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Guess who’s back: The Nokia N1 tablet

Nokia N1

I have always been partial to Nokia devices. I still remember with nostalgia my first phone, a Nokia 1100, it was small, elegant, and made for purpose. It was a phone and about the only “app” it had was the memorandum function which could take only about 20 notes.

That and the phone book, a snake game and a nifty little ringtone composer that only Beethoven could figure. The battery could last a week without recharging and the only way to hack it was to steal it.

I am like most Zimbabweans in that regard, as statistics have consistently shown that despite Android’s rise in use, this country remains very much a Nokia country. Not a day goes by without you observing at least a handful of people on their X2s, X6 or E-series happily chatting with their friends and acquaintances. I was very sad earlier this year when Nokia sold its handset business to Microsoft.

Although this was a surprise most people, including myself, were already disappointed by then Nokia’s latest offerings. A couple of Lumia devices that used the difficile Windows mobile operating system. I like Windows well enough, on my desktop and not my phone, and it does not help that the operating system does not handle USSD operations very well considering how important these are when using services like EcoCash, Telecash and buying bundles.

The question that most people have been asking for a while was why Nokia was not making Android devices thus allowing us to get the best of both worlds: A Nokia phone running Android? Well now they have.

It’s not a phone but a tablet, as apparently the deal with Microsoft prevents them from making handsets.  Now that Microsoft has come out of the closet and removed the Nokia name off their devices which now spot the Microsoft name, Nokia has released its first device after the deal: The Nokia N1.

It seems while Microsoft now owns Nokia’s former hardware business and is continuing the Lumia line Nokia can still make devices branded under its own name-or something like that. The Nokia N1 will be reportedly launched in China first and it is not clear, although I hope, it will come to other markets and Zimbabwe as well.


  • 7 inch LCD screen, protected by the famed Gorilla 3.0 screen which means, unlike with your usual Chinese device, if you accidentally drop it, it will in all likelihood continue working.
  • Android 5.0 (Lollipop).
  • An 8 Megapixel back camera and a 5 megapixel front camera. This will not win you any photo shooting awards but it is good enough for personal use.
  • 32 GB built in ROM
  • 2 GB RAM
  • GPS and A-GPS
  • 5300 mAh battery ( 18.5 Watt hours)
  • Micro-USB port, Bluetooth and WiFi

The Nokia N1 mini-tablet does not have any 3G capabilities nor can it be used on GSM mobile networks-it is a WiFi only device. It is not clear whether this is a result of the Microsoft deal or a decision by Nokia themselves. The tablet is expected to be released next year at an estimated price of $249.

What are your thoughts on this new tablet?

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14 thoughts on “Guess who’s back: The Nokia N1 tablet

  1. The features a fair for a $249 device, the only let down is having no GSM capability, plus there are better Android devices out there for almost the same price. As for the windows Phone OS I never experienced problems with the USSD although there are A FEW devices that do have a problem with USSD codes!!!

    1. Windows phone 7 (the first batch of windows phone after the change from windows mobile) did not support USSD, but that was fixed with windows phone 8 and 8.1 which are the majority of the lumia range and newer htcs

  2. Nokia have been known for one of the BEST (According go me and I know what I am talking about!) cellphone operating systems (Symbian) and the pain in my heart is about it’s discontinuation. I don’t know whether the Microsoft/Nokia deal allows Nokia to revive the OS. If it does then there maybe HOPE in the future!

  3. I’ve always found WiFi-only devices to be very silly, because their usage scenarios are very much limited even for the price of $249. I’d rather just buy a typewriter instead

    1. not really, it’s just a way of Nokia staying relevant until they can start making phones again, that’s around 2015-16

  4. no GSM=no meaningfull deal in zim.the larger percentage of those who can afford 2 buy it in zim rarely use wifi.

  5. . A couple of Lumia devices that
    used the difficile Windows mobile
    operating system. I’m afraid that’s not true. Wp software is one of the most easiest to use. And the part about USSD just shows the lack of knowledge and experience on the OS

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