Bring on the Android Revolution! For the longest time, iPad had become synonymous to the term tablet. Every kid on the block had one! Well, guess who’s in town to throw an open challenge?
Google returns, and this time, hand-in-hand with HTC! In spite of being released in 2014, we are yet to see a tablet that can beat this model.
- Dimensions (mm) – 153.68 x 228.25 x 7.95
- Weight (g) – 425.00
- Display – 8.90-inch
- Processor – 2.3GHz
- Processor make – Nvidia Tegra K1
- Front Camera – 1.6-megapixel
- Resolution- 2048×1536 pixels
- RAM- 2GB
- OS Android – 5.0
- Storage -16GB
- Rear Camera – 8 megapixel
- Battery capacity – 6700mAh
- Removable battery – No
- Colours – Indigo Black, Lunar White, Sand
The First Look
This curved beauty with a soft finish, is a larger and more premium version of Asus’ Nexus 7. The screen is much wider with a 4:3 ratio, with slim bezels around the display and brushed metal sides. It is not the thinnest tablet in the market at 7.95 mm thick, but is very lightweight at 425 grams. Basically, you need both hands to use it, but being so light, it is convenient to use.
It is available in three colours – white, sand and black. White and Black ones are available in 16 GB and 32 GB, but the sand colour model is available only in 32GB. It is probably so to maintain the exclusivity of the new colour. Nexus 9 is also available as a Wi-Fi only model, or a sim card connectivity model.
It has an 8.9 inches IPS LCD Capacitive display, with a resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels and a pixel density of 288 pixels. The screen has Gorilla Glass 3 for protection.
The power and volume buttons would have been more convenient to be used if they would have been a little deeper. But the fact that double tapping the screen can wake the tablet right up, the power button has little function. So now, you don’t have to jab around the side of the tablet looking for the power button, while using your tablet at night. Somehow, that experience always reminded me of the frustration in trying to find the opening of a cello-tape.
The tablet does not have a microSD slot, which means that you would have to invest in the higher costing 32GB model for a bigger space.
Basically, the design and the interface have been kept familiar and attractive, but definitely not jaw-dropping, ground-breaking in design. That might be because the hero of the day was the Android 5.0 Lollipop, which surely lived up to the expectations.
The Boom Box
Nexus 9 has two front-facing speakers at the left and right edges of the tablet, which is experienced best while playing games or watching videos, holding the tablet horizontally. And let’s be honest, Nexus 9 is built for these two very purposes – gaming and entertainment. The downside is that the speakers tend to gather dust quickly.
The technology used is HTC’s BoomSound technology, which gives you a smooth and decent sound quality. In comparison to its competitors, a lot of attention has been paid to the quality. Users have reviewed the speakers to have a brilliant channel separation, mid-range and treble are quite sound. The volume goes significantly high. As far as sound quality is concerned, Nexus 9 beats iPad Air hands down!
Battery Life – You won’t get bored in that long flight!
Nexus 9 comes with a battery life of 6700 mAh, which is quite substantial considering the fact that a tablet is not a device that you use all day long. Nevertheless, it has a working battery life of 8.5 hours, and thus, can last you for practically the entire day.
Since it has a high resolution 2k screen, it could definitely do with the higher battery strength. User reviews have claimed that if your use your tablet for a couple of hours everyday, it can last for a few days together.
This HTC tablet comes with a NVIDIA Tegra K1 System-on-chip. There’s a whole collection of games, which are specially optimized for NVIDIA processors, which you can see on the application of NVIDIA TegraZone.
Other than Portal, Half-Life 2, and Half-Life 2 Episode 1, all the NVIDIA games are available on the HTC Nexus. Graphically, it would be quite a stimulating experience!
The software used by Goggle is Android 5.0 Lollipop, which has made quite the difference in the entire experience. There’s always the exception of CyanogenMod, but Android 5.0 L works best with it. Now, this little baby deserves a separate section, so more about that later.
There have been a few complaints of there being slight lags in the touchscreen, but over the past few months, that seems to have improved. That might have been because of the software updates in the earlier stages.
The UI touches are quite the attraction, and so are the icons that shift around when you drag the notifications bad from the top, literally making space for it. The display is 95.5% of the sRGB colour gamut, and also one of the brightest in the market. Black levels are impressive and the screen’s contrast is also quite brilliant. So, your photos will look most striking.
Speaking of Photos..
The camera doesn’t light a torch in front of iPad 2, but is much better than the other tablets in the market. The software is great but the 8 mp rear camera and 1.6 mp front camera, is not the best for taking great photos.
The features in the camera include auto-focus, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection and LED flash. The snap quality could have been better, but the controls were perfect – simple and attractive. Swiping while the camera is switched on lets you access the gallery or change photo modes.
If you are a more professional user, you can use the manual controls for more granular pictures.
Fair warning, here. If you take out your tablet to keep clicking pictures, there are two things that are bound to happen. One, this one is a big baby; so it’s downright uncomfortable. It is preferable to use your smartphone for clicking away.
Second, we request you to use your imagination – you are outside with your old school buddies, in a Cold Play concert, with about half of the country cramped up (because it is Cold Play!), and you take out your 8.9 inches tablet to click those selfies. You get the picture, right? So, here’s our advice – use your smartphone!
Processor and Technical Specifications
Uncharacteristic to HTC, it has switched from Qualcomm to NVIDIA Tegra K1 chipset. In laymen terms, it basically improves the speed and graphics of the tablet.
It has a dual processor core, with a processor speed of 2.3 Ghz and 2GB RAM. Even though it has a 64-bit architecture, the 2GB RAM is not sufficient to take complete advantage of the enhanced ability, but will be restricted to some improved performance.
Now the hero of the tablet – the Lollipop!
Let’s get to the real deal. Almost everything about Nexus 9 is familiar and not earth shaking. But as we said earlier, that is because of the software used by the device. The major highlight of the deal is 5.0 Lollipop, and HTC Nexus has been made as a container. You know, the substance being more important than the packing?
The NVIDIA chipset ensures a smooth running experience. There might be a slight lag in swiping through multiple screens, but other than that, the touch is pretty much seamless. Running apps is quicker and shuffling through them is definitely much swifter. Compared to its rivals, Lollipop lets you open and access apps much faster and with fewer obstructions.
On a definitely plus side, it comes with Android Runtime, popularly known as ART, which ups the app performance significantly.
Some special credits
There are certain features which are worth mentioning, which do not get enough attention, but make the experience much more convenient.
For instance, priority notifications are a definite up. You can select the notifications you want to see while working on something important, which is also easily accessible from the drag-down notification shade. You can work without getting distracted by the constant ping of Facebook or chat notifications. For all the peeps with low attention span, time to raise a toast!
Another useful characteristic is the “OK Google” command, which can be activated even when the screen is off. Google Command can pick up questions and commands when the screen is not active, and wake up with your voice.
Google also is offering a Nexus 9 folio keyboard case; if you want to convert your tablet into a small laptop and prefer slamming on the keyboard, rather than using the delicate touch. People with frustrating clients and exasperating bosses, please note.
All in all, the HTC Nexus 9 is all about motion and colours. Check your requirements and then choose, is what our recommendation would be.
Looking for high quality entertainment experience, this device is a must. If you want to have the 5.0 Lollipop experience first-hand, go for it! But if you want a compact device or a completely novel design, Nexus 9 might not be the thing for you. Going the geek way? You might want to check out other geek-friendly devices in the market.
Gaming, motions and entertainment is what HTC Nexus 9 is all about! If you are using it, or planning to buy one, or have used it in the past and shifted to a rival, please do let us know how your experience has been. We promise, we do not steal credit! Happy googling!