Nexus 7 First Impressions

I picked up a Nexus 7 this weekend.

It is a nice device, at a good price.

My initial impressions are that Google has caught up and is now in the lead in some areas compared to Apple.

Some notable advantages:

– Multiple users per device are supported

– Gmail is a better email client then the iOS email client

– Google Wallet is as easy to use as iTunes for purchases and increasingly more convenient since iTunes purchasing has fragmented the experience relative to some content providers not being integrated, e.g. Kindle eBooks.

– Google Play store is much easier to browse, find and share things then iTunes (they have made huge improvements over the last year)

– Widgets

– Active wallpaper

– Folders that can be placed in the bottom navigation panel

– Google Maps is years ahead of the iOS Maps in terms of features, integration, accuracy, POI — by itself that feature makes Google the leader over Apple

– Google Search integration

– Google Now is very innovative and an advantage that Apple will be hard-pressed to compete with

– Notifications center is better then Apple – much easier to work with, better integration with apps


– Siri on Apple is currently DOA

– NFC on Google is currently DOA

Disadvantages relative to Apple:

– They took a step backward on the Nexus 7 by eliminating support for an SD card memory expansion

– No camera on back, only a screen-side camera

– Device security relative to malware

– Device quality is low, for instance the device has uneven frame height around the edges where the glass and the metal meet; plastic backing has a cheap and slippery feel to it

– Android apps are a crap-shoot on whether they work well or not in the screen size and resolution, some apps failed to download or install

– Android apps are still inconsistent in user experience in general

– Platform fragmentation

– Maximum screen brightness is lower then Apple devices – the device is difficult to view on bright light

– No Passbook feature


Dec 25 update after a few weeks with the Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 is fragile –  I accidentally dropped it onto a carpeted floor and it stopped working.  I pried off the back and found out that the battery connector to the circuit board had come partially off.  Unlike other connectors it had not been taped down or otherwise secured.  After reseating it the Nexus worked again.

Battery life is very mediocre – watching one 90 min movie pretty much kills the battery.

Maximum audio volume for the built-in speakers is very low compared to iPad devices.

I am more convinced then ever that Google has taken the lead.  I have not used my iPad since picking up the Nexus.


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