Tablet Review: The Nexus 7 2013 Edition Tablet by @jesseoguns #Nexus7

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There was a time when iPads ruled as the only tablet in the market and in many homes. Today, Samsung, Dell, ZTE, Sony, Huawei and even Google (in partnership with Asus) have joined the train; and Android powered tablets have shipped in their numbers.

Google released the second generation of its Nexus powered tablet in 2013. Like some other devices that are not released to the Nigerian market, I got it, but got it late.

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The Nexus 7, 2013 edition

Please note that in this article, whenever I use Nexus 7, I am not referring to the original Nexus 7 but the new Nexus 7, 2013 edition. Whenever I want to refer to the first generation 2012 Nexus 7, I am going to refer to it as the original Nexus 7.

The Nexus 7 is a great device that I am going to miss some of its great features when I finally drop it. I’m dropping it for just one reason: it is not as fast as I would have loved it to be. So, I have opted for the iPad Air. I have become a sucker for speed and I can hardly stand any smartphones, tablet or laptop that drags or crash apps that I love too often.

The Google Nexus 7 is the ideal size for a tablet at 7″.  It has thin bezels and enough room at the sides when holding it in landscape mode.

7 inches of Nexus magic
7 inches of Nexus magic

 Although there’s no earphones added in the pack, you can use any standard 3.5 mm earphones with it. In the box is: the Nexus 7, AC Adapter, micro USB cable and safety information.

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Nexus 7, 2013 edition – What’s in The Box?

The super specs of the Nexus 7 that drew me to it include:

  1. 7.02″ display
  2. 1920×1200 HD Display (323 ppi) sharper than the TV in many homes
  3. 1080p HD IPS. This full HD IPS makes the display so superb that there’s sharp and clear display from almost any angle.
  4. It has camera, unlike the original one—not that I plan to use the camera. Friends don’t let friends shoot pictures outdoors with tablets.
  5. Bluetooth 4.0 (allows low energy Bluetooth device to function with it like the Fitbit One health monitoring device, Nike+ FeulBand etc)

The Nexus 7 came pre-installed with Android 4.3 operating system. As soon as I set it up and added my Google account, I was prompted with an update to Android 4.4 Kit Kat—what a joy. This is one edge that Nexus devices have over Android devices made by other OEMs like Samsung, Sony, Tecno, Huawei and the others.

You might want to read a full review of the features that come with Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS.

Google Keyboard

One of the features on Kit Kat that I love so much is the Google Keyboard that ships with it. I am in the habit of installing a third party keyboard on any Android device I’m using. In this case, the Google Android Keyboard was just enough. One more perk that comes with it is the fact that one is able to have access to an array of emojis/emoticons.

Android allows you to install a third party keyboard. You might not have a need to do that on the Nexus 7. I can easily type using my fingers by placing the Nexus on the table in a landscape mode—using my two hands and typing at a rapid speed. Gliding over each key is pretty easy when using the swipe function that came with the Kit Kat keyboard as a well.

The function buttons are on the screen—home button, back button to the left and app switcher button to the right. When typing in landscape mode, it is common for me go hit the home button and be taken away from where I am as the space bar is just too close to the home button. To me, this is a design flaw and they should do something about it.

Applications

There are lots of apps in the Google Play Store that one can install except for one problem that cuts across most Android tablets: many of the apps are not optimized for tablets. I had to hunt for a Twitter app that is specifically built for Android tablets; but I found only Tweetcaster and Falcon Pro. Unless you know the work around or have a token, you may not be able to get Falcon Pro to work on your Google Nexus 7.

Even the twitter app that was released by Twitter for Android tablet is only made available to Samsung GALAXY Android tablets. I’m wondering why twitter is pulling this kind of stunt. Unlike the iPad that has lots of applications that are well built and tailored to function for it, the Nexus 7 is still cramped in this department—but much better than how things were when the first android tablets hit the stores. Android tablets are catching up with iPads now.

External Speakers

The external speaker isn’t of high quality.

Speakers on the Nexus 7, 2013 edition not so great
Speakers on the Nexus 7, 2013 edition not so great

You’re more likely to use headphones/earphones when you’re watching a movie or listening to music on this device if you are to enjoy quality audio outputs.

Battery life

The new Nexus 7 I have is the 32 GB edition with support for SIM card and LTE ready. Unlike many other users, I rely primarily on WiFi for Internet access in it, so I did not pop in any SIM card into it. This makes it possible for me to enjoy a longer battery life on this device. Caveat: I have never used a SIM on it and my battery performance review is reflecting how long the battery lasts when on wifi only as LTE/3G consumes more battery power than WiFi.

I get a full day use from the Nexus 7 from moderate use. I charge once every day.

Media Consumption

Unlike on Apple’s iPad, the Nexus 7 allows the grabbing of media contents like: audio and video over the web and you can easily download them to be played later on your device. You can also install a torrent app to grab legal contents from torrent websites for your device. There are some very large free open source apps that are distributed over torrent networks.  Please note that the sharing of and downloading of copyrighted materials over torrent network is illegal.

One great feature of the nexus 7 is that it is iOS free. What that means is that all the restriction that Apple has placed on it own products won’t plague it. It is impossible to set up a new iPad if you do not have a laptop that is connected to the Internet or have access to WiFi. This is not so with the Nexus 7. Just power it and start using right away. Although you need a Google Account to download from the Google Play Store, it is not a must that you create an account to be able to use the tablet.

You’re allowed to install third party apps that are not present in the Google Play Store; all you need to do is to grant permission to the apps from the settings of the device.

I know I’ve met a lot of people here in Lagos that want a tablet and when they ask me about iPad, they want to know if the iPad supports phone call. I’m sure you’d love to know if the Nexus 7, 2013 can be used for phone calls too; it can’t be used for phone calls. Although it supports microSIM card, it’s only as a means of subscribing to data services.

If you’re looking for a tablet that can also function as a mobile phone for calling out, the Nexus 7 won’t do.

User Profiles

You can easily set up a profile for your kids and restrict them from accessing apps and contents from your account. This is also useful for folks that want to play with your tablet for a few minutes. Instead of being stingy and locking your tablet away from them all the time, you can create a guest profile and hand them the tablet. In this case, you’ll set up a secret lock for the device and when your kids (or friends) pick up your device, they are going to have access to apps and section of the device you allow for guests.

Conclusion

The Nexus 7, 2013 edition is one of the tablets I recommend to anyone today for: it is cheap and affordable, runs on the latest version of Google’s Android, it is the ideal size for a tablet you want to take with you at all times, the screen resolution is just perfect and it is iOS free.

But if you are like me, you might not want it. Why? It crashes apps too often and there are few tablet specific apps for it. If these are no issues for you, go ahead and grab one for yourself. As at the time of writing, it is not available in Nigeria officially; but if you check some of the e-commerce websites, you may be able to just find one.

Jesse

Jesse

In pursuit of useless knowledge, spotting patterns & connecting the dots at the intersection. | Gadget Freak

19 comments

  1. Apps crash on Android when the network isn’t so good. Noticed that when I used my device outside Nigeria. There’s also an option in KitKat to base your apps on the new ART (Android Runtime) rather than the old Davlik which is rather suspect to these crashes. I didn’t hesitate to switch. The only app that went on crashing was Falcon pro.

    Nice review.

  2. I Have a Nexus 7 2013 4g lte version and I use it to make phone calls all the time. you need Google voice to do so but it is possible. makes me wonder if you even really ever owned a nexus 7 II or are you just a pot licker looking to forward your own Apple agenda. I wont get into exactly how to use the Nexus 7 as a phone there are enough Youtube videos on how to do this just google it. But Apple really needs to have its agents that pose ass unbiased consumers do their research before putting out bad negative info on the completion’s product.

    1. Thanks Derek. Google voice isn’t available in most markets; definitely not available in Nigeria. Without Google voice can you make calls with the Nexus 7? That’s exactly my point.

      Thanks fir stopping by to comment anyways.

  3. Never buy this product or any of Googles tablet devices. I have learnt my lesson. I used to hate Apple devices before but now am beginning to like the company for their outstanding aftersales service. I have bought a Google Nexus 7 tablet 2012 edition about a year and a half ago. It was working fine and really nice to use until Google decided to do an update on the Operating system to KitKat version 4.4.2 about November December 2013. From then on my Nexus 7 tablet has become unusable due to charging issue due to update. It is slow to charge if it even does and drains really quick even when plugged in regardless of where. I have emailed Google but they don’t care. Almost everyone who has one of these devices is complaint of same thing. It seems to me Google have pushed this update before Christmas to make this device obsolete deliberately so we buy the newer version. Google are thieves in my opinion and should not be trusted anymore. I am surprised it is not on the news yet as Google is such a big company to be doing that.

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