Nokia has stunned everyone by announcing its first smart device since its split with Microsoft – an Android-powered tablet called the Nokia N1.
Earlier in the year, Nokia sold its devices and services unit to Microsoft. With the latter recently announcing the end of Nokia branding on its Lumia phones, it seemed we’d never see a Nokia smart device again.
For another, its design is closer to the iPad mini 3 than the Lumia range. Much closer.
The N1 has the same 7.9-inch display size and 4:3 aspect ratio as the iPad mini 3, and the same 2048 x 1536 resolution. Externally, too, it opts for a similar aluminium design (though it’s thinner at 6.9mm), complete with drilled speaker holes on the bottom of the tablet.
Even the camera and button placement is eerily familiar here. That’s not a Lightning port in between those speaker grills, though – it’s a Type-C USB port, which is similarly reversible to Apple’s custom solution.
Of course, while Apple hung its compact tablet line out to dry this year by failing to add a fully laminated display (as it did with the iPad Air 2), Nokia hasn’t made the same mistake. There’s no air gap between display and glass here, which should make for a suitably vibrant picture.
Internally, the N1 has a 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor (that’s a 64-bit example) backed by 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. Around back is an 8-megapixel camera and around front a 5-megapixel variant, both of which seem to be a step-up from the iPad mini 3.
Its 5,300 mAh battery, meanwhile, will apparently be good for nine hours of life in between charges.
Nokia has resisted fiddling with the look and feel of Android 5.0 Lollipop too much – it’s near-stock. The one key difference on the software front is the presence of Nokia’s Z Launcher, which provides contextual lists of apps, and enables you to quickly search for apps and contacts by scrawling letters onto the screen.
The Nokia N1 will launch in February for $249 (£159), but only in China to start with. It’ll then make its way to Russia and a couple of European markets over the following months.
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