I’ve reviewed a bunch of different phones over the years, from high end devices such as the Galaxy S4, LG G2 and a few others, to lower end devices such as the Yezz Andy A6M. They all have their ups and downs, pros and cons for various different things. Today I’m going to do a full review of the Kocaso Nova One. A company I had actually never heard of until they contacted me asking me to do a review of this particular device.
Kocaso Nova One Specifications
What’s In The Box
First Initial Thoughts
When I first opened the box for the Kocaso Nova One and saw the device itself, I instantly knew it was too big for my hands and for my liking. Now, please keep in mind that I said “to my liking” because this doesn’t mean it’s a horrible device. And I’ll expand more on all of this as the review goes on.
One thing I did notice about the device is the thickness and the quality of the build. While it’s not a Samsung or a Motorola device which we all know a lot of money gets spent on, the Kocaso Nova One appears to be a durable device. It’s a bit thicker than most flagship like devices, but it’s not attempting to be a flagship device. It’s trying to catch the eye of the lower end phone user. Someone who just wants to purchase something that will work. This is definitely something the Kocaso Nova One does, at least for me.
The screen on the device is a relatively nice size, though there are huge bezels all around. Again, it’s not a Samsung device with billions of dollars behind it. So that’s not even expected. The buttons on the device are touch screen buttons which is actually nice to see in a device like this. No physical home or back button or anything like that.
Some things worthy of mentioning is what comes in the box with the Kocaso Nova One device. They include a screen protector for the front of the device which is always nice as I feel it’s important to have a screen protector on all of my devices. They also include a decent set of earphones as well as a leather case to put on the Nova One. As you see in the photos above, the leather case also comes with an attached back plastic cover. You just take off the back cover on the device that’s there now, attach the new one and you have your leather case always attached to your phone.
There’s also a handy little carrying pouch for you to put your phone in to help protect it from scratches and the likes. Not sure it’s something I would use as that means I’d have to pull my device out of my pocket then out of the bag to use it. Maybe it’s more for storage purposes or something. Regardless, still nice of Kocaso to include it with the device.
The front camera, as mentioned above, is a 2MP camera. That’s about standard it seems in most any and all devices currently be it low end phones or flagship phones. As we all know, it’s not the MP’s that matter. It’s the software and the hardware behind it, powering it, that makes the camera what it is. Since Kocaso is a relatively small company I have to say the front camera on this phablet is decent. It’s not the best, but it’s certainly not the worst either. It takes decent quality pictures and for the audience this device would be in the hands of most it would be more than satisfactory to the majority of them.
I’ve included a couple of pictures using the front camera below so you can see the picture quality. Don’t worry, no selfies here as I wouldn’t do that to any of you. Maybe.
The Kocaso Nova One comes with a 5MP rear camera. By industry standards, again, this is pretty standard for a device that’s going to cost you right around the $200 mark. A 5MP camera can and will take decent enough pictures for those folks that aren’t doing any professional photography by any means. The Kocaso Nova One rear camera, like it’s front counterpart, is decently built.
I’ve take a few pictures of various things around my house with the rear camera to show you the quality of the camera and for you to get an idea of what it’s like. Please keep in mind that I’m certainly not a professional photographer either and that I see something and click the button to take a picture for the most part. All photos are completely unedited with no filters.
Hardware And Performance
This is the most important section of the review of the Kocaso Nova One for most everyone. How does it perform compared to other phones that are similarly priced and spec’d? I can tell you up front, it’s not too shabby.
Keep in mind that I’ve recently(about 6 – 8 months ago) owned a sub $200 phone when I had the Motorola Moto G. I was impressed with that phone so much that I decided to upgrade to its big brother, the Motorola Moto X, and I’m now currently using the 2nd generation Motorola Moto X as my daily driver. But it’s not all about that. This is all about the Kocaso Nova One and how it performs.
It’s got 1GB of RAM behind a quad-core 1.2GHz processor. Most devices with 1GB of RAM these days won’t perform very well at all. Especially if they are running a newer version of Android, such as KitKat, which this device happens to be running Android 4.4.2. That itself is pretty impressive from a smaller company like Kocaso as they are usually several versions of Android behind. Like the Yezz Andy A6M I reviewed recently, it was still sporting the good ole Jelly Bean OS.
Doing day to day tasks such as browsing the internet, checking email, texting and stuff like that simply just works on the Kocaso Nova One. There is little to no lag when performing things like that on this device. Just proves that devices with all those large amounts of RAM aren’t necessarily something you have to have to enjoy a device. And to think that it’s got a 6 inch screen, which means lots of graphics space, the device just performs clearly day to day.
The one area it lacks and one that might be a huge turn off to a lot of folks is the fact that it only supports service up to 3G. This device does not support 4G LTE at all, in any way. For me personally, as was the case when I owned the Moto G, this isn’t necessarily important to me. I’m on WiFi 95% of the time, and that 5% that I’m not, I’m at work and unable to do much of anything on my device. I can and have shown myself that I can live without 4G service.
One neat feature the Kocaso Nova One has that the Yezz Andy A6M had, is the fact that it supports dual SIM cards. For me, this doesn’t do anything for me. But if you’re one who travels a bit, this feature could really be useful. You could have two different SIM cards installed into the device and when you’re in one certain area you use a certain SIM card for a certain service. When you’re in a different area you could switch to the second SIM and utilize the service area around you. Very handy if you have certain areas where one service isn’t all that good and the other is. Just switch to the other service without having to open the phone, switch out SIM cards, reboot the phone and all that. It only takes a couple of minutes at the very most.
The one place I noticed that the Kocaso Nova One becomes sluggish just a bit is when playing any graphics intensive or RAM intensive games. Games like Real Racing 3, Beach Buggy Blitz and others work and they are definitely playable, but I personally can tell the performance isn’t as great as it is on my old Moto X or even my new 2nd generation Moto X. How it would perform on something like Candy Crush is beyond me, but maybe that’s something you can test for yourself and report back.
As mentioned, the Kocaso Nova One is a sub $200 device. To me, that means nothing because I’ve owned and used several of said types of devices and while I’ve been slightly disappointed with a few of them, I’ve been very happy and pleased with a few of them. The Nova One is one of the ones I’m actually pretty pleased with over all. It’s a solidly built device, with a decent screen to have to look at day in and day out. It’s got a fair to decent camera for both the front and the back and of course it has a decent price tag on it.
It’s of course SIM unlocked, which means you can use it on most any pre-paid service like I have used it with my StraightTalk service. The only thing you won’t get is 4G LTE speeds, but if that’s not important to you like it’s not to me, then it’s certainly not a big deal at all.
What it comes down to is, if you’re in the market for a lower end device, and not wanting or needing all that hoopla with flagship devices that you would get, including price, then I feel you should take a serious look at the Kocaso Nova One. Definitely a much better device than I had it in my head as being when I first saw it and read about it. Kocaso has some growing to do, but if they continue to build devices like this, can get devices onto the 4G LTE spectrum, then I personally feel it won’t be long and they will be a much better known name in the mobile industry and more people will be looking at their devices as daily drivers in no time.