Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: the key specs

Nokia has made a surprise return to the mobile hardware market with the launch of the Nokia N1 tablet. The compact tablet bears more than a passing resemblance to the Apple iPad mini 3 so here we compare the two devices and see how they square up when it comes to the critical hardware specs. See also: what’s the best tablet 2014?

Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: the key specs

Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: display

The key component of any tablet is the screen, and here there’s nothing to choose between the two contenders, at least in terms of raw specification. Both have a 7.9in display with a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution, and both are using IPS technology. The N1 promises Gorilla Glass 3 and a fully laminated, zero air gap display, but we’ll have to wait until we get the devices into the PC Pro Labs before we can tell how they truly measure up in terms of brightness, colour accuracy and contrast. 


Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: case design

Given that both are using identical display dimensions, can either pull ahead when it comes to the physical design of the tablet? The Nokia N1 measures 200.7 x 138.6 x 6.9mm, while the iPad mini 3 is 200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm, so there’s very little difference in terms of size.


The N1 does weigh less than the iPad mini 3, tipping the scales at 318g compared to the 341g of the Apple tablet. That’s going to make a negligible difference in everyday use, however, with both being comfortable to hold in one hand.

Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: internal specifications 

What’s going on inside these compact tablets? The Nokia bucks the trend for the tablet industry and goes with an Intel rather than an ARM-based processor, specifically the 64-bit 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580. That’s backed up by a PowerVR G6430 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It has a minimum of 32GB of internal storage, but disappointingly for an Android device, there’s no memory card slot. 


The iPad mini 3 uses Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor with the M7 motion co-processor. Apple doesn’t officially reveal how much RAM is inside its tablets, but it’s believed to be just 1GB. However, it’s impossible to make any meaningful performance comparison until we can benchmark the N1. 

Apple does, however, remain stubbornly thrifty with storage, still offering just 16GB on the entry-level iPad mini 3. In this regard the Nokia definitely pulls ahead, although Apple does also offer 64GB and 128GB versions of the iPad mini 3, albeit at a steep price premium for the 128GB version in particular. 

Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: wireless 

Oddly, given Nokia’s mobile heritage, the N1 doesn’t include any 3G/4G option. We wonder if a no-compete clause with Microsoft prevents Nokia from releasing any device that could be considered to have smartphone functionality? Instead the N1 is restricted to dual-channel 802.11n Wi-Fi with MIMO, and Bluetooth 4.


The iPad mini 3 comes in both Wi-Fi only and 4G versions, giving Apple the advantage in this regard. The Apple tablet has the same Wi-Fi spec as the N1 and also offers Bluetooth 4.

Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: cameras

Cameras are becoming an increasingly important feature on tablets, especially compact tablets. The N1 offers an 8MP rear camera, while the iPad mini’s rear camera is restricted to just 5MP, although that doesn’t necessarily mean the Nokia offers superior image quality. Both devices are capable of Full HD video recording.


The front-facing camera on the Nokia is 5MP, while Apple drops to just 1.2MP for its “FaceTime HD” camera. 

Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: battery and chargers

The Nokia packs an 18.5Wh battery into its case, while Apple trumps that with a 23.8Wh model. Much will depend on how the Nokia hardware is optimised to work with Android, but the iPad mini 3 lasted for almost 11 hours of use in our tests. The N1 will do well to match that longevity with a weaker battery.


In terms of charger connections, the Nokia N1 uses a reversible Micro USB 2 socket, while Apple persists with its proprietary, reversible Lightning connector.

Nokia N1 vs iPad mini: price and availability

The Apple iPad mini 3 starts from £319 inc VAT for a Wi-Fi only version with 16GB and is available now.


The Nokia N1 will cost around $250 (£160) but won’t be available in Europe until at least Q2 next year, and even then may not arrive in the UK.



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