Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101 Review: An Underwhelming Experience
Back in April, Nokia launched two new products in Nepal. One was a wireless speaker (SP-101) while the other was a headphone (E1200). Of the two, I have been testing the Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101 for a while now, and I’ll be sharing my experience with this portable speaker in this review.
Before starting this review, let us take a quick look at the official specification listing of the Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101.
Table of Contents
Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101 specifications:
- Body: 86 × 50 mm, 160gm
- Design: Compact, travel-friendly design
- Driver: 43 mm audio driver
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
- Audio: Integrated microphone for calls
- Buttons: Volume control, play/pause, power
- Battery: 800mAh battery, up to 4 hours of wireless playback
- Port: Micro-USB charging
- Others: Can link with two speakers for stereo output
- Price: Rs. 3,999
Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101 Review:
Here, it is essential to know that not all Nokia products come from the same manufacturer. By signing up for Nokia’s branding licensing, a company can have its name and logo on its products. In India, for instance, Flipkart sells Nokia TVs, whereas RichGo offers audio accessories in China and other markets.
The Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101 comes from HMD Global. Having used a couple of its phones in the previous year, I expected the speaker to be well-built above all else. And, for the most part, this holds true.
Design and Build
- Small, circular form factor
- No official IP certification
Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101 comes in a small round body. The speaker grill is located on the top and is covered with mesh fabric material. HMD Global chose a rubber-like material for the bottom, which I don’t believe was properly glued in our unit.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts coming off after few months of use. The speaker has a short, black cord that users can use to carry the speaker around. Furthermore, it weighs just 160 grams making it easy to take it with your most places.
If you’re a color snob, the SP-101 could disappoint because it’s only available in the black color option. Having more youthful choices would have added to the appeal of the speaker.
Likewise, it also lacks a dust/water-resistance certification. For a portable speaker, I think this is quite the crucial feature to lack. At the very least, Nokia has included a flap cover to protect the charging port.
- Bluetooth 5.0, No auxiliary input
On the connectivity front, the speaker uses Bluetooth 5.0. I used it with my phone and a Windows laptop and had no issues with connectivity.
The pairing process is rather simple too. You can long press the power button to turn on the speaker. Then, turn on Bluetooth on your phone and hit connect. The speaker automatically connects to previously paired devices as well.
In my time with the Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101, I did not experience any disconnection or interruption. Although there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, you can still connect two of them for stereo audio.
- Volume, playback control, power button
Moving on, this speaker has four buttons in total. They are divided into two groups of two, each on the opposing side of the speaker.
On one side, there is a power key and a play/pause button. Meanwhile, there is a volume up/down button on the opposing end. Long-pressing these buttons will allow you to skip tracks as well.
The speaker has a 43mm audio driver. You can notice the passive radiator on the bottom of the device. What I found from my tests is that its sound quality isn’t all that good, even for a budget speaker.
However, it is loud enough for small to medium-sized rooms. Bass lacks thumping. In addition, the instrument separation is not that good. Most of the time, the vocals are clear, except at high levels when they begin to crackle. It can be aggravating at times.
Moving on, the speaker has a built-in microphone that you can use to make phone calls. With this, you can also activate the virtual assistant on your phone. The call quality is decent but it does not have noise cancellation of any sort.
- 800mAh battery, Up to 4 hours of playback
- Micro USB port, No fast charging support
Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101 packs an 800mAh battery, which Nokia claims can last for up to four hours of playback. Interestingly, at least for me, each full charge provided 5 hours of average backup. That’s great!
On the other hand, Nokia is still old-fashioned when it comes to charging. The company chose a micro USB port instead of Type-C. And because of the round design, you might struggle to find the correct position of the port. Likewise, the charging indicator gets easily blocked by the cable. The entire charging process takes an excess of 2 hours.
So, let’s conclude this review of the Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101. For me, the best part of this speaker is its battery backup. I was able to get more playback time than what the company has promised to provide.
In addition, it has a microphone built-in, which works well considering it’s a budget device. And that’s about it—nothing else stands out. The speaker is not loud enough and has quality issues. It’s difficult to endorse SP-101 when competing brands provide similar or better experiences at comparable prices.
Nokia Wireless Speaker SP-101 Review: Pros and Cons
- Decent design language
- Great battery backup
- Portable form factor
- Cord for added portability
- Bluetooth 5.0 connection
- Built-in microphone
- Sub-par audio quality
- No dust/water resistance
- Unrefined build quality