nTel Nova N1 Unboxing: A Smartphone Wrapped in the Body of a Feature Phone.

My size is a deviation from what my name represents (My name is Tobi — which means big— but have you seen the way I look?!). The same (well, not really the same) can be said of the ntel nova N1, nTel’s first smartphone, which doesn’t look like a Smartphone at all, instead, you get something that looks similar to a Nokia phone. Before I jump the gun, how about we start from the very beginning.


You get the regular accessories, which include the earphone, 1800mAh battery, MicroUSB cable, power brick and warranty card.


The first reaction I had when I saw the nTel Nova N1:

Not so bad

Yes, Nokia has their 3310, but by combining a physical keyboard with a touchscreen, run by Android 6.0, and with that price tag, the Nova N1 is a hard-to-overlook hybrid.

Although its appearance is pleasant enough, it’s slightly bulky, coming in at 143g and, considering the display is a 3.5inch across the diagonal, the chassis of the phone is pretty wide and tall, which is mainly due to the need to accommodate that physical keyboard.

Surprisingly, there are no volume and power buttons on both sides of the device so you’d have to rely on the power button on the keypad to lock your device and the left and right buttons on the keypad for the volume, which gave me a hard time (More on that in the full review).

When it comes to other placements, you have the USB port and the 3.5mm earphone jack on top of the device.

And beneath, you have the mic and an opening created to easily remove the back cover.

In the front of the device, you have the 2MP front facing camera, the only sensor available is the accelerometer sensor. There is, of course, the keypad which is nicely spaced

And what is considered as quick buttons that let you access applications like Whatsapp, Facebook, Google search and with just the touch of the button (Yes, you can actually customize this).

Did I mention it has a removable 1800mAh battery along with dual SIM capabilities that support VOLTE and a SD card slot?? Well, it does.

At the back of the device, there is the 5MP back facing camera with flash.

Ntel logo, and the speaker grills.


You get the same welcome screen you get when powering on an Infinix or Tecno device for the first time, although the Nova N1 has the nTel customization.

However, where you can’t access anything else without completing the registration process on these aforementioned devices, I discovered that thanks to the shortcuts mentioned earlier, you can actually search the web, access twitter, and others, even before registering.

There is also the fact that the security pattern initially appears small during registration, but this isn’t the case after you have completed registration.

For those wondering, the keypad has backlights.
Finally, did I mention that it is actually a touch-screen? Oh, I think I did.

So, what are my first impression?

Save for the fact that there are no volume and power buttons, and the fact that it is initially awkward to type using the keypad, I think this is not bad, not bad at all.

So, over to you, would you rather go for this or go for the Nokia 3310?


18 comments on “nTel Nova N1 Unboxing: A Smartphone Wrapped in the Body of a Feature Phone.

  1. Kay says:

    T, will this one reach my hand?
    Currently, device-less. 🙂

  2. Kelvin says:

    Boring phone. Jezuz. .

    1. Lanre Akogun says:

      But when you compare it with the Nokia 3310. Then this is way better abeg.

  3. Rapsowdee says:

    I wouldn’t go for ANY….
    The 3310 remake isn’t what people actually wanted… We wanted the 3310 gangan.. No addition or subtraction…
    This NOVA is ok but no 2nd hand value and once it gets faulty… I’ll have to go to their office to get it fixed……
    The only plus in the phone is its VoLTE.. After that… Nothing special

    1. Kᴀʏʙᴀɴɢ ᴵˢ Ⓑₐₜₘₐₙ says:

  4. Lanre Akogun says:

    I’d rather have this than the Nokia 3310. Who memories don epp?

    1. Kᴀʏʙᴀɴɢ ᴵˢ Ⓑₐₜₘₐₙ says:

      I just want to see how fluid the OS runs on the phone.

  5. Chimezie says:

    What are you guys talking about. I actually like this.

  6. Tomjoeguy says:

    Cool tho. How i wish 4g mifi devices are so cheap cos i wanna try ntel.
    I just wrote a deep comparison between the Android phones and the iPhones.
    Find out the best to use by clicking:

  7. By its price, the phone is not that bad.

  8. Smart says:

    Please guys I need ur help. I have a budget of 60k naira. I want to buy a nice phone with nice specs, but I don’t knw Whc phone 2 buy, pls guys help me make suggestions thanks.

  9. OBÁDÁRÀ says:


  10. yuki says:

    the battery is a turn off tho… This could be a mobile hotspot device but the battery

    1. Lanre Akogun says:

      That is my fear. Misstechy please see how long it would last for with mobile hotspot turned on

  11. Norman says:

    I’d definitely buy this, not as my main phone of course but as back up. mainly coz it has support for whatsapp and its internet is up to 4G. My only issue is with the physical keyboard but i guess it just takes some getting used to.

  12. Richy says:

    How do you lock keypad of the ntel Nova N1. It only locks automatically so far and its pissing to know once you put the phone in your pocket if it hasnt locked automatically the keypad presses itself.

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