Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1: Impressions & Performance

Google finally delivers a new Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update to the Nexus 7 with a collection of bug fixes wrapped up in a small update that is rolling out to many Nexus 7 devices right now. After spending a day with the Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update We want to share an early Android 5.1.1 review to help you decide if it is worth installing on your Nexus 7.

The Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update is arriving on the Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013, but this review will focus on the newer model and we will share another look at the Nexus 7 2012 when that update arrives.

With this update comes a number of fixes for Android 5.1 problems like battery life issues and random reboots. You can check to see if your Nexus 7 2013 sees the update, and if so you can download and install it fairly quickly, but before you do — here is a look at our early Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 review.

What you need to know about the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 update.
What you need to know about the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 update.

After spending the evening checking out how this update handles on the Nexus 7 2013 here is a breakdown of key areas where the update impacts the Nexus 7 2013. Unlike my Nexus 4, the Nexus 7 2013 is still going strong and aging gracefully thanks to overall positive updates.

Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Installation

In a surprise the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 update arrived as an OTA (over the air) update yesterday afternoon. I say surprise because my devices tend to be among the last to get a notification about an update. The 18MB update downloaded quickly and once I charged the Nexus 7 up it installed.

Overall the installation was smooth, but it did take a while for the apps to update during the section where there is a black screen and the Nexus 7 shows Upgrading Apps with a count up to the number of apps installed on the device. I thought it got stuck, but this part of the process simply took a long time.

If you don’t see the OTA update you can use this guide to install Android Android 5.1.1 Lollipop right now. It’s also a good idea to take steps to prepare your Nexus 7 before you install Android 5.1.1.

Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Performance

The Android 5.1.1 update brings bug fixes for a memory leak that can force reboots and crash apps on the Nexus 7 2013, which is one reason we are excited to test out the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop performance on this device. So far the overall Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 performance is good. This is an early observation with a day of testing so things may change after heavier use.

One thing you need to remember when reading this review and other Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 reviews is that the experience can carry from one device to the next as users run different apps and use the tablet for different purposes. This is primarily an entertainment tablet with streaming, music, web and email apps — but not one I use for heavy gaming.

Apps

App performance is good on the Nexus 7 after installing Android 5.1.1.
App performance is good on the Nexus 7 after installing Android 5.1.1.

After installing Android 5.1.1 on the Nexus 7 2013 I tested out the apps I use most often on this tablet. One of the first I tried was Netflix, which worked just fine, streaming The Big Lebowski quickly and without any problems. Gmail and Facebook both work well, as does Instagram and a number of other small, but handy apps.

App problems could appear after extended use, but so far things run smoothly. If you do run into any issues with apps crashing on Android 5.1.1 you should make sure you are using the most recent version of the app.

Battery Life

It’s tough to judge the Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 battery life after a day of use. The good news is that the tablet did not drain immediately and that it still charges quickly and appears to enter and exit standby at the right times.

So far there are no abnormal Nexus 7 battery life problems on Android 5.1.1 on this device. There is a chance that we will see some appear after extended use or after more users test the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 update.

WiFi & Bluetooth

This is not an LTE model so I can only test the connectivity of the WiFi and Bluetooth connections. WiFi is solid so far, operating fine on a home connection throughout the house and on multiple floors. The Nexus 7 also connects to a personal hotspot easily and reliably.

Bluetooth headphones connect quickly to the Nexus 7 2013 after the Android 5.1.1 update and work as expected. I did not have a chance to try a Bluetooth keyboard yet.

Connectivity is solid on the Nexus 7 with Android 5.1.1.
Connectivity is solid on the Nexus 7 with Android 5.1.1.

Bugs & Issues

Even though Android 5.1.1 is a bug fix update, there is a chance that there can be other issues and bugs hidden inside the update. At this point I have not observed any new Android 5.1.1 bugs or problems on the Nexus 7 2013. It is still early and many times these don’t appear until we spend a few days poking around in apps or areas that we don’t use every single day.

So far I don’t see apps crashing or random reboots, which may be due to the fix for the memory leak bug on android 5.1. i am optimistic about this update and the overall performance.

You can check out the Google Nexus Help forum for more information and to see if other users report problems with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

Speed

The Nexus 7 is surprisingly snappy after almost two years of use and the Android 5.1.1 speed is as good as it was on Android 5.1 last week. Apps open fast and switching apps is fluid and easy. I am not experiencing any lag on the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update at this time.

Should You Install the Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Update?

Many users may want to wait before installing the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1.
Many users may want to wait before installing the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1.

If you own the Nexus 7 2013 and you are suffering from random reboots, app crashes and other Android 5.1 problems this is an update that you may want to install right now. There are no major downsides to the experience yet, and the upsides are fixes for very annoying Android 5.1 problems.

If you are on Android 5.0.2 or simply don’t have any problems, it may be worth waiting a week for us to explore this update more to see if there are any problems that will impact how you use the device. This will help you get a better idea of the performance and what to expect from the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update.

6 Comments

  1. mghussan

    05/06/2015 at 9:10 pm

    Keyword stuffed article. There is no need to repeat x1000 nexus 7 android 5.1.1. We know article is about that.

    Reply

  2. v1nce

    05/07/2015 at 5:06 am

    Why oh why aren’t you even mentioning that Lollipop updates are bricking hundreds if not thousands of N7’s? How did you miss that story?

    Reply

  3. GC

    05/08/2015 at 7:56 am

    We just bought the Nexus 7 (2013) and it crashes every few minutes even after just installing 5.1.1. Reminds me of the old Windows crap

    Reply

  4. Ralph in Nashua

    05/10/2015 at 11:24 pm

    Nexus 7 -2012 did not like the 5.1.1 update. I did the factory image and it lasted 2 weeks, and had problems after installing the app, Google View.

    Reply

  5. john doe

    05/11/2015 at 4:10 am

    Long writing. Filled with repeat empty idea.

    Reply

  6. NoOneSpecific

    05/26/2015 at 10:24 am

    “…the experience can carry from one device to the next”

    Did you mean VARY not CARRY?

    Reply

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