HTC Nexus 8 reportedly will replace Nexus 7 line — a good move or not?

by: Andrew GrushApril 21, 2014

Google Asus Nexus 10 Logo aa 1 1600

Starting in February we’ve heard numerous rumors suggesting that HTC and Google are teaming up to create a “premium” Nexus tablet experience. Since that time, we’ve also heard at least one report that suggested the tablet could end up sized somewhere between the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.

Now, a new Digitimes report has surfaced claiming that, instead of the previously rumored 8.9-inch form factor, the HTC tablet will offer an 8-inch display and will likely go by the name Nexus 8. Digitimes sources also claim that Google is being “less aggressive” with its tablet strategy this time around, as the Nexus tablet line has already served its primary purpose: boosting Android’s tablet market pentration.

the Nexus 8 will reportedly be the company’s third-gen ‘smaller’ tablet, meaning that we may or may not see a 3rd-gen Nexus 7

What’s interesting about the report’s wording is that Digitimes sources indicate the Nexus 8 will be the company’s third-gen ‘smaller’ tablet, meaning that we may or may not see a 3rd-gen Nexus 7. The report also claims that, likely dependent on the Nexus 8’s success or lack thereof, Google may be ending its Nexus tablet program in the future.

Let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of details in this new report, and they could easily just be pieced together from the many other HTC Nexus tablet rumors we’ve already heard. It also seems at least a little bit fishy to think that Google would replace the lower-priced Nexus 7 line with a more premium (and likely more expensive) Nexus 8. And finally, it’s important to remember that Digitimes has a very hit-and-miss reputation, with more misses than hits as of late.

Why would Google ditch the Nexus 7?

The Nexus 7 2013 might not be the best selling tablet in the mobile world, but it’s still one of the most popular tablet options in the Android ecosystem. The Nexus 7 2013 not only has an excellent price point, it also offers pure Android and comes in a form factor that is reasonably portable — fitting in purses, handbags, a large front pocket on men’s jeans, etc.

There are fans of the Nexus 7 line that will more than likely gladly make the jump to a 3rd generation model, but would these same Nexus 7 fans be interested in a Nexus 8? It really depends. If Google does plan to ditch the Nexus 7, they’d need to tread carefully with the Nexus 8.

If the Nexus 8 had ultra-thin bezels so it wasn’t too much bigger than the N7 and yet still offered an aggressive price tag in a more premium (metal?) package? It’s possible Nexus 7 fans would still be interested, despite the downsides involved with going to a bigger form factor. Then again, there are those that prefer plastic builds and absolutely want the portability that comes with a 7-inch tablet.

Would Google be willing to turn these folks away? Honestly, we don’t have the answers and only Google (and maybe HTC) know for sure what’s going on.

So let’s leave the questions to our readers: Would you be “ok” with the idea of Google ditching the Nexus 7 in favor of the Nexus 8? What if this also meant no Nexus 10, either?

[poll id=”534″]

  • Oli72

    Sign me up. Take my money now Google.

  • BumferryHogart

    I still have my Nexus 7 (2012) which has been nothing short of brilliant. I am ready to upgrade now to a newer model and will be keeping my eyes out what Google offers next. 7″ or 8″ shouldn’t really be a problem for me as long as apps still work properly.
    I’m sure we will have put up with all the random rumours and BS before we get a proper look at whatever comes out this year, but along with a new Nexus phone – I’m all in!

  • I’d love an 8 inch brushed aluminum tablet with absurdly thin side bezels. I know they can do it! LG got pretty close with the LG G Pad. SUATMM.

  • Shark Bait

    If they keep the same price, then yes, bring it on!
    Some htc build quality would be nice.
    Could also kick start htc I to the tablet world and back to profitability…….. Long shot, but maybe

    • thartist

      That’s exactly what i got they won’t do, when it says ‘Digitimes sources also claim that Google is being “less aggressive” with its tablet strategy this time around’…

      • Shark Bait

        Less aggressive doesn’t just mean price though. .

        • thartist

          and how else would they be “less aggressive” if they were already super passive at everything else?
          It had no marketing, you couldn’t get it anywhere but a handful of countries, they had super limited production of one or the other model and constant delays, they had tons of random software/hardware failures…

          • Shark Bait

            The nexus 7 had lots of marketing in my country, and its fair to say google was pushing its nexus line hard. They could be more passive a and just put them on the play store and let them sell

  • Lisandro O Oocks

    may as well kill the Nexus 10 while they’re ahead.

    • Many think it’s a dead form factor. I really liked the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10, just because of the built in stand. I find I never use my Nexus 10 – like ever, just because it’s a cumbersome form factor. Others will likely disagree. It’s got to be manageable to hold with one hand with little to no effort.

      • Ezekiel1617

        Yes, please explain the Galaxy 12, I have said this many times

  • Cory Wilson

    I love the new 7 and the screen is big enough for me but with the size of the bezels there’s room for a 8 inch screen. So I don’t really mind moving up to 8 inch since it’s possible to keep the same form factor. Still considering their biggest competition comes from amazon you’d think they’d want to go 7 and 8.9 for their sizes!

  • Omran Terro

    Why sony don’t make nexus devices??

    • Ezekiel1617

      Sony don’t make “budget” devices….EVA!!!

    • betterman

      I also want Sony to make Nexus device. But I guess their relationship with Google isn’t that good.

      • Omran Terro


  • Luka Mlinar

    I think the Nexus 5 was scaled back way to much. I’m afraid they might do the same with the tablet so it doesn’t outshine the LG G pad (2)

  • wezi427

    I think they should switch every 2 years. You get a different look. I would like to see what HTC, Motorola, Sony, LG, and any other company that is worthy. Change can keep things fresh.

  • Simon Belmont

    No point in having a Nexus 7 and Nexus 8. Too close to each in screen size.

    I, personally, am really happy with a 7 inch screen. But, if HTC is making the Nexus 8, I might be really tempted.

  • John Grabb

    I have an 8 inch tablet and a I believe it is the perfect size

  • Kyle Ong

    If its a 8″, do not see issue..
    Think HTC One (M8) gets errected in a rubber, no metal
    (follow the likes of Samsung Tabpro 8.4, keeps the width but longer though that could means 16:10)

    as Nexus challenge “cost”, line 2k screen, camera, waterproof, ext storage would b omitted.

  • Ezekiel1617

    Hey you know what, if they can find a way to increase the screen size to platform ratio, they could still maintain the current footprint the N7 2013 has. Wasn’t this the biggest gripe that “Tech Editors” had about the N7 2013; that the bezels were massive.

    • M3D1T8R

      But it’s a tablet. The bezels are useful. I think the bezels on the slimmer 2013 N7 (vs the original 2012, which I also loved) are about perfect. I wouldn’t want less, especially on the sides. Currently it can just barely be held from the side bezel if necessary, and rested on its side comfortably when using it while lying down. And the top/bottom bezels serve as a place to hold onto it when in landscape for games etc. I just wish it had dual front speakers in there, instead of rear facing like now.

      • Brandon Miranda

        Perfect. Give the people a reason to shut up about the bezels by putting front facing speakers.

  • lacompacida

    I find the Nexus 7 is already a bit too big. If I want anything larger, I rather do the 10″.

  • Shiny Ramirez

    Wow. Reading this post and all the ad’s on the page are about the Google Nexus 7. I guess Google is trying to send me a message.

  • Salman Thaw

    When phones were about 4-inches, the 7-inches were fine. Now that phones are 5 – 6 inches, the 7 became too close in size to the phones to be considered worth buying. Having 5 and 8 is fine.. 5″/6″ phones and a 7″ inch tablet, not so.

    • Spankadoodle

      Agreed. I have a nexus 7 2013 and its so annoying when you get someone come up to you and say “wow is that a phone?” 7inches is great for me since I have a s3, but 8 inches would be a nice step up if the price range is the same as the nexus 7.

  • T.J.

    I think 8″ is fine and then they should change the old 10″ to 11″. Then we’ll have the 5″ phone and 8″ and 11″ tablets. Three inches between each.

  • Brandon Miranda

    I love the soft touch back of my Nexus 7… Please don’t go metal…

  • dandroid13
  • Balraj

    Nexus with boom sound
    Best buy for entertainment :D

  • betterchoice

    HTC create next Nexus? I ‘Sense’ disaster.

    • mjlowe

      You’re probably just making a pun, but this is a potential Nexus product, obviously Sense would not be featured.

  • Daniel Nasim

    If it has two front firing speakers, I’m all in.

  • MasterMuffin

    I just want the next Nexus 10!

    “Android’s tablet market pentration.” penetration?

  • Brenden Keene

    The 2013 Nexus 7 is still on top of its game. Just continue offering it as is. Nexus 8 would a great addition to the family, especially a premium HTC model. But for the love of God… please give us another Nexus 10 (based off the Tab PROs maybe)!

  • MadCowOnAStick

    I like ’em bigger and longer

  • Jusephe

    Why would Google ditch the Nexus 7 ?

    Because of iPad mini ?

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    What’s up with this thing voting for me? When I opened the page it had already chose an option.



  • christoff

    I have the LG Gpad 8.3 which already has a premium feel and great screen and features. Google also did the play edition running vanilla android. This should have been the nexus 8. Bring it on i say 8″ is a way better size compared to the nexus 7 (which i also have).

  • StraightEdgeNexus

    8″ hell yeah. 7″ is too small for a tablet. Personal experience. And please 4:3 aspect ratio. 16:10 feels useless for anything on a tablet. HTC nope.

    • John Garlits

      4:3 doesn’t make sense if you’re going to watch movies.

  • Ruben blanco

    Well, It’s normal that Nexus 2013 tablet hasn’t been best selling tablet this time, as much as the Nexus7 2012, because I don’t think customers want to get rid of a new tablet in 1 year or 2 allowing for the crisis and having a product that still works.
    These companies should re-think if its policy of coming up a tablet each year is proper.
    I’d be in disposition to buy another tablet if they offered again an aggressive price with a great display screen and something as stunning as was Nexus 7 early on.
    But I found totally inappropriate to release a Nexus 7 a year later than 2012 with a higher price and the same size. They maybe though everyone who acquired a old Nexus7 would throw away their tablets and bough that.

    • mjlowe

      This is how business works, iteratively. Products go on sale one year, are improved the next and a new one is marketed, it doesn’t immediately make the previous one unusable, it offers an upgrade to the small niche that would upgrade that often, and something even better in a similar price range to attract new buyers who make up the majority of sales. Nexus products have always been about showcasing Android at its best, as such a new iteration makes even more sense. Also, the 2012 Nexus 7 was in desperate need of an upgrade due to its hardware/slowdown issues.

      • Ruben blanco

        Yeah, but you no longer expect to have the same sales figures every single year, besides I saw the 2013 tablet wasn’t that stunning as 2012 and moreover when you have a great deal of competition making good tablets in the 7″ size market.
        So I really hope for Nexus8 to be as stunning tablet to go for it.

  • Angels

    If its realy true then for me it’s stupid. I use nexus 7 2013 and i’m happy that i bought it. But i don’t understand why the google should ditch the Nexus 7 2013. I just dion’t get it!

    • K2

      Cuz they already did the 7 inch form factor twice? And there are already tons of 7 inch ultra-cheap android tablets in the market and very few 8 inch android tablets?

  • Andrew White

    Maybe an extremely thin bodied and bezel-less (sides) curved 8″ device might just be the ‘sweet spot’ in the small tablet market.
    HTC definitely has the capacity to produce innovative quality product.

  • pilgrim4844

    I throught HTC was going to introduce a premium All Metal tablet itself this year, albeit alongside its rumoured products for Google’s Nexus range. So wouldn’t it be like shooting yourself in the foot to supply Google with the Premium product when In the Asia-Pacific region the introduction of a Premium HTC Tsbet Range is much anticipated, here we expect any variant for the nexus range if produced by HTC to be of the usual quality, but built of more usual construction.

  • monkey god

    no big deal. If the bezel thickness is decreased, the device doesn’t HAVE to be much bigger than the original Nexus 7. That being said, come out with the Nexus 10 already.

  • Looks awesome indeed.

  • Rauel Crespo

    Make the Standard version 32GB, with 64GB and 128GB as options. A thinner, but bigger 8″ HTC One style/build device with the front facing speakers would be logical. If they must put a camera on it, make it the same Camera as the M7, with the OIS, and possibly the second camera like the M8. Price the 32GB version at $350, 64GB at $430 and the 128GB at $510. Have it come with 3GB of RAM and use the Snapdragon 801 processor. I will buy this DAY ONE.

  • Guilherme Barros

    Here in Brazil we don’t have access to HTC products, maybe this partnership can bring us their products, it would be great.

  • Cotomeo

    8 is the best.

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  • Preben Nielsen

    Problem with the Nexus 7″ is too much bezel and to little screen. I want a very slim bezel top/bottom when holding it in landscape – which will also allow a bigger screen to fit into the same pockets a 7″ does. Tablets are – IMO – meant to be used in landscape mode anyway.

  • Preben Nielsen

    I would love if they would also make an 10″ or an 11″. The 8″ might be a great device … but I would never buy it.

  • K2

    You wrote this article totally form a point of view of people liking a 7 inch tablet over an 8 inch tablet. You should have talked about the advantages of an 8 inch tab over a 7 inch one, too.

  • If anyone is putting their Nexus 7s in their pant pockets, their pants are too large.

    • slaytanic

      Disagree. Fits perfect in my Levis! I’m not fat

      • Wide leg jeans? I can’t imagine a perfect fit when you consider that there is a huge rectangular object outlined in your pant pocket. C’mon!

  • Dustin

    I really like my nexus 5. Wouldn’t mind a tablet version made by LG. An 8″ HTC one nexus tablet with boom sound speakers wouldn’t be bad though. Or a Motorola nexus.

  • slaytanic

    Nexus 7 is perfect size. If nexus 8 won’t still got in my back pocket I’ll be looking elsewhere and not happy about it. Love my last 2 nexus 7.

  • Trysta

    Before I got an iPad air I would have been thrilled with this news. Now I really want a small Google tablet (that is affordable but not a piece of crap). I love android and don’t plan on leaving any time soon and I really liked my nexus 7 2013 BUT if I am being completely honest the iPad is a better tablet experience especially for a large tablet. On a large tablet I want great support for note taking, PDF annotation and other productivity tasks than the larger iPad ecosystem makes better. From Google I want a small portable and inexpensive device that is well supported and will serves as a great eBook ready and place to play mobile games. For this a small-as-possible-without-being-a-phablet tablet works best.

    I’m probably in the minority but luckily my Nexus 7 is still going strong and I’ll probably just hold on to it for as long as possible.

  • Mf Lye

    Any leak pics on this nexus 8?