Ever since the acquisition of the hardware division by Microsoft, everyone talks about the death of Nokia and the company is certainly not pleased with it. Today, Nokia is trying to make a statement that they are still alive with a new product launched, the Nokia N1. Nokia N1 is an Android tablet running on Z launcher and it will be available early next year.
Nokia N1 is running their home-brew Z launcher on top of the Android 5.0 Lollipop, making it one of the first non-Nexus tablet running the latest version of Android. In my opinion, Z launcher is the reason why this tablet exists. Z launcher allows you to scribble letters on the homescreen to search for the applications or contacts so that you do not have to spend time in your long application or contact list. You can learn more about the launcher from our Nokia Z launcher hands on. Nokia also announced that the Z launcher will be available for downloads in the Google Play Store so everyone with Android devices can give it a try.
For hardware site, Nokia has packed quite a punch in the tablet. The chassis is a one-piece anodized aluminium which is sandblasted for a smooth finish. The rounded edges will be friendly for hands when holding it. For colour options, Nokia N1 comes in natural aluminium and lava gray. The tablet is very thin too. Measuring at 6.9mm thick, it has the same thickness with iPhone 6. The design is simple but it might be too plain for some eyes. For me, the lava gray back has a better match with the black front. The contrast between the silver and the black for natural aluminium is too much for me.
The 7.9 laminated IPS display has a resolution of 2048×1536 and pixel density of 325ppi. Being laminated means that the display has no air gap. This allows the tablet to be thinner and the display to be closer to the surface. The 4:3 ratio is long used by iPads but it is pretty unpopular in Android tablets until the Nexus 9 uses this aspect ratio. With Nexus 9 leading the way, I guess this aspect ratio will grow in popularity and apps will be optimized for it. For better durability, the display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.
The tablet is powered by Intel 64 bit Atom Z3580 processors which has 4 cores clocked at 2.3GHz. It has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The battery is rated at 5300mAh. The interesting part is that Nokia N1 is the first tablet that uses the new Micro-USB type C reversible port. This means that you do not have to spend time to look for the orientation of charging cables.
Nokia has equipped a 5MP front facing, fixed focus camera and a 8MP rear facing camera with autofocus. There are a pair of 0.5W stereo speakers to provide an “oomph” in audio. Nokia N1 supports WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels with MIMO antenna. Bluetooth 4.0 is present too but there is no variant that supports cellular network.
Nokia N1 is priced at $249 and it will be available in early 2015, starting from China then to Europe. One thing to be noted here is that Nokia has sold the device division, so Nokia N1 is not built by them. Nokia has a partnership with an untold Chinese company to manufacture and to sell the device. You can learn more about Nokia N1 here.
For the specifications, the tablet has a fair price in my opinion. However, I do not think that having a fair price would be sufficient to sell it. Nokia Z Launcher is an interesting idea. It can change how we use our devices by providing a convenient way to access what we want. However, it is not without limitations. Without the full support of widgets and other things found in other launchers, the learning curve might be a little steep. The enhancement is much needed if Nokia has any intention to bring Nokia N1 on everyone’s hand. I would suggest you to try Z launcher on your current devices first. Then you will have a better idea whether to buy this tablet or not. At least you have months to decide before it arrives next year.
The major highlight on this device is the Nokia branding and to be honest, without the logo behind it, the tablet will not get so much interest from us. Living in the Nokia fans community does not sound too great. As a long time Nokia user, I am happy to see the Finnish company in the mobile device market. We hope to see more from Nokia in the future.