Yesterday Nokia tweeted the picture of a mysterious black box, and told us to wait a day for some big news. Today we discovered the contents of the box; the Nokia N1, an android based tablet.
This device is a strange Hail Mary for the Finish tech company that once bragged about being the largest mobile phone vendor worldwide. Last year Nokia closed a deal with Microsoft that will inhibit them from producing another phone for the next three years. On news of this deal it was easy to wonder what Nokia would be doing next; after all, their share of the cell phone market was important enough to the country's economy that they blamed Apple for their recent economic difficulties.
Enter the $249 N1 tablet, which looks frighteningly like an ipad mini in terms of its design. Featuring a 7.9 inch Gorilla Glass 3 screen (2048 x 1536 resolution), the N1 has a height of 200.7mm, is 138.6mm wide, a depth of 6.9mm, and weighs 318 grams (and it should really be noted how similar these sizes match up to the ipad mini 3). The rear facing camera is 8 megapixels with auto-focus, while the rear camera is a 5 megapixel fixed focus. The device will record video at 1080p. The N1 features 32GB of storage, and 2GB or RAM.
Perhaps the biggest two novelties of the N1 revolve around the OS. The N1 is launching with Android latest iteration, Lollipop. But perhaps even more novel is the inclusion of the other big announcement from Nokia, their very own Z Launcher. Released as a beta earlier this year, the Z Launcher is an android app that attempts to learn how user's use their phone organize it in a way to maximize their efficiency in anticipation of your needs. The app will as well allow you to draw letters on your screen in order to search through your device, a feature reminiscent of how one can search in Window's new start menu.
Today's two releases show Nokia moving in an interesting direction, but the question is whether or not this is the change that will keep the company moving for the next three years.