Second-gen Nexus 7 with high-res display to launch before Retina iPad mini, analyst says

by: Chris SmithMarch 16, 2013


Budget tablets with high-resolution displays are coming later this year, an analyst estimates, with the second-gen Nexus 7 to beat to market a Retina iPad mini.

DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza said that a Nexus 7 2 could arrive with an HD+ resolution display – 1920 x 1200 – that would bump pixel density from 216ppi for the current model up to 323ppi.

Display mass production for the Nexus 7 could start in the second quarter of the year, much earlier than panel production for the Retina iPad mini.

Apple is said to launch the iPad mini in the third or fourth quarter and equip it with a 2048 x 1536 resolution display, like the one found on the iPad 3 and iPad 4, but smaller. Pixel density would double, from 163 on the first-generation iPad mini to 324 on its successor.

Among the potential Retina iPad mini display makers, Semenza lists LG Display, AUO, Japan Display and even Sharp, but he doesn’t mention Nexus 7 2 screen suppliers.

Actual launch dates for either product aren’t provided yet, so we’ll have to wait a while for more availability details on these two new products. At the same time, we’ll remind you that analysts do make mistakes, and we’re yet to see either Google or Apple announce their upcoming tablets, so take everything with a grain of salt for now.

  • Faiz

    That’s good news. I hope the price tag remains the same, or at least won’t be too much of an increase.

  • MasterMuffin

    Samsung will probably make the screen of Nexus 7 2 (stupid name, I hope it doesn’t end up being 7 2) because they made the awesome Nexus 10 too

    • RarestName

      Nexus 7S

      • MasterMuffin

        Sounds familiar… :D

    • Tezert

      nexus mini

    • I hope it becomes the Nexus 8. I think that the Nexus 7, can get one more inch or more, just reducing the bezels. Same size, bigger screen.

    • Kt

      Here’s to hoping! For both thoughts ;)

  • adi132


  • vahid rostampour

    i would love google to make the nexus 7 bigger to 7.7 inches with less bezel. Also to have the same resolution as the nexus 10. 2560×1600 surely that would make it easier for developers as they only have to design tablet apps for one resolution? obviously it would cost more but i would gladly pay.

    • But then it wouldn’t be the same tablet, and certainly not budget. Why not just get the Nexus 10 lol?????

  • icyrock1

    I’d much prefer a better battery life in the next Nexus 7, I normally average 6~8 hours, but I would love 10+. I just hope they keep it the same size and shrink the Bezel.

  • kascollet

    I don’t know if boosting the res of the N7 would be a good thing. The device would end up thicker or with less battery life and 200+ ppi is already quite good.
    On the iPad Mini, the resolution is too low and Apple will have to switch it to Retina because it already lacks, and if they want to maintain 10H+ battery life (they always do), the tablet will have to be thicker.
    I think N7 has an advantage in that its screen doesn’t necessarly have to evolve for the moment.

    • Roberto Tomás

      it could be that they are going to switch to a cutting edge tech that uses less battery. Possibly AH-IPS, SLCD3, or 2PH AMOLED (doubt that though).

    • Stuart Brown

      Resolution and battery consumption are not really related, a torch light has a resolution of 1 pixel, provided you have lots of GPU power eg. Tegra 4 has 72 CUDA cores. A Tegra 3 only has 12, that’s 6 times less GPU cores, a Tegra 4 can run Ultra Definition (4k.) At a quarter UD, it would run as cool as a cucumber, the smaller the screen, the less the power required, hence all the recent 1080p fHD phones. Expect a Nexus UD in May as a successor to the Nex 10, which is already 2k, too expensive for me, I’ll stick to a 1080p 7.7″ or 5″, though if I can pick up a cheap second hand N10, I’ll be one happy dude.

  • Why is Android Authority suggesting so much “salt: in our diets? I would like some sweets once in a while too.. Oh Wait… Samsung Galaxy S4!!!
    Swaa—(wait for it…) HEEET!!!

    • Peter Oliver

      This is the dumbest comment I’ve ever seen on a blog. Congratulations.

    • Stuart Brown

      I thought it was hilarious.

  • Anthony Wislon

    Good news. I was going to buy the nexus 7, but i will wait to hear more about this…. Better battery life is one of the things i hope they focus on. I’ve used a nexus 7 and the ipad mini, and although i prefer the nexus 7, the better battery life on the ipad mini was a real plus. And i know it’ll probably come with the new OS – Lime Pie.

  • Roberto Tomás

    my wish list for buying a 7-incher is:

    1080p (yeay! apparently they’ve got it)
    bezel-less on the long sides
    thin-film display
    wireless HD
    replaceable battery

    • kascollet

      That’s ambitious but doable I think, although I don’t see the point of USB3 considering the slow memories built in those devices.
      And replaceable battery when you have 10h battery-life is quite useless !

      • Roberto Tomás

        ” I don’t see the point of USB3 considering the slow memories built in those devices”
        Yeah, that’s why I required LPDDR3 .. I guess I really mean dual channel LPDDR3, as used in the snapdragon 600, tegra 4, and possibly some of the snapdragon 800s. Voted you up, thanks for the comment.

        • kascollet

          You’re confusing RAM with mass memory. When you transfer files from your computer to the tablet’s memory, you don’t write to RAM (DDR3 or 2) but to much slower NAND flash.

          • Roberto Tomás

            wait, what — you need ram because when you copy, you copy from device to ram, then to device or processor or .. wherever. If the ram isn’t fast enough, you might not make full use of the storage. RAM is obviously faster than mass storage, but a lot of that bandwidth is already spoken for by the rest of the system.

            USB3 NAND memory is actually pretty fast nowadays. There are multiple Flash sticks that run in the 100 to 350 MB/s now. Also, USB3 acts as an external interface to regular SSDs and Harddrives when they are put in the proper enclosure.

            By supporting both high speed ram and usb3, you are ensuring very high speed data transfers are possible. The old ARM systems used to use ram that was ~7Gbps, newer ones provide bandwidth of 12.4Gbps for single channel at 800Mhz. But the newest ones are pushing dual channel 1877Mhz LPDDR3 — head and shoulders above that bandwidth, and plenty of room for a full SATA 6Gbps SSD.

          • kascollet

            Seems like you’re mixing concepts that don’t go together. USB connection is used in direct conjunction with flash storage, RAM isn’t involved at the moment you transfer files. And the flash cells built in device are not computer SSDs (they’re much slower, more like 20 MB/s at best : USB2 is fast enough).

          • Roberto Tomás

            kas, you seem to misunderstand basic computer I/O. Almost all I/O (except for SLI GPU, and other esoteric things like this) is scheduled through the processor. The processor uses RAM to store the data as the by-point in a transaction. USB is the bridge to NAND flash as found in USB sticks, as well as to NAND as found in SSDs when connected externally to USB. So the speed of the USB, and also the speed of the RAM, are both important.

          • kascollet

            I understand those concepts, but what I say is that not matter the speed of the RAM or the USB bridge, the limiting factor is the flash storage, so I still don’t understand the point of upgrading USB when in the end, transfer speed is bottlenecked by slow memory. High bandwidth RAM is good for compute perfirmance though (especially in those all in one CPU+GPU chips).

          • Roberto Tomás

            Okay, I understand where your issue is now.

            USB2 supports roughly 38MB/s in transfer. Common older hardrives typically push that level, and newer ones might push even 100MB/s. Hardrives can be attached to USB with an external case. So can SSDs, which can easily push 550MB/s. Even USB3 flash sticks push 100 to even 350 MB/s.

            Therefore the USB2 bridge is clearly too slow.

            USB3 technically supports 500MB/s, but in practice is hard pressed to go over 350MB/s. This makes is much more suited to typical storage now-a-days.
            I hope this helps you. :)

          • kascollet

            Roberto my friend, we’re not talking about computers here, just about mobile devices…

          • Kai

            Well even mobile devices have become like computers :P

          • MasterMuffin

            As “kascollet” said, it’s a mobile phone. Build your own mini computer and put it in your pocket

          • Roberto Tomás

            Hi MM, sorry we got all into storage capacity for mobile devices here in the speculation page :)
            Kas: Thanks :) Yeah, exactly.

          • MasterMuffin

            :) but seriously though, wouldn’t it be awesome if it was possible to make a smartphone just as easily as it is to build your own PC? Or better, you could just pick the stuff you want in it and leave the building to professionals and get your unique and best phone! ♥o♥

          • Supposedly this is what google is trying to bring to the table with the Motorola X phone. Completely customizable as far RAM, battery, color, screen size, etc

          • Stuart Brown

            With enough RAM running fast enough, you can write to RAM first, disconnect from USB 3, it’s accessible, writes fast to fast flash, this is why USB 3 flash sticks cost 3 times as much. Why we pay so much more for onboard flash, USB 3 (5GB/s,) SATA 3 (6GB/s,) the reason a flash drive OS can come out of hibernate in 3 seconds, is S3 flash. So far from RAM being to fast I’d like to see some kind of LPGDDR 5, there’s a reason Sony has 8 GBs of GDDR5 in PS4 running at 5GHz effective. Higher resolutions need faster RAM to back those more and faster CPU/GPUs. Transfer of video seems a lot faster using USB 3 than using USB 2, it’s harder to see when your not going flash to flash, through a decent amount of fast RAM buffer.

  • The naming of the nexus line is just abysmal.

    • Dragonetti

      Well and Apple name line isn’t. it’s just an “i” before “Pad, Pod and Phone” WOW that’s creative??? Apple’s talent lies in taking existing products and concepts, and transforming them. Apple didn’t and still doesn’t invent anything, the iPad is simply is their variation, their interpretation of the well-known tablet recipe, Jobs’s mob ability is to take the same list of ingredients that was used to create á device and rework them to create what they think and say are “unique new” products and should not be labeled as “inventions” See

      Their “products” where and always will be IMO overpriced to begin with and job’s mob is racking in money over the backs of their ignorance consumer/customers and work force in the country their products are made.
      “Inside Apple’s Chinese ‘sweatshop’ factory where workers are paid just £1.12 per hour to produce “i”Phones and “i”Pads for the West” Read more:

      They also keep battling competition of the market in court with patent which are absolutely about and with the most ridiculous subject. this company is holding progress in a major way. They try to terrorize the other brands and market to keep dominate them/it and earn more money.

      • clearzero

        Did Apple steal your girl friend? You sound really bitter.

        • Dragonetti

          Those are the facts.
          You know how it works one day you’re in and the next day you’re out, IMO it’s an apple away.
          Apple can’t keep this charade up for long. Certainly now Mr. Jobs is gone.
          But if you want to buy a “i”phone 5 for $600,- which has a 2/3 profit margin of a whopping $400,- to line there gready pockets and their overpriced shares that are a soap bubble to happen.
          Its your money.

      • I totally agree with you. I especially loved how they brought out the iPad Mini after the Nexus 7 had been released and said that the iPad Mini was a “completely revolutionized” tablet and that it would totally change everything. That it was “the first of it’s kind.” Yeah apple… you keep thinking that. Google is light-years ahead of apple IMO

        • fish1552

          Not to mention the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the first real 7″ tablet a full year or two before even the Nexus 7. Sure it was just a blown up phone, but the concept was there.

      • By the way, i love that fudzilla article!

    • freedomspopular

      I don’t know why we don’t use the same naming conventions for mobile devices that car manufacturers use.

  • Benjo

    1080p is a massive waste for tablets and especially smartphones. Research has shown that humans cannot actually see the difference in sharpness at much above around 230ppi. 2 years ago the upgrade to 800×600 screens was quite noticeable as the average ppi was increased to around 200. Last years move to 1280×720 was a minor improvement but overall it’s wasn’t a huge difference and certainly nothing like the upgrade from 480×320 to 800×600. If you have two devices next to each other then it’s somewhat noticeable but otherwise most people wouldn’t even know the difference.

    Therefore going to 1080p is overkill and will have almost no real benefit for a 7 inch tablet. I’d even say it’s a waste for a 10 inch screen most of the time. The higher resolution will result in heavier cpu and gpu demands and will cause far more battery drain. The end result is that even though you have a newer device with higher specs that may actually perform worse than the previous generation. See the Ipad 3 vs the Ipad 2 for a good example of this. The ipad 2 was cheaper, ran many apps/games faster, was lighter and had a longer battery life.

    Of course people will still flock towards higher resolution devices based on the mentality that bigger is better (see the dual-core vs quad-core debate of 2011/2012). However the smarter choice will be the wait for the next generation mid-range devices with 720p screens and upgraded cpu/gpu’s. They will look just as nice but will perform considerably better.

    • freedomspopular

      The best thing about 1080p is that now that every new device has it, displays will hopefully reach a plateau, and manufacturers will have to find other more creative ways to innovate and differentiate themselves. Until 4k becomes the new standard, then they’ll be at it again

    • clearzero

      The display difference between the iPad 2 and 3 is very noticeable. Well worth the other compromises as they do not impact the device in a negative way.

    • Stuart Brown

      Disagree, with a $10 pair of reading glasses, a human ought to be able to see Ultra Definition in 3 Dimensions, UD 3D at 7″, yes the iPad 3 ran hot, because it’s processor was too weak for the resolution. By iPad 4 it had cooled down and we haven’t heard about heating problems with the Nex 10, new processors can handle UD, screens can handle UD at 10″. I want UD 3D at 7″, but for now I’ll have to settle for 1080p in July, or a second hand Nex 10.

  • jazzdrums

    i have the Nexus 32gig wifi H+ 3g and very happy with it…probably wont trade up right now just for higher res…next year if there is major changes.. glad i got 3g…dont use the n7 much at home except to read in bed at night.

  • Curtis Coburn

    Really am looking forward to the next nexus 7.

  • Lim Wee Huat

    I own both the N7 16gb and N10 16gb.. 7 inched is still my fave.. More portable and it charges faster. Honestly, I don’t mind owning another N7 gen2, as long as it’s Nexus..

  • Why so much focus on resolution? We don’t need 323 ppi for a 7 inch tablet. Why doesn’t google consider putting an SD card slot and cellular connectivity?

  • Michael Rosario

    hopefully whenever the new Nexus 7 comes out it will be available in BestBuy stores,…..who shops for electronics in Walmart and Staples….smh

  • David

    I cant wait to see the N7 2’s new feature. I REALLY hope the price tag for a 16 GB N7 doesnt exceed $250. The 32GB current N7 for $250 (270 here in Canada) An SD card slot would also be amazing. Im sure though that the price wont exceed $330 like the iPad mini. So im looking forward to a back camera, higher ppi, BETTER front camera (maybe 2 or 3 MP) and a good back camera. I would like 8-10 Mp but 5 MP is the probably going to be what they are going with. And a much faster processor. The Tegra 3 was absolute garbage. I just honestly cant wait!! DONT LET US DOWN GOOGLE AND ASUS!! And bring Key Lime pie in PLEASE!!!

  • Katy Hart

    I think I’m going to wait for May and see if they fix the problem with the screen cracking/breaking for seemingly no reason. I like to read all the negative comments to find out ‘buyer beware’ and it seems they’ve (ASUS or Google) somehow failed in the area of glass durability. And based on the comments about ASUS customer service (mostly people trying to get their screens fixed), I’m sincerely hoping Google goes with a different manufacturer (Samsung perhaps, since they’re already doing the 10?).

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