The lack of a rear camera on the original Nexus 7 was always a bit of a downer. It clearly had the space for a module inside, but including a camera didn’t align with the efforts to drive that device into the price point that made it successful. With the new Nexus 7 we finally get a camera, and a 5 MP one with autofocus at that. Inside the camera is an OV5693 sensor, which best I can tell is a 1/4" format sensor with 1.4 micron pixels. It might not be the world’s best camera, but it’s no slouch either.

I took a handful of photos and videos with the Nexus 7 (2013) to gauge camera quality, and even if this isn’t necessarily a device with focus on imaging it’s not bad at all. I came away pretty pleased for what kind of camera it is. Even though I still strongly believe that you shouldn’t be using a tablet to take photos you intend on using for anything more than sharing on social networks, in this brave new era of mobile devices it’s a feature every tablet and smartphone does need.

I’ll save you the discussion once again about how the Android 4.3 camera UI continues to present a 16:9 aspect ratio crop of the 4:3 image captured by the sensor, which results in a smeary looking, inaccurate preview.


Video on the Nexus 7 (2013) is 1080p30 at 12 Mbps, H.264 Baseline with 1 reference frame, and 96 kbps 48 KHz single channel AAC audio. I've uploaded a sample I took in SF to our servers as well as YouTube. Again I’m dismayed why more OEMs don’t use the full encode capabilities of APQ8064 (20 Mbps H.264 High Profile) but that’s what it is by default on the new Nexus 7.

Display Quality Performance and Storage Performance
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  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, July 27, 2013 - link

    I would say that no removable memory is a concern, except that my 32 GB nexus 7 has been in heavy use for a year now, and ive only used 5 GB....and there are several apps that i dont use anymore. i dont think many people use more than 32 gb of storage.
  • kmmatney - Saturday, July 27, 2013 - link

    Agreed - the only time I ever have to free up space on my 16GB iPad is when the kids fill it with movies (somehow they prefer to use the iPad for movies, rather than using a phone or digital cameras).
  • superflex - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    Removable memory or storage?
    Big difference, Copernicus.
  • broberts - Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - link

    Given that the device supports USB-OTG, adding an SD slot seems rather pointless. For the rare users that absolutely must have more than 32GB on-line, use a flash drive. Better yet, use the cloud or other storage on your LAN.
  • lightsout565 - Saturday, July 27, 2013 - link

    The amount of value the Nexus 7 represents in comparison to other Android tablets is extraordinary. I'm not sure Google would want to increase the cost of the tablet for something that wont positively increase the user's experience for 90% of people.
  • nerd1 - Saturday, July 27, 2013 - link

    They are INTENTIONALLY omitting a few features from their nexus devices so that OEM can still sell android stuff. Harm environment? LOL... Go blame apple who makes EVERY appliances non-repairable and non-upgradable, or disposable, to maximize profit.
  • Broo2 - Saturday, July 27, 2013 - link

    At the rate technology is changing, a 2 or 3 year old tablet will be obsolete as many mobile technologies are just starting to hit their stride;Have you tried to run some of the newer apps/games on an original Galaxy Tab? Apple even recognizes this as there will be no iOS 7 for the original iPad (released in 2010).

    I think it is more that Google is recognized the potential usable lifespan of their product (2-3 years) and decided to keep the design simple.

    I found storage is an over-rated artificial need I clung to from the last decade; I went for a 64GB SDXC in my old Galaxy S3 and used perhpas 30% of it; I was streaming more music (Spotify/Google) and podcasts (DogCatcher) and only using the storage for audiobooks and some FLAC music- and Plex took care of all my video streaming needs. :)
  • Myrandex - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    lol Apple isn't allowing iOS7? They didn't even allow iOS6. It was complete crap. They allowed iOS6 on an iPhone model that was older than the original iPad (the 3GS), but not on the iPad itself. My wife has an original iPad and it is stuck at its current iOS5 revision.
  • broberts - Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - link

    Most tablets in the price range and even many more expensive units (e.g. iPads) have no user replaceable parts. So it appears that your criteria eliminates most, if not all tables.

    There is a direct trade off between user replaceable/expandable parts and cost. Moreover, the cost of a battery plus additional RAM bought in single units is such that it is generally not much more expensive to buy and entirely new, mass produced unit. This is generally true, not only with tablets but with other technology, including automobiles.

    The USB interface reportedly supports OTG so it is not inconceivable that one will be able to plug in externally powered SSD and hard drives as well as flash drives. And of course one can use any one of a number of Android apps that provide a connection to storage in your LAN or the cloud. So the lack of an SD slot is moot.

    Battery life is not dependent on the number of charge cycles. Useful life is affected by the temperature at which they are stored and the pattern of use. I expect your 2 year usable life time is pessimistic except for the heaviest of users.
  • Kidster3001 - Friday, August 9, 2013 - link

    Memory is not removable on any mobile device. I think you meant to say Storage. They are quite different. RAM (memory) vs HDD/SSD (Storage) is a good analogy to keep in mind.

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