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The Nokia N1 uses a reversible USB connector, but with a catch

Nokia opted to go with the new, reversible USB connector on their new N1, even though their chipset partners weren't ready for it.

Published onNovember 18, 2014

Nokia N1

Back in April, we told you about a reversible USB cable that we should start seeing on devices within the coming months. The new USB 3.1 cables and ports use a Type-C interface that’s reversible, smaller, faster, and just all around better. With Nokia‘s newest hardware announcement, the Nokia N1, we now get to see a mainstream device with the reversible technology.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the Nokia N1 is an Android-running tablet announced by Nokia earlier today. It’s made from aluminum, 7.9-inch display, has a 5,300 mAh battery, and a 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom Z358 processor. It’s running Android 5.0 Lollipop underneath Nokia’s own Z Launcher. It’s launching in February as a China-exclusive (at least for now) for $250. Oh, and it uses that sweet new reversible USB port.

It’s great to see a major hardware manufacturer bring this technology to a big product launch. To be clear, we’ve seen this on devices in the past, but the territory has gone untouched with mainstream products thus far. While it will be great to never have to struggle putting in a USB cable ever again, it hasn’t been executed very well in the land of Nokia. Instead of using the newer, faster USB 3.1 technology, they’ve opted to go with the older, slower USB 2.0.

Nokia has come out and explained their reasoning behind their decision to not use the latest and greatest. The company’s chipset manufacturer reportedly “didn’t have access to that kind of solution on the chipset we’re building the device on.” Meaning, Nokia is ahead of the game, while their partners are now playing catch up. Kudos to Nokia, though, for pushing technology along, at least on the hardware front.

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