Nokia N1 – The Next Big Thing – Review

Nokia is back with a bang, and this time, not a cell phone! The company has launched the Nokia N1 tablet, which looks stylish and compact and runs on the Android operating system, owned by Google. A USP of the tablet is its affordable price tag.

The N1 tablet by Nokia is more along the lines of a slate. It has a thickness of only 6.9mm and is made of aluminium. It looks sleek and weighs only 318g, making it lighter and slimmer than the tablet reigning in this segment, the Apple iPadMini 3. However, it is yet to beat the thickness of the Apple iPad Air 2. The company has announced that the device would be free from sharp corners, thereby making it easier to hold it for longer time periods. On the underside of the tablet, you will find a type C USB 2.0 connector. The aluminium body is a single piece, anodized one which has been given a finishing in Lava grey or natural aluminium colour.

The frontal part of the N1 by Nokia has an LCD IPS display measuring 7.9 inches. The resolution of the tablet is around 1536X2048 pixels while the aspect ratio is 4:3. The Apply iPad Mini 3 is matched by the Nokia N1 at least in terms of specs. The display unit is laminated fully and has nil air-gap. A protective layer of the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 has been fitted on the tablet.

The Nokia N1 has comes commendable hardware underneath the facia, including an Intel Atom 64 bit Z3580 processor which clocks at 2.3GHz alongside a GPU of 533MHz G6430 PowerVR, storage of 32GB and RAM of 2GB. The combination is a solid one can give the higher end Snapdragon Systems on Chip run for their money. The options of connectivity included in the tablet are Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/n/g/ac going at 5GHz and 2.4 and Bluetooth 4.0. Reception has been improved through MIMO antennas. However, no cellular or GPS connectivity is included in the tab.

Upon flipping the slate over, users will see an 8MP camera with 1080p video recording ability and auto focus camera. Video chats shall have a lot of clarity through the secondary 5MP camera. You can listen to audio on the stereo 0.5W speakers which have a codec of type Wolfson WM8958E attached. Even though Nokia is yet to mention the battery life, market watchers are sure it would be a 5300 mAh Li-Po battery.

The Nokia N1 shall be worked on an Android 5.0 L or Lollipop, which is the latest offering from Google. However, the OS shall be modified heavily. The Z launcher, Nokia’s own launcher shall be placed on the platform. It is supposed to be easier and simpler to use. The software makes it easier to find apps by allowing you to write its name on the screen. The user’s location and time of the day is used by the launcher for bringing relevant applications to you. You are suggested entertainment apps during the evenings or when you are at home.

The Nokia N1 tablet shall be released in 2015 early, right around Chinese New Year. The slate may be launched in China at $250 prior to taxes, which expectations of sales picking up in other parts. The tablet may be manufactured by Foxconn which is an OEM that creates a large number of electronics goods including iPad and iPhone by Apple. The actual designing of the product is Nokia’s doing and the company shall receive licensing fees for its brand name use. The company aims to provide users with a tablet as good as the Apple iPad Mini 3 but at a lot price.

When compared to Google’s flagship device with N1, then stark differences would crop up. For instance, the Nokia N1 is made from aluminium while the HTC Google Nexus 9 is made of plastic. The build of the Nexus 9 should be something desirable as it is a flagship device. The plastic seems cheap especially when the rear panel is pushed. The Nokia N1, which is an aluminium tablet must be free of these soft material problems and offers a solid feel. However, the similarities in design end here. The HTC Google Nexus 9 has a larger display, measuring 8.9 inches diagonally whereas the display of Nokia N1 measure 7.9 inches diagonally.

Both the tablets have a lot to offer in terms of display. They have IPS LCD display units that offer 2048X1526 pixels of resolution. The HTC Google Nexus 9 has a 288 ppi for the 8.9 inches screen whereas the 7.9 inches screen on the N1 has a pixel density of 324ppi. Both devices are covered using Gorlla Glass 3 which protects it from scratches. However, the N1 has an added advantage of being a zero air gap and fully laminated display. The advantage is only in terms of appearance and it makes the tablet look smart in the unibody design. The two screens cannot be compared direrctly. However, the N1 has to do a lot to match the Nexus 9’s features such as excellent gamma, potent brightness along with great colour temperature.

Both these tablets have 8MP autofocus primary cameras on the back panels. However, the HTC Google Nexus 9 has LED flash to go with it. The N1 makes up for this loss with the better 5MP secondary camera opposed to the measly 1.6MP front shooter on the Nexus 9. Both tablets can shoot 1080p videos 60fps. The Nexus 9 tablet also has the advantage of Google Camera app, which offers lens blur, simple interface, Photo Sphere and Panoramas apart from other features. The specialty of the N1 camera has not been revealed yet. However, experts are hopeful for something great from the PureView and Lumia’s camera maker.

Even though Nexus 9 has a brilliant and big screen, aside from the high quality hardware, the N1 seems to be of better built and capacity and is almost half of what the flagship tablet from Google costs.

Nikhil Rajput is a content writing intern at 5 Random Things. An engineer by credentials, analyst by profession, a writer by passion Hit him up on Twitter @imnikhilrajput for a quick chat on any of these topics.