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Build quality of Nexus 9 apparently refined, improved button action, back panel firmer

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Build quality of Nexus 9 apparently refined, improved button action, back panel firmer

The Google Nexus 9 is an excellent Android powered tablet, but like some new products to hit the scene, there were a number of reports over concerns about how shallow the power/lock and volume buttons felt when pressed.

We also noted in our review that the tablet had a bit of a hollow feeling to its build quality, evident by bit of dimpling that could be felt on the back panel of the tablet.

It looks as those these issues were prevalent enough to have HTC dial-in its manufacturing and quality control measures a bit. A Google customer posted a photo on Reddit comparing the disposition of the power/lock and volume buttons on his old Nexus 9, and a replacement tablet he had sent to him. The new buttons are said to be much easier to press, and he cannot see any flexing on the back of the Nexus 9 at all.

The user said the screen quality on his replacement tablet is better too, though neither our review unit, nor another Nexus 9 in our possession, displayed any problems with light bleed this customer apparently had with his first device.

If any of these details were making you hold off on picking up a Nexus 9, it looks like the fresh supplies are improved a bit, and if you are in the US, and pick up a Nexus 9 before December 1st, you can get a $50 Google Play credit to sweeten the deal.


sources: Reddit via GSMArena and Android Police

30 Comments
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posted on 29 Nov 2014, 05:34 15

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Middle finger to early adopters. Why is it so hard to just perfect it before release....

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 05:39 12

4. bendgate (unregistered)


They shouldn't have launched it imperfect. Goes for all OEMs.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 05:41 5

5. RareCandy (banned) (Posts: 61; Member since: 20 Nov 2014)


glad to be early adapter as ipad air 2 owner :)

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 05:45 3

6. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


No problems with my Z2 either. Though maybe all those delays were because they noticed something to fix lol

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 05:58 2

7. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2112; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


What voltage do you operate at?

posted on 30 Nov 2014, 10:48

28. gehrig (Posts: 298; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)


Serza?

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 08:22 3

10. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)


If you're an early adopter you should expect problems. As nice as it is to think a product will be perfected upon release it's not a common occurrence.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 09:12 12

13. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


No. When I buy a product I expect it to work exactly as advertised. Same thing is happening to gaming. Loom at some big titles like Assassins Creed Unity, Watchdogs, Destiny, Driveclub. They were all super hyped and everyone expected them to be like D`FANTASTIC and all. But then they got released and they were broken and full of bugs. Then the developers release updates and patches to fix the problems. In the past the games just worked out of the box. That should be the situation nowadays too. We pay for a finalized product not an early beta/alpha model...

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 11:15 4

18. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)


I'm not saying that's wrong, but it's a rather unreasonable expectation. All of these products require large amounts of collaboration to launch, a minor issue or two is acceptable considering the scope of such projects.

There's a FINE line between the Nexus 9's issues and say, Assassin's Creed Unity. The Nexus 9 had minor design issues that if left unfixed would not detract significantly from the product. Assassin's Creed Unity? A huge failure at launch, if I remember correctly it ran horrendously on some of the best GPUs available (AMD GPUs I believe?) along with a slew of other bugs.

TL;DR: It's realistic to expect products to be functional, but not perfect at launch.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 12:08 1

22. DaveElliott (Posts: 115; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


The expectation should always be that both parties (manufacturer/consumer) adhere to the good faith clause of the transaction as it would with any agreement. When we give passes on violations then it is easier the next time and so on until all transactions are "buyer beware" or result in frivolous complaints.

Is this a manufacturing defect or simple opportunity for design improvement? And, then what is the behavior of those involved in the transaction?

posted on 30 Nov 2014, 15:57

29. JunitoNH (Posts: 1780; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


I'm sorry, not expecting problems when paying $700 and upwards for a device. If you need time, take it, don't make us your beta testers.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 10:42 4

16. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1161; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


While I agree with you, I've learned over the years that you should never buy a first year product. That includes vehicles, televisions, and even the first houses built in a neighborhood. There seems to always be problems with a first year product, some of them are just due to negligence by the manufacturer while others are problems that were thought to be fixed by the time of production and were overlooked. That's why you always see vehicles that have gone through a model refresh will most likely have a mid-cycle refresh (or even a one/two year refresh) to fix the problems with the vehicle.

Just be aware that the next time you want to purchase a device before anyone else that while you may get the bragging rights and the satisfaction of having it first, there is bound to be problems. Do we need to revisit the iPhone 6 Plus issue and how that was secretly resolved behind closed doors? It happens more than we think. Good rule of thumb: wait 6 months for smartphones/tablets because by then most of the problems will have been discovered and fixed by the manufacturer.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 12:06 1

21. cripton805 (Posts: 1440; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


The problem with these products is that theres an entirely new product every year. By the time they finish with a "working" bug free product, the product has already completed its lifetime for support. Im a car fanatic and I could tell you that the first year always has its recalls and issues, but a car models lifecycle is usually about 4 years+. So, its resonable to get fixed within the first year. Were talking products that are beyond broken that are being sold to consumers. This is unacceptable and these companies should be held accountable for their (*sh** products). False advertisement and promoting unfinished products should be penalized with class action lawsuits.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 13:29 1

24. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


It's simple -- just don't be an early adopter...

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 05:37 1

2. shahrooz (Posts: 739; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


yea this is really bad

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 05:37 2

3. RareCandy (banned) (Posts: 61; Member since: 20 Nov 2014)


still not convince me enough tho, no thanks :)

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 06:23 14

8. scarface21173 (Posts: 155; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


At least they have fixed the problem instead of denying it, like apple did with there bendgate problem.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 08:27 12

11. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)


Apple never released a public statement, neither did Google, and both quietly fixed the issue.

However I will say that bendgate was a more embarrassing issue than this. Apple should have been more careful with such a thin design.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 08:41 2

12. bendgate (unregistered)


"However I will say that bendgate was a more embarrassing issue than this." I'm sad.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 11:04

17. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)


It's okay :)

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 16:36 1

26. tedkord (Posts: 11637; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Yes, Apple did release a public statement. The claimed that only 9 people had complained about a bent phone, and that it was extremely difficult to bend an iPhone 6/6+.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 06:52 6

9. avyfa (Posts: 16; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)


Buy any kind of electronics right after release - worst decision ever.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 09:18 3

14. TreyTreyTaylor (Posts: 674; Member since: 21 Dec 2010)


Got a Galaxy Note 2, 3, and 4 at launch and they've never had defects. Saying that buying any kind of electronics at launch is the worst decision ever is kinda stupid.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 10:19 1

15. BattleBrat (Posts: 1456; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


You bastards!!!
Ehhh, figures, HTC tried to make it on the cheap and this is what you get. I cannot love this tablet, I love my xperia tablet S but it is beautiful! Aluminum and glass, with the useful windowed small apps that enhanced its capabilities (not all skins are bad folks) I'll keep this early Nexus 9, but I'll be getting HTC's real tablet next year, or maybe a MOTO if they're offering anything.
I will not be getting another Nexus device, Im a big android fan (huge actually ) but the nexus devices I have used have always been cheap pieces of crap.

posted on 30 Nov 2014, 23:15

30. Bjray (Posts: 177; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Nexus 6 is the exception :)

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 11:17 1

19. simpleas (Posts: 196; Member since: 30 Apr 2014)


This is why I prefer Samsung.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 11:42 2

20. YourNickname (Posts: 127; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Hey PhoneArena,
You should make an article about how Google has the Nexus 6 FOR SALE by allowing a $50 credit at google play store, 6months of GPM, and i think it lasts till christmas... TOO BAD NOBODY CAN EVEN CLICK THE BUY BUTTON. Supply not meeting demand, lets have a sale! fml i need this phone.

It's on the Nexus 6 page.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 12:17 1

23. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3806; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


+100

Google giving all the Nexus phones to the carriers was completely f**king braindead. One big reason people get a Nexus phone is to escape the carrier.

If Google doesn't want to operate a functional store, they should have had Amazon sell the phones for them.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 16:29

25. mike2959 (Posts: 537; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


Lol.. Google is A PROFIT COMPANY. That means they wanna make money guys, jeez! The other reason Google is using carrier's is because.. THESE NEXUS PHONE'S DO NOT SELL!! They sell to us, cell phone enthusiasts. Comparison to the other recent flagship's, its not even close.

posted on 29 Nov 2014, 23:12

27. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


This is typical HTC. I wonder why people are singling out the Nexus 9 and not every single other device they made since the Sensation?

Out of my GS2, GS3, G Alpha, IPhone 4s - 6. All perfect first batch.

2x Xperia S, Xperia Z3 compact, 2x Xperia Z3 - both Xperia S had yellow tinting on the screen. And one Xperia Z3 had a dead pixel.

2x HTC One X, 2x HTC One M7, 2 Windows phone 8x, and one HTC M8 - they all had screen lift, huge gaps, poor finishing at the USB ports, dust under the scree, dead pixels, and loose/rattling buttons, capacitive buttons that didn't work until an update that came 3 months later etc. The HTC M8 I didn't bother to return because I knew the second one wasn't going to be any better so a rattling power button was tolerable after the newness effect wore off. But still. HTC for the loss!

And people wonder why they stick with Samsung or Apple. The above is why. They are the only two that do quality control checks and have proper tolerance levels. Any tiny thing they see they don't ship it.

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