I recently heard the rumors that the next iteration of Nexus 7 will be made by HTC and it might be called Nexus 8, because Google has decided to discontinue the 7 inch size in favor of 8 inch category. I also heard about other specifications, but I will come to that later. First, I want to talk about how optimistic I felt when I read this news and then it occurred to me that ‘Nexus 8 made by HTC actually makes sense’.
To understand why it makes sense to me, let’s take a look at the history of the Nexus tablet line up first, and see why Google came to this decision when Asus was doing a good enough job.
ASUS made 2012 Nexus 7 was a good tablet, 2013 Nexus 7 was a great tablet, but as it seems, great is not enough for people to give any prominent value to Google Nexus tablets. We have heard of Nexus 7 2013 poor sales despite being praised by the tech community all over. Everyone called Nexus 7 2013 a better tablet than the original one, be it a gorgeous screen or a powerful processor, it was miles ahead of the original.
The question that arises here is that, why was Nexus 7 not a commercial success then?? From what I understand, the answer is two-fold!
The 7 inch tablet market is crowded!
When original Nexus 7 came out in 2012, it had mediocre specs, but the price had that sweetness that made it an instant hit. For that price, it was no brainer. It sold like hot cakes and it sold in millions. Everyone was talking about it in the tech circle and giving it rave reviews.
Since then, that 7 inch tablet market has been crowded with tons of 7 inch tablets pouring in from all directions. Every manufacturer saw the potential that Nexus 7 explored and they decided to get the piece of the pie too. We have seen 7 inch tablet from Asus, Acer, Samsung, Huawei and many others. Competition became fierce!
So, by the time the next iteration of Nexus 7 came out, it had a tough competition ahead of it. Although, it was much better than the competition for the price tag it came out with, in the end it took the hit pretty badly. It didn’t sell as well as Google expected it too, and that gravely hurt Google plans to release the tablet at the base price and then earn money by selling Google services.
Just like everyone else, Apple also saw the potential in the 7 inch tablet category and released their own offering ‘iPad mini’. Apple iPad mini came out with mediocre specs having 512 MB of ram, non retina display and A5 chip. To make things worse, it came with a hefty price tag which, by the way, no one was expecting.
But, it had one thing that others didn’t, it was one beautifully crafted piece of technology. As light as air, uni-body Aluminium chassis and smaller bezels made it a terrific deal for those who valued premium look. It was an out-and-out Apple product and people bought it with its weaknesses. Loyal Apple fans had a new toy to play with.
All these factors gambled with each other and took away the advantage from the 2013 Nexus 7. It was affordable, so were others, it had a 7 inch screen, so did others, it was slimmer and lighter and so was iPad mini with retina display. The pie that Google wanted for itself, was now divided into several pieces out of which Google received just a little.
This brings me to my original topic, why Nexus 8 made by HTC is such a good idea. Well, the answer is simple, to get ahead of the competition and get the bigger piece of the pie, Google needs a killer in the form of Nexus 8. A device which is the shining star of Nexus brand. A device that can take on its other Android powered brethren as well as the deadly iPad Mini with retina display. No more can Google take a chance with mediocre specs and plastic built because that, as it seems, is not doing enough to get things going.
Google itself may be a popular brand, but its Nexus line is unknown in general public. And outside tech community, hardly anyone ever buys it or knows about it. It’s time Google takes some long strides and change its strategy to counter the formidable competitors it faces ahead. So, the question arises, what can HTC do for Nexus brand and can it bring the glory back to Nexus when HTC itself is facing hard time selling its products.
This is a difficult question to answer, but let’s look at it objectively and see what killer features HTC has in its arsenal, that can make Nexus 8 a formidable monster that we want it to be.
Best in Class Industrial design!
HTC has shown us time and again that they can manufacture one of the best looking products. They reinvented themselves last year with HTC One which was without doubt one of the most beautiful smartphone world had ever seen, until HTC One M8 came out. With HTC One M8, HTC pushed the envelope further and succeeded in out doing themselves. This years One is the smartphone to beat with when it comes to design.
So, if HTC can do something like that for Nexus 8 and build a metallic unibody design which is just as gorgeous as HTC One M8 is, it will give iPad Mini with Retina display, the run for its money. The ability of HTC to produce products with best in class industrial design is second to none. If Nexus 8 has to succeed and compete with Apple then, they need this magic from HTC.
What good a tablet can do, if it cannot satisfy the user with its media consumption abilities, right? Today tablets are used for almost everything from playing games to watching movies, reading books, music, podcasts, video streaming and the list goes on.
The point is, tablets are mostly used for entertainment and the integral part of entertainment are powerful speakers. Now, when we talk about speakers and sound quality, there is only one name that resonate with us and that is HTC boomsound. How many times does this happen that we are watching a movie on our tablets and accidentally cover the speakers which leads to muffled sound? How many times does that happen while playing games?
It feels like out right common sense to put speakers at the front of the tablet rather than on the back. True, Sammy is doing it with larger tablets and they did it with Nexus 10, but the quality was un-matchable to what HTC can do with Boom Sound.
Just imagine an 8 inch-ish Nexus tablet with metal chassis and BoomSound speakers at the front. It almost feels like a dream come true.
We all know that AMOLED screens give bright, saturated colors which I also prefer personally. But, it seems HTC has done some magic with their SLCD 3 panels because the screen on HTC One M8 is simply gorgeous and luscious! Color output seems to be accurate and they seem to me, just as bright as AMOLED panels are. But, in any case Google never used AMOLED panels for its Nexus line-up so if HTC can put those SLCD panels in Nexus 8… Man!!! It’s going to make one hell of a package and I’m going to pounce on it like Wolf of the tech community!! Kidding… Kidding…!
To sum it all up, if Google has really partnered up with HTC to produce a Nexus 8, then these are all the things I would love to see make a cut. Other specifications that are reaching my ear are Intel’s 64 bit processor called Moorefield, which is surely going to be a rocker if it works the way Intel is claiming it to. A bigger screen also means a bigger battery and better battery life which is what I’m hoping for. 2GB of Ram seems to me a bit of a downer when it comes to tablets, it may be enough for smartphones, but tablets should now move on to 3GB Ram at least.