BARCELONA: NOKIA announced its first Android tablet, the Nokia N1, in November last year, and took the opportunity to show it off at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC).
The iPad-lookalike is available only in China at present but, with its $249 price tag, premium design and top-end specifications, we hope it sees a UK release in the near future.
Nokia has taken more than a few leaves out of Apple's book when it comes to the design of the Nokia N1.
The tablet looks very like the iPad Mini, sporting a unibody aluminium shell complete with sleek curves and rounded corners. What's more, the power/lock key in the top right corner and the volume keys on the right side are placed almost identically to those on the Apple tablet.
The Nokia N1 is extremely skinny and lightweight too, measuring 6.9mm thick and tipping the scales at 319g.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the Nokia N1's design is that it's one of the first tablets to ship with a USB Type-C connector, which should offer quicker transfer speeds along with the convenience of being reversible.
The Nokia N1 also follows in the footsteps of the iPad Mini when it comes to its display, touting a 7.9in 2048x1536 screen.
Nokia uses a laminated zero air gap display, which it claims makes it more vibrant than rival offerings. We found the display impressively bright and sharp, but it doesn't compete with the iPad Mini when it comes to viewing angles.
Performance and software
The Nokia N1 packs a 64-bit 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor paired with 2GB RAM. It's noticeably less speedy than the iPad Mini and the Tegra K1-powered Nexus 9, but we noticed no major problems when it came to the N1's performance, and it offered a largely smooth experience considering the price.
The Nokia N1 was unveiled running Android 4.4 Kitkat, but has since been updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop and offers a largely vanilla user interface beyond the addition of the Nokia Z Launcher.
This custom software, which has been available to download on Android smartphones for some time, aims to make it quicker and more convenient to find and open applications. For example, you can scribble a letter on the tablet's display, and it will pull up content relevant to that letter.
Similar to HTC's Sense 7.0 offering on the One M9, Z Launcher displays what it thinks are the most relevant apps in a grid on your homescreen, depending on time of day, location and frequency of use.
An 8MP camera sits on the rear of the Nokia N1, and there's a 5MP camera on the front. Both are more than we would typically expect from a $249 tablet and seemed to cope well under the glaring lights of MWC.
Assuming that Nokia avoids an Apple lawsuit, we'd be surprised if the N1 wasn't a huge success. Sure, it has clearly ripped off the design of the iPad, but it's undoubtedly one of the best looking Android tablets out there at present, and one of the highest-specced considering its budget price.
However, Nokia has yet to announce when - and if - the Nokia N1 will come to the UK, so we'll try not to get too excited for now.
Check out our Nokia N1 price, release date and specs roundup. µ