The new device is exactly as I was expecting from Google: it’s a polished version of the original Nexus 7. That means it’s a little smaller and has several improvements over the older model plus a couple of new features. There’s a small increase in price, but my crystal ball tells me that the 2013 Nexus 7 looks set to repeat the success of the original device.
Some reviews of the 2013 Nexus 7 make the predecessor model to be substandard, which as I’ve recently written is not the case. Sure, the newer model is improved, but this doesn’t diminish the 2012 Nexus 7.
When Google announced the original Nexus 7, they took mid to high end components and bundled them into a great size device with a very low price. In 2013, they have essentially played the same trick: we have mid to high end components in a smaller, tighter chassis. What’s not to like?
The advantage of using less than bleeding edge components is that it costs materially less compared with the high end stuff. It isn’t like for like, but compare the unlocked price of the Nexus 7 with the up and coming Sony Xperia Z Ultra. The Nexus 7 is less than half the cost.
On paper, the new Nexus 7 looks similar to the Nexus 4, except for the 1080p 7” screen. You get Qi wireless charging, NFC, 2 GB of RAM and a similar (but not the same) Qualcomm quad core 1.5 GHz processor. It comes with newer generation Bluetooth and a rear facing camera. The new Nexus 7 is fast, responsive and smooth in use.
This responsiveness might seem to address one of the major criticisms of the original 2012 Nexus 7: it lags. Over time and use, the device slows down, which is caused by how the device writes data to internal storage. There’s a software fix in Android 4.3 and of course the new Nexus 7 has this fix, so it starts off as more responsive and should stay that way.
It’s a better device, then, but is it worth the upgrade? From a productivity perspective, it’s difficult to justify. It is quicker, smaller, lighter too, but it’s also slightly more expensive. Qi charging is nice, but the cases and dock you bought for the original Nexus 7 aren’t compatible. And seeing as the older model Nexus 7 is getting the same software improvement that the new model has, I am holding off for the time being.
Plus, have you ever seen somebody taking a picture with their tablet..?