Nexus 7: Australian Hands-On

After a tense wait and plenty of pining, we finally have our hands on the new Nexus 7 tablet from Google and Asus. So what's it like?

We've only had it a few hours and haven't been able to do extensive testing on it yet, but so far, this thing is one of the best tablets I've ever used.

The problem with so many tablets is that they feel like big versions of their smartphone siblings. Look at the iPad for example. When it first came out, everyone was calling it a big iPhone, and I know a lot of people who still do. I've even heard some people refer to their iPhones as iPad Nanos. The oversized phone feeling is persistent with the Nexus 7, but Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, coupled with the nifty design makes it ok.

The rubberised back of the Nexus fits into your hand perfectly, and the 7-inch form factor is portable enough to be usable anywhere, but big enough to be pleasant when you want to sit down and use it for reading, watching, listening and browsing.

The improvements in Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean really make the device feel like a step up against the competition. While you can't see them with the naked eye, you feel them screens and bolt from one app to the other.

Through all this good, though, a few problems are beginning to emerge with the screen. Despite the fact that it's pumped up to full brightness, colours look washed out and the display looks a little dull.

The other problem emerges with the Google Play store. It's not that it's significantly worse than any other Android device we've tested, it's that it doesn't have a lot of the content that the Nexus 7 was created to view. It's disappointing.

The front-facing camera is also pretty average, but that's no huge surprise.

We'll have a more detailed review of the device up tomorrow, but for now, get into our hands-on photos.



    I was watching a video of the nexus7 and my 4 year old niece who was standing beside me said "You have that phone yeah?" pointing to my white galaxy nexus.

      whoa what a dummy :P

    Grr.. tablets are so good for video calls (skype, etc).. why do they always include rubbish front facing cameras?!

      They are just being kind to the sheeple you are calling.

        I want Microsoft to own massive market share just to see the kind of things MotorMouth will say.

      I tried a Skype video call with my Nexus 7 last night. I found it awkward to hold it so that my face was in the frame the whole time. It would have been easier if I could have held it portrait, but Skype forced the other ends video into landscape mode on my screen so I had no choice, maybe a setting I missed? Even then I tend to keep shifting my grip and moving the tablet around in normal use which having to hold it relatively still for a video call is a bit of a pain. As such I'm not really sold on tablets for video calls.

      Also in my experience most video calls usually butcher the quality through compression anyway so I wouldn't think having a great camera locally would really make much of a difference.

    I got mine yesterday. I'm impressed with it, considering the price. But I just find I appreciate my iPad more. It just does things better in a more polished way.

      how did you get skype to work on the nexus 7? I heard it's not compatable.

    Is the display any worse than other IPS devices? You can't really make the comparison side by side with a Galaxy S3 for example, of course colours wont look as vibrant.

    The lack of content on Play is not an issue unique to the Nexus 7 though, it's just a total lack of media content on the play store for all Aussies on all Android devices. Hopefully Google can crack some deals to improve this, but meh, it's not why I'll be buying the Nexus 7 ;)

      Yep, media companies don't want to sell us their stuff again...

    Couple of points:

    "The oversized phone feeling is persistent with the Nexus 7, but Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, coupled with the nifty design makes it ok."

    This could be because they used the phone interface instead of the tablet interface on the stock ROM. Can be changed with a small hack (on XDA somewhere I think) or custom ROM.

    "The other problem emerges with the Google Play store. It’s not that it’s significantly worse than any other Android device we’ve tested, it’s that it doesn’t have a lot of the content that the Nexus 7 was created to view. It’s disappointing."

    This is an Australian industry and Google problem, not a device specific problem. Still disappointing that progress on this has been so slow after so many years!

    I'll be sticking with my Galaxy Tab 7.7 with it's Super AMOLED+ & MicroSD.

    I really wish my order would hurry up!!!

    had you mad any problem with the screen separation issue?


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