So what is Nokia up to? Turns out it’s an Android tablet.
The Nokia N1 is the Finnish firm’s first new hardware since its old Devices and Services division became part of Microsoft. The N1’s got an aluminum unibody frame and runs Android 5.0 beneath Nokia’s own Z Launcher. Nokia is licensing its name, design and Z Launcher software to Foxconn, who will manufacture and sell the N1.
In terms of straight up specs, we’re looking at a 7.9-inch 2048x1536 display with a 4:3 aspect ratio, a 2.3GHz Intel 64-bit Atom Z3580 processor, 8-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras, stereo speakers, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 5300mAh battery. The 6.9mm-thick tablet also boasts a microUSB Type C reversible connector.
The Nokia Z Launcher that’s running on top of Android 5.0 allows you to draw a letter or two on your device’s screen to bring up apps and contacts that have those letters. Z Launcher also attempts to learn your usage habits and predict which apps you’ll want to use at any time during the day.
The Nokia N1 will launch in China in the first quarter of 2015 for $249, with launches in “other markets” to follow.
Nokia has been known for crafting some quality pieces of kit in the past, and it looks like that trend of nice-looking hardware is continuing with the N1. Yes, it looks a lot like an iPad mini, but Nokia certainly isn’t the first company to try to mimic someone else’s design language.
Looking at the N1 on its own, it looks like a nice little tablet that’s got a high-res display, Android 5.0 preinstalled and a fairly affordable price. Here’s to hoping that its availability expands quickly after its Q1 2015 launch in China.
UPDATE: Many questions about the Nokia N1 and Google apps have been raised today, and now we may finally have an answer. According to a Nokia spokesperson speaking to GigaOM and an Intel spokesperson talking to Android Police, the Nokia N1 will indeed ship with Google apps, including the Google Play store.