Google Nexus 9 vs iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4: specs comparison

Google Nexus 9 vs iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4: specs comparison
The announcement of the HTC-made Nexus 9 tablet came as no surprise to anyone who had been following our news feed. Leaks and rumors did a good job at spoiling the surprise by throwing its specs on the table, along with a candid image. 

Yet this doesn't make Google's Android 5.0-powered slate any less exciting. Quite the contrary – it is a slate we can't wait to get our hands on. But we'll have to wait for a few more weeks until that happens as the tablet is projected to ship in early November.

In the meantime, we suppose it seems right to stack up the Google Nexus 9 against some of its potential rivals, at least on paper. Here's how Google's new tab compares against the Apple iPad Air and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 in terms of specs. 

Google Nexus 9 vs Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4


Display size

8.9 inches
9.7 inches
8.4 inches


1536 x 2048 pixels
2048 x 1536 pixels
1600 x 2560 pixels

Pixel density

288 ppi
264 ppi
359 ppi



Screen-to-body ratio

69.90 %
71.65 %
76.61 %



Single camera
Single camera
Single camera

Main camera

8 megapixels
5 megapixels
8 megapixels

Hardware Features

Autofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)
Autofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)
Autofocus, CMOS image sensor


Aperture size: F2.4; Focal length: 29.2 mm; Sensor size: 1/4"; Pixel size: 1.12 μm
Aperture size: F2.4; Focal length: 33 mm

Video recording

1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)

Recording format

H.264, 3GP
H.264, MOV
MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV


Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization, Video calling


1.6 megapixels
1.2 megapixels
2.1 megapixels

Video capture

1280x720 (HD)
1280x720 (HD) (30 fps)



8.99 x 6.05 x 0.31 inches (228.25 x 153.68 x 7.95 mm)
9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches (240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm)
8.38 x 4.94 x 0.26 inches (212.8 x 125.6 x 6.6 mm)


15.38 oz (436 g)
the average is 19.9 oz (568 g)
16.86 oz (478 g)
the average is 19.9 oz (568 g)
10.51 oz (298 g)
the average is 19.9 oz (568 g)


Back: Plastic
Back: Aluminum


Fingerprint (swipe)


Notification light
Touch sensitive control keys

Phone functionality


Hardware & Performance

System chip

Apple A7
Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5420


Dual-core, 2300 MHz, Denver, 28 nm
Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Cyclone, 64-bit
Octa-core, 1900 MHz, ARM Cortex-A15 and ARM Cortex-A7


PowerVR G6430
Mali-T628 MP6




Android (7.1 Nougat, 7.0 Nougat, 5.0 Lollipop)
iOS (12.x, 11.x, 10.x, 9.x, 8.x, 7.x)
Android (6.0 Marshmallow, 5.0 Lollipop, 4.4.2), Samsung TouchWiz UI



6700 mAh
8820 mAh
4900 mAh

Stand-by time

30.0 days (720 hours)
the average is 23 days (559 h)

Talk time (3G)

29.00 hours
the average is 0 h (0 min)

Music playback

80.00 hours

Video playback

9.50 hours
12.00 hours

Shopping information

MSRP price

$ 929



1. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Apple iPad vs Google's gPad....and the winner is....

9. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

The person who gets what they're looking for.

17. Deaconclgi

Posts: 405; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Truer words have never been spoken.

18. Tsoliades

Posts: 228; Member since: Dec 22, 2012

the hell is a gPad

2. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Great to have a new Nexus tablet, especially 64-bit. But with 2GB RAM? And a chunky and heavy design? The price is not even very good. All in all, it's somewhat of a letdown.

5. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Metal construction has it's overhead...increased weight! 2GB RAM is good enough for Android L. For premium device you have to pay premium price...Nexus 9 is best android tablet so far.

14. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Other than the 64-bit chip, I don't see anything better about the Nexus 9 vs. the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4.

3. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

Google is doing stuff like Apple ... dual core with a hardcore gpu!

4. Iodine

Posts: 1480; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

The difference is that Apple SoC is a lot mor efficient, at least on the GPU front.

7. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I don't know what made you think that...any source of performance/watt for these two soc?

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Source? Though you are probably right since A8's GPU has about half the performance of the K1's GPU

6. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Because it is right thing to do...2 high performance cores are better than 4-8 low performance cores.

13. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

If the end result is the same why would it matter?

15. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Likely simpler power management. Witness ARM's designs with 4 low power cores and 4 high power cores and requiring the OS to juggle things between them. With two high performance cores, the processor itself can more easily handle power management directly without juggling threads between two sets of cores. There is also the argument that single threaded apps/routines benefit from a high performance core. But the latest ARM cores are pretty good, so I don't see this being a huge factor, at least not in the longer term.

10. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Dual core?

11. scarface21173

Posts: 690; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Samsung tab s looks great, just hate the bloatware

12. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

I have the Tab S. The bloatware doesn't get in the way of this tablet. It's great. I was trying to hold out for a Nexus Tablet but someone ended up buying this as a gift for me.

16. TruPatriot

Posts: 110; Member since: May 27, 2013

I think you have the battery size wrong on the Tab S. Shouldn't it be 7900mah?

22. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

That's tab s 10.5 battery size

19. Kaiser2007

Posts: 173; Member since: Nov 16, 2013

I was expecting 16:10 or 16:9 on nexus 9. Disappointing 4:3. I want nVidia SHIELD Tablet Google Play Edition with LTE for the whole World.

23. alumoyo

Posts: 391; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

Exactly - and iPad has always been viciously attacked on the aspect ratio thing. I wonder what they are gonna say now?

20. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

That's a tiny battery.

21. Elfmonster unregistered

Re: Specs. I feel like Google lost a bet or a lawsuit so they cheaped down. But who knows, maybe using it in the hand for a few months will prove some wisdom which does not seem present on paper.

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