My Nexus 7 is finally here and here’s my take

My Nexus 7 is finally here and here’s my take

- in Gadgets, Mobile, Reviews, Tablets
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HARDWARE

I got the 16GB version since 8GB is too small for me considering that it has no micro sd card slot. I know this would disappoint people who live outside the US and are restricted from accessing the Google Play Movie/TV store but there are other ways we can expand storage memory. The device is Wifi only which again, would be a bummer for some but I personally didn’t mind. I already have a data plan on my phone and I can just pop up my phone’s wifi hotspot feature if I wanted to connect to the internet on my tablet. The screen is 7 inch with a 1280×800 resolution (216 ppi). It’s good but it’s not as great as the new iPad’s Retina display but you’re also not paying as much. Reading books and/or surfing the web looks good. Texts were crisp and the 7 inch is, for me, the best form factor when reading e-books/articles. I also love watching movies on this device when travelling since it’s easier and lighter to bring around compared to a 10” tablet. A Quad-Core 1.3 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor paired with the latest Android version Jellybean alongside a 1GB RAM makes the Nexus 7 one of the FASTEST/SMOOTHEST Android tablets available. Battery life is really good too. It has a 4325mAh battery and it usually lasts me 8-10 hours on moderate to heavy use. Also take note that it only has a front-facing camera for video calls and no rear facing camera (Probably to cut costs) which I didn’t mind at all. I personally hate people who use their tablets to take pictures with a passion. Considering its price, you’re really getting your money’s worth with this device’s hardware.

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SOFTWARE

Nexus 7 is running on Android 4.1 Jellybean and is blazing fast. Many people before didn’t like Android because of the ‘Android lag’. Well I’m glad to say that it’s gone. They fixed it with the so-called ‘Project Butter’. Project Butter is Google’s answer to Android’s infamous ‘lag’. It focuses on making the Android experience buttery smooth and it certainly delivers. Project Butter includes Triple Buffering in the graphics pipeline, to ensure consistent framerates. It allows the CPU, GPU, and the display itself to work together for a much smoother animation. Project Butter applies to the entire OS, and not just the launcher. So the buttery smoothness is applied on every Jelly Bean app. Here’s a perfect article why Project Butter makes your Android much more faster and smoother. My Galaxy S III phone which is running on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which I thought was already fast in Android standard, feels so sluggish after using the Nexus 7 for more than a week. I just can’t wait for the official Jellybean update for my Galaxy S III which is rumored to roll out in a week or two(HOPEFULLY!).

Aside from ‘Project Butter’, Android 4.1 Jellybean sports the new Google Now function. It’s a neat feature that Google came up with that automatically shows you Information cards when you need them. It catalogs your searches be it Flight Bookings, Traffic, Public Transportation Info, Weather, Sports Scores, and more. It’s really great when you’re living in countries that supports all of it’s features. When you live in the Philippines, or any other country that’s outside Google’s jurisdiction, however, you’re limited to Weather, Sports scores, and appointments. Google doesn’t support Jeepney routes unfortunately (Maybe soon though). Here’s a video to better understand what it is. One more thing to take note is Google’s upgraded voice recognition. It had no problems understanding my voice searches. I even tried throwing in some ridiculously ‘CARABAO’ Filipino accent and it still understood most of it. It’s really fun. You can ask it, “Will it rain tomorrow?” or “Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?” and it will answer you with a yes or no followed by tomorrow’s weather forecast of your current location(And yes, it works in Cebu!). I also tried asking it some random questions like, “Who directed the Titanic?” and it answered, “James Cameron directed the Titanic” followed by a Wiki page of James Cameron. Though you need to be connected to the internet for voice searches to work, it’s still awesome. I really like the voice too. It somehow sounds more natural and less robotic compared to other text-to-speech voices.

Screenshots

Screenshots

Screenshots

With it’s Quad-core processor and blazing fast Android Jellybean OS, the Nexus 7 had no problems with video playback even with 1080p mkvs. The stock video player doesn’t support mkv but there are a lot of great FREE 3rd party video players in Google Market. I personally use Mxplayer(FREE!).

CONCLUSION

The Nexus 7 is a great device even for someone who’s not residing in Google country(US). Although we don’t have access to Google Play Movies/Books/Music or even Netflix we can still load it with our own legally downloaded movies and/or e-books. Yeah, the limited storage might turn you off but there are a lot of ways to expand it like Dropbox. I don’t see it replacing the iPad but it’s not designed to replace it in the first place. It is however one of the best if not the best 7” tablet your money can buy currently. For something below P20,000 pesos, you get a tablet with GREAT hardware specs and the latest Android OS(Not to mention you get future updates first). Google really nailed the sweet spot and it’s difficult not to fall in love with this device. So if you’re looking for a tablet at the 7” range, look no further.

My Nexus 7 is finally here and here’s my take

Here’s our take of Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet

Overall
Summary
Best budget 7" Tablet
80 %
User Rating : 0 (0 votes)

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