Google Nexus 7 Review (2013 version)

Camera

The Nexus has a 5Mpx rear camera that performed well during testing. Even on a typical overcast Irish day I was impressed with the amount of colour captured by the camera both indoors and out(examples below). The camera’s auto-focus feature worked well, leaving me with little to do but point and press the button. The ability to move the point of focus to a particular person/area makes it easier to get maximum quality on the main subject of your picture. Another cool feature is the 360 panorama mode. This mode guides you through taking a series of images from a fixed point, then they are stitched together to form a full 360 view of your surroundings(see below).

Standard mode

IMG_20140827_142735 IMG_20140827_142754 IMG_20140827_142811 IMG_20140827_142859 IMG_20140827_143131 IMG_20140827_143144

 

Panorama mode

PANO_20140929_154805

 

PANO_20140929_155219

 

PANO_20140924_144216

Apps
Equipped with a Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad Core Processor clocked at 1.5Ghz(accompanied by 2GB of ram), the tablet had no issues running any of the apps tested during my evaluation. These apps ranged from Instagram to high end games with no noticeable loss in performance. The Google store has caught up with Apple in terms of the amount of apps available and with support for other independent stores there is a wide variety of apps available for the Android system.

Screen
The tablet has a 7 inch LED screen with a 1980*1200 resolution. This provides a clear and colourful display with no visible pixalation on text or icons. Viewing angles are good but can it can be occasionally hard to see in daylight (especially while playing any games that require tilting the device). As this is an issue with all tablets/smartphones I have used, it is hard to be too critical on this point. The touch controls on the device are very responsive allowing smooth navigation of the system and control of apps.

Sound
There is a speaker on either side of the the back of the tablet to create a stereo effect if held in landscape mode. The sound was clear and loud enough to enjoy a movie but I found music sounded hollow so headphones are recommended if you want to get good quality sound.

Storage
This version of the Nexus comes with 16GB of storage and doesn’t support the option to add more space via SD card like many similar devices. This might be limiting for some but with so many options to host files online (e.g. cloud storage) there are ways around this problem if needs be.

Verdict
With a great screen for watching movies, enough processing power for high end games and a decent enough camera to snap a few pics, I found the Nexus to be a great device. The main criticisms of the device would be the storage restrictions (which can be overcome with online storage) and that a 5Mpx camera is average by todays standards. For me the camera performed well and for the current price this tablet is good value for money.

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