Google Nexus 9 full review
As expected, Google has announced the Nexus 9 with Android 5.0 Lollipop and you're probably wanting to know what different compared with the Nexus 7. Read our Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison to find out. Also see: Best tablets 2014 and Best Android tablets 2014.
Before we get into the comparison, it's worth pointing out that we're comparing the new Nexus 9 with the Nexus 7 (2013) and not the original from 2012. Google also announced the Nexus 6 and the Nexus Player.
Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Price and release date
The Nexus 9 is available to pre-order now for release on 3 November. Meanwhile, the Nexus 7 has been removed from the Google Play store but you should be able to find it at other retailers while stocks last.
The Nexus 7 costs £199 or £239 officially but now the Nexus 9 is here you can find it for less. For example, Amazon has it for £165. You'll have to pay a bit more for the Nexus 9 as it starts at £319 and jumps to £399 for the higher capacity. if you want 4G LTE you'll have to stump up £459.
Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Design
Although Asus made both versions of the Nexus 7 and HTC has built the Nexus 9, the two look quite similar in design.
The Nexus 9 is easily recognisable as a Nexus device and has a brushed metal frame running around the edge. The rear cover remains soft grip plastic and while the Nexus 7 was available in black and white, the Nexus 9 comes in a new beige/sand colour.
It's a bigger tablet because of the screen (see below) but is a little thinner at 7.95 mm compared to 8.65 mm. It's understandably heavier at 425 g which is up from 290 g.
Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Hardware
The jump is screen size is a major difference here and Google has gone from 7in to 8.9in so effectively a gain of 2in as the product names suggest. The aspect ratio moves from 16:9 to 4:3 matching the iPad range.
Resolution has gone from 1920 x 1200 to 2048 x 1536 but the screen size means that the pixel density actually drops a bit from 323ppi to 281ppi. Both use an IPS LCD panel.
Another big change is the nVidia Tegra K1 processor found in the Nexus 9 which is a 2.3 GHz 64-bit dual-core Denver chip – a nice jump from the Nexus 7's Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro which is 1.5GHz quad-core.
Storage and wireless
Although the screen and processor are big changes, much of the Nexus 9's specs remain the same including 2GB of RAM, 16- or 32GB of internal storage, no microSD card slot, NFC, optional 4G LTE and GPS.
The Nexus 9 does have more advances 11ac dual-band Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO (multiple input multiple output), newer Bluetooth 4.1 front facing HTC BoomSound stereo speakers. The Nexus 7 has stereo speakers but they are rear facing.
Google has also fitted then Nexus 9 with a magnetometer for detecting magnetic cases.
Although we're not too bothered about cameras on tablets this is an area with upgrades on the Nexus 9 with an 8Mp rear camera which is accompanied by an LED flash. That's better than the Nexus 7's 5Mp main camera with no flash. Video recording remains at up to 1080p.
At the front, things have jumped from 1.2Mp to 1.6Mp. Both of the Nexus 9 cameras use an f/2.4 aperture.
The Nexus 7 has a 3,950 mAH battery and wireless charging and although there's no mention of wireless charging on the Nexus 9, it has a 6700 mAh battery.
Google's figures tout up to nine hours of video playback on the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 9 will do an extra half an hour. However, it will supposedly only cope with 9.5 hours of web browsing while the Nexus 7 can manage 10.
Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Software
There's really no difference in software as although the nexus 9 will ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Nexus 7 will get updated to the latest version. The only real difference is that the Nexus 9 will make full use of it with the 64-bit processor.
Google Nexus 9: Specs
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- 8.9in IPS LCD (2048 x 1536)
- nVidia Tegra K1 2.3GHz 64-bit
- 2GB RAM
- 16/32GB storage
- 11ac dual-band Wi-Fi (2x2 MIMO)
- Bluetooth 4.1
- optional 4G LTE
- HTC BoomSound stereo speakers
- 8Mp rear camera with LED flash
- 1.6Mp front camera
- 6700mAh battery