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Android Headliner: The Dream of an HTC Nexus 8

April 26, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

The Nexus program has slowly gained traction. When Google first partnered with HTC to bring us the Nexus One, it wasn’t all that popular – nor was it cheap. Android itself also wasn’t all that popular at that time. Since then, the Nexus program has become very popular and has helped LG, ASUS and Samsung with their mobile business. Now HTC didn’t get two Nexus devices, but they did build the very first Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, or the HTC Dream for those of you outside the US. HTC was a very successful OEM during those days, it all began to fall apart in 2011 for HTC. They put out over 80 devices worldwide, and they just couldn’t keep up with them. They also were just iterations of each other. Not really new devices.

Fast forward to 2012 and ASUS showed off a cheap 7-inch tablet with NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 processor inside at CES, which Google saw and basically said we want that. However it was reported earlier this week that Google had approached HTC about building the Nexus 7. HTC reportedly told Google No, because they wanted to focus on their troubled smartphone business. And well that didn’t really help them that much. Now it’s 2014, and plenty of rumors floating around about HTC building the Nexus 8 for Google this year, with it being released in the second quarter. So why do we want an HTC Nexus 8 so bad? I’ll explain.

The biggest reason why we want an HTC Nexus 8, is because HTC’s build quality is probably one of the best, second to Apple. If you’ve used the HTC One X, HTC One (M7) or the One (M8), you’ll know exactly what I mean. But more than just their build quality, is their front-facing speakers. Most tablet makers are getting rid of their front-facing speakers and either leaving them on the back or putting them on the sides like Samsung did with the Galaxy TabPRO and the Galaxy NotePRO tablets. Just imagine the HTC One (M8) made into a 8-inch tablet, minus Sense 6 – which I actually like. It’s definitely going to sell well, especially at around $300 or less.

It’s becoming more and more clear that OEMs need to get into the tablet game if they are really wanting to make some serious money. Just look at Samsung. Not only do they push out a ton of smartphones in every shape and size, but they have a tablet in every size from 7 to 12.2-inches. Also in every single price range as well. They are really the only smartphone maker that’s making money these days – aside from Apple – and that’s due to their tablet game as well as their marketing. If HTC really wants to make some money and get out of the red, they need to not only jump into the mid-range and low-end game but also the tablet game. And let’s face it, most of the 8-inch tablets, aside from the LG G Pad 8.3 which our own Tom Dawson loves, basically suck. And there’s one thing we love about Android and that’s choice. When it comes to tablets, there’s not much of a choice. Basically, Nexus, ASUS or Samsung, and that’s about it.

How many of you would love to see a Nexus 8 built by HTC announced at Google I/O and available for under $300? Let us know in the comments below.