Here’s something you might not have been expecting: alongside two new phones, it’s possible that Google will also announce a new 7-inch Android tablet very soon. According to Evan Blass, it will be released “before the end of the year,” sport 4GB of RAM, and be made by Huawei.
There hasn’t been a lot of online chatter about new Nexus tablets. But we’ve been tracking the rumors of the next Nexus phones fairly closely. In fact, we should note that it’s not even correct to call them Nexus phones anymore — the latest rumors have them named Pixel and Pixel XL. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said that his company intends to be “more opinionated” about phone design, and that opinion could translate into using the “Google” and “Pixel” brands in lieu of Nexus.
All of that leads us to assume that whatever tablet we’re talking about here will also not be a Nexus, but instead get some other name. As for what that name will be, your guess is as good as ours. However there have been (surprisingly few) clues: Huawei took out a trademark on “Huawei 7P” earlier this year and Tech Times summarized some other tidbits here — including some “hazy” speculation on possible specs.
Google's Huawei-built 7-inch tablet, with 4GB RAM, on track for release before the end of the year.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 5, 2016
It’s been a rough couple of years for Google’s Android tablets: 2014’s Nexus 9 did not age well at all, and the Pixel C was a beautiful piece of hardware crippled by bad software at launch (at least Android N has made it a more viable device). Basically, Android tablets need a comeback, because outside wild innovations like the Yoga Book, the hasn’t been much interesting happening in the space.
But for most Android users, the Platonic Ideal of an Android tablet has always been the Nexus 7: cheap, durable, decent-looking, and surprisingly pocketable. Bringing back that size with the kind of quality we hope we can expect from Huawei (which makes the Nexus 6P) could almost act as a kind of fan service.
Google is expected to hold an event on October 4th, where it could announce two phones, a Daydream VR headset, a new 4k-enable Chromecast dongle, and now — apparently — a new Google tablet. If all that comes to pass, it will be a very busy day.