Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has been a roaring success, but time is apparently running out for the little device. We’re hearing rumors that Google is planning to introduce its replacement very soon. Instead of sticking with the same formula, the new model may pack a slightly larger screen — around 8 or 9-inches — in an effort to compete with the likes of Apple’s iPad Mini, and other Android slates such as LG’s G Pad. The mystery tablet is known as the Nexus 8, and here’s everything we’ve heard about it so far.
How did the Nexus 8 rumors begin?
In November 2013, an image appeared on Google’s own Apps and Entertainment promotional page, showing a tablet of unknown origin. It wasn’t a Nexus 7, a Kindle, or any other tablet with which we were already familiar. Without much prompting, or much actual information, it was quickly named the Nexus 8. There’s no proof it is the Nexus 8, but rumors of its existence have continued to spread, making the likelihood of such a device far higher.
It may have an 8 to 8.9-inch screen
While the tablet is being referred to as the Nexus 8, the screen seems unlikely to measure exactly 8 inches. In March, a report stated the screen would measure 8.9-inches, and come with a so-called 2K resolution. The closest comparison would probably be Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, which has a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. It’s not really 2K, but we’ll forgive the use of the phrase this once.
If LG makes the tablet, it may be based on the G Pad, which has an 8.3-inch display.
Asus, LG, or HTC could build it
In January 2014, a report ran in the Chinese media about an Asus-built 8-inch tablet, created to combat the lower than expected demand for the most recent version of the Nexus 7. Asus has produced both editions of the Nexus 7, and is a trusted Google partner.
LG is another prime candidate. It has made the last two Nexus smartphones, and already produces a well-received 8-inch tablet, the G Pad. It’s not unrealistic that it could build the Nexus 8.
It’s not the final name on the list. HTC’s name has also been linked with the Nexus 8. An April 2014 report says it’s preparing the device for a late summer launch, after being selected by Google to implement a new design. It’s said Asus decided to pass on the opportunity.
It may replace the Nexus 7, and cost $300+
An anonymous source from inside Google’s Dublin offices told an Android publication earlier this year that Google will replace the Nexus 7 with the Nexus 8, although the reason why wasn’t offered. The source also said we should see the tablet launched during a July event, and not at this year’s Google I/O developer conference. Like other Nexus devices, its launch should coincide with a new version of the Android operating system.
In the same report that linked HTC to the Nexus 8, it’s also mentioned that Google believes the Nexus tablet range has served its purpose of building a strong Android tablet user base, and that the Nexus 8 will be the last of its type from Google.
An analyst spoke out about the Nexus 8 in March, saying the device would start production in mid-summer, which would make a September onwards launch date possible. It was also speculated the tablet will have a price tag of at least $300.
Will it have a Snapdragon or Intel chip inside?
Google put a Snapdragon 800 inside the 2013 Nexus 7, but will it use another of Qualcomm’s processors in the Nexus 8? Not according to a report from January, which linked the tablet with an Intel Bay Trail chip. This would be a first for a Nexus device, and give a considerable boost to Intel’s mobile strategy. Intel’s CEO said Bay Trail-powered Android tablets would start being released during mid-2014, so the timeframe fits.
That’s about all we’ve heard about the Nexus 8 so far. It’s all quite vague, but there are enough rumors to make its existence more than idle chatter.
It will launch with a new version of Android
This is speculation, but every Nexus device has launched alongside a new version of Android. Google has always treated the Nexus line as a way to showcase the new features and interface of its newest operating system version. We do not know if it will launch with Android 4.5 or a larger Android 5.0 update.
That’s all we know about the Nexus 8 for now, but stay tuned. We’ll update this article on a regular basis as we learn new things.