Google Nexus 9 vs Google Nexus 10 Specs Comparison

Posted by B. Johnson
Google Nexus 9 vs Google Nexus 10 Specs Comparison
Hi guys, welcome back!

In the past few weeks, i’ve been showing you guys some of the quick review roundup of all the tablets that have been reviewed on this website since last year – all from varied different manufacturers, different chipsets, different GPUs and many more.

However, starting today, i want to try something else on this website. And that is a tablet battle review - or tablet comparison review , if you would - between 2 devices.

(Google Nexus 9 vs Google Nexus 10 Specs Comparison)

I actually just had this idea around few weeks ago to make this different type of post.

But basically this post is still on the same page just like what i’ve been writing since last year – which is about gaming tablet review that is focused mostly on the gaming performance.

Google Nexus 9 vs Google Nexus 10 benchmarks and gaming performance

So in this new type of review, i’ll try to compare 2 tablets that i consider as worth-comparing and worth sharing as well to you here.

But of course, i’ll only focus on the important sectors of these 2 devices, not on their entire thing.

So I will only compare their screen specs, their software, their processors, GPUs, their gaming performances or any other thing that has something to do with performance - like battery life, design, etc.

Anyway, as the title of this post suggests, today i would like to make a comparison review between 2 great tablets from Google (made by Samsung and HTC) - Google Nexus 9 vs Google Nexus 10.

I actually just made the review of Google Nexus 9 a while ago, while Google Nexus 10 has already been reviewed probably a long time ago.

So i think it’s not gonna be that hard for me to discuss and make the comparison review between these 2 tablets.

Besides, these 2 tablets are actually 2 of my favorite tablets.

Okay then, if you’re interested to learn more about these 2 tablets, especially my take on their gaming performance, then here you go, my first comparison review – or tablet battle, if you would – of 2 Google-branded tablets, Google Nexus 9 and Google Nexus 10.


When Google announced Google Nexus 10 in its own headquarter – along with Google Nexus 4 smartphone –, many people were blown away by how this tablet was just really insane in terms of specs.

I exactly remembered this because this tablet came out when Google had to cancel its announcement event - due to Hurricane Sandy - and decided to introduce these 2 new Nexus devices in front of The Verger reviewers at its own HQ, Mountain View.

Google Nexus 10 packs a super high-resolution 2.5K display – which makes it the world’s first tablet shipping with 2.5k display -, monster Exynos processor, more powerful Mali GPU, bigger RAM, huge battery and interestingly, great design with Samsung’s usual ‘chubby’ design approach.

Not only did this tablet manage to crush all the competition with its monster specs, but it also became an iPad killer back then in 2013.

Google Nexus 10
Google Nexus 10

Google Nexus 9
Google Nexus 9

Now fast forward to 2014, the next-gen Google Nexus 9 was finally released to the market. And as expected by many people, this tablet brings more powerful specs than the Google Nexus 10.

But that’s not all.

Thanks to HTC’s expertise on design department, Google Nexus 9 is also more impressive than Google Nexus 10 when it comes to design.

It looks more gorgeous, it has more premium feel and the most importantly, much better sound quality, thanks to the dual-speaker grilles found on the front side of this device.

However, with all of these improvements found on Google Nexus 9, compared to the Google Nexus 9, the questions still remain:

Does Google Nexus 9 have what it takes to be an iPad Air 2 killer?

Does this tablet deserve to be the best gaming tablet on the market right now?

Is it worth it to upgrade your old Google Nexus 10 with this Google Nexus 9?

Well, hopefully we’re about to find out more about the answers of these questions at the end of this review. So be sure to stick around guys!

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Google Nexus 9 (HTC )Google Nexus 10 (Samsung)
4G Network LTE
Released November 2014
8.9 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen,1536 x 2048 pixels (~281 ppi pixel density)
Dual-core 2.3 GHz Denver Nvidia Tegra K1 Chipset
Kepler DX1 GPU
Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
No Memory Card slot
16/32 GB Internal storage
8 MP rear-facing camera, LED flash
1.6 MP front-facing camera, 720p
No Radio
Java MIDP emulator
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Sensors
Non-removable Li-Po 6700 mAh battery
Stand-by: Up to 720 hour
Talk time: Up to 9 h 30 min (multimedia)
    10.1 inch Super PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen, 2560 x 1600 pixels (~299 ppi pixel density)
    Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (upgradable to KitKat)
    a Dual-core Exynos 5250 1.7 GHz Cortex-A15
    2 GB RAM
    Mali-T604 GPU
    5 MP rear-facing camera with LED flash
    1.9 MP front-facing camera
    No MicroSD card slot
    16/32 GB Internal storage
    No Radio
    No Java
    No GPRS
    No EDGE
    Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
    Infrared Yes
    Non-removable Li-Po 9000 mAh battery

    Specs to specs, it’s actually kind of weird to compare these 2 tablets.

    First of all, Google Nexus 10 is the previous-gen tablet released in late 2013, while Google Nexus 9 is a next-gen tablet just debuted in late 2014.

    So supposedly, Google Nexus 9 is way more impressive in terms of specs than Google Nexus 10. But apparently, that's not what exactly happens here on these 2 tablets.

    Despite being the previous-gen tablet, Google Nexus 10 still looks more superior on the sector of display and battery capacity, not to mention, it’s still on the same level with Google Nexus 9 in terms of RAM and front-facing camera.

    On the other hand, Google Nexus 9 is also more powerful than predecessor, in terms of the rear-facing camera, design, processor, GPU, graphical performance, gaming performance, latest Android 5.0 Lollipop and 4G LTE support.

    Overall, i think Google Nexus 9 is a much better offering than Google Nexus 10 (despite having lower resolution screen than its predecessor).

    But that’s not so surprising given that this tablet is a next-gen model, which is expected to be much better than the previous-gen models.

    When it comes to gaming performance, Google Nexus 9 is also way ahead of its predecessor, thanks to a more powerful Tegra K1 dual-core Denver 64-bit processor and 192-core GPU.

    But even so, as a media-consumption device, both Google Nexus 9 and Google Nexus 10 are still great equally for enjoying media contents.


    As mentioned above, despite being the next-gen Nexus tablet, Google Nexus 9 surprisingly is using lower resolution 1536x2048 pixels, as opposed to the 2.5K (2560x1600 pixels) display on its predecessor - Google Nexus 10.

    However, given that Google Nexus 9 is packing a smaller 8.9-inch (or 9-inch) display compared to the 10.1-inch screen on Google Nexus 10, in terms of sharpness, i think both devices are equally great.

    Although Samsung Nexus 10 is more superior than Nexus 9, especially in terms of color saturation – which has been the trademark of all Samsung’s flagship devices.

    User Interface

    Similar just like like the predecessor, Google Nexus 9 also still comes pre-installed with stock Android UI.

    And this is great because by using stock UI, not only is the performance of this tablet really fast and smooth, but it’s also more efficient with the use of battery.

    However, when it comes to longevity, it’s really obvious that the previous-gen Google Nexus 10 will last much even longer than Google Nexus 9, especially given its huge 9000mAh battery compared to the smaller 6700mAh battery inside Google Nexus 9.

    But the great thing is, on Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has put a lot improvements and tweaks especially on the battery saving mode for this tablet.

    So even with that smaller battery, i believe its battery life is still able to survive in one solid day, even in heavy use.

    On the software side, Google Nexus 9 comes pre-installed with Android 5.0 Lollipop, bringing a lot of new cool features and visual presentations based on Material Design.

    On the other hand, Google Nexus 10 must be proud with the old-gen Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box (which can be upgraded to KitKat).

    So in terms of features and the entire software experience, there’s no doubt that Google Nexus 9 is more superior with its Lollipop than Google Nexus 10 with its so-last-year Jelly Bean.

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    It probably shouldn’t be questioned anymore about the gaming performance of these 2 tablets. Google Nexus 9 is armed with a more powerful Tegra K1 dual-core Denver processor.

    Meanwhile, old-gen Google Nexus 10 is equipped with Samsung dual-core Exynos 5250 processor, accompanied by 2GB of RAM and Mali-T604 GPU.

    According to my previous old review of Google Nexus 10, this tablet used to be insanely powerful in terms of gaming performance (as seen on many YouTube reviews), with games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, NOVA 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted and GTA Vice City all running smoothly and in full highest graphics.

    Meanwhile, Google Nexus 9 is FAR more superior with its Tegra K1 processor and 192-core GPU.

    And as already seen on many benchmark tests, Tegra K1 manages to top all mobile processors on the market to date.

    In fact, this NVIDIA’s chipset is capable to deliver the same graphical performance as today’s desktops. Can you imagine that, huh? That’s like insanely powerful.

    And even some console game and Epic Engine developers believe that Tegra K1 devices are capable to handle any kind of things that run on PC.

    So when it comes to gaming performance, it’s obvious that Tegra K1 processor inside this tablet will blow Samsung’s chipset out of the water.

    Not only is Google Nexus 9 capable to handle any latest graphics intense Android games like Modern Combat 5 and GTA San Andreas, but it’s also more than adequate to execute some console-quality games like Trine 2, Half Life 2 and a couple of Unreal Engine 4 demos.

    Battery Life

    On paper and probably in real world quality, it’s really obvious that the 9000mAh battery inside the Google Nexus 10 will last much even longer than the smaller 6700mAh battery found on Google Nexus 9.

    Google may already have put some tweaks and battery saving tweaks on this next-gen model.

    However - given its power hungry Tegra K1 processor and high-resolution display -, the battery life of Google Nexus 9 might not be as long lasting as Google Nexus 10.

    Besides, i’ve already seen one review of other Tegra K1 tablet on YouTube – NVIDIA Shield Tablet – and according to the reviewer, when used for playing some graphics intense games without resting the screen at all, this tablet is only able to survive in just 2 to 3 hours, which is a bummer for a gaming tablet like this one.

    This really contradicts with Google Nexus 10 with its huge 9000mAh battery which obviously could last in more than 1 day even in heavy use.

    But even so, i still believe with Google’s tweaks and improvements on the software, Google Nexus 9 could still last in one solid day, of course in moderate use.

    My Personal Opinions

    So to sum this up, i think both tablets are equally great on some specific sectors on them. Google Nexus 10 may win on display and battery life department.

    However, for the most part, Google Nexus 9 is still far more superior than its previous-gen sibling.
    • It’s got a better more premium design (thanks to HTC's craftsmanship),
    • it has much better sound quality (again, thanks to the dual-speaker grilles on this tablet),
    • it has much faster processor and more powerful GPU,
    • way more powerful gaming performance,
    • it has better rear-facing camera
    • and i think, pretty much everything about this next-gen model is just better than Google Nexus 10.
    Besides, as Google already announced lately, this Google Nexus 9 will also ship with the official keyboard cover/dock (which is sold separately on Google Play Store).

    So besides great as a media-consumption and gaming tablet, Google Nexus 9 can also be an amazing device for doing some productivity-related tasks, like typing, editing documents, creating spreadsheet and some other more.

    Google Nexus 10 can also be used as a productivity tablet just like its sequel, but it’s pretty obvious that its experience won’t be as great as on Google Nexus 9.

    So to sum this up, i’ll try to answer some of the questions i’ve asked previously above:
    1. Does Google Nexus 9 have what it takes to be an iPad Air 2 killer? Yes – given the same screen specs but way more powerful processor and performance than the iPad Air 2, Google Nexus 9 definitely has what it takes to be an iPad Air 2 killer. Besides, Google Nexus 9 comes packed with the official keyboard dock, so this Google-branded tablet is more usable than Apple’s tablet, especially as a productivity device.
    2. Does Google Nexus 9 deserve to be a better gaming tablet than Google Nexus 10? Yes, definitely – thanks to the more powerful Tegra K1 processor, 2GB of RAM and 192-core Kepler GPU, Google Nexus 9 is no doubt a far better gaming tablet than Google Nexus 10. Not only is this tablet capable to handle any latest graphics intense games perfectly, but Google Nexus 9 also has all the power to execute some next-gen console-quality games like Trine 2, Half Life 2 and many other more.
    3. Is it worth it to upgrade your old Google Nexus 10 with this Google Nexus 9? Yes, absolutely - Google Nexus 10 may have a super high-resolution 2.5K display and much bigger 9000mAh battery, however, on many sectors, Google Nexus 9 is just a huge departure from the predecessor. Not only is this tablet better in terms of design and gaming performance, but Google Nexus 9 is also more usable than Google Nexus 10, especially thanks to its official keyboard folio case.
    Not to mention, thanks to a much newer Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google Nexus 9 also brings a lot more improvements, new design layout, features and visual presentations than on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean of Google Nexus 10.

    So long story short – yes, Google Nexus 9 is worth upgrading from the previous-gen Google Nexus 10.

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