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Nokia N1 vs Apple iPad Mini tablets: which is best for me?

Nokia’s N1 tablet is finally coming to the UK, but is it better than the similarly-sized iPad Mini range? Here’s our full comparison review to help you decide which is best for you.

Apple has of course released three iPad Mini tablets, although only the iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 3 are still available through the Apple Store. And that’s fine with us because the first iPad Mini stank. The screen was low-res and unresponsive and the thing chugged when you tried to play with more demanding apps.

So, for the purposes of this comparison, we’ll be looking at Nokia N1 vs iPad Mini 2 vs iPad Mini 3.

At a glance

Tablet Nokia N1 Apple iPad Mini 2 Apple iPad Mini 3
Size 200x139x6.9mm 200x135x7.5mm 200x135x7.5mm
Weight 318g 331g 331g
Screen size 7.9-inches 7.9-inches 7.9-inches
Screen resolution 1536×2048 1536×2048 1536×2048
SIM card slot? No Yes, 4G supported Yes, 4G supported
Storage 32GB (no microSD) 16/32/128GB (no microSD) 16/32/128GB (no microSD)
Battery size 5300mAh 6470mAh 6470mAh
OS Android iOS iOS
Bonus features Fingerprint sensor

Which phone do you own?

The first thing you should consider when looking at these tablets is what brand of phone you’re using, and how many apps do you own? Nokia’s N1 runs Android, while the iPads are of course iOS devices. So, if you already own an iPhone and you’ve spent a fair wodge of cash on the App Store, you’ll probably want to grab an iPad Mini so you can re-download all of your apps and have them on both devices.

Likewise, if you own an Android phone from Samsung, Sony or any of the other non-Apple manufacturers, and you’ve thrown some cash at Google Play, the Nokia N1 is probably going to be your best choice. Unless you’re happy to make a fresh start, of course.

Design

Nokia’s N1 seems to have taken serious inspiration from Apple’s iPad Mini range, with a similar sleek, silver finish. The N1 and both iPad Minis are perfect travelling partners, with the N1 a shade slimmer and lighter than the Apple tablets. So if you’re after portability, there’s no real difference at all.

Screen and media

Similarly, if you’re after a decent portable device for watching movies on the go, you have an open choice. The Nokia N1, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 3 all boast sharp 7.9-inch IPS LCD panels, with the exact same 1536×2048 pixel resolution, so your HD movies will look the biz.

The only deciding factor might be the size of your media collection. The Nokia N1 packs 32GB of storage, with no memory card slot to expand. Likewise, the iPad Mini tablets don’t have a microSD memory card slot, but you do have a choice of storage: 16GB, 32GB or 128GB. If you want to carry around dozens of HD movies and a huge collection of music, then that 128GB option has to be tempting – but be aware that you’ll have to stump up a bit of extra cash.

Productivity

Apple’s iPad Mini tablets come in two flavours: WiFi only, and WiFi with cellular. The cellular models have a SIM card slot which allows you to get online no matter where you roam (as long as you aren’t halfway up a mountain in Scandinavia or something). Which of course is an essential feature for any business people who regularly hit the road.

Sadly, Nokia’s N1 lacks this feature, which may prove a major factor in your decision.

Apple’s App Store is also a step above Google Play for productivity and creativity apps, although there’s not too much in it. And if you grab the latest iPad Mini 3, the home button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor to add an extra layer of security and keep thieving gits from checking out your private documents.

Battery life

We haven’t fully tested the Nokia N1 to see how long it can survive during everyday use, but the 5300mAh battery is a smaller cell than Apple’s 6470mAh battery, packed inside the iPad Minis. So we’re fully expecting Apple’s compact devices to retain their crown as best portable tablets, thanks to their impressive longevity; you can stream video for around ten hours on a single charge, which is almost double the average result in our tests.

Verdict

Nokia’s N1 tablet is a seriously strong rival to Apple’s iPad Mini tablets, and we’re expecting the £200 price point to make it the first choice for many punters, especially those after a solid entertainment machine. However, if you’re after a tablet to stay productive on the go, the iPad’s SIM card slot, bigger battery and security features (including a fingerprint sensor if you opt for the Mini 3) make it a more endearing device.

Read next: Apple is officially mental if these iPad Mini 4 rumours are real

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