The Nokia tab is coming early October, showing Android tablets are really back

Nokia tablet
(Image credit: HMD Global)

After lots of rumors suggested so, we now know for a fact that a new Android tablet under the Nokia branding is coming on October 6. How do we know this? Well, because Nokia owners HMD Global confirmed as much.

In a tweet, the Nokia Mobile account said "Everything you’d expect from a Nokia phone in a tablet. Coming 6.10.21", which doesn't exactly leave much room for interpretation. The accompanying image, which you can see above, shows a sliver of the tablet alongside the 2017 remake of the Nokia 3310.

This isn't the first-ever Nokia tablet, but we haven't seen one under the brand's name in quite some time.

We can't exactly tell much from the image about the tablet - presumably it's standing portrait against the wall, because otherwise it's an absolute mammoth of a slate. Given that HMD Global makes budget devices, we don't expect this slate to be the same size as the giant iPad Pro.

It's even hard to use the Nokia 3310's dimensions to guess at this Nokia tablet's size, as the slate is clearly sitting at an angle to the wall, while the phone's shadow suggests it isn't as much. We'll just have to wait and see - October 6 isn't that long away, after all.

Analysis: the return of the budget Android tablet

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In years gone by, the tablet market was a very simple affair dominated by two parts Apple, one part Samsung and one part Amazon. However in mid-2021, loads of other brands started launching Android tablets to compete.

We've seen the Huawei MatePad 11, a competitively-priced mid-range slate, then the Realme Pad, a super-budget workhorse, and also the Xiaomi Pad 5, a powerful mid-ranger. All of these came from companies that didn't regularly put out lower-end tablets, or hadn't in the last few years (or at all, for Realme).

We've also heard Vivo, OnePlus, Oppo and Motorola all might be working on their own slates too, and none (save Motorola) have ever put one out before.

What's the reason for this sudden influx in Android tablets? Well, when we've asked various companies, they've all given basically the same answer: lockdown. When Covid-19 caused countries around the world to go into lockdown, forcing work, education and relaxation all to take place in the confines of the home, demand for affordable tablets grew monumentally.

That makes sense - without cinemas to go to, a tablet in bed became the best way to watch a movie; without bars open, video calls on a device that's easy to walk around the house with became vital; with workspaces shut, it became important to have a device to work on that wasn't as expensive or unwieldy as a laptop.

Arguably, we're in the tail end of the Covid crisis now, so you could make the fair point that demand might be diminishing for tablets now. Furthermore, with loads of slates hitting the market at the same time, whatever demand there is will be split between quite a few similar products.

So it remains to be seen which companies will continue to put out Android tablets in the future, or if any will - only time will tell.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.