Nexus 7 2013 Review

The Nexus 7 2013 is a great tablet. Even though it was released in 2013, I still highly recommend it. There are rumours about a Nexus 7 2016 but at this point, its looking unlikely. Honestly, I don’t think a new Nexus 7 is needed. Nothing else can beat the Nexus 7 2013 for under $150. In this post, I will go over what my thoughts are on the Nexus 7.

Media

The Nexus 7 is great for consuming media. I personally use my Nexus 7 to watch videos and play some intensive games on it. Even when playing games that require a lot of performance, the battery life is not bad. I don’t game for more than an two hours at a time on any mobile device because most mobile games are intended to be a pickup and go. They are not really like console or PC games. When I do play games on it for long periods of time there is a lot of app switching and with 2GB of ram, it is really good at being able to pick up where you left off (something that *cough* samsung *cough* can’t seem to figure out to do) For watching videos or movies, the Nexus 7 is great also. The 1080P screen is a nice touch. I don’t normally watch 1080P videos due to my internet connection however, I have tried watching 1080P videos on it and they look gorgeous. Everything looked fuzzy when I went back to 720P. If you watch YouTube, you are limited to watching 720P (only if the video was shot in anything higher than 30FPS). I don’t know the explanation behind this but I am assuming that the hardware might struggle trying to display 1080P 60fps (Considering some lower end computers struggle on 1080P 60FPS I don’t think this is to far off.)

The Screen

The screen on the Nexus 7 great.  Although for most things you probably will not notice the 1080P, when you watch videos you can really see the difference. While the colors are nothing amazing compared to say, a the amoled screen on the s6, they are still incredibly vibrant. The glass on the Nexus 7 doesn’t scratch that easily from my experience. There are a few scratches on the screen you can not see them unless you view the screen from an angle. One thing to note is that the screen is fragile. If enough pressure is put on the screen (not much is required) you may see pink or purple “blobs” that are especially noticeable when the backlight is turned down and the screen is displaying a darker color in that area. This may slowly fade away over time but never fully. On my unit, putting a small amount of pressure on the screen will cause all of these “blobs” to show up from previous pressure that was put on the screen. Just make sure not to put anything on your tablet’s screen and you will be good. Overall, the screen is really good for the price. It is not cheaply made and the colors are not dull at all. Asus did a nice job with the screen.

Battery Life

The battery life on the Nexus 7 is spectacular. I can binge watch videos / play games on my Nexus 7 for over two hours without any issues. I don’t normally use my tablet for much longer than that so I don’t really know how long it lasts doing these types of things. One thing to note is that I have overclocked my tablet so your results will vary. Even with it being overclocked the battery life is not that badly affected. One thing to note is that the Nexus 7 does take awhile to charge. It can take 3-7 hours to charge. If you use the official Asus charger that the tablet comes with, it takes 3-4 hours for it to reach 100%. Other chargers (chinese knockoffs, car chargers, PC USB port, etc) can take a very long time.  But the battery lasts much longer than the charging time so it all evens out.

Durability

The Nexus 7 is a budget tablet. Asus did have to take shortcuts to achieve such a good tablet at a low price. A thing I have noticed about all Nexus devices are that they really are not durable. My Nexus 7 2012 broke from being in my backpack and was crushed by my laptop. Digitizer was killed :/. I know a friend that dropped his Nexus 6P and the digitizer cracked.  They just are not meant to be used without a case (as most devices are). The Nexus 7 2013 if fairly durable. I have dropped it a couple times on hardwood floor and carpet. Luckily, it never experienced any major damage. I would recommend a case just to be safe. The Nexus 7 is really easy to bend also. I have noticed a couple times that it does not sit flat on a table. It is easily bent back but just look out for that. Compared to the Nexus 7 2012, it is much more durable and can take a lot more abuse.

Final Thoughts

I love my Nexus 7. It has been the best tablet I have ever owned. I have two Samsung tablets (Tab 3 7.0 and tab 4 7.0) both I got on two separate occasions. I never really liked them. They are really low quality for the price.  Samsung is really ripping you off on those FYI. Both of them have never seen a software update (come on samsung). Anyways, I decided to buy a Nexus 7 2012 and I was amazed at what difference the speeds were. Unfortunately it did not last long. I ended up using my Tab 4 for a while and then went on eBay to find a Nexus 7 2013 for $160. I bought that ASAP (most sellers asked for $200 and up!). Well turns out a few months later my local Microcenter changed the price to $150 😐 But honestly, it was worth it. As stated before, I love the Nexus 7. I have given it a beating and it still works. The size is just right. The battery life is perfect for my needs. The screen is a huge step up from the Tab 4 screen (not hard to beat). It is thin, portable, light and feels well made. Only problem I have is that my 16gb model runs out of storage thanks to my obsessive screenshotting addiction 😛

Thanks for reading my post! I tried to make this the best I could to make up for the inactivity lately! Let me know in the comments what I should improve! I am always trying to make my writing better! Thanks 🙂

Nexus 7 2013 Update (Over Clock)

So, I still have ElementalX  installed on my Nexus 7 2o13. I bought the app in the play store called “EX Kernel Manager“. It basically allows you to manage the kernel within the OS. A little while ago I returned my Nexus 7 to stock speeds to see what difference overclocking actually made. Much slower. Games dropped in FPS and things loaded slower. Now, overclocking it for so long has taken its toll. When I open the back of the tablet, there are some very visible burn marks on the metal. For some reason, (this just started recently) when I try to load anything, it takes wayyy to long. My Nexus 7 2012 can beat it! I uninstalled Ex and everything went back to normal (besides the lag due to the slower CPU and GPU times). I still can’t figure out what is causing this. For an example, if I open YouTube after removing it from memory, it takes a long time to load. If I open a a game, say Clash Royale (I like it, your opinion may vary) it gets stuck at 81% and very slowly climbs its way up to 100%…. I timed it and it took about 45 seconds. For reference, my S6 can do it in around 15 seconds. That really is the negative part of my rant. On to the positive!

ElementalX has a lot of neat features also (the reason why I have not uninstalled it). I have already mentioned a few in a previous post (Here). The main features that I use in everyday life are Dimmer Backlight, Overclock, and Fast charge. There are a lot more that I occasionally use. The speaker boost feature is nice in loud situations. You can disable the magnet sensor that turns the screen off/on. I used to use “Swipe to wake” and “Double tap to wake” however, I stopped using this because of a digitizer issue. I would still use that feature if my Nexus 7 didn’t have that issue, although I am pretty sure every Nexus 7 has that issue (Leaving the digitizer on for too long causes some funky side effects). Alot of these features honestly should have been enabled by default honestly. Overall, after using ElementalX for almost 7 months, I would still recommend it!

Over Clocking the Nexus 7

*had trouble posting this ended up using different browser (shitty IE)

Back Story

I have had my Nexus 7 for awhile. I love it! It may be old, but old is gold (hehe). The Nexus 7 isn’t showing its age even with Android Lollipop and over 100 apps. Of course someday it will begin to show its age as apps update and require more power. I only noticed some sluggishness when I was playing 2D games. I do not know what caused this but it was very annoying. It went from anywhere between 15-60 fps. It would purge real fast and slow down too. I noticed the occasional lag when multitasking. None of these things really bothered me at all.

Over Clocking

I decided to overclock my Nexus 7 mostly for the fun of it. I was interested to see how much I could get out of my tablet. The Nexus 7 has a Snapdragon 600 (I’m pretty darn sure) that is under-clocked to 1.5 GHz and marketed as a S4 Pro. I am not sure why they do this. Maybe it is to keep the heat down or maybe it’s because the Nexus 7 uses a chip that had issues running at 1.89 GHz and they just under-clocked otherwise it would be a waste just to throw the processors that still could be used. How did I do it? To do this, I installed ElementalX. I downloaded the recovery installer. ElementalX uses that aroma installer which makes it easy to select the settings that best fit your needs. I set my CPU clock to 1.89 GHz and my GPU clock to 490 MHz. Changing the GPU clock speed for what ever reason boosted 2D games FPS significantly. I disabled the swipe to wake-up features but kept the double tap to wake enabled (It is really nice especially if it’s on a desk and you want to change the music while holding a calculator or whatever you are doing with your other hand) I also installed the ElementalX app. It allows you to change all of the things that the ElementalX kernel offers without having to reboot into recovery and reinstall the ElementalX kernel just to tweak something minor. The tablet did get a little hotter during more demanding tasks (to be expected)

The Result

I got quite a bit more performance out of my tablet and I really did not loose that much battery life. I did some benchmarks and beat the crap out of the stock Nexus 7. The ElementalX kernel also has a lot of other features too in case you don’t feel like overclocking. There are features like faster battery charging, battery saving mode (it makes the battery charge to 97% ish to save the overall battery life), double tap to wake, dimmer back light, and make your speakers MUCH louder. I made the speakers over 50% louder than they where originally attended to do. The entire tablet vibrated….. I strongly advise you NOT to do this though.

Got a N7 2013! Short overview.

Hey guys, it Poebat! (Yes I still am posting, slowly but still)

Compared to the Nexus 7 2012, it feels at least 3x faster. I have CyanogenMod 12.1 installed on it. I have cm 12.1 install on my Nexus 7 2012 too. Things like opening the camera is much faster. Booting times is also much faster. We are talking 5 Minutes for the Nexus 7 2012 vs 1 Minute for the Nexus 7 2013. Playing Goat Sim I get 60 fps on the 2013 model but on the 2012 I’m hitting around 20-40 FPS. Overall game play on the Nexus 7 2013 is much faster. On the Nexus 7 2012 once a game is loaded it is okay, but loading took forever on the nexus 7 2012. The overall feel of the Nexus 7 2013 feels much nicer than the 2012. It is much slimmer and the back feels nice when you are holding it. The Nexus 7 2013 has a okay back camera but compared to no back camera on the Nexus 7 2012, it is so much better. Overall I love my Nexus 7 2013. Hopefully it will last longer than my last Nexus. 😛 If you still have a Nexus 7 2012 for some odd reason, it is really worth the upgrade to the Nexus 7 2013 unless you only use it for light things like reading and music. Even watching YouTube is better on the Nexus 7 2013 as it has 5ghz WiFi and watching 720P does not buffer.

That’s it for now 😛

Sorry for the scrambled writing, trying to get back into blogging. Ce ya 😛

Android 5.1 On Nexus 7 2012! (ASUS Grouper Tablet CM 12.1)

CyanogenMod on a Nexus 7 2012 is usable! Yes! Even though the tablet is over 3 years old it runs!!! Very well. I will stick with Android KitKat though. I have overclocked my Nexus 7 to 1.6 GHz (Stock is 1.3 GHz) The nexus 7 can be overclock to 2.00 GHz if you really want to cook it. I also overclocked the GPU to 520 MHz. The performance really impoverished. Gameplay is much better when it is over clocked. Battery life is definitely a problem if you overclock it though. Especially with an old worn out battery. Android 5.1 was pretty lag free but if you download all of your apps it gets laggy. It is really cool to play around with but I think I will stick with KitKat. As much as I like 5.1, I need the tablet for reading and school and it is not very stable with all the apps I need. It can watch YouTube and stream videos just fine. Playing games felt the same as KitKat but loading the games took longer.

You Can Check Out This Video For Living Proof Of It Running:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lwlvb_dN3jc