The 8.9-inch HTC Nexus 9 or “Volantis” is real, and headed to market in Q4 2014. The Nexus 9 will cost $399 (16GB) and $499 (32GB) for the Wi-Fi models.
We heard earlier this year that HTC would indeed build a Nexus tablet for Google, but the recent LG comments about the Nexus 6 had some worried that Google’s tablet line, too, may be scrapped along with the Nexus 6. Keep in mind that Google has yet to produce a new Nexus 10 tablet in quite some time but did produce a Nexus 7 (2013) model last July. With Google I/O 2014 to start at the end of this week, the question on Google fans’ minds is: will Google bring that HTC Nexus everyone’s been abuzz about?
If the latest information is correct, you can get your money ready. Sources say that the long-rumored HTC Nexus 9 tablet (codenamed “Volantis”) does exist, and is headed to market. Of course, this is not all. The specs and features are provided in the new report as well. What are they? Let’s get down to business.
HTC Nexus 9 Display
First, let’s start with the display. The HTC Nexus 9 is rumored to come with an 8.9-inch display and a 2048 x 1440 (281ppi) screen resolution. This will place the HTC Nexus 9 in the same category as the iPad Mini – Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet that has the company’s Retina resolution (2048 x 1536) packed into the smallest Apple tablet currently available. At the same time, however, it’d be nice if the HTC Nexus 9 tablet would’ve a bit better resolution, considering it’ll be an entire inch wider than the iPad Mini (8.9 inches). The screen resolution is fine for a 7.9-inch tablet, but we’re hoping that an 8.9-inch tablet will’ve something above 300ppi (pixels per inch).
HTC Nexus 9 Dimensions
The HTC Nexus 9 will’ve dimensions of 8.91 x 5.98 x 0.31 inches (226.3 x 151.9 x 7.9mm) and a weight of 418 grams (Wi-Fi version). The HTC Nexus 9 will also come in an LTE model and weigh slightly larger than the Wi-Fi model (at 427 grams). When Google announced the five-inch Nexus 5, it did not tell individuals that the Nexus is, to be accurate, more along the lines of 4.95 inches diagonally than 5 inches exactly – but it’s close enough to count. This seems to be the way that Google’s made its devices in the past, and so we’re not surprised to see the 8.91-inch HTC Nexus be referred to within Mountain View headquarters as the HTC Nexus 9.
As can be seen from the dimensions above, the 8.91-inch stat shows that the tablet will indeed boast an 8.9-inch display, nearly an inch wider screen than Samsung’s 8-inch Galaxy Note and an entire inch wider than Apple’s iPad Mini. The 8.9-inch display would place Google’s HTC tablet in direct competition with Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Air.
To put the Volantis tablet into perspective, the HTC Nexus 9 looks to have a slightly wider screen than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet and remain as thin as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.0 (0.31 inches) while having a little height on the Note 8.0. HTC’s newest tablet may be thin, but it won’t be light: the HTC Nexus 9 will be approximately 87 grams heavier than Samsung’s eight-inch tablet (418 grams vs. 331 grams, respectively). If you compare the Nexus 9 with Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S 8.4, you’ll see that the Nexus 9 will be thicker (0.34 inches vs. 0.26 inches) and heavier (14.74 ounces vs. 10.37 ounces), not to mention having a smaller screen resolution than Samsung’s latest and greatest (2048 x 1440 vs. the Galaxy Tab S 8.4’s 2560 x 1600; 281ppi vs. 360ppi). With that said, expect to carry a little extra weight around when you make the buy since the Nexus 9 will’ve an aluminum metal construction that only HTC could make well.
HTC Nexus 9 Memory Storage
As for storage, expect 16GB or 32GB out of the Nexus 9 without a microSD card slot for memory storage expansion. Google’s always been one to push Android consumers to its Google Drive cloud storage and Google+ unlimited photo storage, and you can expect no different here. A front speaker, 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, 2GB RAM, and a 3MP front-facing camera and 8MP rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) round out the current specs we’ve on the Nexus 9. The 64-bit processor is interesting indeed, but Google does intend to bring 64-bit technology to its soon-to-be announced update to Android OS. New discoveries in Android code also show that Google will give the new update an “L” name (could be “Lemon Meringue Pie” or “Lollipop, likely Android 5.0) to include 64-bit technology. If this is true, then bringing the latest in Android processing (i.e., the 64-bit chip) would be expected.
We’re pleased to see Google improve its front-facing camera to 3MP instead of maintaining the ~1MP camera found on the Nexus 10 and the Nexus 7 (2013). With the rise of the social media movement and the selfie, there’re a number of social media fans who will thank Google for this move. Since HTC’s making the Nexus 9, however, we’d have like to have seen a 5MP HD camera on the front – but the 3MP is an improvement that we can’t complain about.
As for when you can expect to see HTC’s zero-gap, aluminum metal unibody construction for Google’s latest? Q4 2014 is the time frame given for the HTC Nexus 9’s release. Pricing will start at $399 for the 16GB model and $499 for the 32GB model (Wi-Fi pricing only). We don’t yet know what the LTE Nexus 9 models will cost, but we surmise that they’ll be in the $500-$600 price range.
Volantis has been a project and a few whispers up until now, but it looks as though Google’s not done with its fan base just yet.
Are you excited about the HTC Nexus 9? Do you think the tablet will win your money if it’s released in Q4 2014 – or have you already placed your eyes on another tablet? Whatever you decide now or in the future, do your thing in the comments.