This time we present you with our own review of the Nexus 7, an amazing device provided to us by Asus.
We had a really short time with the device but we were able to test every aspect that we believe is interesting to you. We were even able to record a few videos and test some games on it, which you will also be able to see in the videos you will find while reading this review.
We also have a little video for you of the unboxing of the Nexus 7, so take a look:
Design and Ergonomics
The look and feel of the nexus are awesome for a device in this price range. Even though the back cover is plastic you don’t look at this device and think it will crumble at any moment. The lock and volume buttons seem sturdy also, unlike some other tablets I’ve come to handle, so you can expect them to function correctly as long as the device is able to operate.
The borders of the nexus are made of steel and that gives the device a sturdy feel and also protects of wear and tear, since it’s the borders you will be holding on to when you’re writing, playing or even browsing the web. The back cover also has a nice rubberized feel to it which helps when holding the device in one hand.
I must say I had my doubts about the sound the nexus would produce with only one speaker at the bottom back of the device. But when you’re handling it in landscape mode when playing a game the sound distributes itself in a good way, since your hand will most likely be covering the speaker. This will also let you enjoy louder sounds than you would if you aren’t sort of covering the speaker with your hand, or if you don’t have the nexus laying on a flat surface. You will also be able to experience this in the video review.
The display is very good, the viewing angles are amazing. Everything you put on the screen looks sharp and bright. The auto brightness sensor adjusts itself to different light conditions rapidly and accurately which is pretty much all you can ask.
Performance and Software
Well as software goes, the nexus 7 comes with jelly bean 4.1.2 but you will immediately be asked to update to 4.2 as soon as you finish configuring the device.
The 4.2 Android version brings some new pleasant customization details to the plate. For example you will be able to add some widgets to see on the lock screen, Gmail among others, so that you don’t have to keep unlocking the device just to check for emails. You can also unlock the device and go directly to the new Android feature, Google now.
Nice keyboard overall nice to write in when in portrait mode and also landscape mode. Word prediction in English is pretty flawless. Has all the keys in the right spot for those who are used to write in a normal keyboard, which you can’t say about some tablets that put the full stop and comma in the weirdest places you can imagine.
I definitely can see myself writing a lot with this keyboard, in fact this whole review has been written in the Nexus keyboard, that’s how much I enjoyed it.
Now talking about the voice input method…Well it’s pretty good but I still don’t know how to put a full stop on a sentence. The voice recognition started pretty well even though my English accent isn’t the best, but once it gets a word wrong you better be prepared to erase the whole sentence because it will probably get every word wrong from then on.
This little device is pretty good in almost every aspect you can think of. In terms of performance you have a quad core to obey all of your wishes, and I must say it does an awesome job at doing it. Even when you’re writing you can feel the speed of this device by the way it changes the word prediction almost at the speed of light without ever lagging or getting any word wrong. It’s pretty amazing actually.
One other thing I like about this little gadget is that you can take snapshots without having to root it or install an app. Although this seems simple enough, there are many devices out there that don’t have this option. In case you’re wondering, to take a screenshot you only need to press the lock and volume down key together until your hear a sound that is followed by an animation that confirms the snapshot was taken successfully.
If you want to talk about pre-loaded apps you won’t be disappointed, this is in fact a nexus, so you can count on not having all those apps occupying all of your storage space. All the apps pre-installed in the nexus are the Google apps we all came to love and cherish.
You have calendar, Gmail, Google talk, Google maps, Google +, messenger, navigation, location, play store and so forth. In this I see an advantage because it makes the device hugely customizable for anyone, be they gamers that want the latest games, or office workers that only need to check their email and have some productivity apps.
Even though the low quantity of apps installed I would have loved to have a productivity app already installed, because it comes in handy sometimes when you need to write something down so that you don’t forget, in the nexus you would have to write it down in the calendar or in an email to yourself. It’s the only thing I feel it’s lacking in this device. Of course, once again you can download Google drive from the play store.
One thing you will find in the nexus is the app People, which stores all of your Google account contacts, including cellphone numbers.
On another account relating to software, you will probably notice that there’s no video player installed, so if you want to see some movies you will have to download an app from the play store, again.
When it comes to playing games, I’ve tried the newest need for speed most wanted and it behaved admirably, as you will be able to see in the video review. After a few rounds in NFS I never saw the nexus give in and lag, not even a little. Even in sound and image quality I can’t say anything bad about it during the game. Everything seemed pretty natural and the sound of the environment came naturally with no delay.
This performance is also shown in the benchmark tests we performed on the device. I must also say that the benchmark tests were performed before the upgrade to the newest android version, and after the upgrade. So you will be able to see the AnTuTu and NenaMark 2 scores before and after and make your own conclusions.
Connectivity and Battery Life
Well in terms of connectivity, the device I tested counted with WiFi, NFC and a micro USB port.
I can say the speed and quality of the WiFi was good, no complaints whatsoever. As you will be able to see in the video review it took little to no time to load a HD video when I got to YouTube and choose one.
I really like the feel of the Nexus and the way it behaves with anything I throw at it. Being it web browsing on heavy pages like Facebook and 9gag or downloading huge files to check if it would lag at any point while downloading and updating loads of apps in the play store. But I still haven’t been capable of making this little tablet break in terms of performance, which by my standards is pretty good.
I haven’t really talked about battery life just yet, so let’s change that.
I have been using the nexus since 10 am, and have played a number of games on it (about two hours or so) browsed the web for a while, in order to test the speed and interface quality (so about an hour), I’ve been sending emails with a lot of text, so writing a lot (about two hours of writing in the Gmail app), installed apps and updates everything there was to update (including the update to 4.2), watched videos on YouTube, ran benchmarks, and it’s about 7pm and there’s still about 65% of battery life left, which by my standards point to a great battery life for this device.
Right about now I’m kind of sorry the Nexus doesn’t have a back camera, but just because I would love to test it and see if it kept the standards of the rest of the device. But I’ll take a test run of the front camera just to see if using the Google hangout is as good as can be expected from a Google device.
After a quick conversation in via Google talk, I must say the front camera is probably not up to par for many, but since it is intended to video chat only, I think it is good enough. But you can take a look at the photos in this section to make your own conclusions.
All in all the Nexus 7 is a great device, even if you already have a 10 inch tablet, you will love the Nexus. It fits great in your hand, has a fantastic screen, has amazing processing capabilities and its raw Android OS is just perfect for you to customize at your will.
I really loved the Nexus and if I didn’t already have a tablet I would definitely buy it, because at its price tag you can’t get anything better on the market.
So if you would like to have an Android powered tablet, that fits well in your hands and is great for playing games, reading and writing documents, go ahead and buy the Nexus 7, you won’t be disappointed.
Review by: Cátia Sofia @ AndroidEmotions