Next week, Google is likely going to unveil not only its latest Android update in the form of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but also its new Nexus 7 tablet, currently dubbed Nexus 7 2. And while many consumers likely have their eye on the new collaboration between Asus and Google, there are several potential Nexus 7 2 flaws that prospective buyers need to consider.
Earlier this year, rumors surfaced indicating that Google was prepping a Nexus 7 2 tablet, possibly for its Google I/O conference in May. Google I/O of course came and went without a Nexus 7 2 or a new Android tablet. It now appears that Google was saving both of those announcements for a later date as the company appears poised to deliver next week.
Google sent out media invites earlier this week for a breakfast in San Francisco with Android head Sundar Pichai. The contents of the event, set to take place on July 24th, are unknown but it’s clear that it will be Android related and will likely be the launch pad for Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and the new Nexus 7 tablet, both of which have been heavily rumored in recent days.
In fact, both Android 4.3 and the Nexus 7 2 themselves have leaked to the surface in the past 24 hours, all but confirming their arrival at the event next week.
Right now, the Nexus 7 2 remains unofficial, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know a lot about it. The device has leaked out so often that we know that it will have a display in the 7-inch range that sports 1980 x 1200 resolution, a quad-core processor, a 5MP rear camera, a 1.9MP camera, and a design that is similar to the one found on the Nexus 7.
The device is said to be coming in 16GB and 32GB with $230 and $270 price tags, $30 increases from the Nexus 7. The starting price is exactly $100 less than the iPad mini which starts at $330.
Google’s new Nexus 7 2 looks like it will be a quality device and one that will likely be eaten up by consumers. However, there are some potential flaws that buyers will need to consider before ruling out other tablets.
Here now, we take a look at seven likely flaws that prospective Nexus 7 2 buyers need to think about ahead of its release.
The first potential, but likely, Nexus 7 2 flaw that consumers will want to consider is Google’s less than ideal customer service. Google is not known for its fantastic customer service support and with a device like the Nexus 7 2, a developer device with the potential for a lot of issues, customer service is going to be something that many users will likely be looking into.
Consider this. When the Nexus 7 first came out, users ran into a number of issues. However, instead of a flawless process, early adopters unfortunately ran into a bunch of issues trying to return their defective devices. Shortages caused long waiting times. Users had to foot the bill for their flawed devices. And we also saw others just have poor experiences overall.
Consider the competition. Apple has been in the hardware business for years and it has it down to a science. Furthermore, Apple stores exist so that users can bring in their device to get looked at or replaced. Unless Google drastically changes in the next few months, there will be no dedicated place to take the Nexus 7 2 and there will more than likely be a return processor filled with headaches.
With a normal device, this wouldn’t be a problem, but Nexus devices are not known for their polished nature.
That leads us to another potential and again, very likely Nexus 7 2 flaw. For those that don’t know, Nexus devices are named Nexus for a reason. They are developer devices that while popular with consumers, are released with Android developers in mind. What this means is that they don’t always feel complete, they often feel, like test devices. And that’s because they sort of are.
When the Nexus 7 first came out, we saw a number of hardware defects emerge. From dead pixels to poor control on the display to adhesive falling apart, the Nexus 7 was full of hardware defects. We’ve also seen Nexus 7 devices randomly start dying, something that has been blamed on cheap memory.
While we can’t say whether or not this will happen with the Nexus 7 2, given that it’s the same two companies, given that we’ve seen hardware issues with Nexus devices prior to the Nexus 7, and given that the Nexus 7 2 is likely going to be cheap, it’s possible that users could run into any number of hardware problems.
And unfortunately, the customer service may not be up to snuff.
Hardware isn’t the only thing that has plagued the Nexus 7 and other Nexus devices. Software has been a major issue as well with users complaining, regularly, about issues with the software. Here at Gotta Be Mobile, we’ve been dealing with Nexus 7 software issues ever since the arrival of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, an update that was issued in November of last year.
This is all part of the Nexus experience. Harking back to what we said about these being developer devices, users need to prepare themselves for flawed software. While it’s nice that these software updates come from Google, they often come with a number of bugs on board, bugs that likely would have been weeded out by the carrier testing process that everyone loves to slam for taking so long.
The fact that we’ve seen major issues persist on the Nexus 7 since November should cause concern for anyone thinking about buying a Nexus device, particularly those that are looking at buying a Nexus 7 2.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean may still be Jelly Bean, but there is certainly the potential for new bugs.
No Expandable Storage
Google has made it clear that it won’t be releasing Nexus branded devices with microSD card slots. And so, those that need any storage beyond 16GB or 32GB with the Nexus 7 2, will likely have to depend on the cloud.
For many users, this won’t be an issue. For others, particularly those that play a lot of games, this is likely going to be a major problem. 16GB is going to feel extremely cramped for some users and even at 32GB, tablet owners may have issue storing all of their content. There’s a reason why Apple offers 64GB and 128GB iPads after all.
There are ways to get around the lack of a microSD card slot but they are not reasonable solutions for those that might be buying a tablet or coming to Android for the first time.
Limited Carrier Options
Thinking about buying the Nexus 7 2 on carriers other than AT&T or T-Mobile. Think again. The Nexus 7 2 has been proven to have LTE bands for AT&T and T-Mobile and given that we’ve seen previous Nexus devices arrive for those carriers, it’s all but confirmed. However, those holding out hope for a wide carrier launch are likely to be disappointed.
We’ve seen an FCC filing show that the Nexus 7 2 has support for Verizon’s LTE network but there is no guarantee that it will work on the nation’s largest service provider. Sprint seems to be out of the question, as do smaller carriers like U.S. Cellular.
AT&T is going to be the best option for users but even then, it’s not available everywhere and T-Mobile’s LTE network is still extremely limited. This will certainly not be a flaw for everyone but for others, the lack of carrier options will be a deal breaker especially at the price and especially with the iPad mini available on the four largest carriers in the U.S.
Hopefully, Google recognizes the demand and caters to it.
Lack of Accessories at Launch
For whatever reason, Google likes to promise Nexus accessories at launch and then launch them several weeks down the line. We saw it with the Nexus 7 dock, we saw it with the Nexus 4 wireless charger.
With history in mind, it’s reasonable to think that the Nexus 7 2 official accessory options will likely be limited at launch, something that frustrate those that like to pair with their tablet with a dock, case or charger.
Should it keep the same dimensions, we could see Google simply reuse accessories but at this point, that remains unclear. What is clear is that Nexus devices have had a checkered past with accessories.
Sub Par Camera
Consumers should expect a flawed rear camera. The Nexus 7 2 is rumored to have a 5MP camera on board which is a nice, considering the original didn’t have a rear-facing camera.
However, given that this is a tablet and not a smartphone and a cheap tablet at that, consumers should expect the camera to be mediocre.