Nexus-9-review-Leaves-AH-8

Have HTC and Google Improved Nexus 9 Build Quality?

November 29, 2014 - Written By David Steele

HTC and Google have collaborated for two Nexus devices now; the very first Nexus smartphone was the HTC Google Nexus One, released in early 2010. And rolling forward almost five years, HTC and Google have released another Nexus product but this time, it’s a tablet: the Google Nexus 9. And where the original Nexus One more or less ushered in the 1 GHz processor for Android, the Nexus 9 has (more or less) ushered in the 64-bit processor in the shape of the dual core Nvidia Tegra K1. The Nexus 9 also comes with a 4:3 ratio, high resolution screen, 2 GB of RAM and a choice of either 16 GB or 32 GB of media storage. As I write, it’s currently available as a WiFi-only model but there’s a LTE version coming soon. Unfortunately, the early Nexus 9 models have not been without fault; we’ve seen reports of light bleed, stiff buttons and a flexible back: not the sort of experience we really want from our Nexus devices! We’ve seen reports that some Nexus 9 models sent back to Google have been replaced with much better built replacement models that have significantly better feeling buttons, less flex in the back and less light bleed. It’s unclear if HTC or Google have revised the Nexus 9 hardware or if the quality control has been sharpened up or if the early Nexus 9 tablets were sent out a little too early.

We’ve seen hardware revisions with other Nexus products, including the Nexus 4 (this gained little feet to help stop it from sliding off a level coffee table!) and the Nexus 5, which gained larger speaker holes and a better fitting SIM tray. It’s not unheard of for one product to benefit from different revisions over the course of its life, including a change of screen, battery and other components, either for product improvement or component supply reasons. Indeed; most manuals state something such as the manufacturer reserves the right to amend specifications during the life of the product. And let’s face it; one of the reasons why people pick up a Nexus product is for that bleeding edge sensation of cutting edge software running on at least contemporary hardware. The software running on the Nexus 9 has bugs and hesitations; this too will be updated by Google. And yes, absolutely: it would be great if the device was released without these imperfections.

If you were thinking about buying the Nexus 9, if Google and HTC have revised the hardware, would this make you want to hold off buying the device? There’s currently an offer from Google with a $50 Google Play store credit if you buy one before the 1 December for our United States readers. Let us know your thoughts below in the usual manner!