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New Nexus 7 could be built by Huawei and launch this year

Nexus 7
Nexus 7

The Nexus line may be on its last legs, but a spiritual successor to its great Nexus 7 tablet could be in the wings.

Noted tech leaker Evan Blass has tweeted that Huawei will be taking up the mantle "before the end of the year" with a 7-inch device rocking 4GB of RAM.

Could the "new Nexus" launch alongside the Pixel and Pixel XL Google smartphones, expected to be revealed on October 4th? If so, it's unlikely that the Nexus moniker will be plastered over it – with the phones dropping Nexus branding in favor of Pixel, it's likely that the tablet will follow suit, and Huawei had intriguingly trademarked the "Huawei 7P" name earlier this year.

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The original Nexus 7, built by ASUS, was (and to some extent, remains) the model for what a great Android tablet could be. Affordable and durable, running stock Android with a design that didn't scream "budget", few Android tablets since have proved as popular.

Indeed, Google's tablet efforts since the Nexus 7 have been met with middling success. The HTC-built Nexus 9 was too pricey for what it offered, while the Pixel C had limited appeal until an Android N update came and saved the day.

Huawei's recent track record with Google devices such as the Nexus 6P has seen it take up the Nexus torch and run with it. Should it deliver a "Pixel tablet" alongside the rumored 4K Chromecast and Pixel phones at Google's event, we'll certainly be watching closely.