Are you looking to buy cheaper Android devices this holiday season, and especially during Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2013, which takes place this year on November 29? Well then you’re in luck as we’re going to keep an eye on what gadget retailers will have to offer. This time, The Google Nexus 7 second gen will be discounted by Amazon, so check the following links to get the deals
Google set a very high bar in 2012 with the original Nexus 7 – a high-powered 7-inch tablet that offered some pretty high-end features at a very reasonable price. The new version confusingly has the same name, but it’s a very different beast, with improved screen, processor and a new camera, plus the latest 4.3 incarnation of Android.
Same name, but not quite the same look. Taiwanese manufacturer Asus is still on board for the new version but though it looks similar, on closer inspection it’s slightly bigger and the back is now smooth rubberised plastic rather than the grippy, textured finish of the original.
The 7-inch screen has had an upgrade and now boasts a pin-sharp HD resolution of 1,920×1,200 pixels, which boils down to 323ppi. It’s strikingly sharp and can go very bright indeed, which helps greatly when you’re outside in sunlight. Colours are rich but accurate, rather than suffering from the over exuberant vibrancy you can get with Amoled screens for instance.
Android, software and processor
The new Nexus 7 marks the debut of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which turns out to offer only a few minor changes to its predecessor. These include the ability to set up different profiles with different access privileges — so you can create a child-friendly account with limited internet access for example — and additional Bluetooth support, so it will work with sensor devices like heart monitors.
There’s also support for wireless charging and Google says it should work with any Qi-compatible charger. We tried it with one of Nokia’s DT-900 charging plates and it worked fine.
The quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4Pro processor is clocked at 1.5GHz, bumped up slightly from the 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 of the original and the previous RAM allowance has also been beefed up from 1GB to 2GB. It was no slouch in its past incarnation and it’s extremely nippy now, opening apps in a trice with virtually no delay. HD games like Real Racing 3played smoothly throughout too. It feels like a fast device, but delivered an AnTuTu benchmark score of 20,491, which isn’t particularly outstanding for a quad-core device, and well behind the current top-rankers — the LG Optimus G2 and theSony Xperia Z1 – though it is admittedly in a slightly different bracket, being a 7-inch device rather than a five-inch phone, but the screen resolutions are similar.
There’s now a 5-megapixel camera on the back, joining the 1.2 megapixel model on the front for video calls. It’s a little light on features, but it has autofocus and takes reasonable quality snaps so long as you’re careful with your light and don’t expect too much.
It’s available in 16GB or 32GB versions but unfortunately there’s no option to add any more.
The battery held up fairly well, and easily saw us through a full day of steady use.
The new Google Nexus 7 beefs up the original’s spec with a hugely impressive HD screen, more powerful processor and a new camera while keeping the price low. Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 may cost a little less, but the Nexus beats it on features, and it offers better value for money than just about any other phablet out there – it’s still the one to beat.