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August 20, 2013

2nd-gen Google Nexus 7 2013 Review

Google re-introduced its most successful tablet in 2012 with a more powerful version of the Nexus 7. It’s lighter, thinner, faster, better — check out our full review of the Google Nexus 7 2013 after the break.


Nexus 7 2013 on the left, Nexus 7 2012 on the right

Before anything else, we recommend you to read up on our first Nexus 7 review back in August 2012 here. We’ve also updated that first-generation device to Android 4.3 Jellybean so we have a better comparison between the two.

Design and Construction.

The new Nexus 7 inherited a lot of its design and form factor from the old model. Most of the cosmetic changes were focused on making the 7-inch tablet thinner and lighter by a full 50 grams from its predecessor. Google changed the dimensions a bit, making the new Nexus 7 a little taller but with a smaller width.

Gone is the two-tone color (black with silver trimmings) of the old one and replaced by a monochromatic dark color. While the front panel is still fully covered by glass (Gorilla Glass), the back side is now replaced by a smooth, matte finish with a rubbery feel to it.

The sides are more tapered towards the edges making the power button and volume controls on the right side harder to figure out. We actually prefer the dimpled surface of the older model as the new one feels a bit slippery on the hands.

There’s a large Nexus logo right in the middle and a smaller Asus logo at the bottom end. The over-all size of the Nexus 7 v2 is actually more comfortable on the hands and it is easier to hold (or grasp) with one hand.

Display.

The Nexus 7 has been bumped up to a full HD IPS LCD display, effectively making the screen resolution among the highest we’ve seen in a tablet. The Nexus 7 joins the Nexus 10 which earlier got a WQXGA resolution and put both tablets in the realm of 300ppi and above.

One can definitely see the difference in the display quality once you have full HD resolution on a screen this size. It’s more evident when you watch full HD movies and browse the web as the details are much more apparent compared to the old model with 720p. We also noticed the screen is generally brighter when cranked up to the highest settings. We also notice the contrast ratio and color gamut of the new one is noticeably better.

OS, UI and Apps.

If you have any of the recent Nexus devices with you, we’re pretty sure you already have the Android 4.3 update already. The native UI as well as the additional features and functionality included in the 4.3 update are all there (see list of new features here).

The interface is pretty much basic and already familiar to a lot of folks who own any of the Nexus devices. Perhaps the biggest advantage in the software front is that the Nexus 7 will be the very first device to get the latest Android OS updates from Google when they come out.

Multimedia and Camera.

The old Nexus 7 wasn’t a multimedia powerhouse when it first came out. The second-generation Nexus 7 fared almost the same. Google added a pair of speakers at the back (both top and bottom end) yet we found the audio quality lacking in bass and even in volume.

The inclusion of a 5-megapixel camera is a new one. Its absence in the first model was a way to cut down on hardware cost but this time it looks like they’ve managed to include a pretty decent rear camera.

Here are some sample photos taken with the 5MP camera:

Photo quality is actually pretty decent even under low-light conditions.

Performance and Benchmarks.

The device works really, really well. Navigation and transitions are very smooth, apps load pretty quick and the system can handle more than a dozen simultaneous running apps without chocking. The quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM handled anything we threw at it.

Our usual test bench showed much better performance scores over the previous model with Quadrant score of 5918, an Antutu Benchmark score of 18,337 and NenaMark2 score of 59.3fps.

It doesn’t have the latest Snapdragon 600/800 chip in it but the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz is definitely more than enough and significantly better than the NVidia Tegra 3 chip.

Connectivity and Battery Life.

While the new Nexus 7 has option for LTE connectivity (model yet-to-be released), there’s no call functionality here. Everything else is available though — WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS.

One of the things that were sacrificed due to the thinner and lighter form factor was the size of the battery. It was reduced from 4,325mAh to just 3,950mAh which is around 10% reduced capacity. Add to the fact that the display resolution is now at full HD, we were initially worried that this will greatly impact the battery life of the device.

However, using our standard battery bench, we managed to squeeze in 9.5 hours of battery life while playing a full HD movie in a continuous loop at 50% brightness and 0% volume. This is actually higher than the old model we tested before (we ran the same test on the old Nexus 7 and it gave us 8 hours and 15 minutes).

The longer battery life can be attributed to the optimizations done by the chip and Android 4.3. It is also well worth to note that the new Nexus 7 supports Qi wireless charging but we’re unable to test that feature yet.

Conclusion.

The 2nd-gen Nexus 7 is, without a doubt, much better than the old one. From the form factor to the hardware, all aspects of the tablet have been improved. New technologies like LTE and Qi have also been incorporated and the shortcomings of the older model have been fulfilled.

With a retail price of $269 (plus tax), it definitely puts it ahead of all other Android tablets around, beating even the iPad Mini in so many aspects.

2013 Google Nexus 7 specs:
7-inch IPS LCD display @ 1200×1920 pixels, 323ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core processor
Adreno 320 Graphics
2GB RAM
16GB and 32GB internal memory
LTE 100Mbps (optional)
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS
NFC
5MP autofocus rear camera, no flash
1.3MP front-facing camera
Android 4.3 Jellybean
Li-Ion 3950mAh battery
114 x 200 x 8.65mm (dimensions)
290 grams (weight)

The LTE model is not yet released and we’re not sure if it will be compatible with Globe and Smart LTE bands. We will acquire and test once they become available.

What we liked about it:
* Great performance
* Full HD display
* Qi wireless charging

What we did not like:
* Weak speakers
* No expandable storage

Editor’s Note: The 2013 Nexus 7 is not yet officially released in the Philippines. Our review unit was bought straight from Best Buy in the United States for $269.

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58 Responses to “2nd-gen Google Nexus 7 2013 Review”

  1. Mark says:

    Sir Abe, How does gcash amex work? Paano ko po malalaman kung magkano ilalagay kong pera sa gcash? And ilang days po bago nakarating sa inyo yung order nyo? what if your order is faulty? TIA!

  2. Mark says:

    Sir Abe, How does gcash amex work? Paano ko po malalaman kung magkano ilalagay kong pera sa gcash? And ilang days po bago nakarating sa inyo yung order nyo? what if your order is faulty? i badly need your response. TIA!

  3. Mark says:

    Sir Abe, How does gcash amex work? Paano ko po malalaman kung magkano ilalagay kong pera sa gcash? And ilang days po bago nakarating sa inyo yung order nyo? what if your order is faulty? i badly need your response. TIA po

  4. Joms says:

    Suggest ko lang sir YUGA kung pwede kayong magset nitong product na to sa yugadeals. Madaming bibili for sure!

  5. Francis says:

    For the 4g LTE you must check the band usually globe and smart usually uses band 3 or 4.

  6. markytrigger says:

    the LTE version is now available at kimstore. sana po ma test nyo if compatible sa smart and globe LTE band.

  7. eddie says:

    I bought a nexus 7 2013, and it was the best I had in so far as the specs is concerned. The hardware is great, definitely the feel isn’t cheap. The screen resolution is absolutely amazing, very crisp and clear. Everything seems to move smoothly, even playing high end games are lag-free. It’s a definite must for a person wanting to have a quality tablet.

  8. gigahertz sm marikin says:

    My nexus 7 2nd gen was stucked on the Google logo FOREVER. So I brought it to GIGAHERTZ SM MARIKINA since Asus.pH said it was a LEGIT SERVICE CENTER. I left it with them while I still have a MONTH of warranty left. They told me to call after 3 days. Apparently that’s how long it takes for them to have a “diagnosis.” I called after 3 days and they told me it was a HARDWARE problem. Which is supposedly covered by my warranty (which they TOLD ME, it WAS COVERED). They told me that they ordered my tablet’s part (motherboard) from TAIWAN and it would take 1-2 MONTHS to arrive here in the Philippines. I waited until it was 1 week before my warranty’s expiration date. They said I just HAVE TO WAIT, IN A VERY RUDE MANNER. as if it was my fault asking them for UPDATES. they gave me their supplier’s number which I then called to track if they DID ORDER THE PART needed for my tablet. Guess what. GIGAHERTZ SM MARIKINA DID NOT ORDER ANYTHING FROM THE DIRECT SUPPLIER OF ASUS. gigahertz is just a RESELLER. AND I WAS ACTUALLY TALKING TO THEIR ASSISTANT MANAGER?! After I pointed it out to him, he called after 2 days saying that MY TABLET’S WARRANTY IS EXPIRED AND I NEED TO PULL OUT MY UNIT FROM THEIR STORE. WTF. YOU CALL THAT CUSTOMER SERVICE??! AFTER MAKING ME WAIT FOR MORE THAN A MONTH, HE SEEM TO JUST WAITED FOR THE WARRANTY TO EXPIRE AND SIMPLY TELLING ME TO TAKE MY TABLET. WITHOUT OFFERING TO GIVE A ROUGH ESTIMATE OF HOW MUCH IT’LL CAUSE ME IF I HAVE IT FIXED OUT OF WARRANTY. I had enough bullshit so I went to their store and confronted him. He said he EMAILED ASUS DIRECTLY FOR THE PART. I asked for this. I said I want to see that email. HE COULDNT SHOW ME ANYTHING. I asked to see the shipment/order form since he SAID HE ALREADY ORDERED THE MOTHERBOARD. He was just STANDING THERE AND NOT SPEAKING. ALL HE’S SHOWING ME IS THE WEBSITE SAYING THAT MY WARRANTY IS EXPIRED. WTF. I gave them a week to fix their bullshit service. I wanted to talk to their manager but apprantly he’s always NOT THERE. After 3 DAYS, their technician CALLED me and said that my tablet was FIXED AND READY FOR PICK UP. The fuck is that?! 1 MONTH COULD HAVE BEEN JUST 3 DAYS?! I asked what they did/fixed. He said it was just a SYSTEM PROBLEM. I went their specifically wanting to speak to their manager. I even made sure I got his schedule right. I told them when I was coming their freaking store so the manager WILL BE PREPARED when I talk to him. When I went there, MANAGER was NOT THERE. STAFF DID NOT EVEN KNOW WHERE MY TABLET WAS. NO ENDORSEMENT WHATSOEVER DESPITE THE STRESS AND HASSLE THEY’VE BEEN GIVING ME. I went back a few days after. Finally talked to their manager. He HANDED ME A NEXUS 7 2013 Box. Checked the tablet. Showed me that it was completely working. I said MY TABLET had a SCREEN PROTECTOR and the MANUAL was MISSING TOO. MANAGER LOOKED CLUELESS AND KEPT ON ASKING, MORE ON PASSING THE QUESTION TO THEIR TECHNICIAN. AFTER EVERY SHIT THEY’VE DONE, MANAGER STILL DID NOT KNOW MY CASE?! WHAT THE FUCK. INCOMPETENT TO THE NTH LEVEL. OH YEAH, did I mention that I was ALMOST letting this go since the TABLET THEY’RE GIVING ME WAS WORKING ANYWAY, so just let go of the DILAPIDATED BOX and LOST MANUAL and them REMOVING MY SCREEN PROTECTOR, I checked the tablet’s SERIAL NUMBER at the back cover, IT WAS A DIFFERENT TABLET. NOT THE SAME SERIAL NUMBER WITH MINE. THEY WERE GIVING ME SOMEONE ELSE’S TABLET. WTF IS WRONG WITH THEM. OR SHOULD I SAY, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT THEY CAN DO EFFICIENTLY IN THE FIRST PLACE?! I returned the next day. They now CLAIMED that the tablet’s cases were just mixed. They said they NEEDED TO REMOVE THE SCREEN PROTECTOR TO CHECK THE LCD SCREEN. WTF. oh and the box they gave me, They PEELED OF THE SERIAL NUMBER. WHICH IM NOT EVEN SURPRISED THAT HAS THE FIRST 2 NUMBER CHARACTERS DIFFERENT FROM MY TABLET’S SERIAL NUMBER, AND A DIFFERENT MANUAL (mine has the sticker with the serial number and warranty). I asked for a FORMAL APOLOGY LETTER from the MANAGER. MANAGER OF GIGAHERTZ SM MARIKINA PASSED IT TO HIS TECHNICIAN. I ASKED FOR A DETAILED REPORT OF WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT THEY FIXED IN “MY TABLET”. MANAGER GAVE ME A BROWN PAPER WHICH THEIR TECHNICIAN WAS THE ONE ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS. MANAGER SIMPLY “NOTED” THE SAID LETTER. I emailed ASUS PHILIPPINES but they NEVER REPLIED OR TRIED TO CONTACT ME IN ANYWAY.

    Im sharing my experience here so people won’t go through the same BS that GIGAHERTZ SM MARIKINA DID TO ME.

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