Nexus 7 (2013) review still the best 7in android tablet around prices, specifications, reviews know your mobile

The original Nexus 7 swept onto the scene dramatically in 2012 and took a neat chunk out of Apple’s tablet share with its fast and clean performance on stock Android, competetive spec line-up and, crucially, a much lower price point than any of its rivals. In this respect the Nexus 7 was something of a pioneer (following in the footsteps of Amazon’s original Kindle Fire, but just with a workable OS). Up to this point in mobile history, cheap tablets usually meant very bad, awful, rubbish and basically unusable tablets. But the Nexus 7 changed all that, bringing with it very decent specs, decent hardware and a gorgeous OS and high-end display to market for a rock-bottom price. This –– along with the Nexus 4 –– was the proper dawn of Google’s now-seminal Nexus line of smartphones and tablets.

The Nexus 7 (2013) was a reworking on 2012’s popular model. It added in a few new features, changed the design somewhat and altogether attempted to create a more premium tablet experience without adding too much cost to the end retail price. Below is our verdict on Google’s second 7in Android tablet.

In terms of colour, Google have now added a white version of the Nexus 7 to the Google Play Store. This is only avaliable on the more expensive 32GB option and isn’t yet avaliable on the 4G LTE version. Once you take this version out of the box there will be a cheeky little Android 4.4 KitKat update awaiting as well. Nexus 7 (2013) Review: Specifications

What a difference a year makes. Tegra 3 is out and Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro is in – the very same processor that shipped inside the Nexus 4 phone. And even though its powering a display with more pixels, the chipset performs admirably. Benchmark scores are excellent, although they fall short of being at the cutting-edge of the Android sector.

Running 3DMark’s Ice Storm graphical benchmark on the 2013 Nexus 7 returns a score of 11489, which is very respectable indeed. GeekBench 2 – which benchmarks all kinds of performance details – comes up with 2589, which is a big improvement over the 1558 posted by the previous year’s model. While the Nexus 7 can’t match Tegra 4 beasts like the Nvidia Shield, it’s still got more than enough raw power to do everything you could possibly want it to. Nexus 7 (2013) Review: Software

The 2012 Nexus 7 was the first Android product to launch with 4.1 – better known as Jelly Bean. This newer model has 4.3 on board, which also goes by the name of Jelly Bean. Confused? Don’t be – like the tablet itself, the software represents an evolution rather than a revolution. Android 4.4 KitKat is also now avaliable but we’re not sure in what capacity.

There are improvements such as OpenGL ES 3.0 support for better 3D performance and Bluetooth low-energy compatibility, something that will come in very handy as the much-hyped "smart watch" revolution kicks off. For long-suffering parents there’s the welcome ability to run restricted profiles on the device, which means you can disable in-app purchases in games to avoid having your pesky offspring spend thousands of pounds of digital goods.

The fact that many of Android 4.3’s improvements are hard to see makes it feel very much the same as 4.2. In fact, if you didn’t know you might even assume it was the same version of the OS. However, when you take into account the level of polish that is now applied to Android, it’s hard to grumble – it’s an exceptionally good operating system with excellent stability and customisation. Nexus 7 (2013) Review: Display

The screen remains the same size as it was on the 2012 model and uses the same IPS tech, but the resolution has risen to 1920×1200 pixels, giving a pixel density of 323ppi. That means it’s practically impossible to spot individual pixels, and makes the Nexus 7 perfect for reading eBooks or magazines.

IT Pro: "The Nexus 7 lays down the gauntlet yet again. It boasts the industry’s sharpest screen and oodles of power. The hard-wearing, good-looking chassis and price make it a better choice than the iPad Mini.Whilst the new Nexus is not the cheapest 7in device it’s the best in the business in virtually every department. If you need a compact tablet, versatile tablet, this is the one to buy.

PC Pro: "It’s the fastest, lightest, thinnest, narrowest, highest-DPI compact Android tablet – and because it’s a Nexus, you know the OS will be supported for the foreseeable future, while not getting bogged down by third-party “enhancements”. If you want a cheap and capable tablet, the Nook HD is still a tremendously tempting bargain. If you’re in the market for something more elegant, more capable and more future-proof, however, the new Nexus 7 is more or less irresistible."

Expert Reviews: "The Google Nexus 7 2013 costs £199 directly from Google for the 16GB, Wi-Fi only edition. That’s £40 more than the previous model, but we feel the increase is justified based on the increased performance, sleeker design and vastly improved display. It’s feels like a top-end device now, one which holds up well in comparison to the more expensive iPad Mini, and is very much deserving of our Best Buy award. "