Nexus 7 (2013) vs Nexus 7 (2012): by the numbers

by: Brad WardJuly 26, 2013
Nexus 7

Nexus family with Nexus 7 (2012) in the middle

The Nexus 7 (2012) was met with critical acclaim when it launched last year. Hardware-wise, it was a very impressive tablet, and the quick updates straight from Google made it something to fawn over. As they always say, all good things come to an end, but in this case, a good thing is coming to an end to make room for something even better. Enter, the 2nd generation of the Nexus 7. How much better is it than last year’s model? Find out in our “by the numbers” comparison.

7 inches

Nexus 7 (2013) display 2

Is how large the screen size is on the 2012 and 2013 model of the Nexus 7, making both versions perfect for travel, media consumption, along with work and play. 7-inches is a good size for a tablet, but when it comes down to it, the resolution and pixel density determines how well the screen performs.


Nexus 7 (2013) display 1

There’s a stark difference when it comes to the display of the two tablets. The Nexus 7 (2013) has a 1,920 x 1,200 LCD IPS panel, rated at 323 pixels per inch. Last year’s model comes in with a much lower, 800 x 1,280 LCD IPS display, rated at 216ppi. That’s a 107ppi difference between the two devices.


Nexus 7

Is how much faster this year’s Nexus 7 is. It has a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, clocked at 1.5GHz, while last year’s model sported a lower, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, clocked at 1.2GHz. While some expected NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 CPU to power this year’s model, Asus and Google instead opted for Qualcomm’s offering.


That’s the difference in battery capacity between these two models. Interestingly enough, this year’s version has the smaller battery, coming in at 3,950 mAh, while last year’s model has the larger, 4,325 mAh unit. The Nexus 7 (2013) provides up to 9 hours of active use, while last year’s device gives you 10. The downgrade isn’t actually a bad thing, though. While we’d all love to have an even larger battery, we’re sure the power consumption is even more efficient in the 2013 model.


While 1GB if probably sufficient for most people, power users are going to love the extra speed that the extra 1GB offers

The difference in RAM capacity between the 2013 and 2012 models. The newer variant has 2GB of RAM, making multitasking and switching between apps a breeze. Last year’s device only has 1GB of RAM, making things generally slower. While 1GB if probably sufficient for most people, power users are going to love the added speed that the extra 1GB offers.

16GB or 32GB

The amount of storage the Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 7 (2012) comes with. Last year’s model was originally only available in 8GB and 16GB variants before Google switched it up, nixing the 8GB version, and opting for 16GB and 32GB variants. That said, the 16GB and 32GB capacities make a return in the Nexus 7 (2013), allowing users to have that needed extra storage right off the bat.


Is the difference between the difference in rear camera’s. The Nexus 7 (2013) has a much better performing, 5-megapixel rear shooter, while last year’s tech didn’t even have a rear camera. However, it did have a 1.2-megapixel front-facing shooter, which is the same as the Nexus 7’s (2013) 1.2-megapixel front-facing performer, this year. In this case, software-wise, camera usage should generally be the same, since both tablet’s are running the same version of Android. The real difference here is that the newer model has optics on the back now, thus giving you a better picture on the hardware side.

$29 and $19

Nexus 7

Is the pricing difference between the Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 7 (2012) in 16GB and 32GB capacities. The Nexus 7 (2012) costs $199 for the 16GB model and $249 for the 32GB model, while the Nexus 7 (2013) costs $229 for the 16GB version and $269 for the 32GB version. Of course, with the Nexus 7 (2013) taking the place of last year’s tech, you’ll see the price of the 2012 model getting some drastic price cuts.

Any plans to get the Nexus 7 (2013) or are you sticking with the 2012 model?

  • Bali Arif

    i’m getting one :)

    • LuvMusic

      Just brought one home from my local BestBuy. Screen is awesome and definitely a very snappy device. Glad I bought it.

  • mystilleef

    Waiting for the LTE version.

    • Vincent Goh

      Yea, I’m finding someone to buy my current Nexus 7 3G. Waiting for LTE too.

      • Andrew T Roach

        Same here. Data changes the way you use your tablet and for less than a hundred bucks difference it’s a no brainer

  • Michael Christensen

    The camera section isn’t correct. Last years had a 1.2 megapixel front and no back camera, while the new one has a 1.2 megapixel front and a 5 megapixel back. So the new model is actually better than would seem from that section. I’ve already bought mine from Best Buy, who apparently doesn’t care about release dates.

    • Total oversight on my part, thanks for catching that.

    • End in sight

      Yep. I was going to say that since that is why I have to get the new Nexus. Got to have that back camera.

      BTW, if I were Google I would informally drop the numbers (4,7,10) and just say Nexus phone, or Nexus tablet. When people ask me, I say this is my Nexus. I also call it my tablet at times. Like with my car, I say, this is my Camry, not my “Camry LE 1999”.

  • MarkWallace101

    Already ordered. God bless Amazon Prime. :)

    • GigaCode

      canceled on bestbuy and ordered on amazon will get tomorrow :)

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    Don’t have the 2012 version so this is a really good choice.

  • Morpheus

    Just purchased the 32Gb variant but have to wait 3-4 weeks for amazon to ship…Ugh!!!! Nvrmnd, Zen mode….

  • Mateusz Trocha

    Just sold my 1st gen and picking up the 2013 one tomorrow! Also I like the pulse notification light , with the 2012 nexus I always had to pick it up and check for notifications so I think it’s a nice addition.

  • RagingSloth

    For me the biggest difference is one you didn’t mention, wireless charging.

  • Dandyroi

    @ Brad Ward You say the difference in megapixels between the 2012 version of the nexus 7 and the new one that came out in 2013 is 3.8. How on earth can this be possible? Knowing the nexus (2012) misses the 5 megapixel back cam and they both have a 1.2 mp front cam wouldn’t the difference be 5 mp in favour of the 2013 version?

    • Dandyroi

      Nevermind, a;ready mentioned by Michael Christensen

  • Mike

    I have both models. Other than the better screen and more memory on 2013 version , most users won’t notice much of a difference. The back camera is a nice addition.

  • pugmo

    I think you forgot to that the old version (2012) doesn’t support bluetooth 4.0.

    • Sondan

      Pugmo, I have the older version and *does* support Bluetooth.

      • jimbo

        He said 4.0 for a reason…

  • kissun janam

    Used to have the 2012..Loved it …but it won’t charge anymore : (… I’m getting the 2013…

  • Znayx

    Would get a 2nd gen Nexus, but my budget matters. I got a $100 deal on a 1st gen, and I have to swallow it and stick with it, because I gotta admit it is a really good tablet from its generation.

    But damn I want a 2013 one