Nexus 7 Quick Review from an Android/Android Tablet Virgin

I’m an iOS user. I’ve owned an iPhone for over four years. I’ve owned an iPad for about 16 months.

I’ve never used Android.

That all changed today, when my pre-ordered Nexus 7 tablet arrived in the post.

So here is literally a quick get-this-typed-out-whilst-my-thoughts-are-fresh initial thoughts on Android and the tablet. Some comparisons may be made with Apple products, and iOS; get over it.

The Packaging

  • Nobody’s claimed the Nexus 7 is expensive. The packaging starts the experience with the feel of ‘this is a premium product you have in your hands’. It doesn’t feel cheap.

The Device

  • It’s feels a little heavier in my hands than I thought it would. Not uncomfortably heavy, but solid, and that’s no bad thing.
  • I’ve enjoyed a retina-display iPhone display for a while, and whilst the DPI is lower on the ’7′, the screen is of very high quality. Perhaps not as good as the iPhone4/4s, but considerably better than the non-retina iPad’s.
  • The screen size is fantastic, and no doubt it’ll be more comfortable to use in bed than the iPad, though it will complement my iPad rather than replace it. Though I’ll have to see how my tablet usage changes.
  • The whole thing definitely feels like a premium product. Maybe not quite, and I mean not quite, as high quality as an iPad, but really not much difference.

Software and UI

  • Opening large movies does take a second or two. Not too annoying, because you’ll spend a lot more time watching than opening, but it’s definitely slower than the equivalent opening time on the iPad.
  • Paging through PDFs with images and other non text-only content wasn’t perceptibly instant. There was a short pause. Longer than the iPad’s for the same PDF.
  • I didn’t need to use iTunes to transfer content from my computer to the device. If you’ve used iTunes, you know this is a big positive.
  • I needed a WMV player. I found one within seconds and it worked. And it was free.
  • I feel I’ll miss the range and lower priced apps of the App Store.
  • It’s a shame I can only rent movies here in the UK
  • Update -Currently no BBC iPlayer, which is a bit of a blow, but I imagine it won’t be too long before that issue is resolved.

It may only have been a couple of hours, but I really like my new tablet; I’ll obviously use it a lot over the coming days, and probably post another update on how I’m finding it.

I’ll still enjoy using my iPad, but I feel a 7 incher complements things very nicely, and I’m glad I’ll be able to evaluate Android properly before deciding whether to ditch my iPhone.

Thanks Apple, for starting something great.