We are really confident that Google is going to release the Nexus 8 tablet later this year and we’ve even had a company insider confirm us the story. We believe the Google Nexus 8 will come with Android 4.5, which could be called Lollipop or Lemon Meringue Pie.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice President, has already confirmed a new Nexus is coming later this year and we believe it’s the Nexus 8. Both Sundar Pichai and our source confirmed that the Nexus 8’s release date will be in the second half of the year, while the latter has been more specific, saying it may be in July.
Nexus 8 Release Date
Let’s talk a bit more about the release date, because it’s really important. We strongly believe the tablet will be released in July, this year. It should be available, just like all the previous Nexus devices, only on the Play Store initially.
We expect Google to release it along with the next Android version, which should be 4.5 codename Lollipop or Lemon Meringue Pie. This should happen at I/O 2014, where Google is going to focus on new services, which means they are also working on something else, except the Nexus 8 and Android 4.5, but we don’t have any information about it yet.
While we can’t confirm it, some rumors say that Google will ditch the Nexus 7 in order to focus on the new 8-inch tablet on a market with less competition. Previous reports say that the company is disappointed with the Nexus 7 2013 sales, after only managing to ship three million units.
Nexus 8 Price
Google has always managed to keep the prices low for their smartphones and tablets, but we expect the Nexus 8’s price to be a bit higher than the Nexus 7’s. And that’s because it’s a slightly bigger tablet and we also believe it will come with top-end hardware.
We have no clear information about this, but after doing some research we concluded that it could come with a price tag of $249 for the 16GB model, while the 32GB version might be priced at $299. A 64GB version is also possible, but only if Google decides the market is big enough for it.
We really hope to be right, because if the company decides to keep the price to $199, then we won’t probably get the best specs. Fortunately Google is known to release very fast devices, even if they don’t feature all the top notch hardware, so it might not be a big issue after all.
Nexus 8 Design
Google did a great job lately by keeping their Nexus devices as simple as possible and we expect to see the same thing with the Nexus 8. Like you probably know already, Android’s design guidelines specify that there shouldn’t be any physical buttons or softkeys on the front, so it will definitely have just the three on-screen buttons. This means it will have a totally clean front, just like the Nexus 4, 5, 7 and 10.
We hope to see two stereo speakers on the front though, as they proved to be much better than the ones placed on the device’s sides or back. It will most likely also feature sensors and a frontal camera.
The back of the device might be similar to the one found on the Google Nexus 5, as we expect the Nexus 8 to be also built by LG and inspired from the G Pad 8.3.
There isn’t much to say about a tablet’s design, especially if it’s a Google, because we know they always like to keep things simple and usually that’s the best thing to do.
Nexus 8 Maker
We believe the Nexus 8 will be built by LG and it might be based on the LG G Pad 8.3, which is a really good tablet. It should come with a slightly different design, in order to follow the one found on the Nexus line, but it might have similar specs or even a bit improved.
The two other potential makers are Samsung and Asus, but our previous research makes us doubt about it. Though, if we are wrong and Google doesn’t choose to work with LG, then our second pick would be Asus.
Of course there are a lot of companies that are making tablets, but we don’t think Google would partner with someone else for the moment.
Nexus 8 Hardware
The Google Nexus 8 should come with top notch hardware, meaning it might have the latest processor on the market, along with 2GB or 3GB of RAM and a great display.
It’s still unclear now what processor will Google choose, as there are a lot of new ones available right now. There are four potential SoCs we can think of and they come from three different companies: a 2.33Ghz quad-core Intel Moorefield, a 2.3Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 or LG’s new Odin processor, which is an octa-core composed of two quad-core processors, one clocked at 1.7Ghz and the other at 2.3Ghz.
If we were to make an assumption, we’d say that Google is going to pick the Snapdragon 801, as it will be slightly cheaper to use than the 805, while the LG Odin is basically just for marketing and the company doesn’t have experience with Intel.
The Nexus 8 should also feature a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, an 8MP primary camera and a 2MP frontal one, and basically everything else that you can find on an Android tablet, like GPS, GLONASS and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Other rumors are talking about a 64 bit processor, which is possible, but we don’t think it matters very much. Considering that no apps are designed for 64 bit processors, it will be most likely useless initially.
Nexus 8 Display
If Google decides to go with LG for the Nexus 8, then we believe it will come with the same display as the G Pad 8.3, which is an 8.3-inch with a resolution of 1,200×1,920 pixels and a density of 273PPI. It’s a really great IPS LCD display and there isn’t anything to complain about it, but we were hoping to see a slightly higher resolution, like the one found on the Nexus 10 – 1,600×2,560.
Nexus 8 & Android 4.5
Considering that we expect Google to release the Nexus 8 at I/O 2014, along with the next version of Android, it means it’s going to be the first device to come with Android 4.5. We have no sure information, but some rumors say it will be called Lollipop or Lemon Meringue Pie (LMP).
We expect Android 4.5 to be a minor update, with no major changes. It will probably come with a few more features, improved stability and speed. Google usually manages to keep its secrets protected very well, so we weren’t able to find out anything about the new versions, but our insider told us it will indeed be 4.5 and not 5.0, as other rumors say.
Things we want to see
If we were right with our previous assumptions, then the Nexus 8 is definitely going to be a great tablet, but there are always some things we would like to see more than what we expect.
Most tablets are made of plastic and while that’s not always a bad thing, an aluminium unibody looks and feels much better. We would love to see Google go in that direction with the Nexus 8.
This has its downsides too, because aluminium is usually heavier than plastic and it could be less resistant at shocks, being less flexible than plastic. We don’t really think Google is going to do that, but we still hope, because design is really important for a device you’re using daily.
There aren’t many small tablets with a WQXGA 1,600×2,560 resolution, but maybe Google manages to use it on the Nexus 8, while also keeping the price tag low. The display is extremely important on a tablet, because that’s what you’re looking at and it has to be beautiful and crisp. The 1,200×1,920 resolution is not bad, but a higher PPI is always better.
More Storage Options
If Google will use the LG G Pad 8.3 for the new Nexus 8, then it’s possible to build only a 16GB version, which would be a shame, considering that Nexus devices don’t come with a microSD card slot. We hope Google will think about a 32GB, 64GB or even an 128GB version.
This is highly unlikely, but many people complain about the lack of a card slot in their Nexus devices. We believe Google is trying to force users use Drive instead of a microSD card.