In late July, Google announced the new Nexus 7 which replaced the original Nexus 7 on the Google Play Store. The Nexus 7 apparently won’t be the only new Nexus tablet that debuts in 2013 as Google reportedly confirmed a new Nexus 10 tablet for arrival, a device that is for the moment being called Nexus 10 2.
Last year, Google announced the Nexus 7 in July alongside Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, an operating system that replaced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. As it turned out, the company wasn’t content with just one Jelly Bean update or one Nexus tablet in 2012.
In November, alongside the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 7 HSPA+, Google announced Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and a Nexus 10 tablet, built by Samsung, and a device that Google currently sells on the Google Play Store. And like the Nexus 7, it looks like it too will be replaced with a next-generation edition sometime this year.
The new Nexus 7 made its debut in late July, replacing the original Nexus 7 on shelves. Like the original, the new Nexus 7 debuted with a new version of Android, Android 4.3, to go along with its numerous upgrades. From a new design to LTE data speeds, the new Nexus 7 is a huge upgrade over the previous model.
And while the stars of the show were Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and the Nexus 7, Android head Sundar Pichai just couldn’t help but leak out a little tidbit about another Nexus tablet, a new Nexus 10.
Pichai reportedly confirmed a Nexus 10 2 for the “near future” though we know that it’s not likely to arrive anytime soon. Still, chances are, there will be a new Nexus 10 that emerges from the shadows later on this year.
Of course, being the unofficial device that it is, details are extremely scarce. Just because it’s unofficial doesn’t mean that we don’t have some clues, however.
In fact, the new Nexus 7 itself has revealed a great deal about the new Nexus 10 2.
As we noted before the arrival of the Nexus 7, Google is constantly working to improve the designs of its Nexus devices. In the case of the Nexus 4, we saw it offer a more elegant, high-end design. While the Galaxy Nexus was made of plastic, the Nexus 4 combined plastic and glass. In the case of the new Nexus 7, we saw Google and Asus slim down the device, thin out its bezels and shed some weight from the form factor.
It kept a plastic design, complete with black matte material in the back, but it’s overall, an improvement over its predecessor.
Samsung’s Nexus 10 is a large piece of plastic as well and while it’s durable and nice to hold, there is always room for improvement. So, expect the new Nexus 10 to have some design tweaks. Perhaps Google will give it the same treatment. Slim it down from its 8.9mm frame and knock some weight off its 603 gram design. Expect something similar, but different.
No MicroSD Card
Thus far, Google has refused to put microSD card slots on any of its pure Nexus devices. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition has one, but it’s not a pure Nexus device.
It has become clear that Nexus devices going forward are unlikely to have expandable storage. The original Nexus 7 arrived without a microSD card slot. The Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10 did as well. And now the new Nexus 7 has arrived without any kind of expanded storage.
The company shows no sign of relenting on its stance will probably not relent with the Nexus 10 2.
Two Storage Options
Speaking of storage options, it’s clear that Google is content with offering two storage options on its Nexus devices. With the Nexus smartphone, it’s 8GB and 16GB. With Nexus tablets, the comfort zone appears to be 16GB and 32GB. We saw the Nexus 7 arrive with both 16GB and 32GB variants and we fully expect the Nexus 10 to arrive with those options, at the very least.
Maybe the most important thing to take from the new Nexus 7 launch is the fact that Google continued its trend of releasing new Nexus devices with new versions of Android software. For reference, here is how the last few Nexus releases have gone:
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus launches with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- Nexus 7 launches with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 launch with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
- Nexus 7 launches with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
There is a clear pattern here and it’s one that is used by Apple as well. Apple also releases a new iPhone with a new version of its iOS software, year after year.
At this point, we don’t expect Google to deviate from this pattern. Rumors suggest that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is the big update that will emerge later this year and already, we’ve seen it appear on both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7.
With rumors of a Nexus 5 smartphone swirling and a Nexus 10 seemingly confirmed, it’s all but clear that any new Nexus devices in 2013 will be running Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie out of the box.
Same Name, Display Size
The initial rumors out of Googleville suggested that the next Nexus 10 could actually be a Nexus 11, a name that alludes to a bump in screen size from the 10-inch display that is on the current Nexus 10. However, with the new Nexus 7, Google showed an unwillingness to change its formula and like Apple with the iPad name, simply kept the name and screen size of the Nexus 7 intact.
There are two big reasons why Google may keep the Nexus 10 name and display size. One, the display size is right in the realm of Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad, its main competitor. This 9-inch to 10-inch range seems to be the sweet spot for those that are looking for something bigger than a 7-inch display. Second, the Nexus 10 name is well known amongst consumers and switching it to something different could cause some confusion.
Again, this is not certain but the fact that Google didn’t do anything drastic here is a sign that is may simply go with the familiar with the Nexus 10 2.
Unlike the Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 did not support cellular networks. It’s unclear why Google made that decision, perhaps because it’s less portable, perhaps Google didn’t want to spend the money. The arrival of a Nexus 7 LTE though has left the door open for a possible Nexus 10 LTE.
Indeed, the Nexus 10 isn’t as portable as the Nexus 7, but there still are consumers who want that option. And while Google may not have been willing to accommodate last year with HSPA+, LTE and its fast data speeds should be compelling enough to at least offer one LTE variant for those that wish to use their Nexus 10 outside of a Wi-Fi network.
Given the company’s history, it may not happen, but given that it can offer the device across AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon (something that the iPad can’t do) might be an offer that Google won’t pass up this time around.
The original Nexus 7 was made by Asus. The new Nexus was made by Asus. The Nexus 4 was made by LG. The new Nexus 5 is rumored to be made by LG. The Nexus 10 was made by Samsung and the Nexus 10 2 is apparently going to be made by Samsung once again.
Google’s Sundar Pichai apparently confirmed this and given that Asus was on board again this year and LG is said to be on board with the new Nexus smartphone, it’s not going to be shocking if Samsung is the manufacturer of the new Nexus 10 tablet.
The company has shown that it is willing to stick with hardware partners on successful devices and the Nexus 10, while not on the same level as the Nexus 7, was a device that certainly landed in the laps of many consumers.
Look for Samsung to make the next large Nexus tablet.