The new Nexus 7 vs the competition, how does it stack up?

July 24, 2013
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Nexus 7

The new Nexus 7 was announced today and the Internet has been ablaze with the information all day. It’s a pretty impressive device and one that all Android fans have the potential to enjoy. It has amazing specs, a cheap price point, and best of all, it’ll be available on July 30. While it’s pretty much the common sentiment that the new Nexus 7 will be the best 7-inch tablet on the market when it gets released, we have to ask ourselves if it really is that much better.

With that in mind, here is a direct comparison with some of the more popular 7-inch tablets in the industry. For a full list of the new Nexus 7 specs, check out Andrew Grush’s earlier post detailing the official specs. For this comparison, we’ll take a look at the 5 major specs that people care about. Those are the screen, the CPU, the battery, the RAM, the storage, and the connectivity.

Nexus 7 vs Nexus 7

Versus the old Nexus 7

Of course one of the biggest competitors to the new Nexus 7 will be the old Nexus 7. One of the best selling Android tablets ever, the old Nexus 7 was a turning point in the tablet market for Android. It introduced competent construction, good specs, and a great experience for such a low price that OEMs have been struggling for the last year to catch up. Well, everyone except Amazon, but we’ll get to them momentarily. Here is the direct comparison.

  • Screen – The new Nexus 7 screen is a 7-inch display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution (323ppi) vs the old Nexus 7, which was 1280 x 800 (216ppi). Winner: new Nexus 7.
  • Processor – The new Nexus 7 has a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. Since Google themselves said the processor was 80% faster, that means it beats out the old Tegra 3 powering the old Nexus 7.
  • Battery – Google didn’t release the specs on the battery, but stated it could get 9 hours of video playback. That is longer than the old Nexus 7 was rated for, so the win goes to the new Nexus 7.
  • RAM – new Nexus 7 has 2GB. Spoiler alert, that beats everyone. Win goes to new Nexus 7.
  • Connectivity – 802.1 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE for the new Nexus. 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and only 3G connectivity for the old Nexus. LTE always wins. At least, it seems to with consumers.

Okay, so the new Nexus 7 beats out the old one by leaps and bounds. In virtually every category the new Nexus beats out its predecessor. The only thing that remains unchanged are the storage size options. Both Nexus devices still come in only 16GB or 32GB variants. The overall winner by a long shot is the new Nexus 7.

ipad mini vs nexus 7

Versus the iPad Mini

What kind of comparison would this be if we didn’t stack the new Nexus 7 up against what is mostly likely its stiffest competition, the iPad Mini. When shopping for a tablet, even Android fans may consider an alternate OS since they already have an Android phone. So why not an iOS tablet? Here’s the comparison.

  • Screen – The iPad Mini comes with a 7.9-inch display with a 1024 x 768 resolution (163ppi). That’s not even close. Win goes to the Nexus 7.
  • CPU – We’re sorry to report that the dual-core A5 in the iPad Mini cannot stack up to the 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro.
  • Battery – The iPad Mini is rated for 10 hours of surfing the web and web browsing, according to Apple’s official website. The new Nexus 7 boasts 9 hours of continuous video playback. That’s pretty intense. Winner is Nexus 7.
  • RAM – The iPad Mini loses with a laughable 512MB of memory.
  • Connectivity – The iPad Mini comes with 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and LTE. So does the new Nexus 7. However, the iPad Mini does not support AT&T and T-Mobile LTE (LTE band 4), while the Nexus 7 does. It’s very narrow, but the Nexus 7 does win this one as well..

Okay, so the iPad Mini didn’t take quite the beating the old Nexus 7 took thanks to the LTE connectivity, but it still lost in all 5 categories. That’s a big win for Google.

versus the Nexus 7

Versus the Kindle Fire HD

Next up is yet another one of the biggest competitors out there for both the new and the old Nexus 7. That is the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Amazon’s flagship tablet has been a massive success and will likely continue to be until Amazon releases a new tablet. Plus, it’s less expensive than both the old and new Nexus 7 and price matters to a lot of people in the tablet market. Here’s the comparison.

  • Screen – The Kindle Fire HD comes with a 1280 x 800 display much like the old Nexus 7. Also, much like the older Nexus, it loses to the newer Nexus.
  • CPU – Amazon’s Kindle Fire packs a 1.2GHz dual-core chip from last year. This one is pretty obvious.
  • Battery – Okay, so you don’t have to read this three more times. The battery on the Nexus 7 is rated for 9 hours of continuous video playback. Nothing on this list beats that.
  • RAM – The 2GB on the Nexus 7 beats the 1GB on the Kindle Fire HD.
  • Connectivity – The only Kindle Fire product that can use 4G LTE is the $400, 8.9-inch variant. That’s not the 7-inch variant, so the Nexus 7 wins. Both support the same Bluetooth and WiFi.

Much like the old Nexus 7, the new Nexus beats the Kindle Fire HD in every category. Also, there are people who say the Amazon App Store is inferior to the Play Store. Since the Kindle Fire HD runs Android and doesn’t have access to the Play Store –or any other Play Services for that matter– that could be taken as another con for the Kindle Fire HD. Winner here is the new Nexus 7.

asus memo pad hd 7

Versus the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7

The ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 is a curious Android tablet. It has a phenomenal price of $149 and specs that actually aren’t half bad. Is it as good as current tablets? Not really, no, but it’s a lot better than almost everything else that costs only $150. You can probably guess how this comparison will go.

  • Screen – The ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 sports a 1280 x 800 display. It can’t beat the 1080p display on the Nexus 7.
  • CPU – The MeMO Pad has a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. This is still pretty decent for a tablet, but the Nexus 7’s quad core processor is still superior.
  • Battery – Like the others, the MeMO Pad is rated for 10 hours of general use. It can’t beat 9 hours of video playback. Winner is the Nexus 7 again.
  • Memory – ASUS packed 1GB of RAM into the MeMO Pad which is half of what the Nexus 7 gets.
  • Connectivity – The MeMO Pad doesn’t have network connectivity at all. Just Bluetooth and WiFi.

It’s very hard to call the MeMO Pad a bad deal at $150 because it’s actually a very good deal. That said, the Nexus 7 beats the MeMO Pad in every conceivable category except price. Don’t get us wrong, the new Nexus 7 is sold at a very reasonable rate and it’s also a great deal. The winner is, of course, the Nexus 7.

hp slate 7

Versus the HP Slate 7

Last on our list is the HP Slate 7. This fun little tablet is a recent release by HP and while it hasn’t sold a gaggle of units like Google or Amazon, it’s still a cheap, 7-inch competitor. It’s actually even cheaper than the ASUS MeMO Pad, as it retails for about $139.99 on most sites these days. With similar specs, that makes the Slate 7 a pretty decent deal. However, much like the MeMO Pad, you can probably guess how it’ll come out against the Nexus 7.

  • Screen – Most tablets here have at least a 1280 x 800. The HP Slate 7 has an inferior 600 x 1024. It doesn’t quite matter though, because the Nexus 7 beats both of those anyway. 
  • CPU – HP packs a 1.6GHz dual-core processor into the Slate 7. It doesn’t even come close to comparing to the new Nexus 7.
  • Battery – Probably the weakest battery on the list, the Slate 7 gets about 5 hours of continuous media. That is far less than the 9 hours that the Nexus 7 boasts.
  • Memory – You’ve read it 4 times already, why not once more? 2GB of memory beats 1GB of memory.
  • Connectivity – Not only does the Slate 7 not get any network data, but it also gets Bluetooth 2.1. The Nexus 7 is the obvious winner.

Much like the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7, the HP Slate 7 fell to the latest Nexus 7 in every single category but price. While most of us would gladly fork over an extra $100 for all the wonderful things you get with the new Nexus, we recognize that many people only want to spend about $150 on a tablet and in that one instance, the HP Slate 7 and the MeMO Pad win. In every other category, Nexus 7 all day long.

Conclusion

It’s interesting to note that the only tablet that wasn’t thoroughly trounced by the new Nexus 7 was the Apple iPad Mini. Not because it’s in any way an equal tablet, but because the iPad Mini is the only other tablet on this list that supports at least some LTE networks. Otherwise, it’s truly impressive how the Nexus 7 is such a vast and amazing improvement over everything currently in the market. There is no doubt that this tablet will sell like hotcakes in the coming year because it so thoroughly trounces its competition in everything.

It’ll be exciting to see if Apple releases a competitor. We doubt they will, because a cheap, well spec’d tablet seems outside the purview of Apple. Nevertheless, it could be interesting. We expect Amazon to reply as well sometime in the coming year and we wonder if they’ll be able to compete with Google as well.

Of course we want to hear from you as well! Will the Nexus 7 be your next tablet? Let us know what you think about this new beast in the comments!

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