For quite a while now, we’ve been hearing that Google is working on an 8-inch Nexus tablet, presumably to replace last year’s Nexus 7, and offer better competition to the iPad Mini and give users a little more screen space to play with. We’ve seen new codenames leak out, “volantis” and “flounder”, both of which follow the trend of naming Nexus devices after our water-dwelling friends and now, we could be looking at the first leaked images of the Nexus 8, along with new information of what will make this Nexus so special.
These images have been obtained by MyDrivers and apparently show the device inside of a protective shell hiding the device’s true identity, which leaves us with very little to look at. One image however, does show off new icon designs for some of the core Android apps, but they don’t look all that inspiring thanks to the rough quality of the image. What’s more interesting than these lackluster images however, is the news that the device is running Android 4.5 and that it’s to be powered by a 64-bit ARM CPU.
If such a device were to be powered by a 64-bit CPU, Qualcomm would be the obvious candidate – thanks to MediaTek’s reluctance to release code and support open source – and as the Snapdragon 808 and 810 aren’t to hit devices till the first half of 2015, that leaves the more mid-range (yet still capable) Snapdragon 610 and 615, both of which are 64-bit CPUs. The MyDrivers source is claiming a Snapdragon 808 or 810 is running in this device, but as we say, these CPUs aren’t supposed to hit commercial devices until 2015, so this is one rumor to take with some salt nearby.
As for the inclusion of Android 4.5, well this would be a logical move for Google. Last year’s Nexus 7 launched with Android 4.3, itself a small upgrade over Android 4.2 which kept the Jelly Bean moniker. We’ve heard the Lollipop name bouncing around for Android 4.5 or Android 5.0, but there’s also a good chance that we’re in store for another taste of KitKat with 4.5. There’s no telling whether or not these shots are of anything more than a no-name Chinese tablet, but if HTC is building the Nexus 8 as it’s been reported, then there’s a strong chance we’ll be seeing more of this device. HTC doesn’t have the best track record of keeping a secret after all.