In the ultra-budget smartphone market, Realme and Xiaomi rule the ball. But will there be a place for Nokia, or is the company’s new smartphone nothing more than a failed attempt to play on the popular name? We look at the device and figure it out.

Nokia 1.4: Specifications

  • 6.52-inch display with a resolution of 1600 × 720 pixels, 269 PPI, IPS LCD;
  • 4-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 processor with a clock frequency of 1.3 GHz, 28 nm process technology, and Adreno 308 video accelerator;
  • From 1 to 3 GB of RAM and from 16 to 64 GB of user memory, support for microSD cards;
  • 8-megapixel main camera + 2-megapixel macro camera;
  • Front camera with a resolution of 5 megapixels;
  • Battery with a capacity of 4000 mAh;
  • Android 10 Go OS;
  • Two SIM-cards of the Nano-SIM format;
  • MicroUSB 2.0, Mini Jack 3.5 mm.

Display and Appearance

The smartphone design cannot be called outstanding – the standard features of the device from the lower price segment. At the back, there is a non-slip textured plastic around and bulging camera unit. Under it is a tiny fingerprint scanner. It works quickly, but it is difficult to hit it with your finger. At the bottom, there is a speaker cutout, which sounds cheap, and if the smartphone is on the table with the display up, it overlaps.

On the front of the Nokia 1.4, a chin at the bottom of the screen and a waterdrop-shaped cutout for the camera are a constant reminder of belonging to the budget class. The 6.5-inch display with a resolution of 1600 × 720 is made using IPS technology. The color rendition and contrast are not bad, the color temperature is cold, but it is adjustable. Still, the peak brightness is low – it is difficult to see the contents on the screen in bright daylight (however, this is not a rarity in budget models). Viewing angles are small, with a very slight tilt, dark colors are distorted, contrast is lost. The backlighting is even. Only in the dark can you see the lighter areas in the upper part of the display, but this is not visible during normal use.

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On the edges, you can find the Assistant call button, a volume rocker and a power key, a headphone jack, and a micro USB (in 2021, I would like to see USB-C, but so far, modern standards have not reached the budget segment smartphones). On the left are a slot for a memory card tray and SIM cards. It is commendable that two SIM cards and a microSD can be installed at the same time.

Performance of Nokia 1.4

The smartphone runs on a lightweight Android 10 Go – a special version of the “green robot” with simplified animations and reduced resource consumption, optimized for devices with weak processors and small amounts of memory. Not to say that the stripped-down version of the system provided perfect work, but I did not notice the constant slowdowns of the interface. On the Samsung Galaxy A02 from the same price category, the interface is noticeably laggy. You can’t say the same about Nokia. But the smoothness is not felt – the animation seems to be 30 frames, which is probably the limitation of Android Go. Applications open in a few seconds. Multitasking is not the worst: with 3 GB of RAM, the smartphone can hold about a dozen applications. I will write down the absence of a third-party shell as a plus: with it, the processor would definitely not provide comfortable work.

The “heart” of Nokia 1.4 is a 4-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 processor. Despite the support of the NFC “stone,” there is no chip for payment in the smartphone – this is another compromise for the sake of price.

The Wi-Fi module only supports 2.4 GHz, which again reminds me of belonging to the budget segment. Compared to the Google Pixel 4a, its download speed is 8 Mbps lower. In urban conditions, Nokia 1.4 easily found many satellites, but still, there are 7-9 fewer of them than the significantly more expensive Pixel, so the result cannot be called ideal. There is no magnetic sensor, which means that you cannot use your smartphone in compass mode.

In the PUBG Mobile game, the frame rate is low, no higher than 30 frames, but I did not encounter any sharp FPS drops, so it can even be called playable, albeit with a stretch. Graphics, of course, at the lowest settings. For 20 minutes of playing, the smartphone warmed up in the upper part, but not critical – it does not burn the hand. In Call Of Duty Mobile, the situation is even better – the frame rate is close to 60, but sometimes there are drawdowns.

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In fairly old Asphalt 8 and Real Racing 3, everything is also not bad – despite the low resolution, the frame rate is stable. In the first, it even reaches 60 FPS. In the second, it is confidently kept at around 30 FPS. More recent Asphalt 9 in the Play Store could not be downloaded – it is not officially supported. In general, it is possible to play on Nokia 1.4, but such gaming cannot be called comfortable.

Budget Nokia with lightweight Android Go and Google Camera: Nokia 1.4 review
Budget Nokia with lightweight Android Go and Google Camera: Nokia 1.4 review

I tested the smartphone on various benchmarks. In the CPU Throttling Test, the performance drops by 20% almost immediately, after which the graph shows cyclical drops in speed by 25 percent. Nevertheless, it does not reach critical values. And most importantly, the back panel is not red-hot. The Nokia 1.4 finished CPDT and AndroBench memory tests with results similar to other budget-class devices.

After 12 runs of the heavy 1080p Manhattan Off-Screen graphics test in GFX Bench, the battery temperature rose from 32.5 degrees to almost 35 degrees, and the frame drawing timeline pattern matches the results of the first test. But the values ​​themselves increased by an average of 50ms, which indicates a slight decrease in performance.

The Geekbench 5 and 3D Mark benchmarks gave very modest results. If a smartphone can be compared with more expensive smartphones in single-core performance, in multi-core performance, it loses to them.

Budget Nokia with lightweight Android Go and Google Camera: Nokia 1.4 review
Budget Nokia with lightweight Android Go and Google Camera: Nokia 1.4 review

Cameras

The cameras of Nokia 1.4 are in some places worse than those of the competitors. Daytime shots with the main camera are blurry. Any shadow loses all details and turns into a mess. In many photographs, overkill with contrast. Comparing the smartphone side-by-side with Xiaomi Redmi 9A, I once again made sure that dark places in the pictures suffer from insufficient detail. However, compared to Samsung’s budget, the Nokia 1.4 is not so bad.

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There is no video stabilization, as you would expect. Taking into account the price, the sound is recorded in low quality. It is difficult for the camera to focus. In normal daylight, the exposure “jumps.”

Android Go hides a surprise in the face of Camera Go. Google’s camera app has a night mode that works magic. With it, photographs in the dark become many times better: contrast, clarity is tightened, more details appear in the shadows. Not to say that the level of more expensive devices, but at least you can look at it. Taking pictures without this mode is useless – any picture comes out blurry, overexposed, and noisy.

Autonomy

Nokia 1.4 has a capacious 4000 mAh battery. But 13 hours is on par with most other smartphones with a similar battery capacity.

In everyday life, the smartphone lasts for several days. It charges slowly – dialing 100 percent from scratch takes almost 5 hours. The kit contains a 5-watt power supply.

Conclusion: Should you buy Nokia 1.4?

I can say that Nokia 1.4 is enough for surfing light websites, communicating in instant messengers, and other similar tasks. The camera and games are not the kinds of things that you can take this smartphone for, but this applies to almost all smartphones in this price range. If the basic version is on a par with competitors in its price category, then the version with 3 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM lags behind its counterparts due to a weak processor, and there is not enough NFC chip.

PROS

  • Pure Android Go.
  • A future update to Android 11 Go.
  • Hybrid slot for a memory card and a SIM card.
  • Heats up slightly under load.
  • Lack of animation lags.

CONS

  • Poor photo quality.
  • Small fingerprint scanner.
  • Low viewing angles of the display and low brightness.

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