The HTC Google Nexus 9 is here. It promises to be a respected tablet that showcases a new era of Android.
HTC has gone all out with a 8.9-inch IPS LCD (like that on the smaller Nexus 6) is where the Nexus 9 gets its name. A resolution of 2,048×1,536 pixels (2K) and a 4:3 aspect ratio has been used.. The Apple iPad Air 2 manages the same resolution but is larger, at 9.7 inches, so therefore offers a lower pixel-per-inch score.
HTC’s Google Nexus 9 is powered by a 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, and a 192-core Kepler graphics processing unit for making games look the business. It weighs 425g and measures 153.68mm x 228.25mm x 7.95mm, making it pretty slender.
Near-field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth 4.1 give it the latest in connectivity, while a micro USB port, 3.5mm headphone socket and dual microphones complete the package.
Android Lollipop aka Android 5.0 will feature, just like on the Nexus 6, making it the first tablet in the world to do so. This means a new interface that is meant to simplify the Android experience and make it more coherent and better up to multi-tasking.
The Google Nexus 9 comes with a 6,700mAh battery. Android 5.0 should be more battery efficient, thanks to Project Volta. So potentially we could be looking at a tablet that lasts much longer than we are used to.
HTC Boom, shake shake the room
Like Motorola has included dual stereo speakers in the Google Nexus 6, the HTC Nexus 9 has two front-facing speakers for when you lack access to headphones or want multiple options to watch something. Not just any speakers, mind you. We’re talking HTC BoomSound, folks.
Not one but two snappers are attached to the Nexus 9. At the front is a 1.6-megapixel camera (f/2.4) for video calls and seeing if you have bits of pasty on your face after lunch. At the back is an 8-megapixel camera (f/2.4) with autofocus and a LED flash for capturing images.
So what’s bad about it?
Nothing, to be honest. The body is part aluminium, which may upset some, but if it feels good to the touch and remains flat, we will be happy. Tablets can only be so thin and so light. From what we have seen HTC has done a good job with the styling, opting for a more reserved look available in Indigo Black, Lunar White and a light grey-brown colour that HTC calls ‘sand’.
When can I buy it?
Expect the Nexus 9 to go on sale on the Monday, November 3. Pre-orders open from today (October 17). It will be available on the Google store and various retailers including Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, Currys, PC World, O2 and Three.
What is the Nexus 6 price?
No word on a UK price yet, unfortunately. In the US a Nexus 9 is priced at $399 (£250) for the entry-level 16GB model, $479 (£300) for the 32GB and $599 (£375) for the 4G/LTE-enabled 32GB variant.