Seemingly out of nowhere, Nokia has introduced a new compact tablet, and it doesn’t run an older version of Android like their Nokia X line of smartphones, nor does it run Windows 8.1, instead the Nokia N1 is running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Yesterday, the company was teasing a surprise ahead and the majority of us dismissed this as some sort of Windows-powered set-top box, instead that teaser image was the box for this admittedly gorgeous 7.9-inch Android powerhouse. What makes it a powerhouse you ask? Well, not only does it feature the latest version of Android, but it has some of the best specs available in an Android tablet right now.
Starting with the display, the N1 has a 7.9-inch 4:3 display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536, just like the Nexus 9. Underneath that, is a 64-bit Quad-Core Intel Atom running at 2.3 Ghz with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. There’s an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with some pretty decent audio promised by the Wolfson WM8958E audio chip and there’s support for WiFi 802.11 up to AC in dual-band all powered by a 5,300 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery. What’s perhaps more impressive is that all of this costs just $249.
You’re probably wondering about the software here, and we can’t blame you after what they did to Android on the X line of phones. Here though, it seems that Nokia have held back a little, for the most part Android 5.0 Lollipop looks untouched and Nokia’s selling point for the N1 is the Z launcher. A new launcher that aims to deliver the right app to you at the right time, without the need to fiddle around with app drawers or anything of the sort. Other than that though, there’s not much we know about any other secret sauce from Nokia.
Speaking of secret sauce, the N1 seems to be the very first device to feature the Type-C reversible microUSB connector, allowing you to plug it in whichever way you like. Obviously, this means that the cable that ships with the N1 is going to be your best friend for a while, but it should be backward compatible as well.
Available next year in China (at first) the N1 will be available in Natural Aluminum and Lava Gray and will launch in selected markets thereafter. There’s no denying that this is an interesting device from Nokia and one nobody expected. To us, the N1 does look remarkably like an iPad Mini running Android and in general this raises a few questions. What will happen to the N1 when the Nokia branding is absorbed into Microsoft? Will it launch in markets where Nokia and Microsoft are selling Windows tablets and devices? Hopefully, this is one Nokia device that we’ll all be able to enjoy, as it looks like that Android device we were all hoping for from Nokia has finally materialized. You can take a look at the video below and Nokia’s new N1 site for a little more info.