Nokia may have sold off it’s phone division to Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead. In a surprise move, Nokia announced the N1, an Android powered tablet. The surprise launch pits the firm against Microsoft, which completed its takeover of Nokia’s previous mobile-devices business in April. The iPad lookalike will be running on Android’s latest software, the Lollipop, and the device will be produced by Chinese manufacturer Foxconn. Selling for $249, it will be sold first in China by way of a manufacturing and distribution partnership with Foxconn and initially at least will be WiFi-only.
The aluminum-cased N1, which runs on Google’s Android Lollipop operating software but features Nokia’s new Z Launcher intelligent home screen interface, is due to be in stores in China in the first quarter of next year for an estimated price of $249 before taxes, with sales to other markets to follow. After that, Nokia plans to introduce the device to Russia and some European countries, markets where historically it had the biggest influence and where the Nokia brand is still highly valued by consumers. Unlike Polaroid or Kodak, who have been doing this name licensing thing for many years now, Nokia will employ some strict quality controls for any device that anyone wants to make and sell under the Nokia brand. This started with the N1, actually. Aside from the brand, Nokia contributed the design too — and Foxconn will be paying it royalties for both the name and the design. And just like the N1, all upcoming devices bearing the Nokia brand should look and feel as good as if they were built by Nokia itself.
The N1 is encased in a 6.9mm thick one-piece aluminium frame, in either dark grey or silver — which, it must be said, looks distinctly similar to Apple’s iPad Mini 3. It has an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel snapper on the front, with 32GB of storage for apps, snaps, music and movies. The device features a 7.9-inch laminated display, a 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom Z358, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, an 8MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing camera, and a 5,300 mAh battery. One of the most interesting things about the tablet is that it’s one of the first devices to boast a USB Type-C socket — that’s a reversible USB port so you can stick the plug in either way round.
Watch the N1 in action here: