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iPad Mini vs the New Nexus 7

Google introduced an updated version of the popular Nexus 7 tablet on Wednesday, adding a higher resolution screen and better processor, while still keeping the price at an affordable $229. The device will be arriving in the near future which means that it will almost immediately start battling other tablets on the market including Apple’s current 7-inch iPad, the iPad mini. Here, we take a look at how the iPad mini stacks up against the new Nexus 7 2 in terms of hardware, software, pricing and more.


Display Screen

The new Nexus 7 has a 1,920×1,200-pixel 16:10 7-inch display, whereas the iPad Mini has a larger 4:3, 7.9-inch display at only 1,024×768 pixels. The iPad Mini’s screen was bigger and better than the original Nexus 7, but the new Nexus 7 has the clear edge here — although color quality, brightness, and viewing angles have yet to be determined.

Build Quality

The Nexus 7 2 has a similar design to its predecessor, with an all-glass front and a mottled back cover which feels soft and comfortable to hold, though this version is ever so slightly slimmer and lighter than last years’ model. It looks good, but it can’t compete with the iPad Mini which really is a thing of beauty, arguably in fact the best looking device Apple have ever made. Essentially it looks like a larger iPad Touch. It has the same premium build quality as the iPad 4 but it’s a lot thinner and lighter.


While the original Nexus 7 did not sport a rear camera, the new Nexus 7 2 does indeed have a 5MP camera which puts it on par with the iPad mini and its 5MP iSight camera that it sports in the front.

Like the iPad mini, the Nexus 7 2 camera should be decent, but owners should not expect photos to come out like they would if shot with a current-generation smartphone like the iPhone 5 or Nexus 4. Photos and video will be decent but they will be nothing to write home about.

As for the front-facing cameras, the Nexus 7 2 will have a 1.9MP camera while the iPad mini uses a 1.2MP camera and supports 720p HD video. Both will be good and both will be able to produce high quality video chats, the main function of any devices front-facing camera.


The 2013 Nexus 7 has a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and Adreno 320 graphics, plus 2GB of RAM. Eric Franklin points out that these graphics match the Samsung Galaxy S4’s, but the processing power isn’t as impressive as an Nvidia Tegra 4 might be. In terms of gaming graphics, the Nexus 7 could have a big edge, thanks to being OpenGL ES 3.0 capable, which adds a lot of extra graphics effects to games.

The iPad Mini’s processor is an A5, with performance similar to that of the fourth-gen iPod Touch and iPad 2. In short: it’s a capable but older processor. And, it has only 512MB of RAM.

Operating System and Apps

The iPad Mini currently runs iOS 6 but will get iOS 7 capability this fall, and it runs the exact same apps and features as the larger Retina iPad, minus the Retina Display. The Nexus 7 comes ready with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, a new version of Android with a few additional tweaks like multi-user settings, which also enables Bluetooth Smart, the low-energy Bluetooth element.

The iPad Mini already has Bluetooth 4.0, and iOS 7 is said to enable better support for Bluetooth accessories like game controllers and health monitors.

Apple has more tablet-optimized apps on the whole than Google, as well as a larger selection of games, but Google is making strides in gaming on Google Play.

Battery life, Memory and Connectivity

The Nexus 7 2 has a 3950 mAh battery capable of up to 9 hours of video playback, 10 hours of web browsing or 300 hours of standby. The iPad Mini has a larger 4490 mAh battery, though with the larger screen the actual battery life is likely to be similar to that of the Nexus 7 2.

The Nexus 7 2 has either 16GB or 32GB of built in memory but there’s no micro SD card slot. The iPad Mini comes in a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB and again has no micro SD card slot.

In terms of connectivity options the Nexus 7 2 has Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0. The iPad Mini supports the same connectivity options other than NFC, which is absent.


In many ways these two tablets are quite similar. They have similar camera capabilities, similar battery lives and similar connectivity options. Of course, buying a tablet isn’t all about specs. Users should consider the ecosystem available to them on a particular device — especially when it comes to available media content.

The new Nexus 7 not only offers a better screen, processor, and bells and whistles, but it remains less expensive across the board than October 2012 iPad Mini.

The iPad Mini has a physically larger screen and the same wireless/camera capability, and has number of tablet-specific apps, as well as it supports media playback from virtually every service on the market. Besides, Apple’s next iPads — and perhaps a new iPad Mini — may only be a couple of months away.