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Nexus 7 Review - From an everyday user
Well, I've had my Nexus 7 for about a week now, so I figure I'll add a review to the collection of user reviews scattered around the web.
So now for the good stuff:
Responsiveness: the Nexus 7 zips along quite faster and smoother than any other Android device I've used. I don't know how much is because of Jellybean, but I can say that I find it a joy to use. It still bogs down from time to time, but it is quite sporadic. Compared to my Galaxy Tab 10.1, this is worlds better. Compared to my EVO 4G LTE it is better, but the EVO 4G LTE isn't a slouch either; it's just that the Nexus 7 doesn't have the odd pause like the EVO LTE does.
Form Factor: I'll be the first to say that I wasn't totally sold on the 7" size at first, but I'm glad I decided to give it a shot. It feels light but not cheap; the heft is just about ideal for a device of this size. The screen size and weight make it an ideal device to hold in a hand for reading books, comics, and magazines. I'm a big photography fan and the many Kindle books I own that focus on photography techniques are a great use case for the Nexus 7 - the device is light enough to hold overhead while lying in bed reading while providing the chance to admire the color images. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is harder to use like that because of its size, and my Kindle Keyboard won't let me enjoy the images. Some folks have complained about the bezel, but I actually find it just right for comfortable use of the device. I also love the texture in the back. It just feels more "premium" than the material actually is, if that makes sense.
Gaming: I decided to put this in its own category because frankly, if you enjoy gaming and are looking into a mobile gaming device, the Nexus 7 is just amazing. The screen is big enough to make games look good, but not so big that it makes controlling the virtual joysticks difficult. When playing an FPS on my Galaxy Tab 10.1, it is a little awkward to handle the virtual sticks. On the EVO 4G LTE it is a little cramped. The Nexus 7 is just right! The Tegra 3 optimized games also look beautiful and respond extremely well, so this is a big win on gaming. It also supports USB joysticks which is awesome! I just played a level on Sonic 4 THD with an Xbox 360 controller (admittedly a digital only pad without analog sticks, but I don't see why it should have problems with analog joysticks.)
Bells and whistles: I can hook it up to my camera with a USB OTG adapter and browse the photos in its memory cards! To me this is a very big deal, especially since it is so much faster than the Galaxy Tab 10.1 when doing this! My camera takes 16.2MP photos and when viewing them on my 10.1 Tab its Gallery would take a while to draw the photos on screen with all of their details. On this tablet the photos are drawn extremely fast, no matter how much I zoom in on them. It may seem silly, but it is an extremely amazing feature for me.
It's also compatible with Bluetooth keyboards and it's far more responsive with them than when using them on the 10.1 Galaxy Tab. Heck, I consider this can be a true productivity tool when matched with a decent Bluetooth keyboard and Google Drive. Something I wouldn't say about the 10.1 Tab because of its latency when using a keyboard.
Jellybean is awesome and all, but I don't have much to add there as so many reviews talk about it in-depth. I'd just like to add that the USB Diagnostics app tests the USB Host capabilities and says the hardware is there for it and it complies, so it's just a matter of Google adding it to Jellybean for it to support external storage and other functions.
Now for the not so good:
The screen: Unfortunately, it isn't as scratch resistant as I thought it'd be. I've been very careful with my device yet it somehow got some tiny scratches on it. They're very small and can only be seen if you hold the tablet in a particular angle, but still, I expected the screen to be able to resist everyday use better. There's also the issue of flickering which from what I've read is something many users are experiencing. Can't tell if that's a hardware or a software issue. I emailed ASUS about it yesterday and they haven't replied yet. Colors are also on the dull side, but I'm comparing to an EVO 4G LTE which has an awesome screen...
The lack of a vibration motor: this caught me by surprise. It's not a particularly big loss in the grand scheme of things, but I kind of miss it.
The weird phone UI: everything I've read points to this being an issue that can be easily fixed in software, but it's kind of awkward if you've used a Honeycomb tablet. This just feels like a step back. I also wonder if this is what makes the device incompatible with some tablet apps such as Adobe Photoshop Touch.
Now for the weird stuff:
Google's Play inconsistencies: I'm in Puerto Rico, and it's very weird that I can't buy tablet apps on my tablet connected to a wifi router, but I can buy apps from my phone while connected to the same wifi router. Of course, I can buy apps from my tablet if I tether from my phone, so WTH? When I visit the Google Play site it says Google Play Movies are not supported in Puerto Rico. Ok, so that means that everything else should be, right? Doesn't seem so, unless I tether to my phone. Odd. I emailed Google about it on Monday, but they haven't replied yet (and unfortunately I don't expect them to reply).
Google's unusual decision to not support USB host mode yet. It can hook up to my camera to see the photos on its memory cards. I can play games with an Xbox controller. Unfortunately it can't read a USB flash drive and it's not compatible with an app that I use to remotely control my camera via USB. Running USB diagnostics on the tablet shows that all the pieces for full support are there, so it seems the hold up is that it's artificially disabled by Google.
My personal verdict: I can use it to game, read, it's comfortable to hold, it is very responsive and it cost only $250 for the 16 GB version. Yea, this thing is a keeper! Can't wait for Google to add full USB host capabilities and for developers to update apps for Nexus 7 compatibility to make it even better.
Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2