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2013 Nexus 7 vs. Galaxy Note 8.0

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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.

Size

The Note 8 is six percent taller and 19 percent wider

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.

Build

Both tablets are made of plastic, though the Nexus 7's is matte, while the Note's is gloss...

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.

Weight

The Nexus 7 is 14 percent lighter, but both tablets are relative featherweights

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

Display

The Note 8's screen is quite a bit larger, but the Nexus 7's is much sharper

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.

Processor

Both processors are speedy, but the Nexus 7's has an edge in overall performance

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.

RAM

RAM is all tied up, at 2 GB a pop

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

Storage

Storage is an advantage for the Note 8

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.

Wireless

Samsung sells the Note 8 in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi with mobile data models

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.

Battery

The Note 8 has a higher capacity battery, and should deliver slightly longer uptimes

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.

Cameras

Camera pixel counts are similar

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.

Stylus

The Galaxy Note's S Pen stylus might change how you use your tablet

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.

Infrared

The Note 8 has an infrared blaster, so you can use it as a remote control for your TV

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.

NFC

The Nexus 7 has an NFC chip

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).

Software

The Nexus 7 runs Android 4.3 and gives you stock Android, while the Note's TouchWiz opens ...

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

At $230, the 2013 Nexus 7 is an excellent value

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.

Wrap-up

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.

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About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin covers consumer technology for Gizmag. He's previously written for Android Central, Geek, GottaBeMobile, Android Police, and The Huffington Post.
He lives in New Mexico, U.S., with his lovely wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
10 Comments

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.

John123
18th August, 2013 @ 04:38 pm PDT

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
18th August, 2013 @ 05:35 pm PDT

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

Wombat56
18th August, 2013 @ 05:42 pm PDT

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

christopher
18th August, 2013 @ 06:36 pm PDT

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.

pmshah
19th August, 2013 @ 07:27 am PDT

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
19th August, 2013 @ 12:17 pm PDT

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.

willemco
20th August, 2013 @ 04:34 am PDT

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
22nd August, 2013 @ 11:21 am PDT

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 Scott Leon
11th October, 2013 @ 09:11 am PDT

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

Maha KHan
18th October, 2013 @ 02:24 pm PDT
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