If the rumor mill is to be believed, the new HTC Nexus 9 and rumored Motorola Nexus 6 are almost here, with most reports pointing to a launch sometime between the middle of this month and early November. Although there’s much more solid proof for the Nexus 9’s existence, recently Nexus 6 rumors have also begun heating up.
So what do we think we know about the next-gen Nexus family? Let’s jump in and take a look. Keep in mind that as we march closer to Google’s announcement for these products, we may likely learn even more details, so be sure to check back from time to time for updates and changes to this roundup post. Also if we missed any juicy details, be sure to let us and our readers know about it in the comments.
HTC Nexus 9
The HTC Nexus 9 is expected to be the first tablet from HTC since the not particularly successful HTC Flyer and HTC Jetstream. Not only this, it’s the first Nexus device from HTC since the Nexus One. The Nexus 9 is expected to replace both the Samsung Nexus 10 and the Asus Nexus 7 (2013) in one swoop, bringing high-end specs and rumors of a slightly more premium design.
Early on, rumors suggested HTC’s tablet would have a unibody metal construction, akin to the HTC One’s build language. Earlier this morning, however, we reported on a new image from @upleaks (Seen above) that shows off what is allegedly the HTC Nexus 9 packing a design similar to current-gen Nexus devices. The latest report also says the tablet will have a matte soft plastic feel as well.
If this design proves correct, that means the idea of an all-metal Nexus was nothing more than rumor. Then again, it’s possible that the side could still have a metal edge like the rumored Nexus 6, though that’s really just speculation at this point.
As for the front of the tablet? Past rumors claim we’ll see a front facing speaker setup, which certainly wouldn’t be out of character for HTC. For what it is worth, the most recent (plastic) leaked back image doesn’t seem to have grill holes, which could be due to a low quality render or it could further proof of front facing speakers.
Display and specs
Despite the name Nexus 9, the display is actually expected to be 8.9-inches, though Google is known for rounding up when it comes to naming its Nexus products. As for the resolution? It really depends on which rumor you believe. Back in June, we heard reports suggesting a resolution of 2048 x 1440 with a 4:3 aspect ratio and 281ppi. On the other hand, a more recent August report suggested a resolution of 2560 x 1600.
What all rumors do seem to report consistently is that there will be a 64-bit Tegra K1 processor, a first for the Nexus family
That’s not the only part of the spec sheet that’s under question, RAM also differs depending on which report you believe. Older reports claim 2GB RAM, though the August rumors pointed at a much more impressive 4GB RAM. Such a high amount of RAM would certainly pair nicely with the 64-bit processor said to be onboard, but we really can’t say which of these numbers are correct.
What all rumors do seem to report consistently is that there will be a 64-bit Tegra K1 processor (all-but confirmed by Nvidia), 8MP rear cam, NFC, 16 or 32GB storage and Android L out of the box. There’s also expected to be an LTE model version launching as well.
The Nexus 9 is expected to launch with a snap-on keyboard cover that basically turns the tablet into a makeshift laptop. Combined with beefy specs, this could make the Nexus 9 a dream machine when it comes to basic productivity uses on the road and could allow some folks to leave behind their more powerful (and likely bulkier) laptop rigs.
When is it coming?
The HTC Nexus 9 is expected to be formally unveiled to the public on October 15 or the 16th, at least based on information from our own sources and other rumors. Google has yet to set a date for a press event, making it possible the announcement will happen via a basic press release instead.
What is less clear is pricing. With the Nexus 9 being more “upscale” in terms of both specs and possibly design, it wouldn’t be too shocking if it costs more than the Nexus 7 (2013), though how much more is anyone’s guess at this point.
Early on it was unclear if the Nexus 6 was even going to happen, with talk of Android Silver and the death of Nexus phones. And then talk of Shamu began, Motorola’s attempt at a ‘phablet’ sized smartphone.
There are still some who believe (or even hope that) the Nexus 6 is only a product of rumor, nothing more than a Motorola project that has incorrectly become associated with the Nexus program. That said, there have been an increasing number of rumors, reports and leaks that suggest the Nexus 6 is really coming, and it’s going to be a massive beast both in terms of specs and size.
The Nexus phone line has been slowly but surely climbing up in size, though many figured Google would stop around the 5 to 5.2-inch range. If the rumors surrounding Nexus 6 are legit, however, Motorola’s Nexus will actually jump up all the way to 5.9-inches.
This makes the Nexus 6 a much ‘bigger’ device, though most reports claim it won’t be that much bigger in size than products like the Galaxy Note 4. Not that long ago a Motorola-branded Shamu prototype (aka Nexus 6) without the Nexus branding was seen beside the LG G3, giving us a little better idea of how it compares in terms of size.
As for the phone’s design? The Nexus 6 is said to look very similar to the new Moto X, only with a major increase in size. That means the same front-facing speakers, aluminum frame, camera design with a ring and more. In fact, a completely unofficial render shows that the phone will pretty much keep Motorola’s design language verbatim, only tossing in a Nexus logo.
The Nexus 6 is said to look very similar to the new Moto X, only with a major increase in size
Honestly, we think the back render is pretty ugly and hope that it’s not accurate. In the past, Google has dictated the design aspects not the OEM. That’s why the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 don’t look that much like their LG counterparts, and the same goes for older Nexus phones before that. It seems odd that Google would change this now, especially considering the most recent Nexus 9 image looks very similar to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) design language.
So for now we can’t say or sure what the Nexus 6 will look like, though we wouldn’t be surprised if it is in fact inspired by Motorola’s design language, only with a few tweaks to set help distinguish it as a Nexus product.
Display and specs
In addition to being the first Nexus phablet, the Nexus 6 is also said to be the first Nexus phone to adopt a QHD resolution with a 496 PPI. As for the rest of the specs, the phone is said to have a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 CPU, 3GB RAM, a 3200+ mAh battery, quick charging technology, a 13MP rear cam, 2MP front cam and Android L. No word on how much storage will be built in, though 16 and 32GB packages seem likely. Though perhaps Google will finally jump things up in the storage arena?
Basically, if the specs are correct, the Nexus 6 will be an absolute beast with the most powerful specs available. Even the Nexus 6’s camera looks to be pretty solid, at least on paper, which is a departure from past Nexus phones with their relatively weak cameras when compared to similar flagships.
When is it coming?
Although we are fairly confident of the mid-October announcement timeframe for the Nexus 9, we are less certain of when the Nexus 6 will be unveiled. While it’s certainly possible that the Nexus 6 could arrive alongside the Nexus 9, other rumors claim Google won’t announce it until sometime in November. Hopefully we will know a bit more, one way or the other, soon enough.
We might not know when it’s coming, but there is at least one rumor claiming that the Nexus 6 will actually make it to Verizon’s network. Whether this is just hopeful thinking from a Verizon fan or a legitimate claim? We can’t say for sure just yet.