Product Overviews

The Nokia N1 Could be the Best Android Tablet Ever

By November 18, 2014 No Comments
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The Nokia N1 features impressive hardware, the latest version of Android, and a low price.

When cell phones became mainstream in the early 2000’s, everybody (and I do mean everybody) owned a Nokia device. With an iconic ringtone and an addictive game called “Snake”, the brand was synonymous with mobile technology for many people. No other phone manufacturer even came close in terms of popularity and it seemed like Nokia would be around for a long time.

Then the iPhone happened.

As soon as Apple released their all-in-one touchscreen smartphone in 2007, Nokia began the downward spiral that would ultimately lead to their demise. The company refused to stray from an antiquated Symbian operating system and failure to adapt caused them to careen from a dominating 50% market share in 2007 to a lowly 2.8% when it was purchased by Microsoft late last year.

But the future looks bright for Nokia with the release of their first mobile device under Microsoft ownership: An Android tablet.

The Nokia N1 is Thinking Ahead

Microsoft’s purchase agreement dictates Nokia can’t manufacturer smartphones until 2016. This gives Microsoft enough time to figure out what they want to do with their newly-acquired phone division and Nokia enough time to restructure. After one year of being under the Microsoft regime, Nokia has now unveiled what they came up with: The N1 — something that isn’t a smartphone.

The N1 is important for many reasons, but mostly because it’s actually a nice-looking tablet. While it may appear Nokia took some design inspiration from Apple (the N1’s dimensions are nearly identical to the iPad Mini), the fact that it’s powered by a stock version of Android Lollipop (with the exception of Nokia’s new and innovative Z Launcher) will appeal to many Android enthusiasts. And with a pricetag of $249, it may also convince a lot of people to buy one.

“We are pleased to bring the Nokia brand back into consumers’ hands with the N1 Android tablet, and to help make sophisticated technologies simple. The N1 has a delightfully intuitive interface and an industrial design to match it. This is a great product for Nokia fans and everyone who has not found the right Android tablet yet.”

— Sebastian Nyström, Head of Products at Nokia Technologies

Nokia N1 Tech Specs

  • Display

○     7.9 inch (4:3)

○     2048×1536 resolution

○     Gorilla® glass 3

○     IPS panel with LED backlight

○     Fully laminated zero air-gap display

  • Chip

○     Intel® 64-bit Atom™ Processor Z3580, 2.3 GHz

  • Memory

○     LPDDR3 (800 MHz), 2 GB

  • Storage

○     eMMC 5.0, 32 GB

  • Graphics

○     PowerVR G6430, 533 MHz

  • Camera

○     8 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus

○     5 MP front-facing camera, fixed focus

○     1080p video recording

  • Buttons and connections

○     3.5 mm audio

○     Micro-USB 2.0 with a Type-C reversible connector

  • Audio

○     High Quality Discrete Audio Codec, Wolfson

○     WM8958E, independent audio codec

  • Speakers

○     Two 0.5 W stereo speakers

○     90 dB with less than 10% total harmonic distortion (THD)

  • Microphone

○     Digital MIC Cavity resonance frequency more than 20 KHz

  • Battery

○     18.5 Wh (5300 mAh) rechargeable lithium polymer battery (3.7 V)

  • Sensors

○     6-axis Gyro+Accelerometer

  • Wireless

○     Wi-Fi, (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); dual channel (2.4GHz & 5GHz) with MIMO

○     Bluetooth, BT 4.0

  • Software

○     Android™ 5.0 Lollipop

○     Nokia Z Launcher

Return to Glory

Similar to Nokia, Microsoft initially refused to stray from their own operating system in favor of what’s popular. The result proved to be equally as disastrous for the company as they watched their mobile market share dwindle into obscurity over the years. But Microsoft learned from these mistakes and is poised for a triumphant comeback that will help them (and Nokia) compete with the likes of Apple.

When Microsoft released the Android-based Nokia X2 smartphone earlier this year, it seemed like the company was gung-ho to finally make a change. Unfortunately, the phone ran the AOSP version of Android that doesn’t include any Google services and was essentially a Windows-skinned device. The lack of Android apps combined with mediocre specs wasn’t enough to convince people to buy the X2 instead of an iPhone.

But the N1 is different.

Nokia’s first Android tablet features high-end specs, a low price point, and a well thought-out design. It’s also the first of many new devices Nokia is promising will bring the “magic of technology” to people in a way only their company can. And if you’ve ever been addicted to “Snake”, you know exactly what they’re talking about. And while one tablet won’t make or break the bank for the Microsoft/Nokia alliance, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

The N1 has the potential to be the best-selling Android tablet ever because it has everything you could want in a tablet at an affordable price. If Microsoft and Nokia play their cards right, this could be the greatest comeback story in the history of the mobile technology industry. And by deciding to license the N1’s beautiful industrial design to OEM partners along with its release, it appears like they’re holding a royal flush.


What do you think? Is the Nokia N1 the best Android tablet ever? Will you be buying one? Is going the Android route the right move for Microsoft and Nokia? Let us know in the comments below! 

Ivan Barajas

Author Ivan Barajas

More posts by Ivan Barajas

Join the discussion No Comments

  • Hold on a second. I read this and I don’t seem to see any reason for this being the best tablet ever made. Let’s compare this to the current best tablet (Nvidia Shield Tablet) in terms of specs and appearance. The N1 is made of aluminum and looks like an iPad while the Shield is made of plastic and does not look like an iPad. The N1 has a significantly better resolution as well, so the N1 takes the win for appearance. Both will run Android 5.0, with the N1 running its own UI which is sort of close to stock Android and the Shield running a UI which is stock Android with its own games and market tacked on. The OS is basically the same, then. The internal specs are way different for both tablets, however. The N1 has an Intel Atom CPU which is quad-core, 2.3 GHz, and the Shield has a 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU. So almost the same in terms of speed. Both have 2 GB of DDR3 RAM. The GPUs, on the other hand, are very different. The N1 has a PowerVR G6430 (a company I’ve never heard of) that is clocked at 533 MHz max. The Shield has the Nvidia Tegra K1, Nvidia’s own GPU clocked at 950 MHz max, meaning a huge graphics advantage for the Shield. The only other real difference is the camera, with an 8.0 MP shooter in the N1 and a 5.0 MP shooter in the Shield, but then again, who uses a tablet for a camera? Looking at all this, I can’t see a way for the N1 to be any better than the Shield. If someone can show me a reason, please do.

    • Ivan B. says:

      SBD_Dauntless: Every spec you listed with the exception of the GPU is better on the N1. I think that’s pretty good for a non-gaming tablet, don’t you?

      • The only spec I listed that is better on the N1 that matters at all is the CPU. However, in a quad core processor, 100 MHz makes absolutely no difference at all, especially with the fact that the N1 has its custom UI laid over Android, while the Shield just has Android with Nvidia’s game hub and its ability to stream games, so the N1 requires slightly more processing power. As for the camera, I must restate, nobody cares about a tablet camera. They are never on par with a phone camera because nobody uses their tablet for a camera due to tablets being bulky and not ideal for taking pictures. The specs on the N1 are good for a non-gaming tablet, however they are not good enough to be the “best tablet ever.”

  • Kyruss says:

    I’ve always been a samsung fan until I got my first windows phone which is a Nokia 925. The detail and features they packed into the phone was remarkable. It looks like they took the time to pay attention to detail and pack lots of features into this tablet!

  • tomaras says:

    Don’t understand why you say “If Microsoft and Nokia play their cards right?” Microsoft has no cards in this at all. This is Nokia and Microsoft does not own any part of this.

    • Ivan B. says:

      Tomaras: I understand tablets don’t fall into the phone category purchased by Microsoft. But don’t you think the success of this tablet will help Microsoft? Perhaps even influence future phone designs?

  • Baylink says:

    So who builds a tablet these days without a GPS?

    For my part, if it’s not a 10″, I’m not interested.

  • solmors says:

    No micro SD card slot is a deal breaker. That instantly makes it worthless to me.

    Sorry Nokia, come back when you don’t skimp on a $5 addition. Oh, but that means you can’t charge out the ass for an internal memory upgrades. Who do you think you are? Apple?

    • Ivan B. says:

      solmors: I don’t think microSD card slots are as necessary as they once were. Cloud computing and streaming services have made storage solutions much easier on mobile devices!

  • MIGmig johnson says:

    No pen. Deal Breaker for a lot of people looking for more practical-less toy.

  • Dobby says:

    I was waiting for the surface pros to get sim card slots, but now this comes out and I’m sold instantly. But then I realise… this has no sim card slot! It’s ridiculous! What’s a guy gotta do to get good hardware that can be used independently? it’d be forgiveable if it had expandable storage, but hey presto, the two things I need are gone within the minute. So disappointed because this really does look absolutely bang-on what people need.

  • Thosyn says:

    The lack of sim slot is the only turn off I have here.come back when your tab has a slot for sim card,2perhaps!

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