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Nexus 7 2nd gen, buy a spare, look for better?

mikeford

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2001
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Years ago I bought a Nexus 7 2nd gen for my wife. She loves it, uses it all the time, and the other day she asked me if we should get a second one as a spare. Quick look on ebay and seems like plenty in good or very good cond are available from $50 to $75. Is there anything better remotely in the same price range, up to say $200?

We all have android phones, plus a few nook and kindle, most common use is games on phone, media on Nexus7 including ereaders.
 

mikeford

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2001
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Just bought a NOS, new old stock, Nexus 7 2nd gen 32GB for $80 off ebay, nothing new was even very tempting.
 

Roland00Address

Platinum Member
Dec 17, 2008
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It is $249+Tax on sale, but the 10" ipad 7th gen is worth it ($330 at normal price, but regularly goes on sale.)

The 6th gen has the same soc but 2gb of ram not 3gb. That and a slightly smaller screen. They updated the screen size on the 7th gen so it uses some of the same accessories of the $500 ipad air.

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No matter which nexus 7 2013 you get the battery life will be shot for it is a 7 year old tablet. Android Tablets are slightly better and faster, but not by much since 2013 due to the race of the bottom, followed by OEMs realized they do not make money on $100 to $250 tablets, followed by Apple lowering their price of their tablets from $500 to $330 (before sales) thus dominating the high end and no one making money on the low end from $100 to $250.

Honestly many 6 inch phones are better than what you can get for tablets.

Now there are some samsung tablets that are decent but were not decent for the price when buying NEW, but since samsung tablets have less resell than apple you may find a decent tablet for under $200.
 

mikeford

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2001
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My experience is that battery failure varies a lot, maybe related to the charging circuits and how hard it pushes for 100% charge and max daily use which reduces lifetime. I have 4x Nooks, 3x needed battery replaced, one seems still good and its OLD. Bought a swap meet Kindle for $5 that wouldn't turn on, and it charged and seems to work fine.

We are very much a powerbank enabled family with about 6 of them, plus chargers in the cars etc. Unless the battery is toast, in which case I will replace it, it will be fine.

The catch with larger than 7" devices it doesn't fit my wifes reading style, too heavy to hold up in one hand for long. Smaller like a phone and text on each screen page is too little, movies too small etc.

BTW I am thinking of picking up one of the older iPads, our Mercedes prefers them to android, but so far all of my iPurchases have been learning experiences, not good.
 

Ravynmagi

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2007
3,094
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Maybe look at the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019. There are two tablets with the same name. Make sure to look at the SM-P200 model (not the SM-T290 model). It has a 1920x1080 display, pretty good Exynos 8 core CPU (at least twice as fast as the Snapdragon in the Nexus 7), Android 9 (being updated to Android 10), 3 GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. And an S-Pen. Brand new for $235.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
23,784
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You haven't been able to get Android security updates for the 2013 Nexus 7 for a while now, so I wouldn't use it for anything important.

It was a great tablet when it came out, though. It seems that no one else bothered to make a high quality tablet in that form factor. The rest of the 7" tablets were all sub $100 trash with garage screens and slow processors.
 

jpiniero

Diamond Member
Oct 1, 2010
9,328
1,878
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You haven't been able to get Android security updates for the 2013 Nexus 7 for a while now, so I wouldn't use it for anything important.
Google is updating the Play Services which is decoupled from the OS. Plus you can use updated browsers. Now I do mostly use it for Google Voice and Firefox and not much else.
 

Roland00Address

Platinum Member
Dec 17, 2008
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Google is updating the Play Services which is decoupled from the OS. Plus you can use updated browsers. Now I do mostly use it for Google Voice and Firefox and not much else.
That fixes some things and not others per Google itself. They are trying their best to provide the best security but there are limits to what they can do.

And the OS can't be updated by Google itself even if they control the OS and can literally make a build for Qualcomm is no longer supporting the drivers for such an old chip. In fact Qualcomm has a business model around only giving a minor amount of years of updates of their old chips with drivers to encourage silicon buyers to buyer newer chips instead of playing games of leverage that can cause a different negotiation price for the various types of socs and radios that Qualcomm makes.

Now the existing drivers could probably work on new OS for the driver model is barely changed with old vs new Operating Systems but from a legal perspective Google does not want to deal with that. This is one of the reason that Google has moved to the Play Store and other OS changes in order to bypass this as much as possible the amount of games that Qualcomm, and other vendors (such as the Cell Phone companies) can do by playing games of will we support our old hardware or not.

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Someone who is more knowledgeable than me can give you more info and better specifics if you care about the details, that is just a general overview.
 

Ravynmagi

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2007
3,094
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81
You guys sent me down a rabbit hole. I spent the morning playing around with my Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 phones just to get a feel of what a Nexus 7 2013 tablet would be like in 2020. The Nexus 4 phone has the same Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and the Nexus 5 phone has the same version of Android 6.0.

As jpiniero said, the key is Google Play Services. I can confirm it's still up to date on Android 6.0. So you should get the latest version of available apps. A few high end games seem to be absent, I imagine because of hardware support, like Fortnite and Call of Duty, but every mainstream app I looked for was present. So software support seems great. Good job Google!

As for security updates. Not sure how important that would be. It is something I wouldn't worry about for myself. Maybe I don't fully understand my exposure. But since I would only use it for a small number of trusted apps from the Google Playstore and likely only be visiting trusted websites. I"m not feeling too concerned.

You can probably find a used Nexus 7 2013 for about $50. A close comparison for a similar price would be a brand new Fire HD 8. The current Fire HD 8 retails for $90, but Amazon often has sales on their Fire tablets and the Fire HD 8 2020 has already been on sale once for $60 despite just coming out. There is also a Fire 7 tablet for $50, with 1024x600 display and 1GB of RAM and a SOC that hasn't been updated in years. Lets never speak of the Fire 7 tablet again.

So used Nexus 7 2013 vs new Fire HD 8 2020?
Pros for the used Nexus 7 2013...
* Despite Android 6.0, you'll still get a much smoother and cleaner OS experience versus the heavily bloated Fire OS.
* The SOC in the Nexus may be much older, but it was the flagship processor of it's day while the Amazon is using a low end Mediatek that only has 4 low power cores. Even if the Mediatek might perform better (the new 2GHz versions in the Fire HD 10 2019 and Fire HD 8 2020 might) I believe the bloated OS would still make it feel slower.
* Higher resolution 1920x1200 display has much cleaner looking text.
* 7 inch size may be more ideal than 8 inch size and feels more premium and thinner than the Fire HD 8.

Cons for a used Nexus 7 2013...
* Nexus 7 had lots of manufacturing issues. I had to RMA both models of my Nexus 7 tablets multiple times each because of screen and speaker issues. Internet forums were full of complaints about these manufacturing issues. I did eventually get a good quality Nexus 7 tablets. But there are for sure a lot of rejects out there in the wild. And who knows what the owners have done to the tablets since then as well. Amazon has been churning out these budget Fire tablets for a while now and the quality is pretty good for a sub $100 device.
* Batteries in a 7 year old tablet are probably not good now. My Fire HD 8 has amazing battery life thanks to it's newer hardware and more power efficient processor.
* Google Play Services has kept Android 6.0 viable so far. But how much longer will that last? I noticed Google Play Services on Android 5.1 has stopped at 19.8 from last year.


For me, for under $100, I'd play it safe with a Fire HD 8 2020.
For $200+, the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-P200.
For $400+, the iPad Mini 5.
 

podspi

Golden Member
Jan 11, 2011
1,955
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I'd love to know what the battery capacity is after you run it a few times and then do a calibration run. As others have pointed out, it will be a 7yr old battery (with a very, very low charge at this point). It would just be an interesting data point to see how the battery degraded vs. my two active-use N7s. (Just recently retired, but may get repurposed for smart home/IoT stuff).
 

mikeford

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2001
5,581
132
106
Let me know if you want something specific run on it to test, but so far acts about the same as her daily use Nexus 7 2nd. We have half a dozen powerbanks which leads to horrible lack of diligence on keeping units recharged, but she tells me its good for about a day of movies etc via wifi, usually BT off.
 

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