Tomorrow, Google will open the doors of the Moscone Center and kick off its yearly developer conference, Google I/O, wherein the company will likely announce some new developments with its Android platform. The company is heavily rumored to be announcing a new version of Android which may debut alongside a new version of the Nexus 7 tablet, a device that is currently dubbed the new Nexus 7 2.
Last year, at Google I/O 2012, Google took the stage and announced two devices that are now considered commonplace not only amongst hardcore Android users but also amongst average Android users. Google I/O afforded both Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the Nexus 7 tablet to the world. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is still rolling out to devices around the world while the Nexus 7 continues to be sold on the Google Play Store as an alternative to tablets like the iPad mini.
Shortly after last year’s Google I/O, Google released the Asus-made Nexus 7 tablet on the Google Play Store, marking the first time that Google had offered a Nexus branded tablet. Previous Nexus-branded devices had been smartphones.
The tablet quickly took off with consumers as it combined an extremely cheap price tag with some pretty powerful features including a sleek, durable design, a 7-inch HD display, Tegra 3 quad-core processor, front-facing camera, and of course, a vanilla version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Later in the year, Google axed the 8GB Nexus 7, replaced it with a 32GB model, knocked the 16GB model down to $199 and introduced a 3G-capable Nexus 7 model.
Tomorrow, nearly a year after it first arrived, and a few months after the arrival of the 3G model, Google is expected to announce a new Nexus 7 tablet that either will replace the Nexus 7 or join it on the Google Play Store.
Over the past few weeks, rumors in regards to the this new Nexus 7 tablet, currently called the Nexus 7 2, have heated up and currently, there are more than a few possibilities out in the open including rumors regarding its display, processor, and more.
Here, the day before Google I/O, we take a look at everything we know so far about Google’s rumored Nexus 7 2 tablet.
Nexus 7 2 Release Date
Last year, Google introduced the Nexus 7 at Google I/O. So, it’s no surprise that the company is rumored to be announcing a new update to the Nexus 7 just about a year after the first one was released. With Apple rumored to be planning a new iPad mini 2 for later this year, Google needs to offer something different and that something different appears to be a souped up version of the Nexus 7.
Tomorrow is the likely going to be the day that a Nexus 7 2, if one is to be announced, would be announced as its the day one keynote for Google I/O. The keynote is set to last for about three hours which means that there should be a number of announcements involved. One of those announcements could be the Nexus 7 2 which could, in the near future, replace the Nexus 7 on shelves.
We still don’t have any firm release date for the Nexus 7 2. Rumors thus far have not pointed to a specific date which means those interested are currently in the dark about the device’s arrival.
Read: Nexus 7 2 Predictions.
If last year is any indication, it could be that Google releases the device on the Google Play Store tomorrow. The Nexus 7 went up for pre-order the day of its announcement and we could see the same thing happen with the Nexus 7 2. It could be that we see the device arrive for pre-order tomorrow with shipping planned a few weeks later, likely sometime in June.
The Nexus 7 arrived about three weeks after its announcement, alongside Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so it’s safe to assume that this is the same type of approach that Google will take with any new Nexus 7 tablet. At the very least, if a tablet is announced tomorrow, expect it to come with a release date or shipping date attached.
Nexus 7 2 Design
Unlike previous Nexus devices, the Nexus 7 2 has yet to leak out in physical form, strange for an Android device that is supposedly going to be arriving in just a few hours. Typically, Android devices leak out shortly before they arrive so again, it’s a bit odd that we haven’t seen the device emerge from the shadows ahead of I/O.
While this is good for those that like surprises, it’s not good for those hoping to get an early peek at what the Nexus 7 2 looks like. Due to a lack of leaks, the design of the Nexus 7 2 is currently unknown save for a single note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who states that the casing of the Nexus 7 2 will be plastic.
It’s not clear if Asus and Google are going to keep the overall design similar to the Nexus 7 or if they are going to make some drastic changes. The yearly Nexus smartphone always has a different design so we should see something new with the Nexus 7 2 design, perhaps a thinner and more lightweight design.
Asus and Google will likely want to keep the tablet cheap so as to compete against the iPad mini so we don’t expect anything drastic changes to build materials.
Nexus 7 2 Display
Last year’s Nexus 7 featured a 7-inch IPS display with 720p resolution. The Nexus 7 2 is rumored to be receiving an upgrade though not in the size of the display, but instead, with its screen resolution and pixel-per-inch count.
With smartphone displays now checking in with full HD 1080p resolution, it’s not surprising to see Asus and Google rumored to be attaching this kind of resolution to the Nexus 7 2.
Display rumored have all suggested that the Nexus 7 2 display will come with 1080p resolution but stay at 7-inches in size despite the iPad mini’s larger 7.9-inch display.
Pixels-per-inch is thought to be 323 which would provide for crisp looking images, text and video. All of this would be better than the display that is currently found on the iPad mini, the Nexus 7 2′s greatest threat.
Nexus 7 2 Camera
While Asus and Google shunned a rear camera on the original Nexus 7, at least one analyst believes that the companies will attach a rear camera on the Nexus 7 2. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks that the device will have an HD front-facing camera for things like video chat but that it will also have a 5MP rear camera.
This would be a change from the original though it’s not clear if it would be a welcomed one. Tablets, even 7-inch tablets like the Nexus 7, boast form factors that are extremely odd for taking photos.
Nexus 7 2 Specs
Beyond the design, display and camera, there have also been a number of other features rumored for the Nexus 7 2. Chief among them, a fast processor that is currently thought to be a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor.
That claim comes from VR-Zone and if true, it would mean that the Nexus 7 2 would be the first tablet to come to market with Qualcomm’s new quad-core processing chip. The Snapdragon 800 is a step up from the quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor that is found in the Galaxy S4, in terms of performance.
Other rumors suggest that the Nexus 7 2 could come equipped with NFC – a given considering how prevalent it is on Android devices, a wireless charger of the Qi standard – again unsurprising given that the Nexus 4 supports wireless charging, a 4G LTE model – a change from the original Nexus 7, a Wi-Fi model, ultra low power usage which would conserve battery life with the Nexus 7 2′s rumored 4,000 mAh battery, and QuickCharge 2.0 which would amount to a full charge in three hours instead of seven hours.
It’s also thought to have USB 3.0 on board which would amount to faster data transfers.
Nexus 7 2 Software
So far, all signs are pointing to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean as the software that Google will announce at Google I/O and not Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. If true, it could mean that the Nexus 7 2 will usher in the third era of Jelly Bean software.
The Nexus 7 brought about the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update while the 3G Nexus 7 arrived with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on board. Both versions were vanilla Android which means that the software comes untouched by the manufacturer. That translates into a smooth, Google experience, something that isn’t found on most Android devices.
We expect the same from the Nexus 7 2 with Android 4.3 being its software of choice. Android 4.3 isn’t thought to be coming with a host of new features and instead may be an incremental update like Android 4.2, boasting a few new things to hold Android users over until the larger Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update is ready.
Nexus 7 2 Carriers
No word yet on what carriers might be included with a Nexus 7 2 but with a 4G LTE device rumored, there is a chance that we could see it land on a number of carriers. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon all have LTE networks in place and it could be that at least some of those decide to offer the new Nexus tablet to compete with the iPad mini.
T-Mobile has been a strong Google partner and that relationship could definitely continue on with the Nexus 7 2.
Nexus 7 2 Price
Asus and Google kept the Nexus 7 price to an extremely affordable level and the Nexus 7 2 is expected to follow in its footsteps. Kuo believes that Google will keep the Nexus 7 price at $199 with a larger storage model likely checking in with a $250 price tag. Currently, the Nexus 7 is available in 16GB and 32GB storage variants with $199 and $250 price tags respectively.
A 4G LTE Nexus 7 2 would likely cost more than these prices which are likely going to be attached to the Wi-Fi only model.