The Nexus 7 came out as leaked, and while I must say that I like the improvements Google managed to put into Android 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”), I won’t get the first tablet to run it (officially).
Not that I wasn’t in the market for a 7” tablet – the 6” Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch really makes me long for a nice 7” tablet – just because you can carry it with you, wherever you go without needing to carry some kind of a bag – wearing a jacket is just enough.
However, the Nexus 7 not only runs on NVidia’s Tegra 3, it does not support any kind of a video out. Seriously, this makes the Tegra 3’s USP (its immense video power, if we are to believe NVidia’s marketing department) not worth much. And there are other shortcomings. There is no way to add extra storage (in default mode, I am sure that there will be some decent hacks), you are limited to 8 or 16 Gigabytes, which in reality is even less, as the OS and apps are placed on this scarce storage too.
Let’s come to a few good points. The price is pretty good, considering that this is real 2012 hardware and not some old stuff, and the way they axed features in order to make this price is actually pretty well done: The display (1280x800px; IPS) is decent. There is one camera, for video chat – which is the most useful camera purpose on a tablet, imho. Android 4.1 is even better than the already awesome Android 4.0. Google is finally building its own content eco system – and there we are back at the cons. Much like Amazons $199 tablet (Kindle Fire), this device is mostly a frontend to some kind of content store – only slightly less locked down.
Yeah, I must admit that I am picky. I don’t want a Tegra 3 because of nVidia being “not so good” to “horrible” at supplying Linux drivers. I say “nope” because there is no video output – I would love a 7” tablet to power a dumb Lapdock, like the one Motorola supplied with the Atrix 4G, or the Clambook – just for the use cases where you need to do some work, but wouldn’t necessarily need your real, full-fledged notebook.
But then, after all, the Nexus 7 is definitely not the worst choice for an affordable, 7” inch Android tablet for Android enthusiasts. It’s much rather among the best choices you can make, if you can live with its shortcomings (storage, connectivity) – I can’t.
This is an impressive demo of Tizen on real world hardware, aka the Galaxy SII HD LTE which is available in the shops in South Korea and the USA. Don’t be mistaken by the Galaxy SII branding – this device has a 4.65” Super Amoled HD (1280x720px) (just like the Galaxy Nexus) and is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 chip – in fact, resolution and SoC are similar to the Sony XPERIA S.
BTW, the HP Touchpad uses a close relative of this SoC (almost the same, but no GSM/3.5G hardware) this performance seems even more impressive – if the TouchPad had performed this well, it likely wouldn’t have failed so badly.
Update (10/08/2011):The launch of the next Android flagship has been postponed because of Steve Jobs death – a gentle act. The launch will take place in London, October 27th.
BTW: I don’t feel like writing a tribute to Steve Jobs, so many others have and there is not a word that I could add to praise this great visionary without whom we likely wouldn’t be where we are with computing today. When I read that message in the morning on my way to work in the subway, I almost started to cry – something that happens really rarely to me.
Thanks for everything, Steve. Thanks for reinventing computing every once in a while, making the use of computers a joyful thing to everybody!
I haven´t been writing much lately, especially not about Android devices – I felt really bored by all the new devices that did not change much.
Most of the new devices are pretty good, at least those that you can consider flagship devices – and if you are not into spending much money for such a useless thing as a smartphone (or simply don´t have that much money at hand), there are plenty of OK mid range devices.
Soon this age of Android boredom is going to end, new devices are going to be released, but more importantly, the Android platform (the software, to make it perfectly clear what I mean) is going to be renewed with the next iteration of Android that is supposed to be numbered 4.0 and has the code name / branch name Ice Cream Sandwhich.
Ice Cream Sandwhich will reintegrate the two branches of Android we have right now: 3.* Honeycomb, which was newly developed for the special needs of tablet devices (bigger screen ;) ) and Android 2.3.* Gingerbread, which feels like it´s been around forever (actually, this is almost true: It was announced in December 2010).
New software – this implies new flagship devices. One of these will be the device rumored to be called the Nexus Prime (other rumors say the Samsung made devices will be named “Samsung Galaxy Nexus” (what a stupid name!)).
Specs are rumored everywhere in the internets and honestly, I believe that they are accurate, but don´t feel like spreading them before the actual announcement at Samsungs Unpacked event on monday (October 11th, 2011).
Here however, is something more interesting a video of ICS running on the smartphone believed to be the next android flagship smartphone.
That´s what I wrote all this for. More information and opinion after the official announcement!
What you read above was the title I thought of before having finished the video – it went to another direction.
More: soon. Questions? Ask, please!