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2013 Nexus 7 vs. Galaxy Tab 3 7.0

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July 26, 2013

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the new 2nd-gen Nexus 7 and Samsung's Ga...

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the new 2nd-gen Nexus 7 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 7.0

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There's no shortage of budget 7-inch tablets in your local electronics store. For many people, these portable and affordable devices make for the perfect couch-laden computers. But not all are created equal. Let's take a look at one such lopsided example, as we compare the new 2nd-generation Nexus 7 with Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 7.0.

Size

Sizes are similar, but the Nexus 7 is a bit taller and wider

The new Nexus 7 is six percent taller and three percent wider than the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. The Google/Asus tablet is, however, 12 percent thinner than the Tab.

Weight

The Nexus 7 is a bit lighter, despite being a little taller and wider

Both tablets are very light, but the Nexus 7 is four percent lighter. This despite that slightly longer and wider frame.

Build

Both tablets are made of plastic, though the Nexus 7's is matte, next to the Tab's glossy ...

Both tablets are made of plastic. The new Nexus 7 drops the rubbery backing that the original had, in favor of a matte finish. The Galaxy Tab's glossy plastic build continues the design trend in most of Samsung's recent Galaxy devices, including the Note 8.0 and the GS4.

One notable difference is that the Galaxy Tab has a physical home button, and capacitive back and menu keys. The Nexus 7 puts those navigation keys onscreen.

Display

Screen resolution is a major advantage for the Nexus 7

Despite having identical diagonal screen sizes, the Nexus 7's display is actually a smidge bigger (the Tab 3 gives you 97 percent as much screen real estate). But those persistent onscreen buttons in the Nexus 7 hijack some of that, giving the Tab 3 a bit more usable screen area.

When comparing these screens, though, the biggest thing to note is that the Nexus 7's display is much sharper. It gives you 275 percent more pixels than the Tab 3 gives you. If Google were Apple, it would be called the Nexus 7 with Retina Display. The Tab's 1024 x 600 resolution is, by comparison, quite pedestrian.

Processor

The Nexus 7 has a much faster processor

This is another enormous advantage for the Nexus 7. The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 has a mid-grade processor, which isn't in the same class as the speedy Snapdragon in the Nexus 7.

RAM

The Nexus 7 doubles the Tab's 1 GB of RAM

The Nexus 7 also doubles the Tab 3's RAM.

Storage

The Nexus 7 has more internal storage, but the Tab has a microSD card slot

The Nexus 7 also beats Samsung's tablet in internal storage, though you can augment the Tab's internal flash memory with a microSD card. Just know that you can't install apps on that SD.

Wireless

The mobile data version of the Tab 3 doesn't support LTE networks

Both tablets are sold in mobile data-enabled models, but the Galaxy Tab lacks LTE. It maxes out on HSPA+ networks, which are faster than 3G, but not as fast as 4G LTE.

Battery

Battery capacities are almost equal, but we'll have to wait for the verdict on actual batt...

Battery capacities are almost identical. There are other factors that go into actual uptimes, so stay tuned for more on this front.

Cameras

The Nexus 7's rear camera has more pixels, but neither camera is going to compare to those...

Small tablets make much less awkward cameras than full-sized tablets like the iPad do, but you still shouldn't expect anything cutting-edge in that department. Here the Nexus 7 wins on megapixels, for what that's worth.

Software

The Nexus 7 runs the latest version of Android – and will for the foreseeable future

Both tablets run Android, but the Nexus 7 is in much better shape here. It runs the brand-spanking new Android 4.3, and it will receive future updates as soon as they're released. The Tab 3 runs an older version, has Samsung's TouchWiz layered on top, and you don't have any guarantees regarding future updates.

Release cycle

Both tablets are brand-spankin' new

Nothing to worry about here, as both tablets just hit store shelves.

Starting prices

Don't be fooled: the Nexus 7 is the much better value

Well, the Galaxy Tab costs less money, but that doesn't mean it's the better deal. As we just saw, the Nexus 7 beats the Tab in just about every category, and is a much better value at only US$30 extra.

Wrap-up

Usually we wrap these comparisons up by summarizing each tablet's strengths and weaknesses, and trying to help you decide which might be better for you. But this time, it's hard to see many people finding the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 to be a better choice than the new Nexus 7. The Nexus' screen resolution alone gives it a huge advantage. Throw in its far superior performance, and it's really hard to make a convincing argument for the Galaxy Tab.

To see a somewhat more balanced side-by-side, you can check out our 2013 Nexus 7 vs. iPad mini comparison. You can also keep an eye out for our 2013 Nexus 7 review in the coming days.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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3 Comments

You have a few features incorrect with the Galaxy Tab 3 7/ One is that it shipped with Android 4.2 not 4.1, another is that you state it does not support LTE when in fact it does, at least sprints variant. The 3rd, you cannot beat the current price, as starting on the 11th you can pick one up for $50 on contract from Sprint with LTE and it is the 16 GB model. The last item you have incorrect is your statement about not being able to install apps to the SD Car, well that is where App2SD comes in handy, as it will move your apps for you to the SD card. I think the Sprint version makes this a buy now compared to the Nexus at full price.

Michael Villani
7th October, 2013 @ 07:19 pm PDT

I have both of these units. The Nexus 7 and the Tab 2 2012 model. This may shock some people but... The Tab 2 is in my view a better overall value. The screen on the Nexus 7 is better on paper but in real life its not as noticeable as you might think. The Nexus 7 is brighter at both units highest setting. I'm not a game player but I did note the Nexus 7 didn't drop frames, etc.

However for what I use it for. Web browsing, photos, movies,chess and taking photos they were almost equal. The Tab with its SD card is flexible. Samsung users can update with a custom ROM to 4.3 or Kit Kat which is coming soon. The Nexus 7 is the winner but if you own a Tab 2 or 3 don't feel left out. They are very comparable. You can get rid of Touchwiz and grab a custom ROM. Tech blogs will point to benchmarks and Ram, etc. but for the average user who would listen to music or watch movies and play some games the Tab 2 or 3 or fine.

Tony Lawrence
19th October, 2013 @ 08:20 pm PDT

but the real advantage here of the new nexus 7 is it has 2g ram for better gaming experience..2k13 logs on tab3..and nexus is faster on speed with 1.5 ghz,quadcore unlike tab3 that bis a dualcore only..

Frederick Brillo
1st December, 2013 @ 11:37 pm PST
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