We finally have a refreshed Nexus 7 (2013) model in our hands, so we're going to dive directly into this review. It needs no introduction to most people, but we'll give you the gist here. This is the refreshed 7-inch slate from Google, who has acquired the help of Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS to build it for them. It's a pure Android device, with no OS skin such as Samsung's TouchWiz or HTC's Sense UI.
Google push these things out at a ridiculous price, undercutting its own partners, but they slice its competitor's price up into shreds and do a rain dance on it. That company I'm referring to? That would be Apple.
The original Nexus 7 was a beautiful 7-inch slate, priced so very competitively. Apple took nearly 12 months to counteract it with the iPad mini, but they fell very short with the smaller iPad. For one, it had a ridiculous 1024x768-pixel screen, which is around 27 steps backwards for Apple, as it's been pushing Retina down our throats for a while now.
Once I had opened the Nexus 7 out of the box, I was completely amazed and in awe for the hours that went by. My first impressions were just so high, right out of the box. You'll find out why soon.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Back to the Nexus 7, which has had a giant leap in terms of specifications. We're talking about improvements in virtually all areas, and some great new features and uses for the Nexus 7. We'll start with the new specifications of the Nexus 7.
Starting with the display, we have a slightly larger 7.02-inch display and by slightly, we mean it. That's an increase of just 0.2 inches, which is negligible, but it has to be mentioned. Better yet, the resolution of the display has been amplified from 1280x800 to 1920x1200 - yes, higher than Full HD, on a 7-inch slate.
Inside the device, we find it has an updated processor, Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC (the APQ8064-1AA), which is a 1.5GHz quad-core processor. Enjoying the Nexus 7 lunch with the Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC is 2GB of DDR3L RAM, which helps massively with multitasking. Now consider that ASUS and Google moved from the NVIDIA Tegra SoC to a Qualcomm Snapdragon, and doubled the RAM - this makes the refreshed Nexus 7 one of the fastest Android-powered devices on the market.
Filling out the specs, we have an upgraded internal flash storage starting size of 16GB (up from 8GB) and a maximum of 32GB (up from 16GB). We finally have a rear-facing camera which is a very-capable 5-megapixel shooter with autofocus, and the front-facing camera stays at 1.2 megapixels.
We have Wi-Fi in the form of 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC support. The refreshed 7-inch slate also includes wireless charging support, which is always a bonus. There's also a new 4G LTE model, which is quite a bit more expensive than the Wi-Fi-only models, too. It would have been nice to see 802.11ac added, but it wasn't to be.
As for pricing, we're looking at $229 and $269 for the Wi-Fi-only 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. If you want some 4G LTE goodness, you're going to be paying for it. It jumps right up to $349, which is a bit insane. I used a Galaxy S4 to tether to the Nexus 7, giving me 4G without having yet another SIM card and that associated added expense.
Availability on the refreshed Nexus 7 is good, but there are some countries and states within countries that aren't getting too much stock right now. This is improving with every day that passes.