The Nexus 7 has a sleek design and is very lightweight. The display is beautiful and so are the exteriors of the tablet. The build of the Nexus 7 feels solid, and even though it has a plastic back, it does not feel cheap.
Additionally, the touch screen is very receptive and responds to the slightest of touches, this is definitely something I love on the Nexus 7, as I don’t have to force my fingers on the screen to do things.
The Nexus 7 also comes without any buttons on the tablet and uses software buttons instead to perform all the actions. The lack of hardware keys was a bit problematic for me earlier, because I couldn’t figure out where the menu buttons were. However, after using it for an hour or so, the lack of physical buttons did not matter to me. For a new Android user, this might not be a problem, because they might have never used hardware buttons in the past.
I know I am repeating this, but the display on the Nexus 7 is BEAUTIFUL and provides you with a true HD experience. I enjoy watching HD movies and sports on the device and use it extensively to watch Netflix and YouTube videos.
Jelly Bean Operating System
The Nexus 7 runs on one of the best Android operating systems to date; Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean has tons of great features (see: Jelly Bean New Features, Jelly Bean Review) which makes it a treat to use. Google also has a feature called Google Now (see: Google Now Commands and Actions), which basically learns from your searches on the desktop and mobile (when you are logged in to your account) and displays appropriate cards which might be driving directions, sports scores and more.
Google Now is definitely useful (and creepy for some at times). Recently I was telling Techie Buzz author Manan about some Indian restaurants in NYC. I had performed a couple of searches on my desktop for the restaurants address and few minutes later Google Now popped up driving directions on the Nexus 7 to those restaurants. This also happens when you use the Google search on the device itself.
Additionally, Google Now also pops up driving directions and traffic information on the tablet around the time I usually leave the office, and it does this without me prompting it. So the software in question is definitely a quick learner and can assume the time you actually leave office without you even telling it. On a non-3G device, this might seem useless, but when it comes to mobile phones running Jelly Bean on 3G, this is one of the best features I could ever think of.
By the way, Google Now is an opt-in service, so don’t worry about privacy issues.
One more thing I like about Jelly Bean is the ease of customizing your device. Adding apps and widgets to your home screen is very easy and you can simply drag and drop an app from the apps menu on your home screen (see actual drag and drop screenshot above). Additionally, uninstalling apps is also easier with Jelly Bean and you can simply drag and drop an app to the top of you screen to uninstall an app (again see screenshot above).
Jelly Bean also includes auto-adjusting widgets which will automatically make room for other apps and widgets when you drop them on the home screen. Overall, Jelly Bean has made the home screen customization really simple and easy.
The notification options in Jelly Bean are also pretty cool, and along with general notifications, Jelly Bean also shows you extended information about them. For example, the Gmail app can display a list of email subjects in the notifications when you receive several emails and just the subject and a snippet of the body if you have received a single email.
Apps on Nexus 7/Jelly Bean
I have been a heavy user of apps on Android mobile devices which have run on Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich. With the Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean, I thought that most of the apps that I use wouldn’t work. Surprisingly. most of the apps I use on a day to day basis worked on the Nexus 7. Some of apps even performed better. Overall, I have around 200+ apps running on Gingerbread and currently have 193 apps installed on the Nexus 7.
Google definitely did a good job working with developers to have the majority of the apps working with the Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean. However, not all apps work perfectly and some of them do crash for no reason at all. Most of the apps that crash are games, so there are some compatibility issues that need to be fixed.
Additionally, there are some apps which are not yet compatible on Jelly Bean OS and Nexus 7 in general. A few of them include Yammer, USA Today, ABC News and IBN Live, among others, but I think that those should be compatible in the next few weeks.
I am a heavy reader and read a lot of books and news online and offline. My morning usually starts with reading several newspapers. I also end up consuming a lot of information on sites like Twitter and Facebook, among others, before I leave for work. While commuting, I usually read books (currently reading Robert Ludlum’s Bourne Dominion) and also do the same before I head to bed.
While I earlier preferred reading physical newspapers and books, my reading habits have changed a bit since I owned my last tablet. My experience with the Nexus 7 is a lot different than the last tablet though, and I do enjoy reading a lot on it. I use both Google Books and Amazon Kindle to read books, while using several newspaper apps (some of them still don’t work. see apps section) to devour content and it has been a pleasant experience so far.
The display of the Nexus 7 is fantastic for all types of lighting and does not shine in your face. This also includes the time when I am using the Nexus 7 to read books before bed with the lights turned off.
I am what you might call a regular opportunistic gamer who plays games whenever I find time. While I own a Xbox 360 with Kinect, I also enjoy playing games on mobile devices like the iPod Touch and my other Android mobile devices. Playing games on the Nexus 7 though is a different experience altogether due to it’s better HD experience and 7″ display.
I found the gaming experience on the Nexus 7 better thanks to its high-end processor and 1GB RAM. I haven’t experienced any lags on the device. Usually I am very picky about the games I keep on the device, and if the games lag or crash I immediately uninstall them. However, the experience with high-on-graphics games on the Nexus 7 has been spectacular, and I have yet to uninstall any of the games that I am playing.
I did try out several games such as Crazy Monster Truck Escape, Amazing Alex, Temple Run, Angry Birds, Striker Soccer, Dead Trigger, Cordy, Frontline Commando, Fruit Ninja, Asphalt and several other games with a real HD experience.
Overall, I was very satisfied with the gaming experience on the Nexus 7.
For a limited time, Nexus 7 buyers will get a 25$ credit to purchase things from the Google Play market. This is definitely a great addition because you will be able to buy some decent apps, games and books with the free credit.
What it Lacks?
While Nexus 7 is a great tablet it does lack a critical thing; 3G. Yes, the Nexus 7 does not include a 3G version, which means that you probably won’t be able to check your email on the go or use features such as Google Now to get recommendations while you are looking for restaurants on the go and such, so it practically makes that pointless.
Considering that Google actually made a netbook which relies on the internet (I own first gen Cr-48) and has 3G built in, this is a farce at the least. I would have loved to have seen a 3G version of the Nexus 7. Unfortunately, this might not happen for a while.
Additionally, it also lacks an option to add additional storage. While this is not a problem with just Nexus 7, it definitely would have been great if users could add additional memory cards to the device just like you can in most mobile devices.
Conclusion.. Should You Get the Nexus 7?
Nexus 7 is definitely
one of the best Android tablet on the market right now, and with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, it also runs the best Android OS as well. It provides you with a great experience overall in every aspect. Additionally, the Nexus 7 is directly under the control of Google, so it should be the first tablet to receive future updates to the Android OS as well.
If you are in the market, looking for a good tablet that has great battery life, that is fast while providing a great browsing experience in gaming, reading and browsing, look no further than the Nexus 7. I would suggest that you go ahead and buy it right away. You can purchase the Nexus 7 at play.google.com or also buy them at Staples.
Nexus 7 Image Gallery