I have been weighing out the pros and cons of a new Cell phone vs Tablet. Reason being that my cell contract is coming to an end. So it has come down to Apple vs Android. Well the Cell phones and Cell Plans were too expensive. This Galaxy Nexus 7 Tablet was finally my choice. I love it. Research the market on the new Jelly Bean OS with exclusion of Adobe Flash and I was about to abandon the thought of buying this Tablet. Google the internet and they say Flash is gone. Well, it's not if you do it right. I added the Apps Dolphin Browser HD 8.5.1 APK (Supports Flash) and Flash Player 11.1 and I am watching live TV and Videos (Flash)that they said wouldn't run on Jelly Bean. I added the App for Magic Jack and I'm calling North America using my existing Magic Jack account which cost a license fee of approx $30/yr. I've "call Forwarded" my Cell Phone to the Magic Jack number and it rings on mt Nexus 7 Magic Jack App. Now you say, "Your Magic Jack App will only work if you're on Wi-Fi with your Tablet". You're right. When my Cell Phone contract is over I'm going to buy a cheaper Cell Phone non contract plan and do Wi-Fi Hotspot and Tether my Tablet to the Cell Phone Data Plan for those times that I don't have a Wi-Fi connection. I love it! !!!!
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413 of 433 people found the following review helpful
Nexus 7 vs. Kindle Fire HD (updated)July 29 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
NOV 29 UPDATE:
Google just announced upgraded Nexus 7 tablets to be available on Nov 13. The 8GB model will probably be discontinued and you will get a 16GB Nexus 7 for the amount you pay for an 8GB model now. You will be able to get a 32GB Nexus 7 for the price of the current 16GB model.
My initial review was a Nexus 7 vs. the first generation Kindle Fire and the Nexus was a clear winner. I have now updated my review for the Fire HD. It's a close call but the Nexus' 4-core CPU and its pure Android, more open makeup make it my preferred 7-incher. However, the rest of my family prefers the Fire HD because it's such a great dedicated (Amazon) media consumption pad. _______________________________________________
We've been using a Kindle Fire since September 2011 (pre-ordered) and I am happy we ordered ours. Soon after purchase it was adopted by our daughter. She is using it to draw and paint, she watches Netflix for Kids on it, she learned how to search Youtube for arts and crafts 'how to' videos and she plays (mostly free) games from Amazon's Appstore. The Fire wasn't a full-feature tablet when it launched but we overlooked its hardware shortcomings, its off-mainstream Android and its locking us out Google's much larger app store because the price was right and because the 7" screen size made it lighter and more portable than the 'full size' 10.1" alternatives. We are still happy with our Fire but we are happier with Nexus 7, our second 7" tablet.
Because Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle are both Android tablets very similar in screen size that sell for the same price, I am going to compare the two while I write about my experience with Nexus 7. Whenever appropriate, I will note the differences between Nexus and the Fire when such differences exist. If a feature is present on both tablets I will simply note its existence. I will prefix specific features with an equal sign if both tablets support it equally, a plus sign if the Nexus implementation is superior or Fire lacks it and a minus sign when a feature is better implemented by Fire or is a Fire exclusive.
HARDWARE (Nexus 7 but it's a close call)
The Nexus comes pretty close to what we normally call the latest and greatest (written in July 2012).
+ GPS (Fire lacks it) + Quad-core CPU vs. Fire's dual-core - 16/32GB models for Kindle vs. 16/32GB for Nexus - Dual-antenna for Wi-Fi on Kindle vs. one antenna on Nexus = Accelerometer = Backlit screen at 1280x800 are identical in specs and looks = Front-facing camera on both = Gyroscope = Micro USB port = Microphone on both
Neither the Fire or the Nexus come with memory expansion ports or a rear-facing camera. The Micro USB interface will allow you to attach flash drives and even powered USB HDDs but the fact remains that if you buy an Nexus 7 or a Kindle Fire HD you are stuck with built in amount of internal storage. At the same time, I will testify that I haven't used 8GB yet on my much older 16GB XOOM. A rear-facing camera would have been a plus.
CONNECTIVITY (Nexus 7)
The better connected a tablet is, the more useful it becomes. Both the Nexus 7 and the Fire HD lack 3G/4G capabilities (Amazon will have a very expensive 4G model later this year), relying mostly on Wi-Fi to stay in touch with the world but there are some differences between the two worth noting.
= WiFi 802.11 b/g/n = Amazon's Appstore = Bluetooth + Near Field Communication (Fire lacks it) It allows two devices that support it to exchange information by touching each other. Not widely used at this time. + Google Play (Fire restricts access to Amazon's Appstore only)
I listed the app stores under connectivity mostly because Amazon made it impossible (unless you hack your Fire) to shop from anywhere other than Amazon's own store and I believe you are confined to Amazon's cloud services. There are no such restrictions on the Nexus. You can use Amazon's cloud, Google's or anyone else's if you so desire.
SOFTWARE (Nexus 7)
+ Android. Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.1 pre-installed, the latest version at the time I write this. It is very likely that it will be upgradeable to future versions. At the same time, it is not likely that the Fire's custom Android 3.x will ever be upgraded. It's possible but not likely. + Chrome. It happens to be my favorite browser. Amazon does not allow Chrome on its Fire. Fire's own browser is not too bad but I personally prefer Chrome. = Flash. Nexus 7 or Android 4.1 rather does not support Flash which is too bad but it's because Adobe decided not to support it on Android 4.1. Kindle Fire HD does not appear to support Flash either.
BUILD (a tie)
I like both tablets look and feel. Both the Nexus 7 and the Fire HD are strikingly beautiful tablets. One little issue for the Fire is its too well hidden power and volume controls but it's something that's likely to be annoying for the first few days only, until reaching for them becomes second nature.
PRICE (Fire HD but it's a close call)
The Fire HD appears is the less expensive one on the 16GB configuration but the difference is not as big as it may seem. Keep in mind that the Fire comes without a charger so you will have to buy one separately and you will have to pay Amazon some more if you don't want to see ads on it.
I've been using a Nexus 7 for over a month at the time I'm writing this. I've also been using a Kindle Fire HD for about a week now. I am fully aware that when it comes to 'tablets' the technology changes fast and I have little doubt that it will be surpassed by many newer models but, at the time I'm writing this, I have a personal preference for the Nexus 7 even though I enjoy using the Fire HD and they are nearly on par when it comes to 'media consumption' activities with the Fire HD clearly in the lead when the content's is Amazon.
Neither the Nexus or the Fire are perfect. Both tablets, for example, lack memory expansion capabilities and a back camera. However, the Nexus, while selling for the about the same price, beats the Fire in every single category but it's a close call. If you are an Amazon person (like I am) the Nexus gives you the best of both worlds. You can still get your Amazon Appstore and the Kindle reader app but nothing restricts you from using someone else's store. The Fire HD erased the Nexus advantage on Bluetooth, camera and microphone. Amazon's new tables now match the Nexus 7 for many features and they even beat the Nexus on some (Wi-Fi, internal storage). In my case, I will continue to use the Nexus 7 but the rest of the family prefers the Kindle Fire HD.
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
NOTE ON STORAGE (memory)
We are doing just fine with our 8GB Kindle Fire and our Nexus 7 is a 8GB model. I went for the 8GB model for 2 reasons: my year-plus experience with a 8GB Kindle Fire and a 16GB XOOM and, I must admit, a 16GB model wasn't available at the store when I bought my Nexus.
I agree that 16GB is always better than 8GB and a tablet with a SD card slot is better than one without. Objectively, 8GB may be okay for most of us but not all of us. Our 8GB Fire is less than half-full today and I never needed an SD card for our 16GB XOOM because, after more than a year, I have 4.8GB worth of Apps, 1GB worth of pictures and videos (all pics and videos I took with the XOOM) and 0.2GB worth of Audio.
Had I decided to download my music library and the family photo albums on a tablet, 16GB might have been barely adequate and I would have used the SD memory expansion but I never felt that need. With videos coming from Youtube or movie streaming services and most of my music streaming from Pandora or cloud storage or our dedicated Media Server, 8GB appear to be okay (barely) and 16GB are quite plenty. Of course this may not be the case 2 years from now.
I would buy the 16GB model if I was planning on storing lots of content other than apps on my tablet or simply wanted 'peace of mind' as in not worry about managing my tablet's storage. If not planning to keep lots of photos or videos or music on the Nexus then the 8GB may be just fine.
160 of 177 people found the following review helpful
✯✯ Simply the best 7" tablet out there, by far ✯✯July 24 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
This is THE 7" tablet to get right now, it blows the competitors clean out of the water in terms of equipment and customization. Google has finally made a winning device, by entering a market not yet dominated by Apple. The device itself is simple to use and offers the latest version of Android, and promises to always give you the newest version -- first.
Let's dig into the deets:
💻 Display: 7 inch IPS LCD, 1280x800 px (216 PPI), LED backlit, scratch-resistant Corning glass. ◼ Processor: 1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9. ◼ GPU: 416 MHz Nvidia GeForce ULP with 12 cores. 💾 Memory: 1 GB DDR3 RAM 🔋 Battery: 4325 mAh, microUSB charger. 📷 Front facing Camera: 1.2 MP. 🌐 Other: Multi-touch Touch screen, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Accelerometer, GPS, microphone. 📶 Connections: NFC, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0. 🚥 OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). 📐 Footprint: Lighter and thinner than any others in the 7" size.
◉ Powerful processor ◉ All connections included (Wifi, Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC). ◉ Standard install of Android means you can customize it as YOU wish to, and all native Android apps are available. ◉ Rich screen density, crisp and bright. ◉ Light, small, thin. ◉ Plenty of RAM for smooth operation. 💲Price.
◎ No MicroSD card slot, so if you need more storage the 16gb model might be better for you, but then there is Google Drive to hold you stuff as well, so it's not that big of a deal. It is a big deal for playing content on the go however, with no 3G/4G you will be stuck with whatever you can fit on that 8 GB, and that can be pretty limited at times.
◎ No 3G/4G option - This is a big deal for some people as referenced above, if you are looking for on-the-go always connected, this one might not be the right one for you.
◎ No rear facing camera - this can be a big deal if you want to use a tablet for taking pictures, or other endeavors like scanning barcodes to compare prices, etc...
◎ No mini HDMI out - well we are talking about a 7" tablet here, and they are trying to make it as slim and small as possible, I've found in my own experience that I never use those but your mileage may vary.
This is the best option in the 7" market right now.
☆☆☆☆☆ Highly recommended!
124 of 142 people found the following review helpful
Best Android Tablet EverJuly 27 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
This is hands down the best Android tablet available. It's incredibly fast, has a really good front camera, the screen looks beautiful, and the features of Jellybean (Android 4.1) are great.
Pros: -Great size, it's not too big, but you can still easily view movies and use apps made for a big screen like Fruit Ninja. -Adobe Flash Support (Requires some hacking) -Very fast, it has a really good quad core processor. There is zero lag. -Jellybean has a wide range of high quality features including voice recognition that now works offline. -Google Now is way better than Siri and it's extremely useful -Android is so much more customizable than iOS. -It's three virtual buttons on the bottom allow for easy and fast navigation around the device. -Multitasking is beautiful and much more immersive. Not even comparable to iOS. -Has good battery life even when using GPS -Thanks to free apps, this is a very powerful GPS that will work better than any one from the store.
Cons: -No rear camera, I don't think tablets really need them, but it would've been a nice feature -Fragile glass on screen, doesn't scratch easily, but it breaks easily -Crappy speaker, although all tablets have crappy speakers -Sometimes I hit the power button instead of the volume rocker because they feel the same and they are right next to each other -No Micro SD card slot
Nexus 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7 inch model): The Nexus 7 has a better screen and processor than the Galaxy Tab 2, however it does have some advantages over the Nexus 7.
1. It has a rear camera. 2. It has a built in IR blaster for use as a universal remote. 3. It has a micro SD card slot for a micro SD card up to 32 GB.
A major disadvantage of it though is that it runs the older version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which lacks many features of Jellybean.
Conclusion: Get the Nexus 7 over any other tablet unless you want a tablet with a rear camera and universal remote. In that case buy the Galaxy Tab 2.
Update 8/10/12: Today I spilled about half a glass of water onto my Nexus 7 accidentally and it worked fine afterwards. It is quite durable against water and scratch damage.
Update 8/21/12: Yesterday I received two products. SANOXY Micro USB Host Mode OTG Cable Flash Drive SD T-Flash Card Adapter FOR Samsung GT-i9100 i9100 Galaxy S II 2 GT-N7000 Galaxy Note
The USB OTG adapter works great with the Nexus 7. I can confirm that you can use a wireless or wired mouse, charge the Kindle Keyboard 3G, power a USB massager and/or light, mount a flash drive, and mount an SD card reader. To mount USB storage devices you must root your device and download Stickmount. It is surely worth $0.65 to buy this.
The styluses are also good and they work without a problem on the Nexus 7. They are a must have as well.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Saved me so much money...Sept. 23 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Competing tablets that I considered:
* Kindle Fire HD * Mini iPad (expected)
I had a first-gen Fire and got sick of the walled garden. I hoped the new Fire (Fire HD) would have been more open, but it seems as closed off as ever. The device also didn't seem to have any exciting upgrades. Sure, the screen and speakers are better, but the screen was just catching up to the Nexus 7 and I use headphones for audio, so the hardware upgrades were irrelevant. I also didn't like the larger size (but same screen size) of the Fire HD... the bezel is huge on the new Fire. I also didn't like that I would have to pay to get rid of ads and also pay to get a wall charger. Basically, after the first-gen Fire, I was looking for a more grown-up tablet, and the new Fire didn't offer that, and I felt like Amazon was being deceptive in how they marketed the device... based on the backlash after the launch, I wasn't the only one.
The mini iPad is probably going to be amazing, but it will fail for me in two regards: (1) very expensive and (2) maps/navigation. I don't want to pay 50-100% more than a good competitor, and I don't want to pay for a 4G device and data plan if I want portable maps. I also want maps that actually give accurate locations... I want Google Maps, not Apple's #iLost apps.
I use a prepaid dumb phone and pay 100 USD each year for 1000 minutes (T-Mobile, if you're curious). I'm also fundamentally against paying a bunch of money to get a small amount of cellular data service. However, I've been running into substantial issues with not having maps on the go, and this is where Nexus 7 really shines for me. The Nexus 7 offers offline maps with GPS for navigation. So even when you're in the middle of nowhere (e.g. on a hike), provided you've planned ahead and downloaded the map, you can use highly detailed maps with the GPS on the Nexus 7. Even when your phone gives out in the middle of nowhere, the Nexus 7 would work perfectly since the maps are saved on the device and the GPS service is free (it's just an antenna that uses free satellite signals). I uploaded a few screenshots on my Nexus 7 in the customer images to show how this works.
Relative to the Fire's software, I also feel much more free on the Nexus 7. I can access Google Play (Google's large app / movie / music / magazine / etc store), something that cannot be done on the Fire HD... I couldn't even get access to Google Play on my first-gen Fire despite substantial efforts. Basically, when you buy the Fire, you buy in 100% to Amazon, so it's refreshing to breath freely with my new Nexus 7 where I can make media purchases independent of my tablet brand, e.g. I like being able to shop for books and music at any online store with ease on the Nexus 7 rather than be locked into one retailer.
Those are my primary reasons for going with the Nexus 7. So far, after about two weeks, I love it and have started shifting away from my laptop for basic tasks, something I never thought would happen (and never came close with the first-gen Fire).
- - - Update: 11/4/2012 After 7 weeks, still happy with the N7, but downgraded to 4 stars. The battery lasts only about a 48 hours [see next update] with light usage (though it is constantly fetching email in the background... so perhaps my expectations are too high). But I've found that playing music with the screen off has almost no drain on the battery. I've also found the glass on the screen to not be as scratch-resistant as I had expected. I scratched the glass, thankfully just on the bezel, and I think this happened only when my N7 rubbed up against a button on a shirt I was wearing.
Having now seen the iPad Mini (both the specs, ads, and in person), I'd still go with a N7, and the N7 still appears to be the best option. The iPad mini doesn't have GPS for any of the devices without 4G. Also, there are even more competitive versions for the Nexus 7 that were recently released (base version now has 16GB, can get 32GB for 50 D more... whereas iPad Mini charges an extra 100 D, and a 32GB version with cellular data option for a further 50 D more).
Maps, email, and general usage of N7 are still going wonderfully!
- - - Update: 1/6/2012 My tablet was updated to Android 4.2 several weeks ago (perhaps now over a month ago), and the improvements are appreciated: easy to manage multiple users, better drop-down options, and the battery seems to last longer when the N7 is in standby. Regarding the battery, I haven't charged my tablet in 72 hours (light use), and it still has half of the battery left -- this is about a 3-fold improvement on standby battery life!
Still very happy with my N7!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I like it even more now that it runs FlashSept. 8 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
This is my first tablet although I have played with a Xoom. I found the Xoom to be great product but it did seem rather heavy to hold for long periods. I've had a standard Kindle for some time so I know I like the 7 inch size, which is really easy to hold in one hand. After reading the many reviews of the Nexus 7 and being tempted by the low price I put my order in. Like many others have noted, I was appalled to learn that you cannot play flash embedded videos but being something of a PC geek I quickly learned that with a little effort you can install Flash using a few work abounds. Just run a query about "installing Flash on nexus 7" and you'll find some sites that will walk you through the process. It took me about 20 minutes. Flash will not run on Chrome so you will also have to install a secondary browser but it does work. Other than the Flash issue I have thoroughly enjoyed this device. If you get it from the play store you also get a twenty five dollar gift certificate to purchase apps or books so that is a sweet bonus. Also, pick up one of the aftermarket cases rather than buying the case from the play store. There are some nice cases out there that offer a better price point and work just as well. As others have noted this tablet runs very smooth and has a screen that is very easy on the eyes. You can also adjust the text size under settings so if you have a lot of mileage on your eyeballs larger text may make sense for you. Another thing you may want to adjust in the settings is to remove the default to lock the screen in profile mode. Not sure why they have it set that way by default but the device makes far more sense if you are allowed to shift display to landscape when you prefer.