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Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On


Nokia has recently released its most affordable Android device yet, the Nokia C1. It features a 5.45-inch display, and a quad-core processor, and a removable 2,500mAh battery. Priced a little under PHP 3k, is the C1 worth copping, or should you save a bit more and get a phone in the PHP 5k range? Find out in this in-depth, hands-on!

Table of Contents

Design and Construction

Despite being a very affordable device, the Nokia C1 still feels good in the hands. The unibody device allows for a very comfortable grip, and the smooth matte finish, while not premium, doesn’t feel cheap either. It comes in either red or black colors, with our unit being the former. Take a look!

Nokia C1 6 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

Out of the box, the Nokia C1’s battery isn’t pre-installed, so you’re going to have to pry it open via the groove located on the lower right side.

Nokia C1 1 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

Inserting the removable 2,500mAh battery is pretty straight forward, align the metal connectors on the battery to the ones on the phone and slide it in.

Nokia C1 2 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

Inside the back cover, you can access both SIM slots and the dedicated MicroSD slot that can handle up to 64GB.

Nokia C1 14 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

Upfront, the Nokia C1 has a 5.45-inch display with large bezels all around.

Nokia C1 3 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

On the upper bezel sits the front flash, earpiece, and 5MP front camera.

Nokia C1 7 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

The top is bare, save for the 3.5mm audio jack.

Nokia C1 5 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

Located on the right are the volume rockers and power button. They’re conveniently placed on the upper half of the device and is easily reachable by the thumb.

Nokia C1 8 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

In typical Nokia fashion, there is a dedicated Google Assistant button found on the left side of the phone.

Nokia C1 4 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

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You can find the MicroUSB port and microphone underneath.

Nokia C1 11 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

If you were wondering where the speakers are, its located at the lower left side of the back, along with the single rear camera, flash, and Nokia branding.

Display and Multimedia

Nokia C1 10 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

The 5.45-inch IPS panel has an FWVGA+ (480p) resolution. While content displayed may seem a bit grainy, the color reproduction was good for the price.

Nokia C1 12 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

The speaker can also get loud, able to fill a small room. Be careful not to cover it with your finger, though. As for the quality, the bass is recessed, while the highs were crisp enough for an enjoyable casual listening session. The small dot on top also makes sure that sound isn’t muffled when placed on a table.


Nokia C1 9 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

The Nokia C1 sports a single 5MP camera on both the front and the rear. Take a look at the sample shots from the rear camera below:

The photos were grainy and lacked detail, which is what you can expect from a 5MP camera. It also had a hard time focusing on the subject, even when you manually select the focus area. Light sources were also over-exposed, requiring manual tuning to capture okay photos.  Low light and night shots only worsened conditions stated.

The front camera follows the same trend. Against-the-light selfies only over-exposed the light source, and photos lacked detail and focus. Check out the selfies below:

That being said, for PHP 3k, it’s hard to be too critical of the camera. It’s serviceable when used under great lighting conditions; it’s a welcome addition to the budget device.

Performance and Benchmarks

The Nokia C1 comes with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor paired with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. Take a look at the benchmark results below:

Nokia C1 Benchmarks • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

  • Antutu (V8.2.2) – 39,250
  • 3D Mark – 90 (Sling Shot)
  • PC Mark – 4,751 (Work 2.0)
  • AndroBench
    • Sequential – 28.08 MB/s (Read), 38.89  (Write)
    • Random – 25.47 (Read), 7.2 (Write)

As you can expect, performance is lacking. We experienced micro stutters while browsing the web with Google Chrome and while searching through YouTube. Video playback, however, was smooth. Don’t expect to play games with the device.

Nokia C1 13 • Nokia C1 In-Depth Hands-On

Despite the dismal performance, we think that the Nokia C1 still has a place in the market. For PHP 2,990, you can get all the quality of life benefits of having a smartphone, like surfing the web, emails, and viewing content.

Nokia C1 specs
5.45-inch IPS display
1.3GHz quad-core processor
Android 9 Pie (Go Edition)
16GB storage
Expandable up to 64GB via microSD
5MP f/2.4 rear camera
5MP front camera
Dual SIM
Dedicated Google Assistant button
3.5mm headphone jack
micro USB
2,500mAh (removable)
147.6 x 71.4 x 8.7 mm
Red, Black

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