Nexus 8 details apparently leaked
Jun05

Nexus 8 details apparently leaked

A Nexus 8 tablet from Google has long been rumored. It’s not in the news every day, but every now and then we hear another mumbling about it. We assume that the search giant will unveil it at its annual I/O developer conference, which takes place on June 25 and 26. It may get official alongside the next version of Android, actually. According to the latest purported leaked info about it, the Nexus 8 should come with 3 GB of RAM and Android 4.5 on board, a version of the mobile OS that will come with unnamed optimizations focused on making it run seamlessly on 64-bit processors. And yes, the Nexus 8 itself should apparently feature a 64-bit CPU. However, unlike what we heard at one time in the past, it will be Qualcomm supplying this chipset, and not Intel. That means the CPU being used may be the Snapdragon 410, which is expected to start sampling before the end of June. We could also be looking at the Snapdragon 610 or Snapdragon 615, but those are only set to begin sampling during the third quarter of this year, putting them in actual shipping devices probably around September at the earliest. So it’s either the 410 for the Nexus 8, or the tablet will come later than I/O. Obviously, there’s also the possibility that this report is simply a figment of someone’s imagination. The images you see above are said to be of a Nexus 8, but one which is inside a protective casing which is intended to keep prying eyes from seeing its actual design. Via...

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition might be on the way
Apr30

Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition might be on the way

Last June, Samsung and Google launched the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition – a device identical in hardware to the ‘vanilla’ S4, but coming with pure, unadulterated, stock Android as Google designed it. So no traces of TouchWiz, Samsung’s UI overlay that sits (heavily) atop the world’s number one mobile operating system. This year, Samsung’s already released the Galaxy S5, the obvious successor to the Galaxy S4, so the question is – will we see a Google Play Edition Galaxy S5 at some point? The answer to that question seems to be a resounding yes. That’s because, for a short while, what you see above appeared in the Play Store. Just in case you can’t see the image attached to the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition listing, here it is in all its glory: That’s right. Someone at Google momentarily replaced the image of the Galaxy S4 with that of its successor, complete with bad Photoshop of the Google Experience Launcher. The situation has been changed back to normal for now, but to us this clearly signifies that Google is hard at work making preparations for the Galaxy S5 Play Edition smartphone to become available. Obviously this image swap was just made by mistake, but the simple fact that Google employees are working on images for the Galaxy S5 suggests that a pure Android version of the flagship device is coming sooner, rather than later. That said, it was a bad Photoshop job, this. Google needs to work on that before the Galaxy S5 Play Edition becomes official, as those on-screen Android buttons have no place there. Via Droid...

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HTC Nexus 8 rumored again, coming in Q3
Apr21

HTC Nexus 8 rumored again, coming in Q3

Many times so far it has been rumored that Google would release an 8-inch Nexus tablet this year. Some rumors said it would serve as the successor to the 2013 Nexus 7 made by Asus, others talked about an 8.9-inch offering possibly being sold alongside a new 7-incher. It might just be the former option that materializes. And, unlike what many past mumblings have said, it apparently will be HTC, not Asus, making this Nexus 8 for Google. Asus has made the two Nexus 7 iterations for the search giant, so its name was used in connection with this new project a few times, but apparently the company wants to push its own-brand tablets this year and didn’t agree to Google’s terms for the Nexus 8 (it looks like Google wants to have all the “initiative” during development). So Google went to HTC, and this time it didn’t get rejected (the story goes that before contracting Asus for the first Nexus 7, Google asked HTC to do it but the company was too busy pushing its smartphones and declined). The Nexus 8 will sport “a new design”, whatever that might mean, and the infamous “sources from the upstream supply chain” say it will be out sometime during the third quarter (so July to September). Finally, it’s been said that Google is “not very aggressive” about this Nexus 8 tablet, since the two generations of the Nexus 7 served their purpose of making Android tablets mainstream. Hence, the Nexus 8 launching this year may be the last Nexus tablet. As the story around this tablet has shifted so many times until now, it’s clearly a good idea not to take anything you read about it too seriously, at least until two consecutive rumors manage to fully agree with each other. Via...

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Next Google Nexus smartphone may be powered by MediaTek
Apr18

Next Google Nexus smartphone may be powered by MediaTek

File this one under “crazier things have happened in the mobile world”, will you? The latest rumor originating in China says Google will choose MediaTek as the chipset supplier for the next Nexus smartphone. Now that may seem unlikely given how much everyone uses Qualcomm chips these days, but remember that Google did turn to TI for the processor in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. MediaTek is the up-and-coming mobile chipset maker, so Google looking its way certainly makes a certain degree of sense. If this does happen, perhaps Google will also persuade the Taiwanese company to release sources for its chips, so that more custom ROM development may happen on MTK-based devices. Anyway, MediaTek is known for its cheap chipsets, and not for them being too high-end, so we should expect this Nexus handset to be incredibly cheap, right? Right. The report says it might get sold for as little as $100. That’s a bit hard to swallow, unless you consider that this may not be “the next Nexus” as in the successor to the Nexus 5, but maybe something to go alongside it – something akin to Xiaomi’s Hongmi / Redmi line of cheap devices. In that case, pairing the MediaTek processor with other lower-midrange specs may allow Google to have a very cheap smartphone indeed, though $100 is still pushing it – even the aforementioned Hongmi is more expensive than that. For now this is nothing but a rumor, though, so keep your sodium nearby and don’t let it go before we get a more believable confirmation. Via...

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8.9″ Nexus tablet rumored again, could be made by HTC and may be expensive
Mar20

8.9″ Nexus tablet rumored again, could be made by HTC and may be expensive

The next Nexus tablet is in the rumors again. And this is the second time that we’re hearing it will have an 8.9-inch touchscreen, bigger than past rumors said it would be (when they talked about an 8″ display). The 8.9-inch Nexus tablet will reportedly go into mass production in July or August, and could be made by HTC. Previously, Asus was said to be making the next Nexus tablet, but these things could both be true at the same time because Google is said to also launch a third-generation Nexus 7 at some point this year. That could be made by Asus, and the 8.9-inch model by HTC. The 8.9″ Nexus will apparently be very high-end, with “high-performance” innards. Thus we shouldn’t expect it to be dirt cheap. Not less than $299, anyway. The premium (at least compared to other Nexus tablets) price tag will mean that Google doesn’t expect to sell many of these, so it hasn’t ordered big volumes from its suppliers. All of the above information comes from Rhoda Alexander, director for tablet and monitor research at IHS Technology, speaking via email to CNET. Obviously though, you shouldn’t take any of this sans at least a grain of salt, or on an empty stomach. Even if these plans are true, things may change. So we’ll keep you...

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UK: Nexus 7 now just £149.99, 25% cheaper than before
Mar14

UK: Nexus 7 now just £149.99, 25% cheaper than before

If you want to get a good, small Android tablet, then the Nexus 7 is it. Decently priced, with adequate performance, and receiving immediate software updates from Google, it’s been selling pretty well – despite the growing competition in the 7-inch tablet space. In the UK, the base model (with 16 GB of built-in storage space) has been retailing for £199.99 ever since it launched last year. Now, though, you can get this tablet for significantly less. In fact, you’ll only need to pay £149.99 for the privilege, saving a cool £50 because of this 25% price reduction. The offer is valid at Staples, and unfortunately it isn’t clear how long it will last – specifically, whether or not it’s a limited time thing. So if you’ve always wanted a Nexus 7, or perhaps just a good 7-inch tablet, then perhaps you should simply head over to Staples as soon as possible and purchase one for a lower price than usual. If you need more storage, you can get the 32 GB version of the tablet for £199.98, which is essentially what the 16 GB model used to sell for. In that case, you’re only looking at saving £40 compared to the recommended retail price, but this is still something, isn’t...

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Apple may have canceled 12.9″ iPad Pro. Next Nexus tablet could have 8.9″ screen
Mar14

Apple may have canceled 12.9″ iPad Pro. Next Nexus tablet could have 8.9″ screen

A 12-inch iPad has been rumored for a very long time. Longer, in fact, than a 12-inch Samsung tablet – which, by the way, got official this January at CES in two iterations, the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. Apple, however, has stayed mum on going bigger with its iPad line. And if you were craving that oft-leaked 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you could be rather unlucky. That’s because the company may have shelved plans to bring such a big tablet to market. This is according to DigiTimes Research, the research arm of the notorious Taiwan-based publication that feeds our need for rumors originating in the “upstream supply chain” of big corporations. There’s no direct reason given for the move, but it’s been said that “most of the large-size tablet projects face difficulties because of lack of support from related platform developers and ecosystems” – whatever that means. It’s pretty clear that 12-inch tablets aren’t going to go mainstream any time soon, so their main uses may be in enterprise environments. Samsung’s pricing of its 12-inchers suggests that it’s not going after consumers either. However, enterprise apps for Android and iOS are generally inferior (especially in terms of productivity) to their PC counterparts, and with prices starting at around $650 12-inch tablets are certainly not cheaper than most entry-level business-focused laptops. So why would a company choose such tablets over good ol’ laptops? Exactly. Because of these issues, DigiTimes says Samsung will only manage to sell around 1 million 12″ tablets this year. Moving on, a Nexus 8 tablet has long been rumored to arrive this year. It was said that this would effectively replace the Nexus 7 in Google’s portfolio, as very heated competition in the 7-inch space has meant that the second-generation Nexus 7 has had worse sales numbers than the original model. Hence, Google apparently wants to move its small tablet efforts to another bit of the market, one that isn’t served by affordable devices right now. Yet new information from the same DigiTimes source now claims that the 8-inch Nexus will actually come with an 8.9-inch touchscreen, which would make it closer to a 9-inch tablet. This is reportedly Google’s first tablet project for 2014, so it could in fact serve as a replacement for the aging Nexus 10 from 2012, and not the Nexus 7 – which may even get a successor at some point this year, complementing the 8.9″ Nexus. The 8.9-inch Nexus tablet is expected to be affordable, just like all of Google’s tablets have been, but exact pricing is unknown right now. As is the detail about who...

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Specs leaked for LG-made Google Nexus smartwatch
Mar13

Specs leaked for LG-made Google Nexus smartwatch

Smartwatches seem to be all the rage these days, despite the fact that not many people are buying them. Maybe that will change in the future, though, especially since more and more smartphone makers are turning their attention to this nascent product category. These companies are, of course, desperately looking for the next growth area to keep profits coming even after smartphones themselves become commodities and the smartphone market becomes oversaturated. We’ve seen a few interesting offerings so far in the smartwatch space, from Samsung, Sony, Pebble, and a few others, but no one product has so far become a bestseller. Google and LG could help change that, as apparently they’re working on their own smartwatch, possibly one to bear the Nexus brand. Google has tapped LG’s expertise for making the last two Nexus smartphones, so it looks like these companies are getting along very well. The first batch of specs for this Nexus smartwatch have been leaked today by @evleaks, and while the source means they’re probably true, keep in mind that things can change before this device lands in stores. The Nexus smartwatch is said to have a 1.65-inch IPS LCD touchscreen with 280×280 resolution, 512 MB of RAM, and 4 GB of storage space. The processor used is yet to be selected, apparently. There’s no mention of when we should expect the LG Nexus smartwatch to be out, but we’re assuming a tentative release date could be inside 2014. Perhaps it may be unveiled alongside the next Nexus smartphone in late...

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition debuts at Verizon just as Nexus 7 drops to $49.99 with contract
Mar13

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition debuts at Verizon just as Nexus 7 drops to $49.99 with contract

Following in the footsteps of its bigger sibling, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition has now become available at Verizon. We’ve known this would happen ever since Verizon’s version of the newest 10-inch Note tablet leaked about a month ago, and now it’s in stock. The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition was announced by Samsung all the way back in September of last year, alongside the Galaxy Note 3, but it’s still the Korean company’s most high-end 10-inch Note tablet to date. If you want a well-specced 10-inch Samsung tablet, you could also look at the recently unveiled Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, but in that case you lose the S Pen stylus and all the Note-specific software. The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition can be yours for $599.99 if you buy it from Verizon and sign a two-year contract with the carrier. That’s obviously pretty expensive, and only $100 less than what you need to pay if you want to get it sans contract, as Verizon is asking for $699.99 in that situation. Also at Verizon, at what is pretty much the other end of the price spectrum sits the Google Nexus 7 by Asus. This landed at Big Red in February and it launched being priced at $249.99 with a new two-year contract. Though we’re happy to report that its price has now gone down all the way to $49.99. Yes, the Nexus 7 is now $200 cheaper than it used to be, but you’ll still need to sign that dreaded two-year contract if you want it at this price. That said, at least you’re now saving $300 compared to the off-contract pricing, which incredibly is three times more than in the case of the aforementioned Galaxy Note 10.1 2014...

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Google’s next Nexus smartphone to be based on the LG G3
Mar05

Google’s next Nexus smartphone to be based on the LG G3

Now that the Nexus 5 (pictured below) has been out for a few months, the rumors about its successor are starting to appear. Could it be Lenovo making the next Nexus smartphone? Apparently not, if the latest mumbling on the matter is to be believed. First, though, let’s think a little bit about the name of the next Nexus handset. Sure, Google could just call it Nexus 6, since it is after all the sixth device in the series. However, going that route would mean that next year’s Nexus phone would be called Nexus 7… and we already have two generations of tablets bearing that name. So if the next Nexus smartphone stays in the 5-inch zone (and there’s no indication that it won’t), we’re betting that Google will do the same thing it did with the new Nexus 7 tablet from last year – leave the name alone. So we’re expecting to see a Nexus 5 (2014) unveiled by Google in the second half of the year, and not a Nexus 6 – unless, that is, this will be the last ever Nexus handset. Such a move has been rumored before, but right now it’s nothing more than a rumor. OK then, now that that’s settled, let’s talk about the next Nexus. It will reportedly still be made by LG, which would mean this manufacturer really is liked by Google. It would break a record, for one device maker to produce three different Nexus smartphones (also counting the Nexus 4 from 2012 and the Nexus 5 from 2013, of course). Right now LG is tied with Samsung and Asus at two Nexus devices delivered, this would put it in the lead (though perhaps tied again with Asus, if that company will get to make the next Nexus tablet). Being made by LG, you’d expect the next Nexus to be based on its next flagship, just like the Nexus 4 was on the Optimus G and the Nexus 5 was inspired by the G2. And you’d be right, it turns out, as the next Nexus will be a “stripped” LG G3, whatever that may mean. The G3 should be made official in June (and not May as previously thought), though that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll see the next Nexus device sooner this year than we did last year too. LG pretty much has to bring out the G3 earlier in the year than the G2 because of its competitors, but the Nexus line is unique so it may just get its late fall refresh as usual. LG is also going to be the company making Google’s first ever...

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