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Nexus 7 2 vs. Nexus 8: Should You Buy 2nd Generation Nexus 7 Now Or Wait For Nexus 8? [REPORT]

Nexus 7 2 Release Date Is July 30, Nexus 8 Likely Q4 Of 2013

By AJ on July 25, 2013 12:36 PM EDT 0

Credit: Google
Credit: Google

Nexus 7 2 is out soon, by next week, July 30th users will be able to get their hands on the tablet which was announced on July 24 during the Google press event "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai". The Nexus 7 2nd generation is one of the more anticipated devices and represents a marked improvement over the Nexus 7, however it also comes at increased cost. The Nexus 7 2 cost is $229.99 for the 16 GB model and $269.999 for the 32GB model. Overall, it is a marked price increase compared to the Nexus 7, earlier we had pointed out that the Nexus 7 2 price brought it in line with the iPad Mini 2.

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The question is, is the Nexus 7 2 price worth it or would consumers be better served by waiting for the Nexus 8 to come out?

Credit: Google
Credit: Google

Android Central reports the following specs for the Nexus 7 2:

  • 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 ProCPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 7.9x4.5x0.3 inches
  • 11.2 ounces
  • 7-inch, 1920x1200 display
  • 16/32GB of storage
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera, 5MP rear camera
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS
  • Bluetooth 4.0 support
  • Wifi802.11 a/b/g/n

The bezel is shrunk by 2mm on each side making it easier to hold the tablet. It also has the option for LTE.  This makes it 50g lighter than the Nexus 7 and when placed side by side, you can see that the Nexus 7 2 is slimmer. As you can see it would be a marked improvement over the Nexus 7 specs which boast an Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-Core processor with 1GB Ram and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. The Nexus 7 screen is a 7-inch 1280 x800 216 ppi HD screen which has a 1.2MP front facing camera and no rear camera, something that drew a lot of criticism back during Nexus 7 release. The Nexus 7 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and it was not LTE enabled.

However, it is worth consisting what the Nexus 8 specs might be. With the Nexus 8 release date expected in Q4 of 2013, most consumers would have to wait some time before getting their hands on it. Rob Freking suggests that the Nexus 8 specs would be as follows,

"As for the hardware, the Nexus 8 would come with a 8-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz, Adreno 320 GPU, a 3 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front-facing one, and the latest Android version. The price should start at about $199 for the 8 GB internal storage model." This seems to sound about accurate to us. Given that the Nexus 7 2nd Generation only boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor sounds like an adequate improvement.

The Nexus 8 display may be the same or somewhat improved compared to the Nexus 7 2. However, the camera for the Nexus 8 would presumably be the same or better than the Nexus 7 2 camera, so his perception of that doesn't sound quite right. As for the latest Android version, it is Android 4.3 Jelly Bean right now for the Nexus 7 2. So we could expect Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie for the Nexus 8, the same OS that the Nexus 5 is expected to run. Also, another inaccuracy is the 8GB internal memory, that isn't an option for the Nexus 7 2nd generation so we don't expect it to be an option for the Nexus 8. Like the Nexus 7 2, the two options will be 16GB and 32GB at different price points. We also expect it to be LTE enabled.

Credit: Rob Freking via Google+
Credit: Rob Freking via Google+

The one other possibility we might expect for the Nexus 7 2 is that there may be an option for an upgraded, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor at a higher price point, the same way Samsung is offering the Samsung Galaxy S4 Qualcomm Snapdragon processor as a phone variant. Overall we can expect the Nexus 8 to remain in the upper $200 to mid-$300 range, on par with most Nexus devices.

One interesting thing we have noticed with the Nexus 7 2 is the greater focus on gaming and media capabilities for gamers. The Google Play Game center is allowing greater interaction for gamers while new developer tools have come out to improve graphics and making gaming more visually appealing on the Nexus 7 2, "OpenGL ES 3.0 - Game developers can now take advantage of OpenGL ES 3.0 and EGL extensions as standard features of Android, with access from either framework or native APIs."

Sundar Pichai displayed a graph that showed that gaming may be driving tablet sales, which are outstripping PC sales. We can expect this trend to continue with the Nexus 8 and we can expect it to be a far more gaming friendly device, in which case, rather than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, it might have the Nvidia Tegra 4 chip, like the Nvidia Shield handheld gaming device does. It's not unprecedented for Asus to use the Nvidia chip, as they used the Tegra 3 for the Nexus 7. That would suggest that there would be a greater focus on improving display and ppi. Google is seriously starting to focus on the visuals of the Nexus 7 2nd generation.

Overall, it seems to us that it may be worth springing for the Nexus 7 2. While the Nexus 8 promises to be an improvement, it will take till Q4 of 2013, or perhaps even later before it comes out and we have a decent idea of what to expect from it. In the intervening period, aside from the Moto X, the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is the only other major announcement we expect Google to make. Basically, its probably not worth waiting, if you want the Nexus 7 2 get it and don't wait for the Nexus 8.

Are you planning to get the Nexus 7 2nd generation or would you rather wait for the Nexus 8?

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