Review: How well does Google Nexus 7 2013 run Android Lollipop?

Nexus 7 lollipop home

When I reviewed the Google Nexus 7 tablet back in 2012, my conclusion then was that it was the best Android tablet ever. I have had the opportunity to have access to the 2013 model of this beautiful device.

Back when I reviewed the Asus Google Nexus 7 (2012), my verdict was that it was the darn best tablet PC that I had ever handled till then. The 2013 model gave that same impression of a premium feel and great performance at a bargain price.

Hardware wise, the Nexus 7 is just as impressive as its older sibling. The display is crisp and sharp. Everything looks good. Everything, be it web browsing, viewing images, reading documents or watching videos.

Nexus 7 2013 rear

Android 5 Lollipop
The tablet arrived running Android 4.4 Kitkat and we were excited about getting Lollipop on it. Actually, the main reason why we got our hands on one at all was so we could have a feel of Android 5.0 Lollipop. After a few weeks of waiting, the update finally arrived in the form of version 5.0.2 (which is more recent than the 5.0.1 that the Nexus 5 got).

Nexus 7 lollipop dropdown

Android 5.0.2 Lollipop has great visual appeal (it does not have that bad looking white background in the app drawer that version 5.0.1 has – thankfully!). And it runs smooth. I do not see yet how the device is laggy in any way.

Nexus 7 lollipop app drawer

With all the goodies of Lollipop, the Nexus 7 is bang up-to-date. The new features include new notifications visible on lockscreen, greater user control, multiple user accounts and guest user mode for keeping your personal stuff private, among others.

Nexus 7 lollipop cards

But the new Material Design user interface is really sweet. Even if that was all that Lollipop brought to the game, it would be worth it. OK Google is a delight to use, and is a handy tool in a variety of situations.

Stereo Speakers
I know this is supposed to be an account of how Lollipop runs on the Nexus 7 (2013), but I love stereo speakers, and this baby has stereo speakers, so bear with me while I digress a bit.

The 2012 model has the good old mono loudspeakers. Stereo speakers mean better quality audio, and this baby delivers. However, the quality and volume are not that great compared to the best stereo speakers on mobiles out there. For example, the quality does not match up to what you get on BlackBerry Passport, Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, BlackBerry Z30, or HTC One M8. Also, it is a bummer that the speakers are at the rear part of the tab. Put it down on a flat surface and audio is muted. Still, it isn’t shabby and audio reproduction through them is quite good.

Conclusions
The Google Nexus 7 2013 model is an upgrade on the superb 2012 model. Android Lollipop makes it an even more capable tablet than before. You get top notch hardware and up-to-date software. And the upgrade works without any performance issues. If you own one of these, run the Lollipop update when it prompts you!

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