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2013 Nexus 7 vs. Galaxy Note 8.0


August 18, 2013

Gizmag compares the specs and features of the 2013 Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Gizmag compares the specs and features of the 2013 Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

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If you're on a quest for a new mini tablet, the brands "Nexus" and "Galaxy" might have caught your attention. Or, more specifically, the new 2013 Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Note 8.0 might have made the cut for your shortlist. Join Gizmag, as we break down the specs and compare the features of the two 2013 Android tablets.


The first thing you'll notice on the store shelf is that the Galaxy Note 8.0 is the significantly bigger tablet. Specifically, it's six percent taller and 19 percent wider than the Nexus 7.

The Note 8, however, is an extremely thin tablet. It's eight percent thinner than the Nexus 7.


Both tablets are made of plastic, though you get a matte black on the Nexus 7 and a glossy white or brown for the Note 8.


As the smaller tablet, it's no shock that the new Nexus 7 is 14 percent lighter than the Galaxy Note 8.


Screen size is one of the advantages for the Note 8. It's noticeably bigger (the Nexus 7's screen only gives you 77 percent as much area), and it also has physical/capacitive nagivation keys. The Nexus 7's onscreen navigation bar means apps' useable area is even less than that 77 percent.

Screen resolution, however, is a huge advantage for the new Nexus 7. If you want razor-sharp text and crisp images, then it's the much better choice. Despite that smaller screen, the Nexus gives you 125 percent more pixels than the Note 8 does.


There's little to worry about with either tablet's processor, but the Nexus 7's Snapdragon S4 Pro is going to deliver slightly faster performance.


Good to see that neither Asus nor Samsung skimped in the RAM department, as each tablet packs a healthy 2 GB.


The Note 8 gives you a bit more storage, with 32 GB and 64 GB base options, with the addition of a microSD card slot.


Samsung will sell you either a Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi with LTE version of the Note 8. So far there's only a Wi-Fi version of the new Nexus 7, though Google says we'll see a 32 GB LTE model eventually.


The Note 8 has a higher capacity battery, and should deliver slightly longer battery life. We wouldn't say battery life is a concern on the Nexus 7, but when you have a razor-sharp display and an ultra-portable form factor, it's hard to also deliver industry-leading battery life. Thus its uptimes aren't quite as impressive as several rivals, especially the iPad mini.


Both cameras are pretty much par for the course for tablets. Adequate rear cameras for the ocassional shot, and HD video for the front-facing cameras.


This is probably the biggest reason to choose the Note 8 over the Nexus 7. If you like working with a styus, Samsung's S Pen is tightly integrated with the Note's software, letting you transcribe handwriting, jot notes, and get an overall more precise level of control.

Samsung's Air View is also in tow here, letting you hover the S Pen over some onscreen targets to get live previews. The S Pen on the Galaxy Note 8.0, unlike the one on the Galaxy Note 2, also lets you tap the capacitive back and menu keys.


If you like to use your tablet as a TV remote control replacement, then look no further than the Note 8. The Nexus 7 doesn't have an IR blaster onboard.


If you want to transfer files to a nearby device with a quick bump – or be prepared in case NFC payments ever catch on – then the Nexus 7 has an NFC chip. Samsung skipped NFC on the Note 8. Probably not a deal-breaker for most of us. But it still would have been a nice bonus, considering the Note's higher price (more on that in a moment).


Both devices run Android at the core, as well as the Google Play store and the standard suite of Google apps.

The Nexus 7, though, runs the latest version of Jelly Bean, and also runs stock "Pure Google" Android. The Galaxy Note 8.0 has the glitzed-up Samsung TouchWiz UI on top. We typically prefer stock Android, but the S Pen integration has TouchWiz, in this case, actually offering some improvements.

Starting prices

Right now you can snag the Note 8 for US$20 less than its suggested retail (both directly from Samsung and at Amazon). But even at $380 it's still much more expensive than the new Nexus 7.


How important is a stylus to you? Are you willing to sacrifice sharp screen resolution and an extra $150 in order to have that tight S Pen integration? If so, then you'll probably want to take a long look at the Galaxy Note 8.0.

But if a stylus isn't that important to you, then the Nexus 7 offers a razor-sharp display, an ultra-light form factor, and a rock-bottom price. The only other real sacrifice is screen size, so if you can live with that, then the Nexus 7 is probably the best tablet value on the market right now.

Leaning towards the Nexus, but still not quite sure? Then look no further than our 2013 Nexus 7 review.

Buy this on Amazon About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. 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

Have the first Nexus 7. Wasn't really that interested in the new one after I saw the Galaxy Note 8 in Best Buy. Ended up buying the LTE Note 8 from AT&T and I love it. Prefer the larger size and the 16:10 aspect ratio instead of the 16:9. Totally happy with the purchase. I could still get a Nexus 7 LTE when it's available but I am more leaning on getting the iPad Mini if it comes out with retina display.


These shallow comparisons are so useless.

I got a Note8 and here is some real issues:

1 - Note8 won't let you create accounts for multiple users. Samsung turned it off and even with hacking there is no way to turn it on. I suppose Samsung hopes to sell more Note8's that way. Nexus 7 being stock Android does offer multi user options. For me this is a must have feature since tablets are shared around more often then a phone. Unfortunately reviews rarely go into this kind of detail.

2 - Being used to my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone with Oled screen I found using the Note8 tablet in bed not satisfactory at all. The LCD screen performs poorly when viewed at angles. In order to make the display appear brighter most light is focused forward. Still hopeless in bight light.

I bought the Note8 because of the pen. Awesome gimmick that I thought I needed. It turns out I don't use it. Overall, the Samsung Note8 was a bad choice for me.

Paul van Dinther

The lack of a microSD storage slot on the Nexus is an annoying and puzzling "feature" that carries over from the last version.


Need to show us someone holding these, so we can get some idea of size and scale...


I wonder why a very important feature like USB on the Go is not referred to. I have a Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos which does have a micro SD card slot. This however is not too convenient to use. Samsung's Kies software sucks big time when it comes to transferring files. To change the card I have to open the back and remove the battery to access the slot. Certainly not the best design.


I just bought the tab 3 8 inch in lieu of the Nexus 7. {I actually went into the store with the Nexus 7 in mind.) Although Nexus 7 has samsung beat on power (RAM, processor, display) , for how I use tablets the samsung 8 is sill a very good tablet.

I've streamed movies with no issue. The multi account is nice, but I will never use it. I can download an app for control if I really decide I need that.

Tab 3 also has other stuff I like and use IR port

Tony D

I have the Note8 for just over 2 months and very happy with all of it. Especially the stylus which I use a lot. Have absolutely no problems with the clarity of the screen. Although I can see some advantages for the Nexus7 it didn't made me shiver having spent the extra $$$. The ability to add extra Gb and the stylus is still a winner. For me anyway.


I haven't bought a tablet yet I've been debating on whether to get the new nexus or the note 8. I love the pixels and storage size of the nexus, but I'm looking for a tablet for school. One I can use to take notes and write out math problems, so the note 8 looks like it will be better choice for me.

Helen Katz

To quote you: "The Note 8 has a higher capacity battery, and should deliver slightly longer battery life."

Unfortunately "should" & "do" oft times do not necessarily match up in the real world. The Note 8.0 battery life decays rather quickly & the new Nexus 7 FHD outlasts the Samsung device by several hours for me.

George Leon

This is really awesome and i love that.. This is very unique thing you put on that post.. Thanks for sharing...

Maha KHan
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