Nexus 7

Lighter, thinner, better built and with refreshed internals

Things have just wrapped up here at the Google "Breakfast" event in San Francisco, where we have our first hands-on with the new Nexus 7. A worthy successor to the original 7-inch tablet that really kicked off Android for the larger form factor, this ASUS-made unit has been improved in nearly every aspect. Starting with the build, the new Nexus 7 is thinner, narrower and about 50g lighter than the original. Bezels on the top and bottom remain large to help with usability, but the width has been reduced by over 6mm in total -- and you can tell instantly when wrapping your hand around it.

Around the front, Google has upped the screen both in terms of resolution -- 1920x1200 now -- and overall quality. On the back, we're looking at a dual speaker setup with synthetic surround sound software to provide a more immersive experience.  Up in the top left corner you'll find a 5-megapixel camera (nothing fancy here, just a camera) and a new, larger "Nexus" logo that runs vertically rather than horizontally when holding the tablet in portrait mode. The back plate is harder, with a soft touch coating that is a bit different than the fake "leather" feel of the original.

The internals have all been upgraded as well, with a new quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage and optional LTE connectivity. All together we should be looking at a snappy and enjoyable experience with internals that are very similar to the Nexus 4.

Pictures and video of Google's Nexus 7 refresh -- along with side-by-side shots with the original -- can be found right after the break. We'll be bringing you extensive coverage of the new device, along with a look at Android 4.3, in the coming hours and days.


Reader comments

The new Nexus 7: Hands-on pictures and video


People keep bashing this device from the renders. Honestly I liked the look in the renders, but these nice clear images are even better. Great looking device.

Check out the Chromecast device announced today - that's what you want. Miracast was the talk of the town last year when the N4 and N10 came out, but it never really materialized. Chromecast is the answer we've been waiting for.

Maybe tether Chromecast to your phone's hotspot? Oh wait, then your phone technically wouldn't be on the wifi network. Bummer.

he doesn't need the phone on wifi just his tablet! This is my plan; Turn on Mobile Hotspot, connect Chromecast and then Connect the tablet, control chromecast through the tablet!

I didn't think of doing it that way!
Now I can get a chromecast after all!
Thanks תודה

Posted via Android Central App

Not really.
Chromecast doesn't solve the problem of getting a video I recorded on my phone to a TV without putting it on Youtube -- no thanks. Miracast did (since it just showed the screen no matter what).
That said, I agree that Miracast support on a wide variety of devices never really materialized. (I have a Blue-ray player that had "promised" Miracast support after a firmware update, but it is quite old now, and Miracast still hasn't been added)

They're completely different.

Chromecast relies on the cloud and is for media, Miracast works also without the cloud and for everything.
- Miracast supports both directions, the TV could also send content to your device
- Miracast is already included in many devices (phones, Tablets, TVs, Blueray Players, HDMI Dongles and even Windows 8.1 supports it)

Google Cast is a cheaper solution (fromt he costs) and easier in some cases, but miracast is more flexible and many already have receivers build-in.

Google Cast is nice to have, but Miracast is still way more powerful and flexible.

It does have slimport HDMI out, but I bought a chromecast 20 seconds after the the conference was over so i'll probably never use the slimport... waiting for the LTE model is gonna suck, it feels like I have waited long enough and now I have to wait again.

Didn't they say it was supposed to be fingerprint resistant? (Because that thing got a crap ton of fingerprints as soon as the plastic was removed.)

No idea how the hell he managed to get the screen that dirty that fast. That takes some doing.

Posted via Android Central App

Depends on what you've been touching, eating, temperature (sweating) prior to handling. Also - after a first microfiber cleaning, glass screen resists fingerprinting.

Love everything about this tablet except the lack of front facing speakers (though stereo speakers is a big improvement). I had the original N7 and sold it in anticipation for this one, but I think I'm ready for a 10". Just hoping the updated Nexus 10 hits it out of the park.

I love my Nexus 10. It is so usable and flexible. Frankly the 7 inch size is a better reader because it is easier to hold but that is all.

There are only 2 things that bothers me...why is Nexus logo/sign put sideways and why is camera more on the right side....just doesn't make sense.

The device has really shaved the side bezels down, but has left the top/bottom bezels large enough to comfortably hold in landscape. I think Google is seeing the N7 has more of a landscape device now, which is reflected by the logo on the back.

Additionally, the presentation showed pretty much every demo with the N7 in landscape mode.

As for the camera, they just have to put it wherever they can spare the room. The camera assembly takes up a lot of "depth" in the device between the screen and back plate, so it's hard to find a good place for it.

NEXUS logo in landscape mode - movies/video/TV use is predicted to be preferred with 7 inch tablets (versus book, magazine, reading - in portrait mode).

An off-center forward-facing camera is more flattering. Look at professional head shots - angled shots are better than flat, face-on shots. But this all depends on flattering and unflattering features of the subject (nose, chin, forehead, hairline).

Experiment - portrait top right, portrait bottom left; landscape top left, landscape bottom right. Offset camera gives 4 choices from corner views, not center views.

Andrew, does the new Nexus 7 feel sturdy than the old one? One of the thing I don't like about my Nexus 7 is that it's kind of bendy.

Haven't had that day-to-day use with it yet (of course) but it feels extremely sturdy. Being thinner, it feels more dense as well. First impressions are that this is built much better than the original, which was no slouch to begin with.

The guy on Reddit who got it early says a light pops up but that was for a flash drive not a keyboard or anything else.

Looking forward to picking one up. The bezels are a bit strange. But I'll get one to check it out.

Posted via Android Central App

Really looking forward to seeing Riptide GP 2 on that super high density screen.

Posted from my Samsung Galaxy tab with Android 4.2.2

Can you share the wallpaper on your old nexus.
Not sure if it's the right place. But looks amazing on it.

I'm just hoping there are no screen lift issues this time :-P
Had to go through 3 to get a good previous gen one when it was released...

So does this device support a headphone w/mic? The first Nexus 7 doesn't, and it was super annoying (especially if you tried to use a square reader with it). This feature coupled with all of the other announced upgrades would be the icing on the cake.

This makes the difference between buy/don't buy for me. I wanted to use the original 7 as a business device in my office, only to discover that it couldn't be used with credit card readers because it didn't support external mics.

Headphones receive signals (sound) powered by the device. OUTPUT
Microphones send signals (sound) powered by the mic. INPUT

If a mic is powered by the device you are speaking to, then the mic needs another coupling ring built into the plug/jack on the device and an audio receiver/translator.

You can talk to the Nexus 7 using Google Now. Maybe, an App will let you talk to the Nexus 7 for something other than Google Now.

which doesn't help those of us who bought the POGO dock and now will have to buy a wireless charging station. Anyone need a POGO dock mine will be on ebay shortly it seems.

Andrew, you're great, but you have to slow the unboxing down. Spend some time in a strip club. Art of seduction.

Posted via Android Central App

Im glad you gave us a nice round up of the device.i wonder if the screen is bigger wider or taller I hope.

Posted via Android Central App

I think the actual screen is the same dimensions as before. Only the bezels have been shortened, the device made taller, and slimmer.

Posted from my Samsung Galaxy tab with Android 4.2.2

Waiting on whether or not there will be OTG support. I think that will be my buying factor since there isnt a microSD slot. There's a lot of people complaining about the front camera placement but I like that I can use any orientation when I make video calls. Anyway, Can you PLEASE let us know if it has OTG support, Andrew?

I doubt it, since the previous one didn't, and haptic feedback is on the bottom of most peoples list for tablet features.

Posted from my Samsung Galaxy tab with Android 4.2.2

This nexus 7 really looks like a premium device. Come on developers we need tablet optimized apps!

Posted via Android Central App

Don't know if anyone who has hands on this device are still reading the comments or not, but did you happen to look at the remaining space available once Google has put all of their bloatware on the device? How much available space is on the unit may be a determining factor for me as the 16GB is in my price range but I can't really justify (to the boss) the extra $40 for the 32GB when for the past year I've been living with a first generation 8GB model.

Until ANY android device is configured by the user, the initial START is slow.

Once configuration settings are entered and the device turned off, it snaps on in a second with power up or by uncovering when a magnetic case is used.

Hope its faster than my 1st gen Nexus 7. After all the hype about the quad core processor, just rotating my Nexus 90 degrees with any widgets is slooooow. Even swipe to unlock gets all hung up if you rotate it. And the apps selection just plain stinks.