Google Nexus 7 vs Apple iPad 3
We’ve completed several iOS versus Android comparisons in the past, but it’s different this time around because the Nexus 7 is packing some serious heat in the form of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – thus, bringing forth some new refinements that solidify and deepen its experience. On one hand, we love that iOS is intuitive, simple, and basically easier to learn for nearly everyone, however, it’s lagging behind in the personalization department. Of course, that’s an area where Android shows off its worth, as its various widgets and live wallpapers help to define the look and feel of the platform.
Interestingly enough, both tablets make good use of various gestures to get around their respective platforms. For example, they both share the swipe down gesture from the top bezel to gain access to notifications. However, we find the iPad’s various gesture implementations to be more useful and effective than its counterpart. Specifically, we like how we’re able to easily swipe left/right to move in and out of various apps – while a pinch gesture with all 5 fingers get us back to the homescreen.
The notifications system in play with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7 really blows away what the iPad has to offer. In addition to being able to view various notifications, the Nexus 7 is blessed with more functionality from within its notifications tray – like the ability to share screenshots/photos and view snippets of an email.
Broadening its functionality over what the iPad has to offer right now, the Google Now aspect of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is a noteworthy and impressive offering, seeing it’s able to provide tangible suggestions based on our habits using the tablet.
Looking into the various core organizer apps with each tablet, there isn’t a whole lot different as the two share similar functionalities and presentations with items such as the calendar, calculator, and address book. Luckily, they’re tablet optimized and make good use of the added real estate, but when it comes to third-party apps, the iPad boasts more that are refined for the tablet experience.
On the surface, there isn’t a whole lot different with the layouts of their respective email apps. Still, there’s no arguing that the Gmail experience on the Nexus 7 is rock solid in providing us a very similar desktop-like experience.
Typing isn’t that much of a problem with either device, especially when they’re responsive in keeping up with our rate of input. However, when it comes to portrait usage, we prefer using the Nexus 7 seeing that our thumbs are able to comfortably encompass the entire layout. Oppositely, the iPad is the ideal choice when it comes to landscape – thanks to its roomy feel.
Processor and Memory:
To tell you the truth, there’s no need to specifically mention what kind of processors are running behind the scenes with these two wickedly fast tablets. Simply, they’re undeniably swift with their operations! For argument sakes, the iPad employs a dual-core Apple A5x processor, while the Nexus 7 chomps down with a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU. From basic to complex tasks, these two rarely exhibit any sort of major slowdown with their movements – though, we still experience a few delays popping up every now and then, but it’s nothing too terrible to dampen the experience.
If you’re big into storing a ton of multimedia content, you might want to check out the iPad since it’s available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB options. Unfortunately, you’ll need to be stringent on what you put on the Nexus 7 because of its quaint 8GB and 16GB capacities. Oh yeah, did we mention there is no expandability with either the two?
Internet and Connectivity:
Now that Adobe Flash isn’t supported by Jelly Bean, the playing field is somewhat evened out in the web browsing department. Actually, both Safari on the iPad and Chrome on the Nexus 7 offer nearly the same gratifying experience we’d come to expect – so it’s no surprise that we find ourselves enjoying the experience. However, we do notice that the Google Nexus 7 isn’t as fast as the iPad when it comes to rendering things when the zoom level is modified. Aside from that, there isn’t anything else different between the two. Oh yeah, there’s also a Chrome app for iOS!
Right now, the Google Nexus 7 is available in Wi-Fi form only, which means you’ll need to leech off a Wi-Fi hotspot for data connectivity. Meanwhile, the iPad is available in Wi-Fi and a variety of 3G/4G LTE options, which should cover a wide range of users. As for other connectivity options, they both pack Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, the Nexus 7 has aGPS while the iPad has it in the 4G version only.
Some people vouch that they would never consider using a tablet to take photos, but it’s nevertheless a nice thing to have in a worst-case scenario. Sure, the iPad’s rear camera might not deliver the best shots, but it’s simply nice to know that the option to snap something is there – plus, it deepens its value over its rival. The Nexus 7 packs only a front-facing camera that’s accessible by specific apps – with no dedicated camera app to snap photos or videos.
While playing music, there isn’t a whole lot different with their respective music players, but we do like the cool 3D carousel available with the Nexus 7 when browsing through content in landscape. Surprisingly though, audio quality is quite pleasant with the two, as the loudest volume setting yields some distinctive and pleasant tones. However, we like how the equalizer settings are all available from within the music player of the Nexus 7 – whereas on the iPad, its settings are found in the general settings menu.
Thanks partly to its snazzy looking Retina Display, we find the iPad to be the ideal device for watching high-definition videos on the go. Well, it’s not to say that the Nexus 7 isn’t good enough to get the job done, but rather, the bright looks of the Retina Display combined with its larger size manages to capture our attention even more.
1. wendygarett (unregistered)
Seriously John, how can you compare these two such a way..... There are so much different between these two...
2. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
What do you mean? He was very just & fair in his criticism. He pointed out the best on both devices & the bad on both devices. I mean how much more fair can he be.
What are the real differences? One is big & one is small? One runs iOS 6 & the other runs Jelly Bean?
He is right these are the 2 best tablets around right now.
I think my Asus Transformer Prime running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean is a better unit than the Nexus 7, but again that is just my humble opinion. lol
3. wendygarett (unregistered)
yup, He is right these are the 2 best tablets around right now.
But different spec different price different os different size etc...
It just awkward and unfair to compare in this way...
6. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
I understand what you are saying, BUT he is comparing the 2 BEST tablets. He doesn't care about the price point, size or whatever. His job was to compare the 2 BEST tablets & that is what he did.
There is nothing unfair about it. He did a GREAT job.
7. wendygarett (unregistered)
I understand :D
10. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Cool. At least he didn't use AppleInsider for this review. lol
16. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
---" He doesn'tcare about theprice point,size or whatever."---
I'm going to play devil's advocate for second. I'm obviously being overly critical but I do get the impression that he does use the price point to compare the two. If the prices were more balanced, he would've inherently, without a doubt, chosen the iPad.
When you compare larger size and price vs lower, the fight becomes the equivelant of KIA vs Escalade. This becomes evident in the constant mention of the size differences vs taste and those that can afford the larger vs those that can't.
I had no choice but to only compare found ios vs Jellybean. I want a larger tablet that best competes with Apple.
18. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Ok I will play too.
This Kia as you refer to is a quad-core beast. Compared to the dual-core Escalade. I think that is a poor comparison. It’s more like an Escalade to a BMW M3, just that the M3 is underpriced to the price of a Toyota Camry. He essentially was comparing the 2 BEST tablets, which happens to be the $200.00 Nexus 7 & the $500.00 Apple iPad 3.
If he is truly doing a fair comparison between the 2 he HAS to mention the price points. You can't compare anything without price points. That is part of the deal in a comparison.
The only reason he picked the Nexus 7 is because it's the newest & best. Once the Asus Transformer Prime gets an OFFICIAL Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 update then we can compare the 2. The Prime is a better unit overall.
I have a rooted Asus Transformer Prime running 4.1.1 & it’s an absolute joy. Remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is coming out & we will see how it stacks up against the iPad 3.
19. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
---" The only reason he picked the Nexus 7 is because it's the newest & best. Once the Asus Transformer Prime gets an OFFICIAL Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 update then we can compare the 2."---
SuperAndroidEvo, you just confirmed what I was pointing out. The size also matters in comparisons.
I give him credit to bring the GN7 to media worthiness. It is a great tablet. And while his comparison tried to be unbiased, the sizes unfortunately, do put these two tablets in separate categories.
I happen to like the Transformer BTW. I'm sure Jellybean has increased its potential. It's great to see the Android platform evolve into the monster product it is. People of other platforms will eventually see just how great it is.
21. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
I wasn't necessarily pointing out the size, I was saying that the Asus Transformer Prime is a better unit in terms of build quality & features. It just happens to be a 10.1" tablet also.
If the Nexus 7 had the same features & build quality as the Prime then I would not have said what you quoted.
Again I think size is just a matter of opinion, what really matters at least to me is the guts of the tablet & Google has put together a very viable tablet for a much cheaper price point compared to the Apple iPad 3.
I really think that was the basis of John V.'s comparison, also let’s not forget the OS differences. Right now it’s a fact that the best Android has is the Nexus 7 because of Jelly Bean. Once Jelly Bean hits the Asus Transformer Prime, that will again be the best tablet in Android’s corner.
20. wendygarett (unregistered)
Everyone prefer nexus 7 because it is future proof... Which mean it is os upgradable and affordable...
23. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
That too is also true. It's just that Google was able to produce such a competent tablet at such a ridiculous price point.
People will see this & this might finally start to hurt Apple. For a 7" $200.00 tablet with GREAT specs to hold that much water against the full force of the iPad 3 is truly astonishing, to me at least.
74. devinm787 (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
u couldn't be more wrong. its like comparing a corolla xrs to a bmw m3, yeah u can put parts & sup up the xrs but it will never be a bmw. the build quality & feel of the iPad is far superior, the screen is better, & u speak of the tegra3 vs the dual core A5x, but the iPad benchmarks better then the nexus7. so in other words u get what u pay for. like in a bmw vs a toyota
46. deacz (Posts: 162; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)
the nexus 7 isnt the BEST andriod tablet out there, Im sure the transformer prime infinity is a lot nicer.
35. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
because thats what a website like phonearena is supposed to.......
37. kartik4u98 (Posts: 511; Member since: 19 May 2012)
I think wendygarett should leave PA now...
4. sid07desai (Posts: 290; Member since: 03 May 2012)
Good comparison. Precise. It is obvious that Nexus is better (considering it's price).
8. sorcio46 (Posts: 435; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
I agree :-) (waiting for my N7 to be shipped)
75. devinm787 (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
so is a honda civic better than a mercedes amg ? i mean considering the price.
5. sorcio46 (Posts: 435; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
300$ of difference and still the Nexus 7 can show that is an hard opponent for the new iPad :-)
9. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
This comparison is very poor. This is like comparing a $20,000 Toyota to a $45,000 Lexus. Most people don't need a Lexus and cannot afford one. I had both tablets but got rid of my iPad 3 because it just did not suit me. I wanted a smaller higher quality name brand 7 inch tablet that will receive timely updates. After the wow factor for the Retina display wore off that iPad started collecting dust. Apple is not meeting my needs at the moment.
39. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)
There is a famous comparison of a $500,000 Lexus LFA vs $85,000 nissan skyline on Youtube. Who cares. You can compare it to whatever you want. Who says you can only compare things in the same category.
The Nexus is the better bang for the buck PERIOD. I own an iPad2 AND an iPad3 and I will sell them for a Nexus 7
When you use the iPad all day and realize its not that comfortable to hold you quickly realize that you would sacrifice the solid aluminum and big size for a more comfortable smaller screen and lighter device.
I love my iPad but dont take it everywhere with me. The nexus however is a device that will fit comfortably in my cargo shorts.
more practical, more comfortable, equals better to me. Of course, that is my own personal criteria
76. devinm787 (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
you're gonna sell both an iPad 2 & 3rd gen iPad to buy a nexus7....do u know how much the nexus cost haha. I dont think u have to sell both haha
12. SEUL8TR (banned) (Posts: 30; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)
ile take the N7 with 32gb
saphire ceramic front glass
carbon fiber at the back
13. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
you cant beat value for money with the nexus.
bottom line you get what you pay for
14. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
also I think the nexus 10 will be the real competitor for the ipad
15. script_writer (banned) (Posts: 56; Member since: 27 Jun 2012)
im afraid i have agree with wendygarett (top of the comments) that the devices differ in such way that its hard to compare them fairly. WHEN google launch the nexus 7 10inch edition then it will be a more fair comparason. either that or when apple launch the ipad mini.
22. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
wow.. you really skipped over Google Now, which is a HUUUUUUGE ADVANTAGE over iOS. You made it sound like it was next to nothing.
Also, would you pay 300 more for the ipad to watch movies on.. and have them only be SLIGHTLY bigger (After all the aspect ratio cropping) and SLIGHTLY nicer on screen? I hope you have a lot of cash to burn.
Here, true story about Google Now from ACTUAL use, not a 5 minute play around for a comparison.
"My wife has been taking her tablet to work (and everywhere) with her. Without telling the tablet where work or home is actually located or when she comes/goes, it figured it out (im assuming by consistent locations at time of day and usage patterns... way cool). The other morning it woke her up (its beside her phone on the stand) and told her there was an accident on her way to work, that its a 40 minute delay, and gave her a re-routing.... all automatically. It Google Now saved her from being late without programming anything into it. That is awesome." And its 100% true.
Dont forget to mention that the N7 has voice commands unlike the ipad3 (yet), and GNow is waaaaaay more accurate and functional than Siri.
24. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Thank you for that. Google Now is clearly something the $500.00 iPad 3 just CAN'T do. Also if I am correct the iPad 3 still doesn't even have the very outdated or shall we say incomplete Siri. Right?
28. jaoowolabi (Posts: 201; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)
To be honest, I think people can live without a voice assistant on a tablet, I mean I do.
30. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Good for you. That is great. I use Google Voice search & Google Now all the time on my rooted Asus Transformer Prime running Jelly Bean.
31. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Google Now is much much more than a simple voice search app like Siri, hence the entire point of the REAL LIFE EXAMPLE I just gave of its automatic usage.
44. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
Siri is a voice search app? Another dishonest post by you.
Google now is the voice search app with no true ai like Siri.
47. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Siri is no AI. AI means Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is the ability to problem solve complex things, the ability to get smarter & grow through time.
Siri is just a collection of recorded questions & answers. Any "NEW" questions Siri encounters it will tell you it can answer that until it’s updated by Apple to answer that new question.
Siri doesn't learn, every new update to Siri is just more questions & answers that is added to its data base. Siri doesn't get smarter nor does it have the ability to solve problems. If Siri was AI then it wouldn't need the internet to answer questions. It would just answer it based on it's knowledge. Just like you & I.
Siri is a voice search app that knows some cute non essential BS. It by no means is AI. lol
At least Google Now can adapt to an individual the more & more you use it. It’s not AI, but it’s something way closer to AI than Siri. Google Now actually gets smarter based on usage. Siri is subpar compared to Google's Voice search app or Google Now.
77. devinm787 (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
the more u use siri the more it recognizes ur voice.
also u have to remember apple is great at updating their softwares, siri is still a beta. but both voice assistants do get the job done & both will greatly improve, just have to wait to see which does better for its native device in the future.
66. TortillaSlap (Posts: 43; Member since: 05 Aug 2012)
what type of fool thinks siri is an AI??? lolol.
25. ChafedBanana (Posts: 381; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
It's true. Google Now is very impressive and works extremely well. The speech recognition is waaaaay better than anything else too. I love the cards and the woman's voice is actually pleasant compared to Siri. Jelly Bean 4.1 is the best O.S. ever. I'm running Vicious Jelly Bean 4.1.1 on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus and it is now so good that after having owned and tried the Galaxy SIII for a week, I put the sim card back in the Nexus.
26. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
That was my experience too. Yes the Samsung Galaxy S III might have better benchmarks & more power than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but because of Jelly Bean the GNex is smoother, faster & more polished than the S III when side by side. You can literally SEE it.
I swear the GNex with Jelly Bean is like a totally different phone. There are no words to describe it other than it's pure joy of functionality. Also Google now is the next best thing since sliced bread. lol
32. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
yup, you aint kidding. The difference between Honeycomb and 4.1 on a tablet is night and day as well. And I was irritated with honeycomb BEFORE playing with the nexus 7.. now its even worse.
I really wasnt expecting anything major with the 4.1 announcement. They hit the ball so far out of the park with delivering beyond expectations its not funny.
Just wait till the SGS3 gets JB. All that goodness + all the power + way better camera software/hardware.
27. aahmed215 (Posts: 165; Member since: 18 Jun 2012)
It's almost like comparing apples to oranges. The Nexus 7 is a low budget device, while the iPad is a premium product. It all depends on what type of consumer you are and neither product can be called better than the other.
Despite the much lower expectations of a $200 device, it's specs and operating system is a threat to the iPad.
33. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
the nexus 7 is a semi-premium device disguised as a budget device for mass adoption.
Quad core, super slick usage, and a decently high def screen are not "budget".
Apple charges you a "premium" and gives you less per dollar.
google charges you a minimum and gives you TONS more than the ipad per dollar.
Had the review gone in depth with 4.1's actual features and usage of Google Now, no one would be fooled into thinking that the ipad is the "premium" tablet other than name brand recognition.
29. jaoowolabi (Posts: 201; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)
the generation nexus 7 isnt good enough but i believe the next one will!
36. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
i think the ipad mini will be the best if its priced at $299 for 16gb version because of the elegance and the quality of app store apps and games............the ipad is too big for me....talking about the n7, im not happy with the apps,games quality of my nexus 7, the ui response and display(unusual colors especially while reading books) is not that great either.....if the starting price of the ipad mini is more than $299, then i will be very happy with my nexus 7
38. cliffordm81 (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Jul 2012)
Seriously though as these are different devices in totally different ways, screen size, operating systems, etc. Phonearena should focus more on the detailed pros and cons of the two devices such as responsiveness, touch screen input, ram difference, gps capabilities, etc. I noticed that it says the ipad doesnt have aGPS except in the 4G flavor and that is not true if I read the reviews correctly from before. Anyway they both are nice but as far as functionality and fluidity ios is still amazing.. Now when the transformer infinity prime tf700 comes out then we can compare a bit better.
41. umbrarchist (Posts: 2; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)
I can slide the Nexus into the front pocket of the pants I am wearing right now. I still fit my hand in. I would rather have a cargo pocket with a velcro sealed flap but I don't care if the iPad!3 has a better screen. The Nexus would get more use in more places and I thing the picture is great. I would spend more money for an SD Card slot not a better screen.
42. mas11 (Posts: 1034; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
I hate it when they say Android is complex. There is a difference between having a high level of customization and being complex. My gf isn't tech savvy and she doesn't have any issues using her Android phone. In my opinion iOS is oversimplified. All you have is grid of apps. Seriously Apple let your users decide how their homescreen is organized.
51. robocopvn (Posts: 412; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)
Agree. There're nothing but grid of apps =DDD. That's bad. But that's good for children and girls and old man.
43. andyboi_ph (Posts: 101; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)
this is an okay review in prep for the launching of the ipad mini however it is best to compare ipad mini with the google nexus 7. This is the real battle of specs, size and price points of a 7 inch tablet.
45. mas11 (Posts: 1034; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
Agreed I'm pumped to see that comparison. (Hint: Nexus 7 will win)
54. andyboi_ph (Posts: 101; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)
if ipadmini (8G) will raise the bar over $199, nexus wins. btw, as we converse, nexus 7 (16G) on google play - all sold out considering its on pre-order mode.
48. maryaaadil (Posts: 146; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)
Every ifan is crazy
For 500$ you can buy a ipad or for the same price you could buy a 200$ Nexus 7 or maybe a gnex by adding some money or Nexus 7 with Nexus Q
N btw Nexus 7 serves the purpose of a tablet and has manage to get all of us to compare it with the "The New iPad" and if Apple wants competition it should fight with someone with same size( Win8 x86 tabs).
50. amiaq (Posts: 509; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)
I have all the 'iOS' look and purpose in my Android "apps drawer" and my "app drawer" is BLAZING FAST!!! no lag what so ever, go figure...
52. Jillxz (Posts: 149; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
They really cannot be compared. Nexus 7 has only a 7in display and the iPhone has a 10.1 No comparison here.