Remember Nokia? Yes, that Nokia -- the Nokia whose domination of the cellphone market seemed destined to last forever in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Well, they're back. Having been relegated to flogging networking equipment to the business market for more than a decade, Nokia has returned to the consumer world as a purveyor of mesh Wi-Fi routers. Last year, Nokia released its Beacon 3 model, an 802.11ac unit that sells for $199. Now, with the release of the cheaper, slightly slower Beacon 1, the company appears to be moving directly into competition with Google Wi-Fi, Netgear Orbi, and Amazon Eero.
The Beacon 1, which retails at $129, supports the AC1200 standard, which means that its maximum theoretical speed is 867mbs (this compares to 3000Mbps for the Beacon 3). For most consumers, however, that difference won't matter a great deal. Add in to the mix features automatic channel selection to avoid interference from nearby devices, and the automatic prioritization of certain traffic (TV streaming, for example) and you've got a nice little entry-level device. The beginning of a resurrection, perhaps.