Reasons Why the 2012 Nexus 7 Is Still As Good As the 2013 Nexus 7

Nexus 7 (2012) -- Front Display

Google unveiled its new, 2013 Nexus 7 last month, and with the Nexus 7 (2012) 2012 Nexus 7 tablet being a little over a year old now, some wonder if the old tablet is worth buying. Most consumers seem to think “out with the old, in with the new,” and Google’s newest seven-inch darling seems to be the tablet to own in the seven-inch space, at least. In this discussion, I want to give you a chance to consider the old Nexus 7 2012 tablet by providing a few reasons why the 2012 Nexus 7 is as great of an own as the 2013 tablet.


Reasons Why the 2012 Nexus 7 is Still As Good As the 2013 Nexus 7


Usually, when a company such as Google releases a new product, the company touts the product as the best product under the sun – usually, it’s touted as faster, thinner, and lighter than the product from last year. And many consumers listen to the hype surrounding the tablet and believe what Google (or even Apple) tells them.


At the same time, however, manufacturers often hide the things about the new product that you may not like. I may be bold to say it, but Google has done this with the new Nexus 7. It is not a terrible thing to say that your new product is better than the old, but it is also sometimes true that the old product is as good as the new.


Why should you buy the 2012 Nexus 7 after all this time? It boils down to three factors: software updates, back plate material, and price.


Reason #1: Software Updates


When Google announced the 2013 Nexus 7 at the end of last month (July 24), Google automatically updated the 2012 Nexus 7 and the Nexus 4 in the same day as the announcement. It will be no different with the new Android update that is scheduled for later this Fall. According to tech rumors, Google will produce a follow-up to its Nexus 4 smartphone around October, and both Motorola and LG are in the running for Google’s Nexus 4 successor.


It seems that, since Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola and has been bleeding cash with the old flip phone king ever since its acquisition, Motorola would be the one to brand the 2013 Nexus smartphone. At the same time, however, we must keep in mind that Google did produce Google Play Edition smartphones with both HTC (HTC One GPE) and Samsung (Galaxy S4 GPE). Google doesn’t seem to be interested in making a Nexus 4 successor, although I could be very wrong here (at least for 2013, anyway). LG Electronics has a strong relationship with Google, and Google could partner with the company to produce a smartphone that would be modeled after LG’s newest smartphone, the LG G2.


At the same time, however, why would Google issue its 2013 Nexus tablet with Android 4.3 if the company intended to release an Android 5.0 update later this year? Whenever Apple releases its products, the company always announces the iPhone and large iPad at the same time, and gives both the new update. This prevents Apple from having to deal with two different iOS versions on its devices. Even with the iPad Mini now requiring an October presentation, Apple still gives the iPad Mini the new update.


Never would you see Apple giving the tablet a 4.3 update, then turning around the next month and giving the iPhone a 5.0 update. While Google, like Apple, can do anything it wants to do with its devices, I’m not so sure this is the best strategy with regard to consumers.


And then, Google has had its hands full with spending $500 million on Moto X ads and commercials, not to mention the release of what Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside called “a cheaper version of the Moto X” later this year. These smartphone releases, coupled with advertising and Google’s own creation of its Google Games platform, tells me that the Mountain View, California company has had its hands busy with so many things that I don’t think Android 5.0 is likely to come this year. I could be wrong, but I would rather you be shocked by its release than to expect something that does not appear this year.


The 2012 Nexus 7, therefore, received Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on the day the 4.3 update was released, and, should Google update its devices to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie (KLP) this Fall, the 2012 Nexus 7 will receive the same update as the 2013 Nexus 7. Google has already shown its commitment to continue selling the old Nexus 7, since the price point of the one-year-old tablet may convince consumers to purchase it in droves – in the same manner as many consumers are now still purchasing Samsung’s Galaxy S3 rather than the company’s latest flagship Galaxy S4.


Google’s tablets and smartphones, whether older or recent models, will receive Android OS updates straight from Google when the company chooses to release them to Android consumers. This means that the 2012 Nexus 7 or 2013 Nexus 7 will not make much of a difference when Android 5.0 is released.


Back Plate Material


Nexus 7 2012 -- Backplate


I know it may sound ridiculous to think about at first, but to hold the 2012 Nexus 7 in your hands is amazing. The first time I held the tablet, I immediately fell in love with it. After all, it is much easier to hold than Apple’s 7.9-inch iPad Mini, and is so comfortable that you could recline on your home couch and read the latest news for hours. When I wake up in the morning and put on my glasses for the day, I grab the 2012 Nexus 7 before I even touch my 9.7-inch iPad or my MacBook Pro.


The new Nexus 7 (or NN7, to abbreviate) does not have the same soft feel as the 2012 Nexus 7, according to one user:


“The first thing you’ll notice about the NN7’s [new Nexus 7] back side is that it has a soft touch coating that’s different from the old Nexus 7…the NN7 feels like a dry version of the Nexus 10. Still warm and comfortable, but just a teeny bit rougher” (Liam Spradlin, “Nexus 7 (2013) Review: The Best 7” Android Tablet Ever, But Better”).


Spradlin also compared the 2013 Nexus 7 to the 2012 Nexus 10 and said “I’d say the NN7 feels like a dry version of the Nexus 10.” If you know anything about the Nexus 10, it has a plastic back that makes the Nexus 10 tablet feel much more cheaply made than the Nexus 7. If you do not believe me, ask a friend to hold their Nexus 10 and/or Nexus 7 tablets. The 2012 Nexus 7 was a premium product when it emerged last year, well crafted by Google, and to hold it was to feel the premium worth of the device.


The 2013 Nexus 7 does not feel premium to hold, although it may be lighter than the 2012 Nexus 7. Its coarse back seems to suggest that it is a smaller version of the Nexus 10. Although Samsung produced the Nexus 10 tablet with Google, Google made a mistake to let Samsung use a plastic back plate – considering the fact that Google and ASUS partnered to produce a premium, soft leather feel to the 2012 Nexus 7 back plate. If you want to have a premium tablet with a premium feel, the 2012 Nexus 7 may be the way to go. I fear for Google’s future if it starts making tablets that feel too much like plastic.


At the same time, however, I want to be fair to Google. The 2012 Nexus 7 did not have a back camera (front camera only). To incorporate a back camera (one of what many tech writers considered to be a drawback to the premium tablet), Google had to eliminate the soft leather material. Plastic provides a better material for creating rear-facing cameras. The inclusion of a back camera in the 2013 Nexus 7, however, comes with a price.




Now, we come to one of the most important factors (though not the only important factor) in selecting the 2012 Nexus 7 over the 2013 Nexus 7: price. The 2012 Nexus 7 was priced at around $199 (16GB Wi-Fi), $249 (32GB Wi-Fi), and $299 (32GB Cellular Data) when it emerged last May. Since the 2012 Nexus 7 is a year old now, the price of the tablet has dropped while the excellent quality of the 2012 Nexus remains. This means that you will essentially get more for your buck.

The 2013 Nexus 7, in contrast, costs $229 (16GB Wi-Fi), $269 (32GB Wi-Fi), and over $300 for the cellular data version. Unlike the old 2012 Nexus 7 tablet, however, you need purchase only one cellular data tablet version to get internet data – and you have three carriers to choose from (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile), as opposed to last year’s AT&T and T-Mobile tablet versions.


If you looked at the prices above for the 2012 Nexus 7 and 2013 Nexus 7, you will understand that Google has increased the price of its tablet while giving the back plate a “rougher” feel. The company did this to make room for a 5-megapixel camera, but the company also built in Fraunhofer’s Surround Sound technology into the 2013 Nexus 7 so that it would produce a better sound than the 2012 Nexus 7. In certain environments, it is true that the 2012 Nexus 7 could muffle the sound. However, Google’s Android 4.3 update to the 2012 Nexus 7 seems to have increased the sound of the tablet and improved the 2012 Nexus 7’s overall audio output.


Two other things to keep in mind when purchasing a Nexus 7 tablet: one pertains to 4G LTE access. The 2012 Nexus 7 comes with 3G access, as opposed to the 4G LTE access on the 2013 Nexus 7. I live in an area where AT&T and T-Mobile only grant HSPA+ (high 3G), so it did not bother me to purchase the 2012 Nexus 7. With the occasional buffering that occurs with my AT&T Nexus 7 model, I have noticed very little in the way of Internet disruptions in my user experience. Even if you get a 4G LTE 2013 Nexus 7 tablet, you will still experience the occasional buffer when the Internet has a bad day. The truth of the matter is that, whether you have HSPA+ or 4G LTE, Internet access will never be perfect all the time.


Also, Verizon has agreed to offer its data to Google tablet users on the 2013 Nexus 7, but if you’ve ever dealt with Verizon as a customer, you will know that they seem to hold contract customers in higher regard than prepaid customers. This means that prepaid customers can only access 3G data while contract customers can access 4G and LTE. As for the 2013 Nexus 7, it is still unclear whether or not Verizon will allow prepaid customers to access 3G or 4G web data on the new tablet. If you’re thinking about excellent data, AT&T may just be the best choice. Their data plans, at least from my experience with AT&T, consist of $30 for 3GB of data and $50 for 5GB. They may have cheaper plans than this, but I’ve opted for the 5GB plan and enjoy my data all the time.


If these reasons won you over, then you should check out the following buy deals on the 2012 Nexus 7.


Current 2012 Nexus 7 Deals


One recent deal I just heard about today concerns Staples, who is selling the 2012 Nexus 7 for $139.99 (16GB Wi-Fi) and $179.99 (32GB Wi-Fi). Both of these prices are out of sight, but the 32GB Wi-Fi version will provide 32GB of local memory storage plus Google’s unlimited photo storage at Google Plus for $100 less than what the first-generation iPad Mini costs at the moment.

There are a number of deals on the 2012 Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi version, with a few cellular data versions) on EBay at the moment. A few of the current deals will have expired by the time this information is posted, however.


One deal offers a 16GB Wi-Fi 2012 Nexus 7 for with a $53.00 bid, but the bidding period will end in a matter of 34 hours. Most of you will not get to cash in on this affordable price, however, seeing that the bid ends tomorrow. Another 2012 Nexus 7 tablet with 32GB of storage is currently running for the low price of $19.99. This bid will end in the same time as the first one I told you about.


A current EBay offer provides a 32GB 2012 Nexus 7 cellular data model for $179.99 but has no bids. This bid will expire in a matter of a little over a day (around 35 hours). If you want a new Google ChromeCast dongle to go with your 2012 Nexus 7, a current offer provides both of these items as well as a magnetic case for a total of $149.99. The bidding on this item is set to expire in less than 10 hours.


Of all the numerous 2012 Nexus 7 sales on EBay, there is one in which you can participate. The bidding period will last for another 29 days and 18 hours, and offers a 2012 Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi version) with 16GB of storage and an Otterbox Defender case for only $215.00. Although $215 beats the $229 price of the 2013 Nexus 7, this price is still a little steep at the moment – considering that the tablet is one year old. The bid will run for another month, but I’m not sure that you would want to buy a 2012 Nexus 7 when the Wi-Fi 2013 Nexus 7 is only $14 more.


A 2012 Nexus 7 bid that is set to last for 17 days offers an 8GB version of the device for $214.98 at the current top bidding price. Another bid, lasting for 21 days, has a 32GB 2012 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi model for sale at the current top bidding price of $333.77. While this is a steep bidding price for a model that did not cost more than $249 plus tax at the Google Play Store, it shows the length to which any consumer will go to acquire a tablet they really want.


You can also participate in another bid that lasts for 13 days. Someone is offering two 2012 Nexus 7 tablets with 32GB of storage and Wi-Fi only for the low, low price of $270.00. This is a steal for someone who wants two tablets and does not want to pay a hefty price for them. You may or may not agree that this is a steep price, but I think it is an excellent price for two tablets. If you have been waiting to purchase a tablet for you and a spouse, relative, or friend, this is a good tablet bid in which to participate.


There are more deals on the 2012 Nexus 7, but these are a few I’ve listed to show you that there are decent discounts on 2012 Nexus 7s out there on the World Wide Web. I would suggest the following tips, however: make sure someone shows you personal pictures of their tablet (not a typical picture you’d find on a site somewhere), and be sure to rate the individual after the sale transaction has been completed. If that person’s claim turned out to be fake or there was something wrong with the tablet, rate the individual terribly so that others can know to steer clear of the individual.


If someone gave you a great tablet, be sure to recommend them and give them a good review. This will help other consumers steer clear of online jerks who are guilt of false advertising. You should always aim to make the Web safer for others, in the same way you hope that they make it safer for you.


Now that you know this, who wants a 2012 Nexus 7? A 2013 Nexus 7?

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