Google to unveil new Nexus 7
The much-loved Nexus 7 is tipped for a refresh before the end of the year, reveals Marie Brewis
The rumour mill was going insane over the possibility of a new Nexus 7 tablet being announced at the Google I/O keynote event on 18 May 2016, and of course it didn’t happen. But it is still very much a thing, and it’s reportedly on track for release before the end of the year. Here’s what we know so far.
Until now much of the talk around the possibility of a new Nexus 7 has been speculation. However, at the beginning of September, trusted leakster @evleaks tweeted that the Huawei-built Nexus 7 was on track for release before the end of the year. For us that’s as good as confirmation that a new Nexus 7 is in the works.
We already know Google is holding an event on 4 October in which it is expected to unveiled the new Pixel X and XL smartphones, Daydream VR and Google Home. It’s more than likely that Google will also use this event to unveil the Nexus 7.
Talk surrounding the possibility of a new Nexus 7 began in October last year following a Trusted Reviews interview with Asus chairman Jonney Shih, who reportedly said: “So for the [first-generation] Nexus, I think that both parties feel that this will be an exciting product, with this kind of… price and this kind of functionality and quality. Even [the secondgeneration Nexus 7], we moved to the Full-HD screen, and we still believe in this kind of beauty. It still makes sense. But then the next one actually takes a lot of discussion.”
For background, Asus was the manufacturer responsible for producing the first- and secondgeneration Nexus 7 tablets, though Shih’s words are not confirmation that a third Nexus 7 will enter production. Plus, it is actually Huawei not Asus that is tipped to be behind the third Nexus 7, having previously trademarked the name ’Huawei 7P’.
Just recently Huawei has allegedly confirmed that it is making a Nexus device for 2016, and with so many spectators convinced HTC will be
making both new Nexus (now reportedly branded Pixel) phones, it’s possible that there will be a new Nexus 7 from Huawei after all.
Since we updated this article Huawei’s PR got in touch with the company’s official comment on the subject: “We don’t comment on future products, as a matter of policy. Huawei is committed to creating the world’s most compelling and innovative devices, offering an exceptional performance and outstanding user experience.
“We are proud to have worked with Google, which is strong in innovation, on the Nexus 6P and will continue to collaborate in the future, such as our support for Daydream, the recently-announced platform for high performance mobile VR.”
People have been pointing to the fact Google recently removed the HTC-made Nexus 9 from its official online store as evidence that a new Nexus 7 must be imminent. That tablet is now two year’s old, mind, and was last year superseded by the more expensive Google Pixel C.
We have to point out that many of the so-called ‘rumours’ in this article appear to be are nothing more than speculation, the rumoured specifications come from a Weibo tip-off and sound high for a budget tablet, and there hasn’t been a single leaked image of the new Nexus 7 (the photo at the top of this article is of the previous model). However, @evleaks has said the new Nexus 7 will feature 4GB of RAM.
When Google introduced the Pixel C it made itself responsible for both the build and the software, much like Apple does with its iPads, and in doing so gave itself greater control over
quality. It is also rumoured to be unveiling its next smartphones as Pixel- rather than Nexus devices. So it would seem strange for the company to now involve a third party in its tablet production process.
All this is ignoring just how popular was (and arguably still is) the Nexus 7, of course. With the Nexus 7 Google caught the attention of the masses and opened them to the possibility of an affordable, powerful, high-quality and truly portable new computing platform. Seven million units of the original tablet were sold at a rate of a million tablets per month, and perhaps Google is wanting more of the same in the 2016. If Google could pull off a third model as popular with consumers as the first, it could turn the tablet market on its head.
Rumour has it the new Nexus 7 will be another budget tablet like its predecessors, so we would
not expect it to be priced any higher than £199. The alleged specifications listed below don’t seem to tally with that, but Google may be returning to its previous business model whereby content (or more accurately content sales) is king.
What to expect
All online sources appear to be quoting the same alleged specification for the forthcoming Nexus tablet. Usually this would make us more inclined to believe them, but here it’s more likely that they have all come from a single (not necessarily trusted) Weibo source.
Android N 7in Quad-HD pressure-sensitive display Qualcomm Snapdragon 820/Nvidia Tegra X1 chip 4GB RAM MicroSD support up to 2TB
Nexus 7 (2013)
Nexus 7 (2014)
Nexus 7 (2013)