Nexus 7: What I Thought!

I am aware that its been over a month that I’d not written anything. Been busy lately and for good reason too. 10 days back I got my hands on Nexus 7. And a ‘hands-on’ is never justified unless over a period of time. I mean you see reviews of a gadget the next day of its release and you just cant be sure of its efficiency or its durability next day after its release…can you? Now I am not saying I performed a drop test on my Nexus 7. But nonetheless 10 days is helluva lot time to know a gadget, its core potential and its incompetencies. Anyways let’s get in there.

Designed and developed by Google/Asus, The Nexus 7 features a 7-inch screen, a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core chip, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 or 16 GB of internal storage. With WiFi, NFC & Bluetooth connectivity options, Nexus 7 does seems to lack something major which I will return to later. It has a rubberized back panel and it’s absolutely orgasmic to hold. The device is neither too light nor too heavy for prolonged usage being the right kind of ‘ideal’. The 7 inch screen has an HD resolution of 1280×800 WXGA pixels and has a 16:10 aspect ratio, brilliant for both reading books and watching HD movies (don’t get your hopes too high when I say HD will come to that too later).

The Nvidia Tegra 3 Quadcore processor delivers jaw dropping graphics for the tablet, without stutters or hiccups. The first app I installed on the device was ‘Dead Trigger’ and it ran smooth with all the bells and whistles turned on. Its was just gorgeous. I remember playing such games on my old Pentium 4 PCs. Even multitasking felt like a piece of cake, the 1GB of memory has more juice to run multiple apps at once. I ran a minor test with Chrome and the Nexus 7 ran smooth when I opened more than 15-20 tabs with both images, pdf and html. That’s just raw power.

I am pretty satisfied with the 9 hour battery backup and there were times when I had not charged the tab for more than a day or two and it was up and running even with all the browsing, video calls and a 24/2+ active WiFi connection.

Wasn’t too happy with the 1.2 MP front facing camera initially, and that’s only until I started having video calling with my friends and family. It aint anything like Facetime, but it serves the purpose. And it seems it can be even upped to HD with mods. Oh the things the Android can do. 😛

The real stunner of the package is the bundled Android 4.1 OS entitled ‘Jelly Bean’. The Nexus 7 is a flagship device which is very first to come out with the ‘Jelly Bean’ OS. This is by far the best Android OS. Google had been bragging about its ‘Project Butter’ in their I/O conferences and it seems this time they’ve done it right. The Jellybean is just very pleasurable to use. ‘Project butter’ stands up to its name, making the over-all UI and OS butter smooth indeed. It detects every swipe, every slide and feels responsive to everything you do. Unlike Samsung/HTC Android devices, the OS comes without any manufacturer additions like Touchwiz or Sense features and it shows. This is exactly what Google offered: a ‘Pure Android’ experience. The only minor complaint is with the fixed number of home screens and Google Now. Google Now is the Android’s answer to Apple’s Siri and I’d say, “Long way to go buddy”. Google Now is still in its infancy and its nothing like what they’d showed in the tech demos. Its unresponsive and rather fetches the unsought information. Add to that the lack of a GSM support makes it worse, capable of collecting and fetching data only when an active WiFi connection is available.

The new Google Play now have Movies, Music, e-books and even TV Shows. The UI has been changed, everything else is almost the same. Introduction of the Google Wallet is a boon and I found it really helpful to just add my credit/debit cards to the wallet rather than scuffle for you cards when you need to purchase something online.

The storage options Google incorporated with the device is just horrendous. Hell, there aint no ‘options’ per se. This is exactly that aforementioned major issue. I have an 8 gig version of the tab and 3 games and a couple of movies, ebooks, music in…I was being hasty cleaning up and uninstalling apps when I had some new app to try out. I am sure the 16 gig version would be having the same fate. It would have been at-least forgivable had Google provided an expandable memory slot. But NAY! you don’t get that too.

I use the tab while lying sideways and it was annoying to have to keep changing the screen rotation settings time and again. Thanks for the screen rotation lock setting, but Google still have to come up with application-centric screen rotation setting. I mean even if you have the screen rotation lock setting turned on, apps liked Youtube behaves undesirous.

All cons aside, you have to admit you don’t get a tab everyday, with a quad-core processor, a decent screen, and more features you could have ever dreamt-of for just 199 USD. Of course there are ways to get around these cons, for example use an OTG adapter coupled with Nexus Media Importer to connect to any USB device  or use the USB tethering in your smartphone to get 3G connectivity anywhere you go. This is only the start of the best tabs to come from Google, an answer to Apple’s monopoly over the Tablet market. A 3G version of the Nexus 7 is already on the horizon and I for a sucker for Google products ended up buying the former a bit early. Whatever people might say…I am happy with my Nexus 7: A brilliant, well-designed tablet capable of running graphics heavy games and HD content; light and comfy to hold helping you in your daily notes, sketches and what-not; all the while being easy on your pocket.

Must Have Apps: Nexus Media Importer, Shadowgun, Agent Dash, Adobe Reader, AirDroid, Aldiko, Asphalt 7 Heat, Canabalt HD, Comica LITE, Dead Trigger, Google Drive, Dropbox, ES File Explorer, Evernote, Flipboard, Instagram, Captain Mayhem, Mutant Roadkill, NOVA 3, Blood & Gore LEGENDS, MX Player, Tubemate, Vaulty, Utorrent.


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