Tablets iPad Mini vs Nexus 7- User Comparison

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by nickftw8686, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. nickftw8686, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    nickftw8686 macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    So I picked up a iPad mini this morning and have been using a Nexus 7 tablet for the last few months and thought id share my first impressions.

    1. Screen size- I like the fact that the screen is bigger/wider. The brightness and text look great. I have never used a retina device more then for a few minutes so it looks fine to me. The Nexus 7 would auto dim and then not come back to brightness a lot which was annoying, it would just randomly do it, not cause of any lighting changes. The Nexus 7 screen is still a good screen but the quality and colors are a bit lacking. I cant really notice the higher res difference either between the two.

    2. Performance- The mini is fast and fluid, I have yet to encounter a slow down. The Nexus 7 had some browser lag and scrolling lag on the home screen, but overall it ran great as well. Both open apps very fast, and can run multiple apps at once fine.

    Update: I have noticed while in the App store that when scrolling through a bunch of free apps while installing and downloading multiple apps the store begins to slow down a bit when refreshing the screen as you go down through the list. I have only noticed this when doing a ton of stuff at once. Anyone else have the same issue?

    Wi-fi- The wifi performance is much better on the mini, sitting in the same room and same distance from my router with both devices I have full bars vs having half bars with the Nexus, also my Nexus had issues losing its wifi signal when waking up multiple times, requiring a reboot since I owned it. So far the mini does not have this issue.

    3. Keyboard- The mini keyboard input is better. I like how it is bigger with the wider screen and the key input feedback just feels tighter and better executed. I have smaller hands and I can use both tablets just fine, and the mini actually feels a bit better using just my thumbs to type given the wider screen.

    4. Apps- The main reason I switched to the mini was better apps and I can say it was a good switch. The same apps I have on my Nexus 7 are just overall better on the iPad Mini, plus I can finally use some apps that were missing from the google play store.

    5. Build Quality- Hands down the mini,It feels great in your hands and is SUPER lightweight. The Nexus 7 a, being that it is cheaper also feels cheaper, but it did not feel like a plastic pos like some people make it out to be, it is a lightweight device that feels solid in your hands, although for some reason after holding it for awhile my palms wold hurt, which might be from the way the bezel is designed. For the money the build quality is okay, but you can tell for the extra price in the Mini the build quality beats it by far.

    Overall- Both are great tablets, I like to try all different kinds of technology so it was not that i didn't like the Nexus 7, I just wanted better apps and to try an iPad for the first time, and so far I am glad I did. For the extra 129 dollars, I think most people that have not had a 7 inch tablet before and want to stay in the apple land of things will really enjoy this product. I do not think it is going to make all of the android 7 inch tablet fans run over to the apple side of things, but it does shake up the landscape a bit and for the money, is a solid device. I mean come on its 329 dollars, not like its the end of the world lol.

    Hope you all enjoy my quick first impressions, thought some of you might care what a real user thinks and not haters/fan boys think lol.
  2. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    I agree! Nexus 7 specs may be better but at the end of the day, the build quality, app selection and flient OS beats the Nexus 7. However, the N7 is a great device for the cheap price.
  3. Ctguy macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    I also have nexus 7, still waiting for my mini LTE. I wish it comes out today.
  4. weezin macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2012
    Thanks for the post. I currently own a Nexus 7 and will be getting my Mini today. The reason I purchased the Mini is the same reason as selection.

    I actually really like the Nexus 7. I find the screen to be good, the build quality to be good (and I like the rubberized back...a lot) and I enjoy Android (on a tablet anyway).

    I'm looking forward to comparing these two devices and I imagine that your analysis is probably spot on.
  5. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    So what apps does Apple have that the Android doesn't for you?

    I use ~10-15 apps consistently (Pandora, Yelp, Citrix Receiver, mobile banking x3, weather, Adobe reader, Kindle app, news app, email, internet...etc.

    At the end of the day, does 675,000 apps make a difference if part of that is 20 different calculator apps that are all basically the same, or 30 different alarm clocks? Really all I need is one good app for each function that I need it for. I could care less if there are a million apps.
  6. mantan macrumors 68000

    Nov 2, 2009
    A very good objective comparison.

    I'm on the fence right now. I really wanted to love the Mini. On the announcment day I anticipated buying one for me on launch day and my daughter/mother-in-law for Christmas.

    I'll probably still get the gift versions. I think it's a bit overpriced for a mini iPad 2, but they won't mind the non-retina screen.

    But I'm having a hard time justifying a version for myself. I'm going a lot pickier about the display. I know I'll be KICKING myself next year when the second version comes out with a better screen. Yeah, yeah, I could sell it...but I hate being played for a sucker and being on an upgrade wagon every year.

    Plus I really just want a device for business watch a movie or read a book on the plane, surf the web, use Netflix, social media, banking, etc.

    It's either pay $200 now for a Nexus and full boat for a Mini next year. Or pay full boat for a Mini this year and sell it towards the new model next year. I'm on the fence....
  7. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009

    Why can't you get the Nexus this year and then sell it prior to getting the new iPad mini 2? You should be able to recoup $100-125 from it. Fairly close to the same amount you would lose on a iPad mini 16GB if you sold it next year ($329 to $225-$240 2nd hand). You might be up $15-20 with the mini but that isn't that significant of a difference.

    Which apps were you missing on the google play store that you now like? Also, which apps do you notice a big difference between the mini and N7? Thanks.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Buy for $329. Sell for $250 one year later. You spent a whopping $6.70 a month, or about the same as a meal at Taco Bell.

    Would you rather have an iPad Mini for a year, or 12 Taco Bell meals?
  9. mantan macrumors 68000

    Nov 2, 2009
    I could...but it's the being played for a sucker part I hate.

    Apple gets my $329 coming and going. It's like I'm encouraging them to string out specs like this....
  10. knucklehead macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2003
    Two very important ones for me are:

    Bento 4 -- create your own custom productivity apps right on the iPad.

    Scanner Pro -- I scan important documents in the field on a regular basis.

    Plus, any reading, writing or productivity work in general, I would much prefer to do on the mini's wider 4:3 screen.
  11. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009

    Thanks. I agree about the 4:3 screen. One thing I have noticed from side by side test is that the N7 loads webpages slightly quicker than the iPad mini.
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    You have an interesting family. ;-)
  13. hyteckit Guest

    Jul 29, 2007
    It's kinda sad that my android tablet can't run some of my favorite games and work related apps even though they are android apps listed in the google play store.

    It's just shows up as 'incompatible'.

    Games like Dead Space.
    Apps like RingCentral.
  14. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009

    Which tablet is that, n7? When you say incompatible are you running Jelly Bean?
  15. hyteckit Guest

    Jul 29, 2007
    I have the acer iconia running ICS.

    Those apps run on my crappy android phone running gingerbread, but won't run on my iconia tablet running ICS.

    Kinda stupid since my iconia tablet is more powerful than my crappy android phone.
  16. nickftw8686 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    I think the Nexus may load pages a bit faster but the page scrolling experience is better on the mini, I had like 8 tabs up in safari and experience no lag going between them or scrolling. I was also installing a few apps. I was impressed with how it ran and handled the web given all that i was doing and the spec difference between the two, you have to love OS optimization

    The one thing I do miss is having google chrome be my native browser that is integrated so well with android, but I am getting used to safari and so far so good.


    Lol good point. I mean 329 is not that much money in the grand scheme of things. I have owned so many different computer devices that once you buy them tank half or more in value in a few months after use. At least the apple devices have a really nice resale value. Granted with the iPad 4 coming out so fast the iPad 3 took a bit of a hit, but overall it s a nice market. Technology is technology, come to terms with the fact that they release new **** faster then we can buy it and enjoy what you have until your device can no longer keep up with your needs.

    Everyone's needs are different, no point in fighting for one or the other, just get what works best for you and enjoy it.
  17. HelloMikee macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2009
    San Diego
    Thanks for this. Can you give some insight as to reading on both devices? After seeing the screen on the mini, I'm tempted to try out the Nexus 7 but if reading isn't much better, I'm definitely sticking with the mini. Thanks!
  18. nickftw8686 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    I am actually glad you asked this question, I just downloaded my first free Ibook and opened it up, reading on the device is great. The Nexus 7 reading experience has also a good experience so I think it pretty much comes down to if you are able to hold a heavier device for longer periods of time or not. The mini having the weight advantage will def. help out people who have weaker hands or wrists. I have spent several hours reading forums on the mini so far prefer it on the mini do to the weight savings and bigger screen area for more webpage per inch.

    With the Nexus I had to constantly scroll around the page with my fingers as I read from side to side when zoomed in. Also for some reason the Nexus hurt my palms when holding it in landscape mode for long periods of time where so far the mini does not seem to do it. But that might just be my hands.
  19. OSMac macrumors 65816

    Jun 14, 2010
    Nice post OP.

    The best thing about the mini is iOS, the price on the Nexus is remarkable.
  20. nickftw8686, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

    nickftw8686 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    Yeah the price of the Nexus is great for the specs and entry into the tablet market. I will say one great feature about it being so cheap is that I was never worried about kids using it or anything like that cause if it broke i mean i wasnt going to have a heart attack over 200 dollars lol.

    Although the build quality did have some drawbacks like a wide known issue that mine had where the screen would move when u pressed on the side bezels do to the screws not being tightened enough. Now if you wanted to take it apart and fix it you could. But i never bothered with it since I didnt feel the need to fix a brand new device I just got.


    Lets not forget that with the Andriod app store that even though it has lets say a few thousand tablet apps, they dont all work for every tablet,A great example of this was when I tried to get the new xbox smart glass app and it was not compatible with my device and then you get to only find out the fun way when you see one you want and try to install it and it wont let you. I think this is pretty bad when the newest tablet, cannot run some simple app, but is in the tablet app store. That was one thing that always really bothered me.
  21. lianlua macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2008
    If you know you're going to get an iPad eventually, you might as well just do it now. The iPad's resale value is going to be higher both in absolute dollars and as a percentage of original price.

    If you want a Nexus 7, then by all means go for it--it's definitely the best 7" tablet for under $250. But it's not going to do anything for you that the iPad mini won't.
    If it's essentially cost-neutral, and I agree that it is, then the point goes iPad. You'll already be in on the apps and you have a wider resale audience. You might get a good price for an Android tablet if you find the right buyer, but you'll definitely be able to unload the iPad.
    How? The device you want today doesn't exist today from any manufacturer--because it can't. It might in the future. You're not being played for anything.
    I have a Kindle Fire HD (same resolution and screen size), and the difference between the Fire/N7 and the iPad mini is basically the same as the difference between the iPad 2 and the mini. Whether that's a big enough difference is up to you.
  22. Russiaone macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2010
    The ONLY reason I'm thinking of picking up an iPad Mini is for the apps. Someone mentioned calculator apps galore on the app store; I bet there are many many many MANY more useless apps on the Google Play Store. And 99 percent of them are phone applications.

    Anyway... Google really needs to do something about how very very crap the store is. Can't even find recently released stuff, w/o lots of guesswork.
  23. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009

    You know what, I think the N7 is actually easier to hold now that I have been playing with both for awhile. The iPad mini is significantly wider than the N7. To the point if you try to one hand it (with some grip for traction) I feel the hand fingers are over extended. Since the N7 is much narrower I feel it is much easier to hold than the mini. This is in reference to holding the two in portrait mode.

    I would disagree regarding the weight. They both feel basically the same. They are only ~1oz difference between them. Definitely not something my hands can pick up. I would call it a draw even though I know the iPad mini is lighter. I just don't notice it personally.

    I also feel the N7 loads up youtube videos slightly faster than the iPad mini. I just wish I had the ability to test the two with some objective test instead of just testing them side by side and hitting the load button for the web page to load up. But so far, I would say the N7 loads pages ~1sec or so faster. This is not based off some scientific study at all.

    Under $250? Why not say best 7'' tablet under $200 (for 16GB)?

    I agree with you. Will be quicker/easier to unload the iPad mini. But as far money lost in the sale of the tablet after ~8 months you will probably be fairly close between the two devices. You will recoup more of your money % wise with the iPad mini (due to higher entry cost) than the N7, but the absolute difference in money lost from selling will probably be fairly close is my guess.
  24. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    Nope, it is not your hands. The Nexus 7 is a wide screen form factor, where as the mini is a 4:3. So in landscape mode, when you hold the Nexus 7, its Center of Gravity (CG) is further away from your hand because of the bigger cantilever owing to its wider screen. It is just basic physics. That is why 4:3 is the golden ratio when it comes to tablets, no 16:9 widescreen. Steve Jobs knew what good ergonomics was.
  25. seajewel macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2010
    The mini is definitely not a one-handed device for me. My hands are pretty small. I bet the N7 would be easier to hold. But the mini's very light and the extra screen estate is great.

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