After months of rumor and speculation, Google finally announced the new, second-generation Nexus 7 that has been come to be known as the new Nexus 7 or Nexus 7 2. The device will be arriving in the near future which means that it will almost immediately start battling other tablets on the market including Apple’s current 7-inch iPad, the iPad mini.
Last November, after a long line of rumors, Apple released a smaller version of its iconic iPad tablet which it dubbed, the iPad mini. Though there are rumors of an iPad mini 2 for 2013, the current iPad mini remains one of the best tablets on the market and reportedly has surpassed the larger iPad as the company’s most popular slate.
Of course, the iPad mini has not been without its competition. In July of 2012, Google launched its well-known Nexus 7 tablet unto the world and a few months later, Amazon joined the fray with its Kindle Fire HD. Since then, the three tablets have been competing against each other for the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers.
The playing field is about to change though as the iPad mini is about to encounter another competitor in the form of a new Nexus 7 tablet that is simply being called, Nexus 7.
Yesterday, at an Android and Chrome event in San Francisco, the company made good on the countless Nexus 7 2 rumors and delivered a brand new Nexus 7 tablet that will be replacing the old Nexus 7 and will be heading to shelves to compete with the Kindle Fire HD and the current iPad mini in just a few days.
Consumers are likely sizing up both the iPad mini and the new Nexus 7 in their quest to find a new tablet and while the Nexus 7 may not be on shelves just yet, the two can be compared ahead of its arrival.
Here, we take a look at how the iPad mini stacks up against the new Nexus 7 2 in terms of hardware, software, pricing and more.
Most Android launch events end uneventfully as companies are at times reluctant to deliver pertinent information like specific release dates and pricing. Not Google. At yesterday’s launch, the company detailed many of the Nexus 7 2’s details including its release date.
On July 30th, Google will release the Wi-Fi only version of the Nexus 7 onto its Google Play Store. However, the Google Play Store won’t be the only place where it’s available. The Nexus 7 2 will be available in a host of retails around the country including Best Buy, Staples, OfficeMax and Amazon.
The 4G LTE model doesn’t yet have a release date though Google says that the device will be heading to AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless soon. It, like the Wi-Fi model, will more than likely be available on the Google Play Store.
Google’s tablet will be going up against an aging tablet in the iPad mini. Apple’s device has been on shelves since November and remains one of the staples of the tablet market.
Of course, there are rumors that the device will be replaced by an iPad mini 2 with Retina Display this fall, possibly in November as well, but for now the iPad mini remains the only smaller iPad in existence.
The Nexus 7 2 and the iPad mini sport vastly different designs, something that buyers will want to keep in mind before plopping down their cold hard cash. Starting with the iPad mini, it features a plastic front with an anodized aluminum back that falls in line with the design found on the iPhone 5, the company’s current iPhone model.
It features extremely small bezels which provides for a large screen on the front and makes it a pleasant device to hold in one hand when viewing content. The overall design features rounded edges which help to give it an extremely premium look, worthy of a $330 starting price tag.
Specifically, the iPad mini weighs 308 grams and measures in at 7.2mm thin, just a tad thicker than the iPhone 5, and much thinner than many other tablets on the market.
Google’s new Nexus on the other hand sports a soft touch matte backing that also makes it comfortable to hold in one hand. For better or worse, there is no metal on board the new Nexus.
Like the iPad mini, it also features very small bezels, slimmed down from the original, which means that users will be able to enjoy better looking content on the whole.
The Nexus 7 2 is thicker than the iPad mini, checking in at 8.65mm thin thought it weighs less, sporting a frame that checks in at 290 grams. The LTE model weighs 299 grams but it’s still lighter than the iPad mini LTE which is a gram heavier than the Wi-Fi only model.
When it comes to their displays, there are some key differences that prospective buyers will want to pay attention to. For one, the iPad mini display is bigger than the Nexus 7 2’s, sitting at 7.9-inch as opposed to 7-inches. That’s nearly a full inch of extra real estate on Apple’s tablet.
However, where users will really want to be concerned is with the screen resolution. While the Nexus 7 2 boasts what Google is calling the sharpest display on a 7-inch tablet, Apple’s iPad mini features a less-than-Retina display meaning its display will not be able to hold up to the quality of Google’s Nexus tablet.
The Nexus 7 sports 1920×1200 resolution which means that it could produce 1080p content. And with a whopping 323 pixels-per-inch, owners are ensured a high quality viewing experience. The iPad mini on the other hand boasts 1024×768 resolution with 163 pixels-per-inch. Content doesn’t look bad but it won’t look as good as it does on the new Nexus.
While the original Nexus 7 did not sport a rear camera, the new Nexus 7 2 does indeed have a 5MP camera which puts it on par with the iPad mini and its 5MP iSight camera that it sports in the front.
Like the iPad mini, the Nexus 7 2 camera should be decent, but owners should not expect photos to come out like they would if shot with a current-generation smartphone like the iPhone 5 or Nexus 4. Photos and video will be decent but they will be nothing to write home about.
As for the front-facing cameras, the Nexus 7 2 will have a 1.9MP camera while the iPad mini uses a 1.2MP camera and supports 720p HD video. Both will be good and both will be able to produce high quality video chats, the main function of any devices front-facing camera.
Here is how the rest of the iPad mini specs look.
- 7.9-inch Display with 1024×768 Resolution (163ppi)
- Dual-Core Apple A5 Processor
- 5MP iSight/1.2MP Cameras
- 16/32/64GB of Storage
And here is how the Nexus 7 2 compares.
- 7-inch Display with 1920×1200 Resolution (323ppi)
- Quad-Core Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor
- 5MP/1.9MP Cameras
- 2GB of RAM
- 16/32GB of Storage
- Wireless Charging
There are a few things that consumers will want to key in on here. One, the Nexus 7 2 supports wireless charging, something that the iPad mini doesn’t have on board. Second, Google’s tablet has access to NFC which means it can take advantage of mobile payment services like Google Wallet. And third, the iPad mini comes in 64GB form, something that the Nexus 7 2 doesn’t feature. Neither device features a microSD card slot.
Software is an area where the iPad mini and Nexus 7 2 are vastly different. While the Nexus 7 2 runs Google’s Android operating system, Apple’s iPad mini runs Apple’s iOS operating system.
Currently, the iPad mini is running iOS 6. However, in a few months time, the device will be running the all new iOS 7 which can be seen in beta form on an iPad in the video below.
iOS 7 will bring not only new features but a new overall look to the table meaning an iPad mini bought today will run much different when iOS 7 arrives.
As for the Nexus 7 2, it runs Google’s Android software and more specifically, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean which was released yesterday for Google’s other Nexus devices. The software will look a lot like Android 4.2, which can be seen in full below.
Both devices will receive updates for years to come, thanks to Nexus devices and Apple’s devices as a whole, receiving fantastic software support from their respective companies.
The iPad mini is sold on three carriers in the United States, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. All three offer it on their 4G LTE network which means that the iPad mini can pull down data speeds, while on-the-go, that rival those of home Wi-Fi networks.
However, the iPad mini, while unlocked, comes in two different flavors including models for CDMA and GSM carriers. Each carries a set of supported LTE bands which means that while they may be unlocked, they can only be used on certain carriers. More specifically, the AT&T model can only be used with GSM carriers while the Sprint and Verizon model can only be used with CDMA carriers.
This is an area where the Nexus 7 2 has an advantage because users can simply buy one model of the device and use it on the 4G LTE networks of AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon. It’s up to the user.
Apple’s iPad mini was more expensive than the original Nexus 7 and it will be more expensive than the new Nexus 7 second-generation, though, the price gap will be a bit smaller.
The original Nexus 7 emerged for $199 and $250, prices that were much cheaper than the iPad mini which starts at $330 for a 16GB Wi-Fi only model and $430 for a 32GB variant. The new Nexus 7 2 remains cheaper than the iPad mini checking in with a price tag of $230 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $270 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only variant.
As for the LTE enabled models, the Nexus 7 2 will come in 32GB form only for $350. Apple’s 32GB iPad mini with LTE, by comparison, is a whopping $560 or a difference of $210.
Google’s Nexus 7 2 certainly has the iPad mini beat in price and it’s unlikely that Apple is going to drop the price of the iPad mini, or the iPad mini 2, to better compete with it. Instead, we could see the iPad mini price drop when the iPad mini 2 arrives.