asking price.
Unboxing the Nokia C1 Plus
Despite the affordable price, HMD Global, the maker of Nokia phones, included a good set of accessories out-of-the-box. Aside from the main unit, there's a power adapter, microUSB cable, paper works, and earphones.
There's also a battery pack that's needed to be installed on the smartphone; and yes, the battery module is removable. The accessories are of good quality, and I did not expect to find a pair of earphones in this price segment - it's a thumbs up for HMD Global.
Well, everything we'll note about the Nokia C1 Plus' design is pretty basic. The aesthetics is something that we've seen from smartphones released several years ago. The backing is defined by a plastic build with a matte finish. It's curved and it easily nestles on the hands. Plus, the surface is not a fingerprint magnet. The Nokia branding is printed on the middle of the backing; across the the upper middle is the 5MP rear camera and the LED Flash.
Flipping the handset, you'll see the 5.45-inch HD+ IPS display, the 5MP selfie camera, the provisioned slot for receiver, and the front-facing LED flash. Down below the chin, there's also another Nokia branding. The sides of the smartphone are quite standard. The power button and the volume rocker are on the right side; the top is a home to the 3.5-mm audio jack; while the bottom has the microUSB slot, the microphone, and the speaker grill.
The Nokia C1 Plus has a decent build. It comes with a compact footprint which makes one-handed usage easier. The build is also quite solid with no squeaking or hollowed areas at the back panel. For its price, I'm happy with its design implementation.
The Nokia C1 Plus' display frames a 480 x 960-pixel resolution. The panel is IPS which is a good selling point in this price segment. For the most part, the display is quite capable with good contrast and color saturation; the only thing that it lacks is brightness.
The viewing angles are also generous. This means that the smartphone is good for sharing content. On that note, I am also quite relieved that the panel does not exhibit a yellow tint when viewed at oblique angles.
Apart from the brightness level on the Notifications shade, you can switch to Dark Theme on the display settings or customize your font size and display size in the advanced settings.
Performance and Software
Android Go is Google's program that's designed for entry-level devices. With the recent Android 10 (Go Edition) updates, we can see that there's a suite of apps designed for Nokia C1 Plus' modest hardware like the Google Go, Assistant Go, Gallery Go, and Gmail Go, to name a few. These trimmed down version of the popular apps give you most of the features that you need in a standard app but do not take a major toll on your hardware.
Overall, performance is quite okay. The Nokia C1 Plus has the muscle for your day to day tasks. It can handle social media browsing, light photo editing, and casual gaming with ease. Watching Youtube videos and even streaming Netflix are fun activities with this smartphone. I'm also quite impressed with the loudspeakers. I could say that it's one of the good ones at this price point.
The Nokia C1 Plus offers 16GB of storage; there's only 11.23GB left for you to use after the system files and other necessary programs have gotten roughly 4GB of the chunk. But if you need more room, you can still expand the memory using a microSD card.
When it comes to the software, the Android 10 Go Edition is clean and minimalist. I love the rounded icons and clean notification shade. The toggles for most-used settings are also quick to access. You can take advantage of the Go Edition apps to have a smooth overall experience.
The 5MP rear camera has an autofocus capability, while most of its peers in this segment only have a fixed focus module. The Nokia C1 Plus is a decent smartphone in capturing daylight photos. Colors are accurate but lack some contrast.
The details are good enough, but the autofocus is quite slow. For a sub-₱4k smartphone, it can produce good photos. Aside from the basic features, the camera app also has Panorama, Square mode, and Time-lapse.
The 5MP selfie camera produces convincing social media photos with accurate colors. The inclusion of a front-facing flash is also a welcome gesture. But what I dislike is that photos tend to have low details and less contrast.
The Nokia C1 Plus packs a removable 2500 mAh battery. With entry-level hardware, software optimizations, and moderate usage, the smartphone can last a day.
Plus, knowing that it has a detachable battery means that you can swap battery if you can procure an extra pack. The handset does not support fast charging, and it takes almost two hours to recharge a fully drained unit.
For the budget-conscious, the Nokia C1 Plus is worthy of your second look. It may have a moderate hardware but the software optimization allows a smoother overall user experience.
If you're a purist who wants to have a clean Android Go experience, this could float your boat. This smartphone could also be an ideal secondary phone. If you wanted to buy your kids their first smartphone, the Nokia C1 Plus is a good option. For its ₱3,590 price, there's definitely a convincing value in this smartphone.
2. Android 10 Go Edition
3. Compact footprint
4. Decent loudspeaker
2. The 16GB storage may not be an entry-level standard in 2021
Nokia C1 Plus Specs
5.45-inch in-cell display
480 x 960 pixels
Unisoc SC9863A Chipset
Octa-core: 4x 1.4 GHz Cortex-A55, 4x 1.2 GHz Cortex-A55
PowerVR GE8322 GPU
16GB memory, expandable
5MP rear camera, LED flash, panorama
5MP selfie camera, LED flash
3.5-mm audio jack
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Android 10 Go Edition