Google Nexus 7 Review (2013)

Interface and Functionality:

Ah yes, it’s the NEW Nexus device we’ve been waiting for, so it’s obviously treated to a new experience. To be specific, it’s running a vanilla Android 4.3 Jelly Bean experience, which doesn’t depart much in the visual department over the last major version of Android, but there are some noteworthy new additions that help to deepen the platform’s functionality by just a smidgen more. As expected, the platform lays claim to an exorbitant amount of personalization, but there’s nothing new in the visuals aside from a few preloaded static wallpapers we haven’t seen before.


After checking out some of the platform’s new features, some are naturally more practical than others, seeing that many of them are mostly relegated to behind-the-scenes. Here’s what’s new with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean:

Restricted Profiles – Last time around, we were ecstatic to find multi-user support with Android tablets, but with version 4.3, it now provides us with Restricted Profiles. Now, this is something wonderful to find if your tablet is widely used in the home, where kids, parents, and spouses all rely on the same tablet. Essentially, the admin can specify what apps are accessed by each user. Therefore, when those users log in, they will only be allowed access to apps that have been set to on by the admin.

Bluetooth Smart Ready – Primarily targeting those who have low-energy Bluetooth smart accessories, like some chest strapped heart rate monitors, devices running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean are optimized to work efficiently with these low power devices. It’s not something that’ll benefit everyone, but if you happen to fall into the category, you’ll surely come to appreciate it.

Wireless Display – If streaming video is your forte, like ones from YouTube, the Wireless Display feature of Android 4.3 brings your favorite content to the big screen in your living room – that’s as long as your television set supports Miracast.

Location awareness with Always-on Wi-Fi scanning – Again, another feature that’s more of a background process, this one allows devices running Android 4.3 to continue getting location information passively when Wi-Fi is turned off by the user. Seeing that always-on Wi-Fi scanning is present, it’ll continue to provide relevant data to apps without draining battery.

Accelerated 3D Graphics – Gamers will undeniably relish this one, since Android 4.3 brings forth support to Open GL ES 3.0. Basically, graphically intensive games will now sport more accelerated 3D graphics, which in turn, will give games even more photorealism than ever before.

Virtual Surround Sound – Armed with two speakers now, which means stereo support is in tow, the Nexus 7 with its Android 4.3 experience will give users that surround sound feel.

Generally speaking, this isn’t that huge refresh, but rather, it’s a miniscule update that mostly finds its usefulness with items in the experience that we’re not constantly in touch with on a direct level. However, it’s nevertheless nice to find that the platform is still seeing some optimizations that no doubt extends its totality.

Messaging:

Being stock and all, we’re presented with the tried and true on-screen Google keyboard – one that’s sporting the same layout as before. Due to the comfy spacing of its 7-inch screen, our thumbs have no issue whatsoever encompassing the entire layout. Better yet, the responsiveness of the keyboard keeps our fingers clicking away at a constant rate – all without much pause or accident. We can’t say the same about the landscape option, since it’s a bit more cramped getting our fingers into that natural typing position.


Would you look at that? It’s stock Android, so we’re given the usual Gmail and standard email apps for all of our emailing needs. Being a tablet and all, they make good use out of the extra real estate, as they employ that timeless layered approach with their presentations. However, their functionality remains largely unchanged.



Organizer:

Quickly glazing at the core organizer apps on the Nexus 7, there’s nothing different with their functionality and presentation from before – so they’re all very much the same as last time. Of course, Google Now’s exceptional behavior in tracking our habits continues to astound us, as it’s able to deliver pertinent data that centers around our daily lives.



Processor and Memory:

Some were quick to point out the Nexus 7’s not-so-cutting-edge quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, which has been eclipsed by more recent entrants, but it’s nonetheless still able to give the tablet that sense of speed and snappiness with its performance. Also armed with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 320 GPU, its performance gallops at a pace that undoubtedly shows us that it’s still one powerful thing to contend with. Sure, the benchmark scores might not reflect it, but heck, its real-world performance is enough to justify to us that it’s able to handle all tasks – both elementary and complex.

Indeed, we would’ve loved to see expandable storage with this, but alas, we’re comforted to find that its base internal storage capacity has been doubled from last year’s model. Whereas it was 8GB, this year’s model starts off at 16GB. With our 32GB review unit, it actually turns out to be 26.11GB out of the box, which is still an ample tally to accept.

Quadrant Higher is better
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 5854
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 3612
AnTuTu Higher is better
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 19786
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 10453
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 692
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 444


Internet and Connectivity:

Combining its high-resolution display and quick performance, it doesn’t surprise us in the very least that it’s a winner in the web surfing department. With Google Chrome in for the ride, it’s able to provide us swift page loads via Wi-Fi, instant rendering on the fly, and smooth navigational controls, to make every single aspect of the experience simply phenomenal!


At launch, the Google Nexus 7 is available in Wi-Fi only form, but another version stuffed with 4G LTE for all four major domestic wireless carriers will be made available in the near future – no word on an exact date though. Not surprisingly, it’s armed to the teeth with all the usual connectivity features we’d expect to find – like aGPs, Bluetooth 4.0, 5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and NFC.

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100 Comments

102. azfar

Posts: 23; Member since: Jul 22, 2013

Is GPS issue resolved?

101. salvador98

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 10, 2013

It is the BEST tablet that I had, it's fast responsive cheap and compering with the nexus 10, 7 2012 version and the iPad line, I think that the nexus 7 2013 is the best electronic device B-)

100. rajaniramesh

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

recently bought this ,want to know where i cant get file manager for this

99. Apian

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

WTF 9.5

98. petethottam

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Ok, so I finally ditched the Big 4 carriers and their 2 year planned obsolence system. Cancelled my Verizon cell phone cell contract & relationship completely. No termination fee since my 2 year contract ended in June. No more monthly fees for talk, text, data. No more forking out money bags to Verizon ($1500 annually). After careful due diligence, decided that NSA subservient cell phone carriers were an unnecessary cost and luxury. Zero smartphone talk plan costs now (after an initial Google Voice setup fee of $20). No cell phone provider/carriers. Instead I’m using the Groove IP app (free) and the new Nexus 7 2 (2013 edition) w/ LTE. Down from $120 monthly via Verizon to $30 month for 2.5 GB 4G LTE via T-Mobile and unlimited data via wifi all on a state of the art 7 inch tablet w/ 323 ppi, 1.5 Quad Core. Upgrading for $4.99 to Groove IP LTe (w/ text msging) for both talk and text. Get a great phablet, Google Voice archiving/transcribing & org options all for $30 per month and unlimited data essentially b/c of the ubiquity of wi-fi in Metro-LA. Saves $1,080 annually. Bluetooth 3/4 makes it a no-brainer, IMHO. No wonder Verizon refuses to activate/certify the Nexus 7. Its the long sought Holy Grail / the “Golden Unicorn” in phablet/cell convergence.

94. ValdenesFernandes

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

The Android 4.3 will be available for upgrading on Samsung S devices?

91. persikon

Posts: 29; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

At first didn't want to buy it, was going to wait for the retina iPad mini, after meticulous thinking, this tablet was the winner, So I ordered via Google Play Store devices, three days after it arrived. And the first thing I noticed was the weight, man so light, also that was very comfortable to hold. Super ppi screen, it has basically the same res as my 24inches monitor! So gorgeous to contemplate. My everyday phone is the Samsung Note i717 (1st note att ver.)Coming from that buggy, sluggish, laggy phone to this. It's heaven! Super responsive keyboard, doesn't randomly disappear, going between apps is virtually lagless, all games are super playable, the only one was Batman, that i could notice some stuttering. So if you are still thinking about into getting it, just go for it. It's has the more important thing in a device is: "usable". For the price is a no brainer. Also let's hope it doesn't die after the 1st year like its predecessor.. thanks for reading and sorry for any spelling fault.

90. Rice_Fed

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

As silly as it may sound. I wished it has an IR Blaster. The One thing I like about my Tab over this. I'm getting it sure, but maaaaaan.

97. Tech_Junkie1996

Posts: 43; Member since: Aug 29, 2013

I agree with you. While this is a much better tablet than anything Samsung has to offer outside of the Nexus 10, I would have liked to have seen an IR Blaster. It would have made this tablet perfect. Still, nothing else on the market can compare to it so it has my money, unless Samsung decides to make a Google edition Galaxy Tab 3 8.0. Then, Nexus might have some competition.

89. Windsponge

Posts: 97; Member since: Nov 01, 2009

Can only say I bought this and I do t think I will be using my fourth generation I pad as much. The browser is way fast. Glad I didn't buy I pad mini. Really quick in every thing. I haven't seen any lag. I am an apple guy but this rocks.

87. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

almost got one yesterday but the $%^#*^ in front of me took the LAST FREAKING ONE !!!! oh well lets wait another month

84. rancor1223

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

Great specs. For me a bit too big screen, but I understand this is Nexus line so notning else was ever expected. But that design, I think it was way too simplified. If I saw such a phone on a bus, I wouldnt care, because it's not interesting, I has no distinguishing signs (excluding the text on the back, where you usualy have you hand).

85. stopresisting

Posts: 16; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

The design is simple and that's perfectly fine. If the thief standing alongside you on the bus isn't interested in your property because it looks cheap, that's an even bigger plus. All I care about is hardware and specs, not some stupid white gadget with the apple logo on it.

86. rancor1223

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

No, people in my city definitely aren't walking around with high-end phones. That was just an example. A by the way, I prefer Windows Phone. Not Apple,

81. RGreen

Posts: 84; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Got to love it

78. Sballa

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Dear all, i wanted to ask you if the new nexus 7 4g could work in italy? Can you ask to some dealer or to google because i want to buy one in the U.S. but i don't know if the 4g will work in Italy. Thanks in advance.

79. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

If you know what 4G bands your carrier uses, match them up with the ones Google put out for the Nexus 7. 4G LTE is only supported in the U.S for the Nexus 7, but you can still get HSPA+ on bands 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8, which frequencies are (in order): 2100, 1900, 1700, 850, and 900. I don't know any Italian carriers, much less the bands they use, so you'll have to take it from there.

75. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Truly best!

73. scissorhands97 unregistered

i just noticed...why is there never a device ever rate 10? its always an 9, 9.1, 9.3 and 9.5. try 10 for once.

72. stopresisting

Posts: 16; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

Just picked up my Nexus 7 today and said goodbye to my Samsung Galaxy tab 2 10.1 after only 3 months. Wanted something smaller and was leaning toward the Galaxy note 8.0 when I found out about this new rendition of the nexus 7, and so glad I did. I am absolutely in love with the nexus. Only wish that it had micro SD expandability, but that wasn't a deal breaker for me.

71. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

If I didnt buy the original Nexus7 6 months ago, I wouldve waited for this one. Whether you buy the original or this 2nd-gen version, you cant go wrong with either one. The good thing about the next-gen version is that thei're going to make an LTE version later this year which would make it more popular. I love my Nexus7 and I would go as far as saying that its the best tablet in the market when it comes to price, reliability, and specs

68. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

The good news is that it's basically a S600 CPU so everyone can stop whining.

65. Irad123

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

there's one thing that I don't get: who films with their tablet? why is it so important to have a quality camera on the back?

67. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

It's not. The only thing you might need a back camera on a tablet for is augmented reality apps.

70. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

With the apps like InstaGram that have the ability to take pictures as well as video, you may want a tablet that can do that well

63. shashi.map

Posts: 31; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

R.I.P iPadMini great work by Google and ASUS , best tab in its class !!!

62. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

9.5...? ooook this better be one awesome tablet that doesnt slow down over time..... oh no playstore in my country so i doubt i would get it for 99bucks

56. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

Even though i dont need another tablet, this is by far worth the money.

88. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

dammit i keep thinking your me when i see a comment and think i didnt say that

55. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

Apple will have to put the ipad mini 2 at under $200 to beat this. Cuz u know the specs wont be nearly as high.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Nexus 7 (2013)
  • Display 7.0 inches
    1200 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB,
  • Battery 3950 mAh
  • OS Android 5.0 Lollipop

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