Here we are, 1 year after the release of the Nexus 7, the first tablet by Google. It’s hard to believe isn’t it? When it was announced many of us were surprised and the new version of Android that came with it didn’t disappoint. So after a year using the same tablet, did it live up to the hype? I’ll tell you what I thought.
Before I tell you my experience with the Nexus 7, I’ll give you a little background on the tablet itself. The Nexus 7 is one of the best looking tablets that I’ve ever seen, the simple front and beautiful back made for an amazing experience and really accomplished Google’s goal of creating a good Android tablet. Since many Android tablets were cheaply made and provided a horrible user experience, Android slates had gotten a bad rep. But the Nexus 7 paved the way to change all that. With a quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a brand new version of Android, this tablet became that high-powered, good looking, and wallet friendly Android tablet. This tablet wasn’t just a great tablet for $200, it was just a good tablet.
After setting up the tablet I started to get a feel for Android and I was really enjoying it. The tablet didn’t disappoint. It was lag free and a pleasure to use. I started downloading apps and messing with the settings. I doubt I put in down for more than 2 seconds within the first few hours.
The Power Of The Processor
After about a week or two, I started to learn more about what the tablet could do. I started learning about the voice keyboard, Google Now, voice search, Google apps and more. I started looking for high-quality, fun games to play on it too. Of course I had already started messing with the famous games like Angry Birds, Words With Friends, and Temple Run. But I felt like my new toy was capable of much more. I found a game I really ended up liking called Radiant HD. It was a twist on the classic arcade game Galaga. It was fun and kept me busy but something was still missing. I think the first high graphics game I ever downloaded was Asphalt 7. It was great! I loved the fact that I could play it with my friends and what felt like console quality to me. As time went on I started messing with games like Riptide GP and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, I really started to appreciate the true power this tablet had.
Learning To Customize
I knew one thing that I loved about my tablet over my friend’s iPad was the customization I had. I could organize my home screen in any way that I wanted and use widgets to make things look even better. Another great thing was the ability to further customize my home screen through the use of alternate launchers. I really didn’t start doing this until the past few months. I downloaded a few different launchers including Nova, Apex, ADW, and more. I ended up liking Apex the best and even bought the full version. It wasn’t too hard on my RAM and allowed me to make the home screens look like pretty much anything I wanted. I think the best theme I ever made was a Google Now themed home screen. I loved it but eventually I switched back to a more traditional layout. I even started experimenting with UCCW and got fairly good with making widgets. Customization is a great part of the Nexus 7 and Android as a whole.
One of the things I had heard a lot about when I bought the Nexus 7 was the fact that it received quick system updates directly from Google. When I first heard about it I thought, “Great!” but in all honestly I didn’t really care that much because I didn’t know that much about Android. But once I heard about the 4.1.2 update, I couldn’t wait because I knew I would get it! It was exciting waiting for it and when it finally came I was happy. Then Google announced the Nexus 4 & 10 along with Android version 4.2. As soon as I heard about that I was excited about it but didn’t expect it for a while. One night I was watching some TV with the family and catching up on the news on Flipboard when I noticed something in the notification bar. It was the update! It caught me completely off guard and I was completely psyched to install it and explore it. I loved the new dual notification bars and the widgets on the lock screen. Even the new Daydream feature was amazing. Quick system updates definitely added to the already awesome user experience I had with my Nexus 7.
The Few Bad Things I Have To Say…
You knew it was coming. No one can use a device for a full year without having at least a couple problems. But in all honestly, its hard to say anything bad about this tablet. Its been awesome even though I have had a few problems.
First I started noticing lag after the first 3 or 4 updates. While it always seems to go away, somehow it is always there. I also had realized that I had somehow gotten scratches on the screen (this was always in a case) and since I had always been careful with the device, seemed like it should not have happened. But they were small enough to not be noticed with a screen protector. Also I noticed that the tablet would get very, very hot from time to time. Sometimes almost too hot to touch! But since the tablet has a quad-core inside, I was able to overlook it.
The only real major problem I ever ran into was when about 2 months ago, I was using the tablet and it was refusing to get a full internet connection. Basically, I couldn’t use anything from Google. That was obviously a huge problem for me. I did some research and realized that the only way this was going to be fixed was with a reset. I literally had to wipe all the data on my tablet and start from scratch. It made me nervous but it all worked out fine in the end.
Overall, the Nexus 7 has been an amazing tablet and worth every penny I spent for it. Even with a new version coming out soon (you know I’m buying and unboxing! Keep an eye on our YouTube channel for that!), the original Nexus 7 will remain to be one of the best purchases I ever made. It brought me into Android and really into technology as a whole. Before the Nexus 7, I knew that I enjoyed technology, but never really embraced it. I’d say that I definitely got my $250 worth.
So, what was your experience with the Nexus 7? Did you like it? Did you have a problem with it? Will you buy its successor?
Let me know in the comments!