As you might have noticed, Nexus 9 reviews started seeing daylight daylight today. Ours is not (yet) among them, and there's good reason for that.
We received our Nexus 9 from Google for review last Wednesday, Oct. 29. Five days is what I'd consider to be the bare minimum amount of time for a normal review. But the Nexus 9, of course, isn't a normal device. It's one of the first running Android 5.0 Lollipop. It's the first production device using this variant of NVIDIA's Tegra K1 processor — and we'd say the first real retail device to do so —and the first to make the leap to 64-bit architecture. That's not to say we couldn't meet that challenge, of reviewing a device of this caliber in just a few short days, over the Halloween weekend, but that's also just part of the story.
Pretty early on we started hearing from colleagues at other websites whose Nexus 9s were practically unusable. Ours seemed to be fine, save for the occasional app crash — not surprising given the changes in Android 5.0, and that we were more than likely using pre-release software anyway. (This ain't our first Nexus rodeo.)
And as it turns out, Google pushed out an over-the-air update — a full 800 megabytes — on Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the embargo was to lift. This build — LRX21L — is the build retail units will have, Google says. And so we're going to spend some more time with it before getting our formal review together. The Nexus 9 is too important a device, and Lollipop too important an update, for us to half-ass our review just to meet an embargo.
And so we thank you for your patience. We're working on it, and we're just getting started, really, with our coverage of the new Nexus devices. Our Nexus Player review is well under way, and we've already got a 13-minute Nexus Player video walkthrough ready for you. We'll have that one wrapped up shortly.
We don't usually go into too much public detail about the inside baseball that accompanies the review process. In this case, though, I decided it was warranted. Again, thanks for your patience. We're hard at work, and we all look forward to presenting you with our Nexus reviews. In the meantime, we invite you to swing by our Nexus forums to see the inside scoop from other readers, like yourself.