Nexus 7(2013) Review

After constant whining for months, my dad finally  let me buy the new Nexus 7. For those of you who are wondering how I got it- I ordered it from Google Play by using proxy and then gave my forwarding address from Shop and Ship. The tablet certainly has lived upto my expectations so far, especially with it’s stunning display. I shall not be comparing the tablet much to the iPad Mini because I feel it has outdated hardware.

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Specifications:-

Display:- 7.02-inch 1920×1200 IPS( 323ppi pixel density), with Cornering Gorilla Glass

Dimensions:- 200 x 114 x 8.65mm

Processor- 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro

RAM- 2GB DDR3

Capacity- 32GB/16GB ( No SD card slot)

Camera- 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus (no flash)  + 1.2 MP front camera

GPU – Adreno 320

OS -Android 4.3 (Jellybean)

Battery- 3950 mAh battery (non-removable), wireless charging supported.

Weight- 290 g

Build ,Design

The packaging is simple with just the tablet, charger and warranty information leaflet. I was a bit disappointed with the cover/box because I think the Nexus 4 or 2012 Nexus 7 had a more appealing design, but it’s just the cover/box so that’s not a big deal. The new Nexus 7 is slightly longer and noticeably lighter and thinner than its predecessor.

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Nexus 7 2013(left) and Nexus 7 2012 (right)
Credit-AnandTech

The device has a soft gripping plastic back. The Nexus logo is present in landscape and certainly adds character to the device. For those of you who have used the 2012 Nexus 7, the new one might seem to lack a bit in grip  but rest assured that’s not the case.

There are only two physical buttons on the Nexus 7 – Power and the Volume rocker button. I have been using the device for a week and it is still hard for me to operate them. It is also a tad bit hard to press them as they are smooth to touch.

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Credit-AnandTech

The bottom of the tablet has a micro USB port present, while the audio jack (3.5mm) is on the top end of the tablet. Although a notification LED is present below the screen, the downside is that there is only the white LED and other colours are not supported. This is something that I never anticipated and even disappointed me, as it’s a basic feature which is present in my 2 year old phone.

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The display is the main reason why I bought this device. I love to read a lot of eBooks and hence the device I chose had to have a sharp display.  The Nexus 7 is the perfect tablet for this. It’s easy to hold in one hand and portability is another advantage, unlike the Nexus 10 which I feel is more suitable for media. Nexus 7 has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 with 323 ppi. The fonts are crisp and bold, making the reading experience wonderful even under sunlight. Though the screen is not big enough to have an amazing movie experience, the display makes up for it and makes it worthwhile, as it is absolutely brilliant to see the colours so vibrant and bright.

Camera

The Nexus has a 5MP back camera which can take photos of average quality with a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels.  The camera app interface is pretty simple and easy to figure out. If you swipe from the right side of the screen then you can see the recently taken photos and edit/add effects to them.

 

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There isn’t much to tell about the camera other than the fact that it does its job decently and is good for some quick shots. Since there is no flash present, there isn’t much scope for low light photography. The colours are bearable but at times they seem a bit washed out.

There is a front 1.2 MP camera and it manages to produce an average output for video calls. The device is capable of recording videos at 1080p and can capture good details.

OS

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The Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.3 which is the latest version of Android from Google. The new version is more like a small incremental update with major changes being, better multiple user management, support for Bluetooth 4.0 and OpenGL ES 3.0. OpenGL ES will definitely improve the graphics and textures on screen while playing games.

For those of you who are wondering what the hype about a Nexus device , it’s the fact that Nexus devices are the ones which will get the Android updates first from Google and don’t have to wait of the device manufacturer to release the updates.  Also pure Android. There won’t be any modifications like TouchWiz, it will give you the pure android experience.

Multi-User functionality enables the ability to lock specific apps; making sharing the tablet is more comfortable. The notification drawer is basically divided into two halves, if it’s swiped down from the left side, then the notification drawer is shown with app/system notifications and if the right side is swiped down, then one can see quick toggles for WiFi, Airplane Mode etc. Although I have heard a lot of people complain about Chrome being unusable, I disagree. So far I haven’t faced any problems with it.

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Google Now has improved a lot since its launch. The voice recognition is really pretty good and the fact that it reminds me when to start my trip to college and provides bus numbers and directions is pretty neat. It also enables me to continue “researching” about topics which I was searching for on Google, using my desktop, from my phone/tablet.

 

Hardware/Benchmark

Nexus 7 comes with a S4 pro chipset, which has a quad core 1.5GHz Krait CPU and Adreno 320 GPU. The 2GB RAM helps to make the experience satisfactory, without much lag, thus reducing one’s urge to break the tablet out of frustration. I had no problems in switching between various apps. I can’t comment much on the experience with gaming using the tablet as I rarely play games. But as far as I know Nova 3 and Asphalt 8 runs smoothly and is enjoyable.

I don’t believe much in benchmarks but I am sure there are people who would want the numbers, so I conducted a few tests and here are the screenshots of the results. 

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Battery

The tablet has a non-removable 3950mAh battery which is actually slightly smaller than the previous Nexus 7.However, the new one is more battery efficient so that shouldn’t be much of a problem. I get up to 1.5 days of battery life with regular usage while it was constantly connected to a WiFi network. It takes around 3 hours to charge the device completely and wireless charging through a Qi charger is also possible. So if you own one,then it will work with the Nexus 7.

 

Conclusion

I can say with ease that the new Nexus 7 is one of the best android tablets available in the market now and for me is a better choice over the iPad Mini. I am not going to say “Apple rox cuz moar apps” because I really don’t think anyone is actually going to download all those apps. Android could use some more tablet optimized apps but the number grows everyday and soon it will be better. To sum it up I shall say this is one of the best, worthwhile purchases I have made and the display just makes you fall in love with the device and overlook the minor shortcomings.

 

Pros-

  • Brilliant display
  • Wireless charging
  • NFC
  • Performance

 

Cons-

  • No flash for camera
  • LED  notification supports only one colour
  • No SD card slot

Lost engineering student who loves to unleash the imagination by traveling to the fantasy medieval relams through texts printed on binded paper. Technology peaks my curiosity and interest, human behavior puzzles me, life annoys me.

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