The HTC Nexus 9 is packed full of features and specs that will make any tablet lover excited, enough that you may be selling that old Nexus 7 or iPad Air in favor of Google’s newest Android tablet running the brand new Android 5.o Lollipop.
Google announced the Nexus 9 today alongside the new Nexus 6 smartphone, and the completely redesigned, better, faster, smoother and smarter new Android 5.0 Lollipop software update. There’s a lot going on with Android 5.0, and tons of new features integrated into the Nexus 9, so read on for a few features all tablet users will love.
The new Nexus 9 is made by HTC, the first tablet from the company in years and its first Nexus device since the original T-Mobile G1 in 2008 and HTC Nexus One in 2010. It’s been four years since the two worked together, and this is arguably their best device yet. HTC’s Nexus 9 will be the first device with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, and below are a few things every owner will surely love about the new tablet.
The Nexus 9 tablet release date is set for November 3rd, with pre-orders officially opening up on October 17th starting at $399. It’s more than the $229 Nexus 7 from 2013, but it has so much more to offer that buyers are likely eagerly awaiting the day they can order their own.
That being said, check out the list of features below and get familiar with Android 5.0, because this will be one tablet users will enjoy for years to come.
8.9-inch Quad-HD Display
Google’s new tablet isn’t too small, and it isn’t too big. Rather than release a Nexus 7 and a new Nexus 10 they’ve combined them both to offer the best overall experience. The Nexus 9 comes with an 8.9-inch 2048 x 1536 Full HD “Quad HD” display with a new 4:3 aspect ratio, and Gorilla Glass 3 for protection.
This means it will have one of the highest pixels per inch delivers crisp text, beautiful video, and vivid colors. All of this will be durable thanks to the strengthened Gorilla Glass 3 on top, and the new brushed aluminum bezel around the entire frame of the device.
The 8.9-inch Nexus 9 is also a perfect middle ground between the iPad Mini Retina, and the iPad Air, suggesting Google is going after both at once. And even the Microsoft Surface with a new magnetic flip cover and case with a built-in bluetooth keyboard. Yup, the Nexus 9 can do it all.
Google says the screen is “small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on” and will be a breeze to enjoy thanks to Android 5.0 Lollipop. We’ll have to get our hands on it and let you know what we think. Initial impressions are great from what we’ve seen thus far.
HTC BoomSound Dual Front-Facing Speakers
Samsung had a few media players and tablets in 2011 with front facing speakers, but they quickly abandoned this excellent design move, and HTC has since took over and released a few excellent smartphones with stunning sound and front-facing speakers.
HTC’s signature BoomSound speaker technology is integrated into the HTC Nexus 9, and will deliver crisp sound, deep base, and an excellent front facing (rather than muffled) audio experience for movies, games, and anything else users do on their tablets.
The Nexus 9 has a big HD screen, and front facing speakers which will be great for watching Netflix or movies from Google Play Movies. No more cupping the back of the device in hopes of getting good sound that you can actually hear. Thank you Google and HTC!
Double Tap to Wake
A feature that first debuted with the LG G2 in 2013 is double tap to wake. This means you don’t have to pick up your tablet or search for a power buttom. Simply double tap the display and it instantly turns on for easy access and usage. This sounds silly, but if you’ve used the LG G2, LG G3, LG G Pad series, or the new HTC One M8 you know this is actually an awesome feature.
To be honest, this is one of my favorite features as of late, and when I went from the LG G2 to the Galaxy S5 I was constantly double tapping the screen wishing it would wake up. It just makes sense, makes using the device extremely easy, and is something all smartphones and tablets should offer.
It sounds silly, but wait til you try it, and you’ll want it everywhere!
Soft Grip Back
While many smartphones and tablets these days come made from brushed aluminum, a heavy and slippery device isn’t something you want from a big 8.9-inch tablet. Thankfully HTC designed the Nexus 9 with a brushed aluminum ring on the outer sides for durability and a premium look and feel, while manufacturing the back with a soft-touch grippy back and subtle curves. This makes it safe and easy to hold, while feeling thinner than it really is in your hands thanks to the curved edges.
We’ve all seen someone drop a smartphone or a tablet, but thanks to the soft grip design and curved edges the Nexus 9 should be both easy and comfortable to hold.
Quad-Core 64-bit Power
NVIDIA’s latest powerful quad-core processor, the Tegra K1 is powering the new Nexus 9 tablet. It offers four cores to perform all your tasks, and 2GB of RAM to keep performance extremely fast and fluid. Whether you’re watching Netflix or YouTube, checking email, tweaking Google docs, or playing one of the thousands of quality games in the Google Play Store.
The Tegra K1 is the first 64-bit processor to power an Android device, which should deliver some of the best performance we’ve seen on any Android smartphone or tablet to date. Add in a newly redesigned and compatible Android 5.0 operating system, and this thing should be fast and powerful for years to come.
8 Megapixel OIS Camera
While not everyone enjoys taking pictures with a tablet, the Nexus 9 will be able to produce some excellent photos if needed. The 8 megapixel rear-facing camera includes Optical Image Stabilization, and an LED flash. This doesn’t magically make you take better photos, but it helps remove the blurriness in photos from shaking, and will drastically improve low-light photos too.
If you take tons of photos on your smartphone or tablet, the Nexus 9’s improved camera should produce excellent results. It won’t help moving objects, but low light photos, portrait shots, and landscape photos where any blur will ruin a photo will benefit from this new feature. It also has an f/2.4 aperture lens, which should help the overall photo experience too.
As with any mobile or electronic device, battery life is extremely important. Both HTC and Google know this is an issue, and the Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 have huge batteries that should help them last for a long, long time. Letting users spend more time enjoying them, and less time tethered to a wall.
In fact, the Nexus 9 sports a huge 6,700 mAh battery that should help it last for days. When you compare this to the 3,670 mAh battery on the Nexus 7, users can expect a much improved experience across the board. Even with a bigger and beautiful Quad-HD display. It’s worth noting the iPar Air has an 8,600 mAh battery.
But my *favorite* feature of the Nexus 9? The 6700 mAh battery! Combined with Lollipop's Battery saver mode, this baby goes & goes & goes…
— Jeff Gordon (@urbanstrata) October 15, 2014
Most people haven’t been lucky enough to try Google’s Nexus 9 yet, because the release date isn’t until November 3rd. However above is a tweet from an HTC exec that’s been enjoying it for a few days. He suggests one of his favorite features is battery life.
His tweet brings us to one more thing, battery saver mode. Just like a few 3rd party manufacturers Google’s now integrated a Battery Saver mode right into Android 5.0 Lollipop. This likely takes the tablet display to black and white, or greyscale, and cuts down some of the radios and sensors to make that last 10-15% of battery last for hours. It’s an emergency type thing, or if you need a few more hours while sitting at the airport. Battery Saver should be a welcomed new feature of Android 5.0, and the Nexus 9.
And this goes without saying, the best feature will surely be the all-new Android 5.0 Lollipop software that will be installed out of the box. The Nexus 9 will be the first device to arrive with Android 5.0, and users will be able to enjoy a completely new experience full of colors, animations, effects, customizable notifications, better security, faster performance, improved battery life, and much much more.
The Nexus 9 has a lot going for it and sounds like an excellent overall tablet. Add in the new magnetic keyboard case and this tablet should be able to do it all. From work, to playing HD games with the powerful processor, to watching High-Def movies on the brilliant 8.9-inch display.
The Nexus 9 will be available for pre-order October 17th, and hits stores on November 3rd starting at $399.