First Impressions: Google Nexus 7

Hi guys, Niño here along with my new Google Nexus 7 and I’m going to give you a brief tour of this new budget Android tablet! Before I head on to my first impressions, let’s do a little unboxing first.

Google Nexus 7 01

Fresh from unboxing the MacBook Pro with Retina Display last week, I have a basis to compare flagship products from two of the biggest tech companies battling it out for world dominance – Google and Apple.

Google Nexus 7 02

First thing I noticed is how loosely the Google products are packaged in the shipping box. I can tell from the crumpled corner of the Nexus 7 box that it got a beating from shipment. Not a good first impression.

Talking about bad first impressions,  here’s a funny clip of unboxing experiences of the Nexus 7.

I’ve seen this video before I got my Nexus 7 so I’ve prepared myself with the right tool. I must say the black tape was really tough, but nothing a sharp knife couldn’t handle.  Once I got past the tapes, the rest was a breeze. I positioned the box with the top side up and lifted it.  Gravity handled the rest.

Google Nexus 7 03

Luckily the Nexus 7 is secured inside the retail packaging so I’m not really worried about the beating it got during shipment. Inside the box, aside from the Nexus 7, you’ll find the usual items – USB charger plug and Micro USB cable (obviously branded ASUS), and the Getting Started and Warranty manual.

Google Nexus 7 04

I just love the 7″ form-factor for tablets. It makes it so much easier to handle with one hand. It is not too screen-heavy. It can even fit in some of your regular pant pockets.  It is simply more portable than the iPad!

Google Nexus 7 05

The camera is located in front up top. There is no physical button on the bezel. On the bottom edge (when oriented in portrait) you’ll find the Micro USB port in the middle and the audio jack near the right corner. On the right edge are the only two physical buttons you’ll find – the power and volume rocker. On the left and top edge you’ll find a small hole for the mic.

Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire

All edges are tapered which make the tablet easier to hold than my Kindle Fire and its boxy edges.

The back of the Nexus 7 feels leather-like with small rivets throughout. This makes it more grip-friendly and seems to need less care, since you don’t have to worry about slippage and scratches so much compared to an iPad. There you’ll see the subtle branding of Nexus and ASUS and a long and thin speaker grill on the bottom (still when oriented in portrait). Make sure you remove the ugly Serial Number sticker though.

Google Nexus 7 06

Powering up the device for the first time, you’ll be greeted by Google and the Nexus splash screen.  The Welcome screen lets you select your language and past that will ask you for your WiFi connection.  Once connected to the Internet, it prompts you for your Google account password and will then proceed to sync your Google stuff (apps, contacts, mail, calendar, etc.) to the Nexus 7.

Google Nexus 7 07

That completes the simple setup and Google also threw in $25 for you to spend on anything on the Google Play store.

Google Nexus 7 12

The Nexus 7 comes with Android version 4.1 and you’ll be prompted to update to the latest 4.1.1 version.  Check out the Android site for more details on What’s New in Jelly Bean.

Google Nexus 7 08 Google Nexus 7 09 Google Nexus 7 10

You’ll be directed to the new Android Jelly Bean homescreen afterwards. The My Library widget will be right in front of you, giving you access to all the free media bonuses that came with your purchase – a few magazine issues such as Esquire and Popular Science, Transformers: Dark of the Moon movie, and some digital books and songs.

Google Nexus 7 11

All Google apps and media offerings are front and center on the default homescreen, which really takes a bite out of Amazon’s Kindle Fire playbook. This positions the Nexus 7 primarily for media consumption and at such an attractive price of $199, I think it got the current Kindle Fire beaten hands down in terms of available apps and features. Apple better come out with the iPad Mini if they want to hold on to their tablet market share.


Overall, I’m satisfied with the build quality of the Nexus 7 and the user experience of Android Jelly Bean. I will surely use this more often now instead of my Kindle Fire. The Nexus 7 still lacks the polish of an Apple device and its packaging, but considering its relatively affordable price point, I would still pick this over the current iPad even being a WiFi only device.

Editor’s note: This post is contributed by Niño Guba with some slight revisions by the editor. Niño is a web/mobile app developer who’s very into consumer technology. He was the PC in the PC vs. Mac wars and also for the green robot eating the apple. Evidently, he’s slowly becoming more accepting of the Apple psyche. If you want to check out the list of gadgets he own, check out his Gdgt page. He’s also a fan of RX93.1’s TMR show and even dedicated a site just for their Top 10s.

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  • <quote&rt;
    Once connected to the Internet, it prompts you for your Google account password and will then proceed to sync your Google stuff (apps, contacts, mail, calendar, etc.) to the Nexus 7.

    Don’t you have to “authorize” the device from your Google account? Had to do that with my LG P500: I was entering my Google password, and I was positive that I was entering it correctly. Looked over some online forums, and found something about having to authorize the device (in my case, my phone). Google gave me a separate password for the phone, and after I typed that in, all went well.

    • True That

      Yes, thats because you have to authorize a application specific password.

  • zer0ice

    useful sana contribution niya if only he could have focused on Google Play for PINOYS. Sure I could access Google Play content but it’s limited to Apps. magazines, music, and movies aren’t available to me, so siya ba may access? I could read everything he said almost anywhere but if only he shared Pinoy-specific information e di useful.

    • Kazuyen


    • yup may access sya sa books, music and movies. unless gumamit ka ng vpn and i-sideload ang mga APKs ng mga yun, wala ka rin access sa mga US-specific apps/content.

  • spbx

    can you even use the credits on apps?

    • yup i suppose so. if you can currently buy apps today i don’t think there’s no reason why they won’t accept credits.

  • Juan Paulo Ducut

    giveaway! gimme plese!

  • Damn.. Been waiting for this to hit our shores for the longest time..

    • Randy

      LOL! The product is not even 1 month old and Google announced that the Nexus 7 will be available in ASIA by August.

      • seriously bro? link to the source please!

        • source of? how to access google music? uhmm do a search on google music apk. forgot where i got mine before.

      • Griswold

        villman daw magcacarry nung 16GB… 18k. bwahahaha. pass!

  • jomel

    How much po lahat ng nagastos nyu sa 16 gb? including tax, customs, shipping po? thanks po tsaka san po may link ng source na august pa ilalabas dito sa ph?

    • problem kasi hindi pare pareho ang ipinapatol na customs tax pag nagpaship ka dito so di mo rin masabi. mas maganda pang ipa-ship mo sa US then ipadala mo dito sa kakilala mong uuwi.

      • jomel

        ahh. magintay nalang ako official kung meron dito sa philippines. pero magkano po inabot ng inyo? tanong ko lang din sir kung ung 25$ credit tsaka mga movies na transformers ay kasama na?

        • sa US binili itong Nexus 7 for $199. if magrelease dito sa Philippines baka hindi kasama ang mga yun. di pa natin masabi.

  • art

    pwedeba magtxt/call dito sir? May builtin 3g ba to or wifi lng?

  • Griswold

    I don’t think you would have the same outlook when this is launched here with a slightly higher price tag. it will be just like any other ordinary tablet, na quad-core that is. yung price talaga ang killer feature nito but sadly i don’t think it will be the same pag nilabas nila dito sa pinas.

  • So the Nexus 7 is the same price as Kindle Fire? I think it would be a good idea to get the Nexus instead of Kindle, because Nexus will more likely get updates since it’s from Google and has controlled hardware.

  • franching

    Interesting article. Wondering how you feel about the nexus now that you’ve had a couple of days to explore it’s capabilities. do all the apps work fine on the nexus 7? If we had a poor wifi signal, would we at least be able to sync the device through the desktop? Is there a way to upload pdf files to it? Thanks for sharing your experience! I want to get one, but was worried about availability of apps as well as whether I could still get it to function without wifi.

    • johncapahi

      Yes, we can upload PDF files to it. Just connect it to the laptop/PC. Plus you need to download Adobe Reader from the Google play store which is free.

  • ic3

    Is the $25 credit on Google Play also applicable to the Philippines?

  • jasmin

    bakit wala syang back camera? gusto ko na sana T.T

  • Shame they’re sending out refurbs as new devices 🙁

  • Isabel

    Did you also recieve the $25 crad for google play apps? 🙂

  • Joseph

    Hi, I’m planning to get one in the US.

    My problem is if anything happens within the warranty period pwede ba sa Asus dito sa Philippines dalin? Or you have to send it all the way back sa States?

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