November was an interesting month for Nokia, as just days after its CEO went on record and stated his company was finished with phones but brand licensing was possible, it went ahead and announced a tablet. And not just any tablet, but one running Android. And not just any Android, but Lollipop complete with the company’s Nokia Z Launcher. And if that trifecta wasn’t shocking enough, it was going to be made by Foxconn of all companies (thus the aforementioned licensing at play).
Well, it’s now been a few months and the fruits of Nokia’s licensing labors are starting to show, in China at least. The aluminum-constructed tablet is now open for pre-orders and slated to ship on January 29th, somewhat earlier than the February time frame originally slated. It will retail for an attractive 1599 RMB (about $256) which no doubt comes as a direct result of Foxconn’s handiwork, as the manufacturing company is handling all aspects of the device save for the name and software.
The specs, as a reminder, are nothing short of sizzling, with a 7.9-inch, 2048 x 1536 laminated IPS display, a Quad Core 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580 (64-Bit) CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32MB of on-board storage (non-expandable), an 8 megapixel/5 megapixel rear/front camera, dual channel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, stereo speakers, and a 5,300 mAh power cell. If that wasn’t enough, the device will also be the first consumer tablet to feature the reversible USB Type-C port which should alleviate difficulties associated charging a device in the dark and other danger zones.
The tablet is going to be not only distributed by Foxconn, but supported as well. While this will fly in China, it will be a different story entirely if/when the device hits other territories. It’s possible that Foxconn might partner with local domestic companies for distribution and after-service, but nothing is known yet. Given the licensing of the Nokia moniker however, it’s actually a potentially touch-and-go situation at hand, for if the device fails to deliver on any given note, be it build quality, durability, customer service, or anything else, it’s the Nokia brand image that will ultimately be sullied in the minds of the masses who adore the namesake.
The device is also slated to hit some European markets from February with the possibility of a wider international roll-out in the future. At the very least, it will be giving the Nexus 9 some competition in the 4:3 aspect ratio Android market.