Nexus 7 2: Everything We Think We Know
The Nexus 7 currently sits on Google’s Play Store, standing at the ready for anyone looking to invest in a new 7-inch Android slate. However, rumor has it that the Nexus 7 is soon going to be replaced by a new Nexus 7 tablet, a device that is currently dubbed the Nexus 7 2, a device that could be out as soon as next month.
At last year’s Google I/O, Google announced two huge products that are still relevant, even now a year into their life span. Those products, the Nexus 7 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launched together at Google I/O and hit shelves in July. The Nexus 7 quickly established itself as extremely enticing tablet, given that Apple had yet to breach the realm of 7-inch tablets.
Combining powerful specifications, vanilla Android and a cheap price tag, the Nexus 7 was a solid choice for anyone looking for something smaller than the iPad or Asus’ Transformer series of slates.
Later in the year, Google introduced two new Nexus 7 variants including a 32GB model that replaced the 8GB version and a 3G-enabled Nexus 7 that allowed users to connect to AT&T and T-Mobile. The company also debuted Android 4.2 alongside the new Nexus 7 models. Of course, by that time, the Nexus 7 wasn’t alone.
Apple launched the iPad mini, a 7.9-inch tablet that took aim directly at the Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire in terms of features and of course, in terms of price.
That battle has been waged all the way into the new year as none of the companies have released any substantial additions to their tablet lineups, instead, relying on the devices of yesteryear. That looks like it will change and change very soon.
The first company to make a move appears like it’s going to be Google as rumors suggest that a Nexus 7 successor is on the way. The device is currently being called an assortment of names including Nexus 7 2.
While we wait for Google to make an official announcement, it’s time to take a look at everything we think we know about Google’s new Nexus 7, the Nexus 7 2.
Nexus 7 2 Release Date
Right now, a Nexus 7 2 release date remains unknown though rumors suggest that an announcement could come soon. Currently, the Nexus 7 2 launch is pegged for sometime in July. If true, that would mean an announcement about a year after the original Nexus 7′s release. No date is set in stone though given that the device has seemingly passed through the FCC, it could come at any point in time.
We’ve also heard that the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update will be rolling out a few weeks after the arrivals of the HTC One Nexus and Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus on June 26th. Android 4.3 would likely be on board any new Nexus device which means that the Nexus 7 2, again, could be only weeks away from arrival.
Google has not yet announced any time of launch event for July so it’s unclear if it will simply announce the device or if it will issue invites for a press event wherein it will announce the Nexus 7.
Given that it just recently hosted Google I/O, an separate event seems unlikely and consumers may ultimately wind up seeing a low key announcement as opposed to a grandiose one.
Nexus 7 2 Design
Thus far, while we’ve seen a number of Nexus 7 2 rumors, we haven’t gotten a good look at the device itself. Typically, Nexus devices leak out extensively prior to launch, the Nexus 4 is a good example, but for whatever reason, we still haven’t seen the new Nexus 7 show itself off in the wild with any clarity.
What we do have though is a photo taken out of an FCC filing for an Asus tablet believed to be the Nexus 7 2. The photo depicts a device that looks extremely similar in style to the original Nexus 7 though the bezels seem to be a bit thinner.
Consumers should not be expecting a huge design overhaul, particularly since Google wants to keep the price low to compete with the iPad mini and iPad mini 2, but look for several tweaks to the original design.
Nexus 7 2 Display
All signs are pointing to Google keeping the Nexus 7 2 display at 7-inches, same as the Nexus 7 display. However, it appears that it will arrive with 1080p resolution, something that the original did not have.
If the display does arrive with 1080p resolution, we’ll likely also see a high pixel-per-inch (ppi) count which should translate into great looking text, video and web, all of which are prominent on a 7-inch tablet.
Nexus 7 2 Cameras
While the Nexus 7 only featured a front-facing camera for video chatting, the FCC filing for the Nexus 7 2 indicates that Asus and Google had a change of heart and added a 5MP rear camera on the Nexus 7 2.
It also looks like it will come equipped with a 1.9MP front-facing camera. It’s unclear if the rear camera will increase the cost of the Nexus 7 2 though prospective buyers are likely hoping that it won’t. Shooting photos and video on the tablet isn’t the easiest or smartest way to capture life events.
Nexus 7 Processor
Initially, the Nexus 7 2 processor was thought to be the new Snapdragon 800 chip from Qualcomm, a powerful CPU that has yet to be released in a device. However, thanks to FCC and Bluetooth filings, we now know that it will likely be the lesser of Qualcomm’s two chips, the Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, that will be on board.
Despite being powerful, the Snapdragon 600 is still going to be an improvement over the Tegra 3 inside the Nexus 7 and will likely offer increased performance while offering improved battery life. The battery on the Nexus 7 2 is thought to be around 3,000 mAh, similar to the Nexus 7, but with a better processor, we could see improved battery life over the older model.
Nexus 7 2 Software
While we aren’t entirely sure what will be on board the Nexus 7 2 in terms of software, we can confirm several things.
First, the device will have the latest version of Android. Whether that’s going to be Android 4.2 or Android 4.3 remains to be seen though a recent filing seems to suggest that it will be Android 4.3 Jelly Bean that will be on board.
Second, it will come with vanilla Android software. Nexus devices all come with a pure Google Android experience which means there won’t be any meddling from Asus.
Third, software updates will come directly from Google. Nexus branded devices receive their updates straight from Google, even the cellular equipped models. However, as we saw with the Galaxy Nexus, things can’t get complicated with CDMA carriers. If the Nexus 7 2 does hit Verizon, it’s unclear how updates would work.
And finally fourth, the device is going to have an unlocked bootloader which means that users will be able to customize their software to their hearts content.
Nexus 7 2 Carriers
Thanks to the FCC filing for Asus’ K009 tablet, we know that the Nexus 7 2 is likely to come with support for LTE networks in the United States. The original Nexus 7 only supported 3G data speeds and the addition of LTE would be a huge improvement and extremely enticing to those that need cellular data on their slate.
Even more interesting is that besides support for the usual suspects, AT&T and Sprint, there appears to be support for Verizon Wireless’ LTE network. We haven’t seen a CDMA Nexus since the Galaxy Nexus so it’s hard to say whether the Nexus 7 2 will wind up supporting Verizon but it appears that the option is there should Google and Asus choose to make the move.
Nexus 7 2 Price
The Nexus 7 2 price isn’t official just yet but a recent report from Digitimes indicates that Google may be toying with the idea of upping the price of the Nexus 7 2. The price increase is said to be small, $20 or so, which would leave it as a competitor to the budget Android tablets that have flooded the market. It would also make it an attractive option against the iPad mini.
$220 seems like an odd price, Google typically uses rounded prices for its products, $300 and $350 for the Nexus 4 being prime examples, so we expect Google to either charger $199 or $250 for the smallest storage variant of the Nexus 7 2.
A similar $199 price tag seems most likely at this point.