Nexus 7 disappointment

petvas

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 20, 2006
4,419
508
Mannheim, Germany
Hi,

This is not a rant, I am just disappointed by the Nexus 7 and wanted to post my impressions and the reasons that led me to this decision, to send the device back.
Last week I got an HTC One M8 and I love it. I started liking Android more and more. A very powerful OS, better than iOS (for power users)
I was so excited by the HTC One, I said to myself I should also try a tablet. I bought the Nexus 7 last week.
My initial impression was negative. What an underwhelming and boring design. The placement of the power button, the very big bezels, and the general feeling from holding it is definitely not exciting.
The initial experience with stock Android was also not great. I very much prefer what HTC has done on the M8 with the Sense UI. I installed the Google Now launcher which made things much better on the Nexus, so this is an area where I found a solution.
The stock Google keyboard was also not really good. I installed Swiftkey which improved things a lot, but the initial experience added to the whole disappointment.
What about performance? Well, it's not smooth. Sometimes it's very fast, but other times it stops responding, or even reacting to touch. After a while it becomes responsive again.
The battery life? Bad! Nothing to compare with the iPad Mini or any iPad..
Today I had it in my bag the whole day, didn't even turn it on, and tonight I found out that the Nexus had only 30% battery left!!! I am asking myself why? I have the LTE model, but still, this is not a good experience..
All in all, I am underwhelmed by the Nexus 7. I think it's better to wait for an Android tablet that has a similar hardware quality to the iPad. Maybe HTC surprises us here..I definitely don't like the hardware quality of the Nexus 7 and I am used to having better quality devices. If you have any suggestions I am happy to read them. I would like to have a quality Android tablet. (hardware & software)
 

TheMTtakeover

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2011
469
7
Yeah. Its not the best tablet there is in terms of hardware, but I use it as my main tablet. I prefer the N7 over the iPad because having a file system when manipulating files is extremely handy. What didn't you like about the stock keyboard? I really enjoy the stock keyboard.
 

petvas

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 20, 2006
4,419
508
Mannheim, Germany
Yeah. Its not the best tablet there is in terms of hardware, but I use it as my main tablet. I prefer the N7 over the iPad because having a file system when manipulating files is extremely handy. What didn't you like about the stock keyboard? I really enjoy the stock keyboard.
I was making a lot of mistakes and I was being too slow when writing, but I cannot specify the reason. I prefer the SwiftKey keyboard with its predictive input. It allows me to type faster.
Since I posted I am having second thoughts and I might give the device another chance.

I want a small tablet and the OS is great, so I will probably give it a other chance.
 

Vegastouch

macrumors 603
Jul 12, 2008
5,443
383
Las Vegas, NV
I think the Google keyboard is good but prefer Kii or Swiftkey. As for the placement of the power button....i dont get it. Its on the side. How is that bad?
 

petvas

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 20, 2006
4,419
508
Mannheim, Germany
I think the Google keyboard is good but prefer Kii or Swiftkey. As for the placement of the power button....i dont get it. Its on the side. How is that bad?
I am not used to that. Maybe I need to give the device more time, and it will grow on me.

I now started using the default keyboard to see if I just need to get used to it.

I will give the device another chance. Something I realized now is that when typing there is no need to press the space key all the time to separate words. The system will automatically do that for me, at least in most cases. I am just used from my old iPhone to do that.
 

Sensamic

macrumors 68030
Mar 26, 2010
2,598
280
Try Swype keyboard. You'll be amazed. It's the fastest.

The touchscreen problem is due to a hardware problem many Nexus 7 have. You just didn't know it before buying it.

Go to XDA and you'll find a fix called TS files. They make the touchscreen work better.

The battery problem is not normal. My Nexus 7 battery looses 3% in 24 hours in standby. I get 6-8 hours SOT every day. I'm satisfied, although it's not as good as the IPad. This is due to iOS not having background processes, not having true multitasking, not having apps working in the background.

I prefer having a little bit less battery to have a mobile OS like Android work like a computer OS (with an accessible file browser like someone before said).

Stock Android can be boring, but at least it's fast and you can try different roms if you get bored.

Oh, and whenever you get bored think this: you're getting updates.
 

Vegastouch

macrumors 603
Jul 12, 2008
5,443
383
Las Vegas, NV
I am not used to that. Maybe I need to give the device more time, and it will grow on me.

I now started using the default keyboard to see if I just need to get used to it.

I will give the device another chance. Something I realized now is that when typing there is no need to press the space key all the time to separate words. The system will automatically do that for me, at least in most cases. I am just used from my old iPhone to do that.
I see, yeah just give it some time if you have used Apple devices for all this time. I hated the keyboard on my iPhone so you should get used to another in time and probably love them.

The Nexus 7 is a pretty good device really , especially the newer one with the better screen but a lot of wasted bezel. Id love for them to come out with a 8" using the same size device.
 

Sensamic

macrumors 68030
Mar 26, 2010
2,598
280
You know, the bezels look terrible on picture. I thought the same thing when the device was first announced.

But now I can tell you I really like them. The device is more comfortable to hold both ways thanks to them.
 

TechGod

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2014
3,163
840
New Zealand
I was making a lot of mistakes and I was being too slow when writing, but I cannot specify the reason. I prefer the SwiftKey keyboard with its predictive input. It allows me to type faster.
Since I posted I am having second thoughts and I might give the device another chance.

I want a small tablet and the OS is great, so I will probably give it a other chance.
Turn autocorrect all the way up to very aggressive.
 

jeffe

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2008
595
49
Depending on your use, I recommend trying out a wireless charge..you''ll probably charge it more often.

My only complaint with the Nexus 7 is i wish it had an 8 inch screen but otherwise I love it. It feels great in the hand compared to last years version.

Mine is also LTE and has been off the charger all day, and has been barely used and is sitting at 91% battery. I turn off the LTE data when I'm not using it too if that matters.
 

petvas

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 20, 2006
4,419
508
Mannheim, Germany
Why not just get rid of it and get an iPad, it'll save you from having to learn something new.
I had all iPad models so far. iPads are great as a consumption device, but they make me feel very limited when using them. I also got bored by iOS. It has nothing exciting to offer to me anymore. I got tired of watching the same old grid of static icons, with no customization options. I also want true multitasking from my devices, and access to a file system.
 

gotluck

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2011
5,638
1,014
East Central Florida
I had all iPad models so far. iPads are great as a consumption device, but they make me feel very limited when using them. I also got bored by iOS. It has nothing exciting to offer to me anymore. I got tired of watching the same old grid of static icons, with no customization options. I also want true multitasking from my devices, and access to a file system.
Well you could also jailbreak your iPad :) if you didn't update to 7.1 yet :(
 

eimis993

macrumors member
Nov 24, 2013
46
1
Hi,

This is not a rant, I am just disappointed by the Nexus 7 and wanted to post my impressions and the reasons that led me to this decision, to send the device back.
Last week I got an HTC One M8 and I love it. I started liking Android more and more. A very powerful OS, better than iOS (for power users)
I was so excited by the HTC One, I said to myself I should also try a tablet. I bought the Nexus 7 last week.
My initial impression was negative. What an underwhelming and boring design. The placement of the power button, the very big bezels, and the general feeling from holding it is definitely not exciting.
The initial experience with stock Android was also not great. I very much prefer what HTC has done on the M8 with the Sense UI. I installed the Google Now launcher which made things much better on the Nexus, so this is an area where I found a solution.
The stock Google keyboard was also not really good. I installed Swiftkey which improved things a lot, but the initial experience added to the whole disappointment.
What about performance? Well, it's not smooth. Sometimes it's very fast, but other times it stops responding, or even reacting to touch. After a while it becomes responsive again.
The battery life? Bad! Nothing to compare with the iPad Mini or any iPad..
Today I had it in my bag the whole day, didn't even turn it on, and tonight I found out that the Nexus had only 30% battery left!!! I am asking myself why? I have the LTE model, but still, this is not a good experience..
All in all, I am underwhelmed by the Nexus 7. I think it's better to wait for an Android tablet that has a similar hardware quality to the iPad. Maybe HTC surprises us here..I definitely don't like the hardware quality of the Nexus 7 and I am used to having better quality devices. If you have any suggestions I am happy to read them. I would like to have a quality Android tablet. (hardware & software)
Hi! I bought my nexus 7 about 3 months ago. I really like everything except for battery life. I do a lot of gaming ,browsing and I am getting between 5-6h of screen time. Stand by time isn't as good as on iPad but its ok, during the night battery drops about 5% which isn't too bad I guess. Anroid 4.4.3 update should come very soon and it should fix battery drain issue.
 

Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
8,550
1,640
Italy
I have a Nexus 7 and I can share my experience.

Construction quality: I agree with you. If you came from an iPad, here we are on a totally different (lower) level. It's not cheap, it still is better than a much more expensive Note, but Apple ' s products are just better.

Form factor: I have no problem with big bezels, but on the nexus the top and bottom bezel are a little too big.

Speed: the device is fast, faster than any droids I owned, thanks to the hardware and to the vanilla android. But there are lags, like in any android powered device I owned. Nothing very bad, but when you switch between it and the iPad Air, you can feel it.

Battery life: I have no phantom drain on my unit, so I have nothing to complain on that aspect, but surely the iPad Air has a better battery life.

To summarize, I'm happy with it, and I'm using it every day as my "work tablet", while I use the Air as my "home tablet".
 

SurferMan

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2010
1,267
51
South FL
Nexus devices, even phones, for whatever reason have always had bad battery life. Haven't really used the tablets, but I always liked the Nexus phone approach in theory, but in reality not so much, only good to root and flash, stock android is boring as hell, and Google gimps the camera and other things. I get that they have a price point, just wish Google had a higher end approach. Everyone I know that's had a Nexus phone loves it for flashing, but got rid of it b/c in real world use it was just "ok" and battery life was awful even rooted and flashed. Maybe that's why for the high end there's the GPE versions of flagship phones, vs doing same for Nexus, which was always made as a Dev device.
 

Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
8,550
1,640
Italy
Every time I read about how "boring" vanilla android is, I really think that Samsung and other manufacturer are right because there are people that seem to love gimmicks ...
The best thing about Nexus devices is the stock operative system, something clean and coherent. Every time I look at a Samsung device I'm going to puke: they can't even use the same font through the various menus ....
 

Razeus

macrumors 603
Jul 11, 2008
5,164
1,769
Android is way better on phones, not tablets. Google still hasn't figured out the tablet game yet. Hopefully Android 5.0 fixes alot that's STILL wrong with Android. It really is a cobbled together OS that needs a ground up resign and make over.

iOS still feels the same since 2007, but the OS feels so much more complete and thought through. Android doesn't have that same feel. Especially when third parties throw their "OS" on top of it.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
I'll also chip in. I've owned one for almost a year now.

Design: I would say its functional, but not particularly pretty. Feels reasonably solid, but not high-end. The button placement is rather bad, in particular if you want to switch it on without lifting it off the table.

Performance/Price: Good screen, fast processor and fair price for storage upgrades. I never felt the need for a tablet, but these days we have a lot of ebooks. For $230 or so I think it is a very good deal. The retina iPad mini is almost twice as expensive - just for reading I felt it was way too much.

OS: It's stock Android, so you have to do the customisation yourself (including better keyboard etc). A lot of people like it this way, since you can customise a lot without hacking the device. Also updates arrive early.


I haven't experienced other Android tablets. In this price range I think it is the best Android, but maybe not for everyone. The Galaxy note series is interesting because of the pen, but I never tried. Given that you are bored of iOS and its lack of customisability, maybe it would be worth to spend some time to adjust the N7 to your needs. Or wait for HTC, maybe they will release the equivalent of the One as tablet.
 

Tarzanman

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,301
14
While not super perfect, the 2nd gen Nexus 7 is a very, very capable workhorse tablet.

The power button is probably put out of the way on purpose to keep users from hitting in inadvertently.

The camera way in the corner is a great idea and the stereo speakers help (albeit slightly) with dispersing sound.

I will agree that the iPad mini is made out of better hardware, but the iPad mini's software is ultimately what holds it back and keeps it from being as useful.

Can you charge it without the special connector? Can you transfer files on and off of it without specialized software? Admittedly, these are not major issues, but knowing i can get a movie/song/whatever file on and off of the tablet in a jiffy wherever i go does give it a little more versatility.
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,111
7,507
UK
THE nexus 7 isn't a bad device. I think it gets a lot of hype and maybe the reality doesn't live up to the hype. It has a good display and is solid in performance. It just depends on what you are looking for in a device.
 

SurferMan

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2010
1,267
51
South FL
Every time I read about how "boring" vanilla android is, I really think that Samsung and other manufacturer are right because there are people that seem to love gimmicks ...
The best thing about Nexus devices is the stock operative system, something clean and coherent. Every time I look at a Samsung device I'm going to puke: they can't even use the same font through the various menus ....
you do realize all that can be changed easily, right? I'm using GoLauncher Prime which is pretty slick. I'm even using an awesome 3D'ish colored metal icon pack I found on XDA that's uniform and looks great and sharp as hell. I changed the font. Some of those "gimmicks" are useful, Allplay for streaming, camera functions blow away stock Android, I have Polaris stock on my Sammy tablet and S5 which is great for me with documents, smart stay on both and works well (except at night, obviously lol), multi window I rarely use but a few times I had to with clients while looking at two things and that was priceless when i have to do so... sure the rest of the stuff I don't care about though, like S Health etc (I have all my workout and lifting sched in Evernote since that sync across all my devices and Macs) and the crappy AT&T bloat. I tried vanilla android a few times on my S2, no thanks, different strokes for different folks.
 
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Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
8,550
1,640
Italy
you do realize all that can be changed easily, right? I'm using GoLauncher Prime which is pretty slick. I'm even using an awesome 3D'ish colored metal icon pack I found on XDA that's uniform and looks great and sharp as hell. I changed the font. Some of those "gimmicks" are useful, Allplay for streaming, camera functions blow away stock Android, I have Polaris stock on my Sammy tablet and S5 which is great for me with documents, smart stay on both and works well (except at night, obviously lol), multi window I rarely use but a few times I had to with clients while looking at two things and that was priceless when i have to do so... sure the rest of the stuff I don't care about though, like S Health etc (I have all my workout and lifting sched in Evernote since that sync across all my devices and Macs) and the crappy AT&T bloat. I tried vanilla android a few times on my S2, no thanks, different strokes for different folks.
Install something else on an already bloated operative system .... What a great idea :D
You can change the launcher, but you can't get rid of touchwiz until you root and flash a custom ROM ....
 

SurferMan

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2010
1,267
51
South FL
Install something else on an already bloated operative system .... What a great idea :D
You can change the launcher, but you can't get rid of touchwiz until you root and flash a custom ROM ....
I disabled what I don't use or need, and have a micro sd so no worry there on storage, even with what I installed there's plenty of internal storage, I don't have 300 games (actually no games on my phones, only a handful on my tablet) or 500 apps like some do which I don't even know what the hell people do with hundreds of apps lol. Oh noes, changed the font and installed a small icon pack.... I have zilch memory and ram now :cool: Even with all the bloat there's no lag and incredible battery life, didn't see any difference disabling stuff. AT&T bloat is absolutely useless though, who the hell is gonna pay for and use AT&Ts Nav over free and much better Google Nav lol. I know how TW works, I always root and flash, I chipped in to the bounty on xda for verizon/at&t root their working on. Had vanilla Android on my S2, no thanks, Shostock was far far better, as was Omni and few others I tried, go figure Shostock was the most stable and worked awesome and its TW based lol.

In the mean time I'll use my gimmicky S5 and slick and smooth 3D scrolling in Prime and borring icons and font and setup that may make you Puke, cheers :D