Google Nexus 7 2013 Review

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Google Nexus 7 2013

You will remember that last year, I started my time at PocketDroid by writing an Apple’s user’s review of the Google Nexus 7 (2012 version). Just over a year later, I’m back to write a review of the Google Nexus 7 2013, which was sent to us by Google UK, which is a new partnership we’re really excited about.

Last year’s Nexus 7 was released to get people into the tablet world. At only £199 at release for the 16GB version, this was one of the cheapest tablets on the market with exceedingly good specs.

One year later, the market has changed. Months after the launch of the Nexus 7, Apple released the iPad Mini. This tightened their already vise like grip on the tablet market, and was, ironically, the long fabled iPad rival. Not a killer, but it has rivalled the sales of the iPad like no other tablet as managed before.

This has, thankfully, stopped manufacturers trying to build an iPad killer, and they have therefore started to concentrate on building tablets that are better in sync with the technology and software packed within them.

Nowhere is this more true than the new Google Nexus 7, and here’s why:

Build:

Google Nexus 7 2013 Tablet build quality

The build of the New Nexus 7 is an improvement over its predecessor. Where as last years had a rugged look, this year’s model looks more sophisticated and svelte. The Google Nexus 7 2013 has lost 1.91mm (0.075 inches) which doesn’t sound a lot, but is noticeable in the hand. The edges are less rounded that the previous model too, which adds to the illusion. Elsewhere, it has lost 6mm (0.2 inches) in width and added 1.5mm (0.059 inches) in length. This allows the Google Nexus 7 2013 to carry a screen resolution of 1920×1200 for full 1080p video resolution. This means it packs 323PPI, an increase of 107. This makes for stunning video and HD graphics, all powered by a 400MHz Quad-core Adreno 320 GPU.

This in itself is powered by a 1.51GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4Pro processor, which makes for lightning fast response time on the 7 inch screen displaying Android Jelly Bean 4.3.

Playing high-end games won’t be a problem as the Google Nexus 7 2013 has 2GB of RAM, so you’re unlikely to see any lag or stalling on a fresh system.

Design:

Google Nexus 7 2013 Back

As previously mentioned, the Google Nexus 7 2013 has slimmer dimensions which are only accentuated with a sharper design. Last year’s model was quite rounded round the edge, where as this year, we have sharper, black edges bringing to mind the contours of a stealth jet fighter.

The rear panel has lost its dimpled surface for a sleeker finish, although still rubberized to help with the grip. All the ports are in the same place except for the 3.5mm audio jack which has moved from the bottom to the top of the device. The only downside, again, is that the power button and volume rocker are still in a difficult place to reach when the device is flat on the table or in a pouch. The Front facing camera has moved from the centre of the bezel to the top right corner. The 5MP rear camera is in the top centre on the rear panel, another addition over last years model. This is a welcome addition to the tablet, as it takes reasonable pictures (granted, nothing like the Nexus 4’s 8MP), and full 1080P HD video with digital zoom (see video sample).

2013-09-04-12-14-00

Usage:

Day to-day usage of the Google Nexus 7 2013 is a pleasure. With its impressive powerhouse, startup takes less than 30 seconds. The 3950mAh battery should easily last all day, even if you’re going to be watching HD video all day, as Google claim it will last up till nine hours, which is impressive for a device so slim. The full HD screen gives off rich colours and allows great relaxation when playing HD games.

What’s even better, is that with the new speakers on the Google Nexus 7 2013, that game will sound it’s best. The new Nexus 7 has two stereo speakers built-in, made by Fraunhofer (who invented the MP3 format) and pumps out some amazing surround sound. The sound is so good, that playing games or watching films becomes an experience in and of itself. It’s incredible to think that this small device can pack such a serious punch. Each speaker is at the top and bottom of the device, so don’t hold the device by the sides. In this video, I demonstrate just how good the sound is. This video was taken using the camera on my Galaxy Note II.

The Google Nexus 7 2013 ships with Android 4.3, which makes this a great family tablet. With the new feature of user profile with restricted access (introduced in 4.3), parents can set restrictions on use of the tablet features and (some) apps. This means you can restrict access to apps like YouTube, Chrome and Google+ (or allow them) and just let them have access to the games. They will also have their own gallery and can take their own pictures with the camera.

Benchmark results:

Nexus 7 Antutu results
The Antutu results for the Google Nexus 7 2013

We ran the Google Nexus 7 2013 through Antutu Benchmark app as well as Quadrant Benchmarking. The results were impressive.

In Antutu, the Nexus 7 scored 20294, wedged between its big brother the Google Nexus 10 and the Sony Xperia Z. You can see the screenshots for the full results at the bottom, but it just confirms that Google and Asus have released a very impressive device.

Conclusion:

This is not just an update to the Nexus line, this is a whole new device. The Google Nexus 7 2013 and the Google Nexus 7 2012 are two different devices, similar in name only. With the addition of a full 1080P screen and a rear camera, double the power and losing the inches, the Google Nexus 7 2013 is a fantastic device and well worth the price tag.

Pros:

  • More power
  • Full HD viewing and recording
  • Rear camera
  • Smaller and thinner
  • Stereo sound

Cons:

  • No expandable memory
  • New range of cases due to redesign

The Google Nexus 7 2013 is available from the Google Play Store, and other retailers.

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