2014, although already more than halfway through, still has a long ways to go before the end of the year. This year, we’ve already seen some unique and highly anticipated flagships hit the market such as the LG G Flex, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the LG G3, and the HTC One (M8). Still, with a little less than half a year to go we still have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Will the Note 4 be any bigger? What will the Apple iPhone 6 look like? Will we see an iWatch? And, particularly of interest when it comes to this article, what will actually become of Google’s Nexus program?
The Nexus program has for long been Google’s pride and joy. At first, a Nexus phone symbolized being first in line to access important updates and tweaks, and also meant limited bloatware. As time wore on, the Nexus line held the same ideals while adding in decent specs at an affordable price. It has become a very important aspect to people within the mobile industry. However, as rumor has it, that is all set to change this year as Google presumably changes focus from “affordable and decent” with the Nexus line to “high class and premium” with what is known as “Android Silver”.
Still, perhaps all hope is not lost. Although there’s no good leaks of a Nexus 6 in the making, recently there has been leaks of a Nexus 9 - a Nexus in the form of a tablet, and this year the tablet is rumored to be made by HTC.
HTC has never been very prominent in the tablet business. The last time I remember seeing an HTC tablet for sale on the market was the HTC EVO View, which was sold around the time the EVO 3D was released, or a year following the iconic EVO 4G. The EVO View wasn’t a popular tablet, and the only people I knew to own one were other Sprint employees. Upon further research, it seems that HTC only ever made three tablets total: the View, the Flyer, and the Jetstream. It’s clear that tablets haven’t been HTC’s focus, but perhaps that’s about to change with the rumored HTC Voltanis - or the “Nexus 9”.
The Voltanis is supposed to be an 8.9-inch tablet with a 2048x1440 display. The device is rumored to feature 16 and 32GB variants, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, NVIDIA Logan 64-bit processor, 2GB of RAM, and aluminum zero-gap design. The rumored spec list also mentioned dual front-facing speakers, but the leaked image and additional render from Android Police show no sign of such a design.
The leaked images I’ve seen of the Voltanis so far aren’t impressive. That’s not to say that it doesn’t look nice, but it looks very similar to a mix between the Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini, which is actually kind of the disappointing part about it. Instead of having a real HTC look that they’ve managed to carry from one One to the next, it looks about a standard as it can be. While aluminum is a nice touch when it comes to added heft, I actually think the grippy texture of the Nexus 7 was a better fit. I’ve come to realize that aluminum is not always the best material to use. Also, if the rendered images hold any truth to them, I’d be highly disappointed if they didn’t add the dual front-facing speakers as well.
Another problem I see with this tablet is the same concern anybody else has had about the changes coming to the Nexus line. A $399 price tag puts the price on par with the iPad Mini. A cheaper price point was one of the biggest advantages for Google with a Nexus tablet. Aluminum or not, I’m not sure how well people will react to the price increase
It would be nice to see HTC try their hand in the tablet market as well again, but I can’t help but feel that the Voltanis won’t be the winner they might have hoped it would be. It’s best to keep in mind that these are strictly rumors at this point, and all are subject to change - and I hope for their sake that some of these rumors do.
Readers, what are your thoughts on the Voltanis? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!