Hands-on with the new high resolution Nexus 7 (Gallery)

Hands-on with the new high resolution Nexus 7 (Gallery)

Summary: Google's Nexus 7 was made available early and many of us were able to pick one up at Best Buy, Staples, and other local retailers. The Nexus 7 is a major improvement over the 2012 model.


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  • Two Nexus 7 retail boxes

    Last week I wrote about seven reasons to buy the Google Nexus 7 and was able to find one at my local Best Buy on Friday. After spending a couple of days with the new Nexus 7 tablet I am hooked on the high resolution display and narrower form factor.

    If you are interested in the Nexus 7 tablet and would like the chance for a free 2012 version in MINT condition, along with two cases, please listen to MobileTechRoundup show #301 and enter our giveaway.

    Pricing and availability

    Google announced the Nexus 7 last week and stated the device would be shipping by 30 July. Retailers, I believe Best Buy was first, jumped the gun on Friday and that opened the floodgates so that Amazon, Staples, and others let customers purchase them as well.

    I pre-ordered on from Best Buy, but was able to find one at a local store so picked it up on Saturday morning and will return my pre-order one when it arrives. The 32GB WiFi model is available for $269, this is the one I purchased, and the 16GB one is $229. There will be a 32GB LTE model coming in the future for $349 that will support AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon data networks.

    Retail package and first impressions

    The Nexus 7 comes in a vibrant blue retail package, narrower and slimmer than the 2012 Nexus 7 retail package, much like the device itself. An USB A/C adapter and USB cable are included in the package, along with a small Quick Start Guide.

    The first thing that stood out to me when pulling the Nexus 7 from the retail package was the narrower form factor. The 2012 model is thin and well designed, but it always felt a bit too wide for holding in one hand while manipulating with the other.

    I also noticed the rather wide upper and lower bezel on the new Nexus 7 and am trying to figure out if this will bother me or not. I do like the all black color scheme, where the 2012 version had a silver frame.

    Specifications and hardware

    In my previous Google Nexus 7 post I listed some of the improved specifications found in the new Nexus 7. Key specifications include:

    • Android 4.3 operating system
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 1.5 GHz quad-core processor. Read Brian Klug's breakdown to see even more about the processor that shows it is more than just a S4 as well.
    • 2GB RAM
    • 16/32GB internal storage
    • 7.02 inch 1920x1200 HD IPS display with Gorilla glass (323 ppi)
    • 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.2 megapixel front facing camera
    • 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
    • 3,950 mAh battery with Qi wireless charging
    • Stereo speakers with surround sound provided by Fraunhofer
    • Dimensions of 200 x 114 x 8.65 mm and 290 grams

    The display is fantastic and is one of the aspects of the 2012 version that I wished was better when I purchased it. That is no longer the case as the Nexus 7 display can't be beat. The stereo speakers sound great and are a welcome addition.

    I have an Energizer Qi charging plate that supports charging two devices wirelessly and one device with a cable. The convenience of charging without having to plug in the cable is great and I am getting spoiled by more and more of these devices having this functionality.

    While I don't ever use my tablets to take photos and haven't sought out tablets with a rear facing camera, the camera seems decent on the Nexus 7. I like the photo sphere functionality and the Nexus camera experience.

    Android 4.3 software

    The 2012 Nexus 7 Android 4.3 update is starting to roll out so it will soon have the latest Android software to match the new Nexus 7. The new Nexus 7 comes with the latest version of Android and a couple things I have noticed so far are the ability to rotate the screen (took a separate utility on the previous Nexus 7), the new Play Games service, and user profile support. Steven shared his top five features of Android 4.3 and I look forward to testing out more of these functions.

    Experiences and functions to test

    I read a few magazines I am subscribed to on Google Play and they look even better on the high resolution Nexus 7. I regularly rent videos from Google when I travel and look forward to testing out this functionality on my commute and future travel. The stereo speakers sound great with Google Play Music and will be great to share videos with family and friends.

    The Nexus 7 is less expensive than the iPad mini and with my heavy usage of Google services it is a fantastic tablet option. I will be looking for a case to prop up my Nexus 7 for video consumption. As I use the Nokia Lumia 925 on T-Mobile, the Nexus 7 will meet my mobile Android needs.

    Did any readers pick up the Nexus 7? Anything else you want me to test out on the device? I also ordered a Chromecast and will be testing out how well it works with the Nexus 7 soon.

  • Included cable and A/C adapter

  • Old and new Nexus 7 devices

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Reviews, Tablets

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  • Quad-core - not dual

    Google has the processor listed as a quad-core Snapdragon S4.

    Loved my 2012 Nexus 7, but my 2013 is arriving today.
    • Thanks. Brian Klug has a detailed analysis of the processor

      It turns out after opening up the new Nexus 7 that it may even be more than what Google lists on their site. Check out Brian Klug's post, link added to my article.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    • More New Tablets this Month

      One other impressive Android tablet to launch this week is the Pipo M7 Pro ($255) that for about the same price as the new Nexus 7, features a much larger 8.9 inch display with 1900X1200 screen resolution, a Quad core processor, along with built-in GPS navigation — and is packed with features that compare to the new Nexus– The new Pipo M7 also works with both the new Chromecast as well as the more advanced Miracast HD Wireless (like Apple AirPlay); and also features premium speakers, WiFi with both 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequencies for greater connection, and a premium Windows style User Interface that makes the Android experience much more intuitive and easier to use -- the Pipo M6 for $279 is also available, with most of the same features but offers a larger retina-quality 9.7-inch 2048X1536 display. More details are available at Tablet Sprint -- one of the first sites to carry the new Pipo series brand.
      • Give it a rest

        shaddup already
        Richard Catt
  • Waiting game

    Thanks for the reviews. This is definitely for me. I am in the UK so have to wait a bit longer. I also need the 4g connection so hope this wont be too much longer. I had a wireless ipad and regretted not having the 3g version.
  • Great device

    I got mine Friday and it is awesome display. Updated and rebooted then as soon as I added my gmail account, it began syncing all my apps, including paid and free. I found the new nexus travel cover and Asus scren protectors at www.antonline.com It was the only place I could find the new ones.
  • Why different size?

    Now everybody will get confused when searching for Nexus 7 accessories. The new one will not fit in the case I have for my current one because their dimensions are just slightly different.

    Now ordering accessories will be a wild hunt trying to find what fits your Nexus 7 size.

    Anyway, I'm alright with my current one and recently I've been using mostly my RT tablet.
  • Odd That the Notification LED is White ONLY

    What is odd is that they penny pinched (what a few cents) with an LED notification light that is only in white vs RGB - Unfortunately confirmed by sending the new N7 data to Lite Flow over the weekend.
  • Does SIM free exist in the USA

    I keep seeing people talk about this or that product working with this or that network in the USA but nobody seems to mention buying SIM free as is often done here in the UK and just simply using which ever network you chose.