New Nexus 7 Review
The original Nexus 7 was groundbreaking in that it offered a totally usable platform, decent specs and comes with a low price tag. It came with the latest Android version 4.1 then, called Jelly Bean.
Based on the success of the original Nexus 7, the second version would also bear the Asus emblem. The 2013 model will retain the Nexus 7 name and in many aspects, it seems like an incremental update. This is largely due to the fact that the OS which is still Jelly Bean hasn’t evolved a great deal. However, there are notable enhancements as we will discuss in this review.
The Nexus 7 (2013) is lighter and has a sleeker design than it’s predecessor.
Google took out the original rough finish backplate and gave the new Nexus 7 a smooth back with a soft touch texture that is comfortable in the hand and seems to have a coating that’s remarkably good at repelling fingerprints. As usual, branding is minimal, with nothing on the front and both Asus and Nexus logos are prominently featured on the back.
The silver trim around the bezel is gone. The screen just blends into the sides, which curve around to create an uninterrupted back panel. The bezels have been shrunk right down to make the screen almost extend to the edges which means you can wrap a hand around it quite comfortably.
There are two lots of speakers on the back with grilles that run around the curve of the edges so that even when the device lies flat on a surface the sound isn’t muffled. It is on the top and bottom of the rear but the idea is that it will act as a stereo speaker when you watch stuff in landscape.
The screen size remains at 7 inch and uses the same IPS tech but upgraded the resolution to 1920 x 1200 pixel with a pixel density of 323ppi. It’s almost impossible to spot individual pixels.
Google really worked on color accuracy this time, with a two step calibration process, once at a high level by the panel maker and once again per device during final manufacturing. Add in great viewing angles from the IPS panel and the screen really is a delight to look at.
The new Nexus 7 sports a lower capacity battery of 3,950mAh, probably due to it’s thinner chassis. The result however is anything but a reduction in battery life. Google says this was achieved by tweaks in the Android code. Android 4.3 is great at battery management. When the unit goes to sleep, it goes into deep sleep and to be awaken immediately when you need it.
It supports wireless charging. Like the Nexus 4 smartphone, it supports the Qi standard, and you can use the same charger for both devices. Internally, it is powered by a quad core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB of RAM similar to the Nexus 4 smartphone. Connectivity comes in the form of NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
Three models have been introduced : 16GB Wifi version for $229, 32GB Wifi version for $269 and 32GB LTE version for $349. Like many devices in the Nexus range, there’s no way to expand the storage space with MicroSD cards.
- Dimensions: 200 x 114 x 8.65mm
- Weight: 290g (299g for LTE version)
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064-1AA
- Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Krait 300
- RAM: 2GB
- Screen: 7-inch IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen, 1920×1200 pixels, 323ppi
- Storage: 16GB/32GB internal
- Camera: Rear-facing 5-megapixel, 1080p video recording. Front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera with 720p video recording
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band, Bluetooth v4, NFC
- Battery: 3,950mAh
- Other Features: Android 4.3, Qi wireless charging
Nexus 7 (2013) is a sleeker, lighter and better spec device than last year’s model. It has a premium feel compared to it’s predecessor, with a stunning 323ppi screen and decent battery life. It is arguably the best Android tablet you can buy right now with competitive price which adds up to it’s superb value for money.