Nexus 7 (2013) vs Nexus 7 (2012) – what’s new?

by: Chris SmithJuly 24, 2013

Nexus 7

Google officially unveiled the second-generation Nexus 7 model a few hours ago, so it’s time to check out what’s new compared to the first-generation model.

The 2013 Nexus 7 model brings several important improvements, from screen quality, to size and weight, to processing power and even prices. In every aspect, the Nexus 7 offers better hardware compared to last year’s model – not that we expected anything else from a new device.

Size matters

The new Nexus 7 is slimmer than it’s predecessor by 1.8mm (8.6mm compared to 10.45mm) and Google has reduced the width of the tablet by around 6mm (114mm compared to 120mm) by reducing the side bezels.

Add to that the fact that the new Nexus 7 also happens to be a lot slimmer than its precursor (290-299g depending on version compared to 340g), and you won’t be surprised to hear that the new Nexus 7 can be held easier with one hand than its predecessor.

When it comes to design, Google went for a black-on-black color scheme for the new Nexus 7. The device has smaller bezels and a soft-touch matte black (with the logo shown in landscape mode rather than portrait, as it was in the first model)

Display and speakers

The most important part of a tablet is, naturally, the display, and the rumors were right on this one. The new Nexus 7 packs a 7-inch display with 1920 x 1200 resolution and 323ppi, which is a feature you won’t find in any other 7-inch tablet – the original model has a 1280 x 800 resolution and 216ppi.

According to Google, the new Nexus 7 can now show a 30% wider range of colors than its predecessor.

Nexus 7

Furthermore, in order to better enjoy those 1080p movies, the new Nexus 7 will now offer better sound thanks to its dual-stereo speakers (found on the back side of the device, near the top and bottom) and Fraunhofer virtual surround sound. Not to mention that such components – better display and speakers – will let users also enjoy a lot of high-quality gaming.

What else is in there?

In addition to the display and speakers, other components have also been upgraded for the new Nexus 7 including processor, RAM, cameras, cellular connectivity and battery (see tablet below for a full specs comparison for the two devices).

According to Google, the 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor in the new Nexus 7 is 80% faster than the 1.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 found inside the old model, and has a GPU that delivers four times the performance of the 2012 version.

The memory has been doubled, as the new Nexus 7 offers now 2GB of RAM, but storage is at the same levels, 16GB and 32GB. As you expect, the new model doesn’t have microSD support either.

Nexus 7 (2012)"New" Nexus 7 (2013)
Size198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm200 x 114 x 8.6mm
Weight340g290g (Wi-Fi), 299g (LTE)
ScreenCorning Glass 7-inch LCD IPS display with 1280 x 800 resolution (216 ppi)Corning Glass 7-inch LCD IPS display with 1920 x 1200 resolution (323 ppi)
Processor1.2Ghz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 31.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
GPU416MHz 12-core NVIDIA GeForce ULP400MHz Adreno 320
Storage(8) / 16 / 32GB16 / 32GB
Camera1.2MP1.2MP / 5MP
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0Bluetooth 4.0
USBmicroUSBmicroUSB with SlimPort
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/ndual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n
Battery4325mAh battery: up to 8 hours of active use3950mAh battery: 9 hours of video playback, 10 hours of web browsing / reading; wireless charging
OSAndroid 4.2.2 upgradeable to Android 4.3Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Cellular3G with support for AT&T4G LTE with support for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon
SpeakersSingle rear speakerStereo speakers on the back with Fraunhofer surround sound
SensorsGyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass Ambient LightGyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass Ambient Light
Price$199 (16GB), $249 (32GB) and $299 (32GB + 3G)$229 (16GB), $269 (32GB) and $349 (32GB + 4G LTE)

Compared to the old device, new Nexus 7 packs an extra camera, dual-band Wi-Fi, HDMI output via SlimPort and 4G LTE support that’s compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon bands.

While the new Nexus 7 packs a smaller battery (at 3950mAh vs 4325mAh), the new Nexus 7 will offer an extra hour (or two) of battery life compared to its predecessor (9-10 hours vs 8 hours), which is all the more impressive considering that the new model is slimmer and has to power a much better display.

Wireless charging will also be available for the new Nexus 7, while the old model can only be charged the “regular” way.

Just like its predecessor, the new Nexus will launch with a new Android version on board, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. However, the 2012 model is also compatible with the new OS version, and can be updated to the latest Jelly Bean version.

So what about pricing?

With great power comes great responsibility pricing, which means the new Nexus 7 is more expensive than its predecessor. Pricing starts at $229 for the 16GB version and goes up to $269 for the 32GB version. That’s $30 and $20 more than what the Wi-Fi Nexus 7 (2012) model costs. However, those of you looking to score a deal, will certainly find even cheaper first-gen Nexus 7 models in stores now that the new model is official.

Those of you interested in the 4G LTE version of the new Nexus 7 will have to pay $349 for the new Nexus 7 with LTE, while $299 would get you an old Nexus 7 model with 3G support.

The good news is that the new model will be available from more retailers than its predecessor.

Nexus 7

The Wi-Fi version of the new Nexus 7 will be hitting stores starting with July 30, with “more retailers than ever before” stocking the device in addition to Google – the list includes companies like Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Amazon, HSN, RadioShack, J&R and B&H.

The 4G LTE model will start shipping “in the coming weeks.”

In addition to the USA, other countries will get the tablet including the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Canada – other markets will follow in the future.

  • MasterMuffin

    “[table “22” not found /]” and “…new Nexus 7 will be hit stores starting with…” :)

    Thinner, lighter, faster, STRONGER!

  • Imad

    Do you know if Miracast is supported this time? I can’t find any information regarding this

    • John-Smith

      It isn’t advertised but I believe it is supported, since it is dual band.

  • mr0nline

    Are you telling me there won’t be a 3G version of the new one?
    This would suck for people outside the U.S

    • Daniel DS

      The 4G LTE version must be compatible with 3G

      • YamenSharaf

        How could LTE be compatible with 3G?
        only if they called it 4G and it’s really HSPA i guess

        • Because most tablets although they are marketed as 4G LTE, they also support UMTS 3G/HSPA+

          • YamenSharaf

            Isn’t LTE supposed to be Carrier-exclusive?
            Will a SIM from another country work in this one?

          • LTE might have been a carrier exclusive when Verizon was one of the only carrier’s in the world to have it. But now here in the states every major provider uses LTE; at&t, verizon, sprint, even T-mobile who isn’t as large as the other 3. And yes the device is unlocked so another SIM from any country will work just fine, provided that the carrier uses bands compatible with the device itself.

      • SContrerasMer

        Itmust because not in every part of the US there is 4G LTE signal, so they can acces to the HSPA network in case of being neccesary

  • districtjack

    I should have waited a little longer to buy. On the positive side, I do own a nexus 7.

  • Ian

    Does the WiFi version support 3G?
    We don’t have 4G in my country…

    • SContrerasMer

      NO! but the 4g supports 3g

      In which country do you live?

      • Ian


        • SContrerasMer

          jus a few weeks ago te carriers, here in colombia gained LTE support, the bad thingis that few people have 4G capable devices

  • lollicup04

    I thought that the new one had a notification light. But no one has mentioned it

    • I know right, as silly as it sounds, I was so looking forward to that Lol. I think there is one at the bottom center there appears to be something there, and it’s not the camera so that leads me to believe it is an LED light, right where the Nexus 10 had it.

  • Rabid Rotty

    Unfortunately, if you watched the stream, the LTE version won’t be making its way to Canada.

  • Ronak

    I’m not impressed with the battery power. I understand that 4.3 is suppose to make the battery last longer, but still, why not just keep the old battery size? Otherwise, I’d love to purchase this.

    • James Silva

      That’s actually a horrible question. You’ve got a thinner and wider device, with a more comfortable hold, yet you’re not getting it because of this? And if you read it, the battery life is indeed longer, mainly because of the better consumption of the components.

      • myneoncity

        Eh they say it’s longer, but it usually never turns out that way.

  • Farbod

    dude everyone is doing what the ipad mini did: thinner bezels

    your move apple

  • Grahaman27

    I really like the naming system and I hope they call the new n4 the “new n4” even if it has a 5 inch screen. make it just like automobile naming. this years camry doesnt have to be called the “camry 16”

  • Brian Dong Min Kim

    Me, I’ll say the specs are a killer, but….
    no touchwiz..

    • Harjifangki

      No Touchwiz?
      And you think that’s a flaw? Wow, my friend. Wow.

    • AEEEA

      No touchwiz? LOL… I rather choose AOSP than TW

  • Howie Gordon

    Can one put in a different language on the new Nexus 7 like Arabic or hebrew

    • ARRA

      AOSP is Multi Language as I know

  • Rick Samuels

    Damn it. I knew I should have waited for the newer model.

  • Ricky blaze

    does anyone know if this tablet has swag, like me?

  • Zach

    is it true the nexus 2012 had bluetooth 4.0? I read an article saying it was 3.0?