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A Good Comeback by Nokia? Nokia N1 Tablet Review

by Linus 5

Nokia has been known for many years as one of the top phones manufacturers in the world. In fact, we are sure to say that it was the king of phones before the smartphone era kicked in. The company has attributes of making sturdy, good looking and reliable devices for years. However, after the sale of mobile phones business to Microsoft, a lot of the Nokia fans left disappointed or even deceived. On the other hand, the company tries to make a comeback. It may not be the greatest comeback, but we are still happy to see that Nokia brand is still alive.

The comeback is not the greatest ever for a few reasons. First, the company starts not with a phone, but with a tablet , which has never been Nokia’s best talent. Second, the Nokia N1 tablet is not produced by the company directly, but by the Foxconn, the same factory that produces iDevices. Indeed, Nokia assures that the tablet is manufactured under strict guidelines and supervision of their employees to make sure that the device meets the legendary Nokia’s build quality and other high manufacturing standards. Third, we do not want to be bias, but… The N1 tablet has “a little bit” of inspiration from a particular company, which usually produces aluminium tablets…

So is Nokia N1 tablet suitable for a comeback? Is it a device worth your attention? Let’s find out in our review.

Design

When we were talking about a certain inspiration from the other company, we had the design in mind. Let’s take a look at the gallery below.

It does have some signature Lumia elements in the design, but for us, it looks almost exactly the same as the iPad mini. Speaking of which, both devices have exactly the same all-aluminium body, which has the same feel to the touch.

The same as iPad’s, Nokia N1’s body has a matte finish. Also, the bonding between the metal casing and glass screen is perfect. Although Nokia does not own factories, but Foxconn OEM technology is also trustworthy.

According to the official website information, Nokia N1’s body weight is 318 grams, compared to the iPad mini’s 2 331 grams. Well, here Nokia managed to outperform Apple in the “thinnest and lightest” department.

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As we can see on the right side of the device, it has the volume up/down buttons, which are similarly placed like iPad mini’s and Xiaomi’s tablets. In addition, the power on/off button as well as the back camera sensor is placed on almost exactly the same position.

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Here you can see a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the top of the device, which sits next to the the microphone.

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If we take a look at the bottom part of the device, we can see dual-stereo speakers and Type-C USB 2.0 port. Nokia N1 is the first to use the Type-C USB interface in the mass production. One of the greatest advantages of this connector type is that it is reversible (the same as Apple’s lightning cable).

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As far as body thickness goes, Xiaomi’s tablet, iPad mini 2 and official Nokia N1 thickness data were 8.5 mm, 7.5 mm and 6.9 mm. Xiaomi and Apple are using a wedge-shaped design, so the device looks thinner, and Nokia N1 is in the body with a deep rounded edge processing. Therefore, although the official data looks very nice, but there was no significant difference in real feel of all the devices. Lastly, similar to the Apple’s offering, Nokia’s tablet comes in Natural Aluminum and Lava Gray colour options.

Specs

 

We have to say that the Nokia N1 tablet has pretty specs. It spots the dimensions of 200.7 x 138.6 x 6.9 mm (7.90 x 5.46 x 0.27 in), weighs 318 g. Also, it has an 7.9 inches IPS LCD screen, which has a very high resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels, which translates to 324 ppi pixel density. All of this beauty is covered by the Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

If we take a look under the hood, we can find a powerful Quad-core 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580 CPU, backed up by PowerVR G6430 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. Also, there is a 32 GB of internal storage, which is, however, non-expandable. At the front there is a 5mp snapper and 8mp shooter on the back, which is capable of recording 1080p at 30fps.

What is more, the tablet comes with the usual connectivity package, which includes Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and microUSB v2.0, Type-C reversible connector.

All of this is run by the Android 5.0 Lollipop and the non-removable Li-Ion 5300 mAh (18.5 Wh) battery is keeping the lights on.

We have to say that the device looks pretty powerful on paper and we expect it to perform that good in real life as well.

Here is the summary of the main specs of the Nokia N1 tablet:

Screenshot 2015-01-08 11.48.52

Display

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As we have already mentioned in the specs, device has an 7.9 inches IPS LCD screen, which has a very high resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels, which translates to 324 ppi pixel density. All of this beauty is covered by the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. We have to say that the screen has natural looking colours, it is very bright, sharp and vivid as it can be expected by the high quality IPS LCD panel.

Performance

Android devices are usually equipped with the top notch hardware and N1 is no exception. The quad-core Intel Z3580 chip, which is clocked at 2.33GHz and is manufactured using 22-nanometer manufacturing process should guarantee a great performance.

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We have tried to run the “Temple Run” game. The opening of the game app took a little bit longer than expected, but  the game performance was relatively smooth. Well, we have to keep in mind that this is the game of 2013, so it does not have the biggest graphic demands for the PowerVR G6430 with a frequency of 533MHz.

Camera

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Nokia N1 Tablet has a 5mp snapper on the front and 8mp shooter on the back, which sounds quite reasonable for a tablet. We were not able to provide you with the camera samples yet, but we can say that the actual experience of using camera is quite good. A few test samples showed that the noise levels are kept at the decent margins, colour reproduction is quite good as well. All in all, it has a good camera for a tablet.

Z Launcher Launcher Experience

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The Nokia N1 tablet is one of the firsts to use the Android 5.0 operating system with the proprietary Z1 launcher on top of it.

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Indeed, the Z Launcher can be downloaded on Google Play, but since this tablet is made by Nokia, it comes pre-installed on the N1 tablet. The thing we liked most about this launcher is the fact that it is smooth, fast and simple. Also,  the user can directly interface to write in the first application you want to open any letter, Chinese applications are also applicable to this search rules.

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Z Launcher application list and Windows Phone are very similar, except that it is more stylish than the big color Windows Phone and more dynamic. About Android 5.0 operating system does not have too many things to share with you, it is not much different compared to previous performance in the Android tablet, personally think that the words such as “first China-made Android 5.0 Tablet PC” out as a propaganda point I’m really sorry Nokia brand. Experience the best Android tablet system is definitely not preloaded Z Launcher Nokia N1.

Final Words

All in all, Nokia N1 tablet shapes up to be a great device. It has all it needs to be called a great tablet: great display, processor, Ram, internal storage, Android 5.0 out of the box with the fast and responsive Nokia’s Z launcher on top of that.  What is more, the pricing of this device, which is 1599 yuan and 1299 yuan respectively for different storage options makes it a good buying option for those, who want to save some money by not buying the iPad mini 2.

On the other hand, we still have the open question, which leaves some room for a doubt. Did Nokia choose the right path for the comeback? Well, the tablets still seem to be popular and useful, but we believe they have to be more original. In particular, we think that manufacturers can be inspired, but not too-inspired by other companies as far as design goes. Let us know what you think about Nokia’s N1 tablet design in the social poll below.

Linus

Lead Reviewer

Tech reviewer/Youtuber/Blogger. I live tech. This is my passion.

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  • Zino

    Nice, first review/hands on ive found. Will definitely get one when its more globally available (hopefully)

    • Jajob L.

      Yeah, the device looks really beautiful and has great specs 🙂

  • Cortin

    I’m here just to see the device benchmak yet you’re testing the n1 performance just by playing temple run, dissapointing review

  • willysson

    Can someone please confirm whether this Nokia N1 does in fact have GPS? Other reviews say ‘No’.

  • TheDodo

    No info on battery life? That is an essential part on any review for a tablet. And GPS availability?