It wasn’t that long ago that Mobile World Congress was flooded with Android tablets. Everyone from Alcatel to ZTE had to get in on the post-iPad tablet boom. Nowadays tablet releases are few and far between. We haven’t seen many new tablets at MWC this year, but one from an unlikely source really grabbed our attention.
Back in November you may remember hearing about the Nokia N1. It came out of nowhere, but looked really nice. Nokia is showing off the N1 at Mobile World Congress, and we couldn’t pass up the chance to check it out. The first thing you’ll notice about the N1 is the design that mimics the iPad more than a Lumia device. Nokia says the design is made to fade away and not distract from the contents of the display.
iPad-esque or not, the Nokia N1 is a very attractive device, and that’s not the only thing to love about it. The N1 runs stock Android Lollipop out of the box. Nokia only pre-loads one app, which happens to be the app you use the most. Z-Launcher is Nokia’s own home launcher replacement that uses contextual information to show apps you might need at the moment. It also has a handy handwriting search for apps, contacts, and bookmarks. The good news is you can simply use a different launcher if you don’t like it.
The display is 7.9-inches at 2048×1536 resolution. It’s powered by an 2.3GHz Intel 64-bit processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 5300mAh battery. On the back is a 8MP camera, with a 5MP camera on the front. One really cool spec is the USB Type-C reversible charging cable. This is the newest standard that allows the USB cable to be plugged in at any orientation.
The Nokia N1 has one big flaw: availability. If you live in China you can buy one for the equivalent of $250, but here in North America it’s nearly impossible to get. That’s a real shame because we like the N1 a lot. It has a great design, excellent build quality, top-notch specs, and stock Lollipop. If it ever does come to the U.S. for $250 it should be an easy sell.