Nexus 8 Release Date, Specs and Rumours: AKA HTC "Volantis" - Is This The First Android Silver Device?

News Paul Briden 13:59, 8 Jul 2014

The Nexus 10 2 is DEAD. Long Live The Nexus 8

Nexus 8 Latest News 

Google's Nexus 10 2 is well on the way to becoming some kind of mythological beast, such is its continued elusiveness - like a Unicorn, or something. But perhaps another analogy could be Captain Ahab's White Whale, because for many that elusiveness has become teeth-gnashingly infuriating.

Google has said absolutely nothing about the Nexus 10 2, and the idea of a larger, more premium Nexus slate now seem to have fallen by the wayside. That’s the bad news. The good news, however, is that Google is apparently working on an 8.9in slate – dubbed the Nexus 8 – and word on the street suggests its an absolute monster. 

The name Nexus 8 name has been uncovered in the Chromium Code Review by some German developers called Florian Kiersch and Carsten Knobloch. From the details you’ll see below it pretty much confirms the next tablet will in fact be called the Nexus 8.

It doesn’t reveal any more details apart from the name but we previously saw reports that it may be made by HTC based on rumours and similar code findings. The same code also unearthed the Nexus 6 name for the expected smartphone successor, believed to be in preparation by Google. To learn more about the next Nexus smartphone you’ll find everything you need to know here.

If the Nexus 8 is indeed real we could see the device launched at Google I/O 2014 in June. Google launched its first Nexus 7 slate back at I/O 2012, and with production of the slate said to kick off in earnest from July – an announcement in June does seem to make sense.

So what will this tablet be like? Read on to find out everything that’s currently been said about Google’s upcoming Nexus 8.

Nexus 8 Release Date 

If you take all the current rumours (check ‘em out below) at face value it would appear that Google is readying an uber powerful, premium tablet for launch at its annual developer conference – I/O 2014 – later this month. If this does turn out to be the case we could see the tablet launch as early as July.

The new slate is said to have been designed to better compete with Apple’s iPad Air and Mini and could replace both the Nexus 7 2013 and Nexus 10 as Google’s only slate of 2014. Android Police is reporting the Nexus 8's release date as "sometime in Q4". The report also said the slate, built by HTC, will launch alongside Android 5.0 and feature some rather impressive specs, including NVIDIA's Tegra K1 CPU.

Android Silver?

We've heard a lot of talk about Google's Android Silver project, with some recent comments from prominent Google engineers apparently confirming that it's the real deal. Now some evidence has emerged suggesting the Nexus 8 could be the first Android Silver device.

Previously the Nexus 8 has been associated with HTC under the project codename "Volantis" and now notorious leakster @evleaks has posted a photo alleged to be an "HTC Volantis macro shot".

The image is a close-ip of the Volantis and shows a couple of interesting points. First is the name "Flounder" on the picture, which is a codename previously associated with the Nexus 8 in Google's Chromium code. Second is some text on the right which is difficult to discern but appears to mention "Android Silver OS Alpha 1.4".

The source also provides a set of specs for the device, some of which we've seen before. It'll reportedly still pack an Nvidia Tegra K1 64-bit processor, though it's implied a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 variant is in testing. Other specs include 5GB of RAM to take advantage of the 64-bit loveliness, though it's said this is "non-final".

The display is an 8.9-inch setup which in testing is a 1680x1050 pixel affair but it will reportedly ship at 2560x1600 pixels, while onboard storage is 64GB and it packs HTC's BoomSound speaker hardware. 

Lastly, there's a 5MP camera with 1080p video capture but it's thought it may ship with an 8MP setup on launch. Again, this is not finalised.

Nexus 8 Design

IHS Technology, a technology consultancy firm, told CNET Google is planning to release a larger Nexus tablet later in the year with a “high performance” screen. The tablet is rumoured to be entering production in July this year but will be made in much smaller volumes than the Nexus 7. It’ll also cost a bit more due to higher specifications according to IHS Technology.

More recently this image was leaked by Google itself. Is this the Nexus 8? A lot of people reckon it is as it ties in nicely with previously leaked images – check the rounded edges and front-facing speaker grille. 

And then there’s this: a tablet called the “HTC Volantis” which Android Police claims is the upcoming Nexus 8. Specs for the device sound impressive too, tallying with what we’ve already heard about the tablet – namely that it will be targeted at competing more closely with Apple’s iPad Mini.

Here’s a full breakdown of the Nexus 8’s specs:

  • 8.9" Display at 2048x1440 (281ppi)
  • NVIDIA Logan 64-bit processor (Tegra K1)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB internal storage
  • 8MP OIS main camera, 3MP front facing camera
  • Aluminum zero-gap construction
  • Stereo front-facing speakers
  • 8.91"x5.98"x0.31" body (that's 22.63x15.19x0.79cm)
  • 418g (or 427g with LTE) (that's 14.74/15.1 ounces)

Nexus 8 Price

Rhoda Alexander from IHS Technology told CNET she “would not be surprised if it is higher than $299.” Would you spend that kind of money on a Nexus 8 tablet? The source also suggested Google would be producing a third-generation Nexus 7, too. Alexander said, “We still expect to see a 3rd generation of the Nexus 7 product at some point in 2014 but do not have any confirmation of actual contracts for such a product at present.” 

Android Police leaked a bunch of information about the Nexus 8 on the eve of Google I/O 2014. You can see a breakdown of the device’s alleged specs above, as well as a picture of what the HTC-built Nexus tablet looks like. According to the report’s sources, Google will release the tablet inside Q4 and it will come in two flavours: 16GB ($399) and 32GB ($499). 

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