Could the Nexus Prime Be Compatible With a “Gutless” Tablet?


One of our readers, John Millan, sat long and hard studying the stills from the teaser Samsung posted yesterday of the device they’re announcing at CTIA October 11th – likely the Nexus Prime. His theory? That curved line above the phone isn’t just a curved line for video eye-candy.

He thinks the Nexus Prime could be compatible with a tablet dock. His theory is that the phone could attach to the back of a tablet without internals (the internals would be inside the phone) and it would be the same as any other tablet, except less expensive since you already have the phone.

I personally think that’s a bit farfetch’d, but let’s consider those dock connectors we see. Why in the world would Samsung put dock connectors on the same side of the power button? It isn’t often we see this layout on a phone. That’s plausible, but it also makes me think “what if the dock has a power button of its own?” Back to square one.

He suggests more reasons as to why this is plausible, such as the fact that Ice Cream Sandwich will combine the phone and tablet branches of Android into one package. He also says the “perfect combination” and “something big is coming” themes could be referring to the combination of phone and tablet and the size of the tablet.

What we think? We simply think “perfect combination” is ICS + some of the best hardware we’ve ever seen, while “something big” is the magnitude of this announcement and the size of the phone itself (it’ll be a 4.6 inch device).

We’re not saying it isn’t possible that this will have a tablet dock, but that’s the last of our thoughts when it comes to next week’s announcements. We’ll just have to wait and see what pans out. PS: would you even want something like this? [Joe Lancaster, Thanks for sending this in John!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Sounds a lot like the ASUS PadFone to which there was a very mixed response. I would think Google and Samsung would be wary of that, unless that was something Google has been pushing for OEMs to do with ICS…

    1. That was my first thought too. To be fair, I think most people (myself included) liked the idea behind the PadFone, just not so much Asus’s implementation of it.

      1. The idea is nice, but here it makes no sense.
        I mean, we know the reason why the phone is curved, but there is no reason to curve a tablet! Seriously, who would enjoy typing on an on-screen curved tablet? :S For a phone it doesn’t matter, but for a tablet the curve is just plain silly.

        Also, I doubt the battery life would allow me to enjoy this kind of tablet to it’s fullest

  2. i’ll take 2… i’m going on 3 years with my current phone… i’m done waiting!

  3. If its true then count me in!

  4. Anyone confirmed the Exynos 4212 in it?

  5. Hell yes i would want that… It would let me get rid of my poorly thought out Xoom. I love it for what it is/was, but motorola really f’d up on this one.

  6. That would actually be genius

    1. Agreed… a perfect entry device to highlight the marriage of gingerbread and honeycomb into the tablet/phone OS that is ICS. Might be a reach, but would be total win!

    2. Honestly, that sounds like the most amazing thing ever. I carry around a nook color (running phiremod), but if I could just have my phone plug right into a tablet shell, I cant even tell you how amazing that would be

    3. I’m already buying the Nexus Prime. This would only make me buy it harder.

      1. So you’re saying you would have a bigger boner while buying this if it’s true?? Well I know I would lol :p

        1. you need help :p

          1. am511
            that comment did not sound very good followed by your ( :p ) tongue.

          2. it’s ok i’m protected by my display nothing can go through it
            :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p

    4. Agreed! It looks like the thin & flexible OLED screens Samsung has brought to the latest tech conventions.

  7. “to the back of a tablet without internals” – well i hope there is a battery :P 7-10 inch on a smartphone battery = less then 1 hour screen on time :P

    1. When they say “without internals” they don’t mean “just the screen.” It would definitely have to have its own battery. No other electronics on board could possibly mean more room for an even larger battery.

  8. Yeah, I want SOMETHING like this. Why not a 4″ screen on the phone. I like the idea of docking my PHONE to a Tablet, not my miniTablet to a tablet.

  9. Definitely think the interest is there. Look at the Atrix and the Asus Transformer. People are always looking for something that can be portable and powerful. The tablet market is growing too, but the economic sense is there that an idea like this could work. I think your prediction is more reasonable given the rumors we’ve all heard, but John’s suggestions are perfectly reasonable and logical. I’d definitely be curious to see how something like this worked.

  10. Absolutely! I have not wanted to jump into the tablet market because I can’t justify having both a smartphone and tablet (not to mention the cost). This (potentially) solves both problems.

  11. And this would be some of the best news ever if it turns out to be true. :)

  12. Nice theory. Can see evidence pointing that way.

  13. This would be amazing. I will be buying my first Android tablet if this turns out to be true.

  14. Quentyn: that doesn’t make sense to me that it would fit with a tablet…I love the idea, but if you have a connector that *should fit snug to the device, then the power button (in my opinion) would constantly be pressed and disrupt any function. Plus- they almost look like contacts for batteries. Just sayin.

    1. It can still be snug, they’d just need to leave a little space around where the power button of the phone sits in the tablet shell. Remember, the edges of the phone are curved so the tablet shell would likely overlap the curved edges of the phone and cover them, leaving plenty of space to go around the power button.

  15. Personally, I’m kind of skeptical, though I see John’s logic. Personally, I think the perfect combination is Samsung and Google, and big refers to the Nexus. I’m not sure that I want my phone to be the internals to a tablet. That said, though, could be genius and I’m just not seeing it yet :)

    1. The highest end of phones are more powerful than the current high end of tablets. I can see why i would want one set of internals and two different sets of real estate. As long as the phone portion is beefy as all hell, it will make a fantastic tablet!

      1. I understand that. That said, there will be a crop of even higher-end tablets on the way. Anyway, that isn’t my main concern; I use my phone and my tablet very differently, and often use both at once. I understand my experience may be unique, but it still keeps me from wanting to combine the two. Also fit would be a factor. I would not like to damage either device (or, more importantly, the data) should jarring movement break the connection between the two, etc, etc. If it this speculation is correct, I will likely wait to see reviews before I purchase the tab-shell.

        1. Hey I just noticed the bits and the ends and thought I’d post a crazy idea. I didn’t know it would get posted here or be so popular LOL. BTW my original suggestion was two separate devices, the hybrid device idea was Jon’s.

          1. Ah, duly noted! Either one would be an exciting announcement, though two separate devices would fit my usage profile much better :) Either way, great catch if true!

  16. I don’t think it’s the power button on the same side as the doc, I think that is a dedicated camera button. I really really wish I was wrong

    1. No, that’s a power button. It’s on the upper right side (based on the “bump” being at the bottom of the phone), same position as the previous Samsung nexus device.

  17. After seeing the spyder phone concept a few weeks back, I am warming up to an all in one device + accessories.

  18. So it “Transforms” from a Prime Phone into Optimus Prime Tablet? Bad ass!

    1. The Samsung Optimus Tab and the Nexus Prime… Blockbuster!

      1. Nerd Fact: Nexus Prime is already a name of one of the original Transformers. Google it. :-)

        1. you’re a genius. well or Samsung is…

        2. Prime is actually just the title of the leader as shown when the hotrod received The Matrix and became Rodimus Prime.

          1. Prime is a rank that is earned by those who possess the matrix of leadership. Also the god the created the transformers was Primus.

    2. I waited over a year to buy my first smartphone to allow the devices to mature. I believed the T-Bolt was the perfect phone to jump in (and it was at the time). Haven’t bought a tablet due to price. As much as I LOVE my T-Bolt I wish I knew this was coming if true. Seems like the perfect combo. The only thing the tablet portion needs to be is a screen with a battery and video connectors. There could be multiple tablet screens (7″ 8″ 10″). The only limitation that I could think of is that the screen ratio of the tablet would need to match the phone to prevent image stretching. And there would NEED to be a future Prime line of phones that would match the tablet dock. I call BS if the tablet dock has to be trashed with a new phone.

      1. Programs written for Honeycomb (and really, for Gingerbread) should support scaling, so the tablet could have a different resolution and ratio than the phone and properly designed apps would be fine.

        Besides, phones aren’t all the same ratio, so you might have stretching on static-resolution apps anyway.

    3. the one question i have is whether the tablet is curved like the phone. seems like it’d be odd if that was the case..

    4. The “perfect combination” is Samsung + Google. ;)

  19. been waiting for tablets to become basically a dumb shell that gives you increased screen real estate and possibly extended battery life. and i know asus is working in this direction. can’t wait for the day when my phone is basically my cpu, gpu, internet access device and it connects with many other devices. could replace my gaming console etc.

  20. We’ve been holding off on a tablet purchase, letting the market sort itself out. This sounds like a great value, as the table $$$ would be more inline with a dumb monitor, eliminating a lot of overlap/redundancy that a current phone/tablet combo makes you pay for.

  21. Great thought, but I don’t think they’d use the Nexus for something like this. And honestly, the blue in the graphic is just used to draw the eye to the form factor.

  22. And there already is another company at one of the previous shows that was showing off a phone that hooked up to a “gutless” Tablet and a “gutless” laptop. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the manufacturer.

    1. Asus tabphone or something like that.

    2. http://www.alwaysinnovating.com

      That’s the first place I ever saw it. Unfortunately, the company primarily produces “coming soon” promises, production issue excuses and hardware in vapor-form.

  23. No no no…this is a picture of the new Nexus superimposed on an image of the Nexus S. A lot of the clamor in anticipation of the “iphone 5” was that it would have a bigger screen…which it didn’t. “Something BIG is coming,” this is Sammie/Google taunting them with how much BIGger and thinner/sexier the new Nexus is going to be. Can’t wait!

  24. Ridiculous, but I love the idea of it.

    And would buy one, immediately.

  25. This has awkward written all over it.

  26. how would you take a curved phone and dock it to a tab, would you have a curved tab? that would be weird.

    1. Why would the tablet need to be curved. The tablet screen is a competently separate screen with video connectors. The phone could be a round ball that snaps into a flat screen with a round ball receptacle on the bottom.

  27. I’d love a hybrid like that. It’s the main reason why I chose Atrix – a possibility of it turning into a laptop/PC was too awesome. Unfortunately Motorola dropped the ball by including a half-baked (and quite useless) Webtop OS. There are some hacks on XDA for a full(er) Ubuntu/Debian distros, but I really wanted that experience out of the box.

    Samsung could really shine here in that regard by having ICS for phone and “empty” tablet, and ChromeOS for “empty” lapdock.

    I only hope that there is some choice in terms of these tablet docks. I find 7″ to be an optimal size for my use, while others will prefer 8.9 or 10-inch form factors.

  28. What if it’s not just a tablet extension? Remember that twitter feed that suggested “I like the one with the keyboard?” What if you could strap on any attachment you want? Keyboard…. gamepad?


  29. There’s logic beind it and it would be a major shot at Apple. Two devices with the same processor (iPhone 4S and iPad2 3g) = $800+ or one nexus prime = $500~ with a better processor and screen :D

  30. I think it is just a curve, if not ASUS would be suing Samsung.

  31. This is an awesome idea if it is reasonably priced and doesn’t require a tethering plan to use your phone’s data connection. The Atrix lapdock was a non-starter because it was initially priced higher than a netbook and you had to shell out an extra $20 bucks a month and give up your unlimited data plan to be able use Firefox.

    1. No tethering needed. The tablet IS your phone.

      1. How do you know, have you seen it?
        I thought the point of the Atrix lapdock was that your computer is the phone, but AT&T still makes you tether to use your cell data plan with it.

  32. I don’t see it… but anything is possible in the world of Google…

  33. I might need a towel.

  34. I assumed the “perfect combination” was referring to Samsung+Google.

    1. yes, Blue was Samsung, Green was Google!

  35. Would be a great idea. It’s just.. why would you need a tablet with curved screen? Prime would be definitely worth waiting though, with or without this.

    1. There is no reason the tablet screen would need to be curved. It’s a completely separate screen.

  36. hehe this is exciting!

  37. This would be the perfect representation of the merger of the phone and tablet OS versions, plus it would add the benefits of 1) a Nexus tablet (pure Android!) and 2) a single data plan, which is one of my biggest barriers to buying a tablet. I’d rather not get one that’s wi-fi only but I don’t want to pay for a second data plan.

    1. Amen Brotha!

  38. Does anyone know if the specs of both the SCH-i515 and GT-i9250 will be the same, aside from the mobile radios? I just get the scary feeling that the Verizon version just won’t be as outstanding or something…

  39. It makes perfect sense in comparison to the video for the event… it is all about combining things together… why not combine a phone and a tablet… I think I am in love… I have a G1, a Nexus One, and a G2… may save up for this bad boy…

    1. You know, I was assuming that the combination was the merger of the phone and tablet OS version or maybe Google and Samsung working together, but this makes more sense. Everything they’re showing are items that are better experienced together, which would be the case for a tablet powered by your phone.

  40. If its true i’ll start throwing money at the monitor until it works =) I’m already pretty stoked for the phone a tablet shell or any other type of enhanced peripheral like that would just be icing on what is shaping up to be an awesome cake.

  41. Could the three dots on the side be the port for power, similar to the macbook magnetic charging connector?

  42. As always, the proof is in the teaser itself. Look closely at the trailer. “Some things just go “better together””. Then they show photos of things together. This may well be true that the Prime will be a part of something big. I can’t wait.

  43. Maybe it will be compatible with a flexible thin screen tablet device, much like the flexible OLED screens we’ve seen at the latest shows.

  44. Think Google is laughing their asses off with all these over-interpretations.. We are hungry after more than just a glimpse, Google! anyway.. could be cool thou

    1. or… their minds just exploded because it’s such a great idea.

      1. They don’t even need developers with fantasy anymore.. They just use rumors, hopes and interpratations from the fans :p

  45. That Curve look like it would be difficult to use, a slight curve might be ok but this looks to much.

  46. Stop dreaming, this won’t happen

  47. I had the Sony ericsson arc for a while loved the phone style but when in you pocket without a case it was look weird in the pocket & not that comfortable.

  48. Hello, Asus PadFone announced in May: http://event.asus.com/mobile/padfone/.

  49. The whole point of a tablet is a big screen so why would you want a massive 4.6″ phone that connects to a tablet, not a 4.0″ or 4.2″ phone thats ok.

    1. Big difference between a 4.6″ phone screen and an 8″-10″ tablet screen that could simply sit on top. Once connected you wouldn’t even notice that there’s a phone underneath.

  50. if this is true that would mean the tablet would have to be curved…sounds pretty unlikely to me

    1. I agree… it would be weird.

    2. No it wouldn’t. The tablet shell is a new screen with no motherboard, just video connectors. It does seem though that the tablet would have to carry the same screen ratio.

  51. A few months ago Google bought Modu, an israeli start-up company which patents are just what’s described above. Having a “core” phone with interchangeable externals (“Jackets”).
    Read all about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modu

    1. That lends credence to the though I just had, that it could explain the rumors that there’s a qwerty version- what if it’s an attachment? I would be super pumped for that, as I’ve wanted a ‘modular’ phone for freakin’ forever!

  52. Always interesting how people can find so much “evidence” after a conclusion is drawn. I think the combination is going to be something so simple no one is considering it. How bout… Google + Samsung or the worlds most advance phone + the worlds most advanced OS. This tablet thing is a massive stretch and to me kinda seems dumb anyway.

    1. Exactly, Even the Teaser is all Green and Blue. Green for google, Blue for Samsung!

  53. I think I just Primed in my pants.

  54. Well when I first saw it I thought it was the whole phone. Like the screen extended that far but the guts of the phone were in the middle. Then the enhanced pics came out and I could see where the phone was clearly. BUT….this whole tablet idea would simply be amazing and blow everything else out of the water hands down. THAT would be the perfect way to grow tablet sales. Why do we need a separate tablet anyway? All we need is a bigger screen.

    I sure hope this pans out to be the case on Tuesday.

  55. OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG take my money!! I want this to be true so bad!

  56. Question for the knowledgeable folks here: My contact is up on 11/7 and I want to renew before it expires so I can get grandfathered in to unlimited 4G data. I also want this phone and assume it’s going to launch after 11/7.

    Does anyone have any tips/tricks/suggestions how I can accomplish both?

    1. Would you get a new phone with the new contract? I presume so. If so, and if your definitely going to get this phone you could renew your contract and get the phone with the highest re-sale value for your contract, such as an iPhone4 or Galaxy S2, sell the upgrade phone as boxed brand new as soon you get it and buy the Prime off contract a few weeks after its released when the price starts to drop. In the meantime use another phone or the one you have already. Then when you get the Prime sell your old phone.

      If the 4G data costs over the lifetime of the contract would be more than the expected difference between the selling the old phones and buying the new one it could be worth doing.

    2. Seems to me that as long as you continue to pay your monthly unlimited bill and don’t close your account it shouldn’t matter. I don’t think you have to be “under contract” to carry a grandfathered rate, but call big red and ask them.

  57. this would be awesome but idk seems very unlikely… please surprise us Google… please! :D

  58. Just as long as Verizon doesn’t use this a an excuse to cripple Android’s wireless tethering…

    1. No need for a teather if your tablet IS your phone

  59. You mean like the padfone that asus created, I don’t think Samsung is that stupid because it obviously didn’t work out with asus and Motorola has been trying the same thing with net books and it didn’t work.

    1. padfone isnt out and it suppose to run ICS so please tell me how it didnt work out for Asus?

      1. I agree. The key here is ICS. It obviously makes no sense if the OS isn’t capable of running both devices seamlessly. I think the photo interpretation is wishful thinking but I hope it is true. It would be a perfect solution for me.

  60. The more I think about it, the more plausible it seems. What else would those dock connectors be used for? And why would the connectors be shown prominently in the teaser?

  61. “Perfect combination” doesn’t mean Samsung + Google. It has to be something new, so phone + tablet sounds plausible.

    1. I agree here. Samsung + Google is nothing new. And I don’t believe Google would single out Samsung as their perfect partner and offend every other MFG they work with.

  62. The tablet could charge your phone too. This idea is too good to be true…

  63. I give this a 20% chance of coming true, but I would definitely buy this over a laptop dock. I can have a Galaxy Tab and a sweet phone in the same package. Genius. I wouldn’t have to port over my games, contact, pictures, etc to a new device. I could have a bigger screen for my Prime!

  64. Remember when they announced something for the “Entertainment and Gaming Enthusiast” for the upcoming event and we thought… no way this is the Prime. Well… with a tablet dock that would certainly put the Prime closer to this category. Think about it.

  65. I’m very likely to get this phone, just waiting for it to be announced to decide, and I’d get a gutless tablet extension in a heartbeat, that would rock.
    I get his logic, it’ll be a nice plus if they do have it.
    But I just want hard data on the phone at this point :)

  66. I don’t know what to call them, but it almost looks like there are “brackets” below the phone on the top and bottom that appear to let the phone slide into the tablet. This is gaining some credibility if you ask me…

    1. I believe those are simply levelers for the phone on a flat surface..

  67. I think it’s a good possibility, and a good idea. Phone for everyday use (pocketable), and tablet for watching video, playing games, writing emails… anytime you would want more real estate.

    I believe the Nexus Prime is going to be my next phone, and if this tablet idea plays out I will buy it too.

  68. It would look cool with the youtube app in honeycomb

  69. It’s brilliant if it comes to pass, but we should remember ASUS has already had this in mind with the Padfone http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/30/asus-announced-padfone/

    Maybe they intend to use the same OS and Samsung will just beat them to it first with the rights to Nexus?

  70. If this is true I’d cut off something vital just to have this!

  71. I think the Nexus Prime might really be a two piece set. Someone hinted that Nexus Prime is actually a Transformer, so I googled it and sure enough, Nexus Prime is a Transformer that’s made up of more smaller Transformers. That really makes the phone/tablet setup sound plausible.

  72. Nobody cares that the 1.5ghz chip is delayed and won’t be in this if it is released when they say so? Why do websites post articles about the chip being delayed, and then the SAME websites say that it’s going to be groundbreaking. I’ll believe the ish when i see it but I ain’t getting my hopes up. This is going to be iphone 4s lmao! Nothing new, nothing crazy, same old same old!

  73. The chances of them making a giant banana shaped tablet are near 0

  74. Bad ass phone. Look at the image -> Metal Case, Curve (Super) AMOLED HD. What are the 3 little dots on the side of the phone ??? Optimus Prime’s Laser guns !!! :).

    If*ck 4G -> go eat sh*t

  75. I think it could be possible! Motorola Xoom wasn’t one of Google’s best products. Besides that, it’s now the time to shine for Google. They have to sell their stuff before Windows 8 tablets come to us. Of course I’m not sure, but if it is; it would be a nice move.

  76. I could see it going either way. It does sort of look like it might be attached to a tablet, but it also just looks like a thin wisp of light. I think the “perfect combination” phrase is simply to represent the combination of this incredible phone and it’s soon to be owners.

  77. I think it’s just art to exaggerate the curved screen but if it really does have a tablet dock that is reasonably priced, I’ll buy it.

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