How much does it cost to get a smartphone these days? The answer is apparently not much, as shown with the Nokia 1 Plus.
There are phones that hit all sorts of price ranges. You can find phones that cost well over a grand and into the $2K prices, phones that hit just under, and even phones that go well and truly below.
The term “budget” typically means phones that run between $200 and $400 lately, and rarely do you see a smartphone below that mark that doesn’t feel new from the operating system standpoint. Normally one of the parts that suffers, if you want the latest version of Android, you probably won’t find it in the low-end.
However, that changed when Google launched a version of its operating system called “Go Edition”, which delivers the latest version of Android in a smaller size, lowering the resource usage of the operating system and the default apps that it brings with it.
It’s still Android that you know and works with Android apps you can buy and download, but it doesn’t come with bloatware, interface changes, or any extra apps installed that you probably don’t need.
And that helps to get the size down, which means the performance can be improved, especially on a less expensive smartphone, which is one area destined to take a hit.
Cheap smartphones tend to offer a low-end processor, not too much storage or memory, and a low-end screen, providing just enough of the smartphone experience for a price.
The Nokia 1 Plus isn’t the first Android Go device from Nokia, but it is the latest, delivering a 5.4 inch screen that takes up much of the front, but at a lower than HD resolution, closer to 960×480, only a good 30-odd pixels higher than the iPhone 3G.
But it does aim to be competitive, and given its $169 outright price and $129 cost at Vodafone, you’ll find it comes with an 8 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel selfie camera, and just enough of the tech you’d want in a smartphone: quad-core processor, 16GB storage, microSD slot to add more storage, 4G operating at Category 4’s 150Mbps down, Bluetooth, GPS, and 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi.
One thing it does lack is biometric security, meaning no fingerprint security or facial unlock. The Nokia 1 Plus is still a basic phone, and one with Android 9 “Pie” Go edition, which means at least the operating system will get updates, something that also tends to go walkabout on budget phones.
That could make it ideal for kids or seniors, or just anyone who wants a cheap phone.
You’ll find the Nokia 1 Plus in stores now, with an outright price of $169 or a Vodafone price of $129, the latter of which arrives with a $30 SIM and a blue phone cover in the box which is exclusive to Vodafone in Australia.