Despite the lack of an official announcement from Google, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the Nexus 7 2 is a real device and that it will be touching down on shelves sometime in the near future to replace the Nexus 7, Google’s 7-inch iPad mini competitor from 2012.
Last year, Google announced the Nexus 7 at Google I/O 2012 in June alongside the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. The two new products were launched together a few weeks later with Google putting the Nexus 7 on shelves in July, far ahead of Apple’s iPad mini launch which took place just ahead of the holidays.
The lack of a smaller 7-inch iPad option, vanilla Android software and high-end specifications at a low price made the Nexus 7 an intriguing option for tablet buyers. In fact, the Nexus 7 remains one of the better 7-inch tablets on the market, especially after it gained multi-user support with the introduction of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean in November.
The success of the Nexus 7, the emergence of the iPad mini and the likelihood of an iPad mini 2 launch later this year, all hint at another Nexus 7 tablet coming sometime in 2013.
Originally, it was thought that the device would emerge at Google I/O 2013 in May. However, consumers faced a harsh reality when Google neglected to announce a new Nexus tablet at its developers conference, instead announcing a new Nexus version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 which will arrive alongside the HTC One Nexus on June 26th.
Fortunately, the lack of an announcement doesn’t mean a lack of a new Nexus 7 tablet in 2013. Rumors have been heating up in the weeks since Google I/O and today, Nexus 7 2 rumors reached a boil.
It has become clear that Google does indeed have another Nexus 7 on the way, a Nexus 7 2 presumably, and it appears that an announcement could come sometime in the next few weeks.
Here, we take a look at five new and important things to know about the rumored, but likely Nexus 7 2 from Asus and Google.
Nexus 7 2 Release: All Signs Point to July
Even before the Nexus 7 2 stalled at Google I/O, whispers indicated that this device was headed for a mid-summer launch in July. Rumors after Google I/O have suggested the same and at this point, it’s looking likely that the Nexus 7 2 makes it grand arrival on the Google Play Store on some date during the month of July.
Right now, there is an abundance of evidence that suggests that the Nexus 7 2 will be heading to shelves in July.
- The Nexus 7 dock mysteriously disappeared from the Google Play Store. While not definitive, it’s a sign that something could be brewing.
- The Nexus 7 2 will likely come with Android 4.3. Android 4.3 is rumored for arrival a few weeks after the June 26th launch of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 on the Google Play Store.
- The Nexus 7 arrived in July of last year.
- A mysterious Asus K009 tablet with the hallmarks of a Nexus 7 2 recently cleared the FCC, one hurdle on its way to release.
No specific date is set in stone, but given the evidence, we imagine that an announcement isn’t far off in the distance and that a Nexus 7 2 release date will indeed take place in July.
Nexus 7 2 Features Have Emerged
In the buildup to Google I/O 2013, we heard rumblings about Nexus 7 2 features. However, those leaks were far from hard evidence. Today, those interested in the Nexus 7 2 got the hard evidence they have been craving.
A mysterious device called the Asus K009 tablet recently passed through the FCC alongside another probably Nexus tablet, the Asus K008, that appeared in Bluetooth certifications. And while neither arrived with a specific name, it’s clear that these are Nexus tablets from Asus. It even says that they will be marketed as Nexus inside the filing. The two devices are thought to be Wi-Fi and LTE variants of the Nexus 7 2 and the filings reveal some features about the models.
According to these filings, the devices will sport a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm APQ-8064 S4 Pro processor, LTE data speeds, 4,000 mAh battery, and at least 32GB of memory. The processor is now actually thought to be a Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor which should fantastic graphics and performance.
And while there is no confirmation, we expect these features to join a 7-inch 1080p display on board the Nexus 7 2 when it arrives.
One Big Change
There is one notable change that consumers should know about in preparation for the Nexus 7 2.
The Nexus 7 arrived with only one camera on board, a front-facing camera for video chatting purposes. The Nexus 7 2 is thought to have a front-facing camera of the 1.2MP variety though it appears that unlike the Nexus 7, Asus and Google have outfitted the Nexus 7 2 with a rear 5MP camera for taking photos and video.
Tablets aren’t the best way to shoot photos or video but those interested in this device will likely appreciate the inclusion of a camera, particularly if Google overhauls the stock camera app in Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie later on this year.
Verizon Nexus 7 2 Is Possible
There is now confirmation of 4G LTE support for the Nexus 7 2, something that the Nexus never got. Instead, the Nexus 7 settled for 3G capabilities on T-Mobile and AT&T.
We suspect that the 4G LTE capabilities will work with both AT&T and T-Mobile, just like the HTC One Nexus and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus, which should be an intriguing prospect for those in the United States.
At this point, we recommend tempering expectations but it appears that a Verizon Nexus 7 2 is possible, based on evidence discovered by AnAndTech editor, Brian Klug. It seems that the device has the tools to work with Verizon but whether or not Google decides to make it all happen is unclear.
So at this point, it’s possible, but given the past, it’s possible that it will only arrive for AT&T and T-Mobile.
Despite Rumors, Price Likely Won’t Change
Rumors have stated that the Nexus 7 2 may come with an increased price tag and given that it’s coming with a rear camera, that seems plausible. However, given how well the Nexus 7 sold at $199 and $250 and given that Google is going to have to likely compete with an iPad mini 2 with a Retina Display at a little over $300 with the original iPad mini likely dropping to match the Nexus 7, we don’t expect the price to change.
Look for the Nexus 7 2 to rock the same $199 price tag as the original Nexus 7 in an attempt to lure them in ahead of the iPad mini 2 launch later on this year.