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Our Verdict

The Nexus 9 is undoubtedly better than the Nexus 7 with a more powerful 64-bit processor, better cameras and front facing stereo speakers. The screen is bigger too but there’s a drop in pixel density and an increase in price. Stand by for an update once we get our hands on the Nexus 9.

As expected, Google has announced the Nexus 9 with  Android 5.0 Lollipop and you’re probably wanting to know what different compared with the Nexus 7. Read our Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison to find out. Also see: Best tablets and Best Android tablets.

Before we get into the comparison, it’s worth pointing out that we’re comparing the new Nexus 9 with the Nexus 7 (2013) and not the original from 2012. Google also announced the  Nexus 6 and the Nexus Player.

The Nexus 9 is available to pre-order now for release on 3 November. Meanwhile, the Nexus 7 has been removed from the Google Play store but you should be able to find it at other retailers while stocks last.

The Nexus 7 costs £199 or £239 officially but now the Nexus 9 is here you can find it for less. For example, Amazon has it for £165. You’ll have to pay a bit more for the Nexus 9 as it starts at £319 and jumps to £399 for the higher capacity. if you want 4G LTE you’ll have to stump up £459.

Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Design

Although Asus made both versions of the Nexus 7 and HTC has built the Nexus 9, the two look quite similar in design.

The Nexus 9 is easily recognisable as a Nexus device and has a brushed metal frame running around the edge. The rear cover remains soft grip plastic and while the Nexus 7 was available in black and white, the Nexus 9 comes in a new beige/sand colour.

It’s a bigger tablet because of the screen (see below) but is a little thinner at 7.95 mm compared to 8.65 mm. It’s understandably heavier at 425 g which is up from 290 g.

Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Hardware

Screen

The jump is screen size is a major difference here and Google has gone from 7in to 8.9in so effectively a gain of 2in as the product names suggest. The aspect ratio moves from 16:9 to 4:3 matching the iPad range.

Resolution has gone from 1920 x 1200 to 2048 x 1536 but the screen size means that the pixel density actually drops a bit from 323ppi to 281ppi. Both use an IPS LCD panel.

Processor

Another big change is the nVidia Tegra K1 processor found in the Nexus 9 which is a 2.3 GHz 64-bit dual-core Denver chip – a nice jump from the Nexus 7’s Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro which is 1.5GHz quad-core.

Storage and wireless

Although the screen and processor are big changes, much of the Nexus 9’s specs remain the same including 2GB of RAM, 16- or 32GB of internal storage, no microSD card slot, NFC, optional 4G LTE and GPS.

Google has also fitted then Nexus 9 with a magnetometer for detecting magnetic cases.

Cameras

Although we’re not too bothered about cameras on tablets this is an area with upgrades on the Nexus 9 with an 8Mp rear camera which is accompanied by an LED flash. That’s better than the Nexus 7’s 5Mp main camera with no flash. Video recording remains at up to 1080p.

At the front, things have jumped from 1.2Mp to 1.6Mp. Both of the Nexus 9 cameras use an f/2.4 aperture.

Battery life

The Nexus 7 has a 3,950 mAH battery and wireless charging and although there’s no mention of wireless charging on the Nexus 9, it has a 6700 mAh battery.

Google’s figures tout up to nine hours of video playback on the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 9 will do an extra half an hour. However, it will supposedly only cope with 9.5 hours of web browsing while the Nexus 7 can manage 10.

Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Software

There’s really no difference in software as although the nexus 9 will ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Nexus 7 will get updated to the latest version. The only real difference is that the Nexus 9 will make full use of it with the 64-bit processor.

Specs Google Nexus 9: Specs

Android 5.0 Lollipop

8.9in IPS LCD (2048 x 1536)

nVidia Tegra K1 2.3GHz 64-bit

2GB RAM

16/32GB storage

11ac dual-band Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO)

Bluetooth 4.1

NFC

GPS

optional 4G LTE

HTC BoomSound stereo speakers

8Mp rear camera with LED flash

1.6Mp front camera

6700mAh battery

7.95mm

425g

Black,white,sand

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Root Nexus 7 With Cf

Root methods for rooting the Nexus 7 have no doubt existed for quite some time, and the most popular root tools for Samsung devices – CF-Auto-Root – by developer Chainfire can now be added to the list, as it has now been released for the Nexus 7. CF-Auto-Root, like the name suggests, roots the device automatically and doesn’t require much work on the user’s part.

CF-Auto-Root supports both the Wi-Fi-only and 3G-enabled Nexus 7, and the procedure to use CF-Auto-Root is detailed in the guide below. Keep in mind that while the procedure is completely safe, it will wipe all data on your Nexus 7 as rooting requires its bootloader to be unlocked, so you will need to backup all your important files and apps.

So if you have a Nexus 7 and are looking to root it, continue reading for the step-by-step guide on how to do that.

Compatibility

This guide is applicable only for the ASUS/Google Nexus 7. Do not try this on any other device.

Warning!

The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky and you should not attempt anything if you don’t know completely what it is. If any damage occurs to your device, we won’t be held liable.

How to Root Nexus 7 with CF-Auto-Root

NOTE: If your tablet’s bootloader is already unlocked, no data will be wiped and you can skip backup of data.

Download and install the Android SDK → from here. This will install the necessary drivers for the tablet on your computer. Remember that even though your Nexus 7′s storage shows up on the computer when you connect it, the Android SDK drivers are separate and are required for the rooting process.

Download the CF-Auto-Root package from the source page.

Extract the contents of the CF-Auto-Root file to a convenient location on your computer.

Turn off your Nexus 7. Then, boot into fastboot mode by holding down the Volume down and Powerbuttons together till the screen turns on and shows “Start” written in big green letters.

Then, connect your Nexus 7 to the computer with your USB cable, then wait for Windows to finish installing the drivers (drivers will be installed only the first time). For reliability, ensure that you use a USB port at the back if you are using a desktop computer, as the front panel ports can be loose and cause problems.

Before proceeding, make sure you took a backup as explained in step 1. Then, press any key to start the rooting procedure.

At one point, the tablet will reboot and show a red Android logo while it is being rooted. Once the procedure is complete, the tablet will boot up normally and if you didn’t have an unlocked bootloader before rooting, all data would have been wiped.

NOTE: After rooting, check in your tablet whether an app named “SuperSU” is installed, which is the app that allows you to grant root access to any app that asks for root. If the app isn’t visible in your device’s apps list, then it was probably not installed during the rooting procedure. In that case, simply install SuperSU from the Play Store yourself.

Your Nexus 7 is now rooted, and you can proceed to using root-enabled apps on your favourite 7-inch tablet. Have fun, and don’t forget to let us know how CF-Auto-Root works for you.

Dell Venue 7 And 8 Aim To Undercut Nexus 7 With Intel Innards

Dell Venue 7 and 8 aim to undercut Nexus 7 with Intel innards

With a gush of product releases this week the folks at Dell have come with more than just Windows – they’ve got a set of Dell Venue tablets running Android as well. Here we’re seeing the Dell 7 come with a 7-inch display while the Venue 8 works with work with an 8-inch screen, both of them fully touch-enabled and both of them appearing with optional 4G connectivity. What’s key with these releases for the company is making certain they’ll be able to compete with the most popular tablet on the market today – the Nexus 7 from Google.

Dell has not be particularly successful with Android tablets recently – mostly because they’ve not released an Android tablet on a massive scale for a very, very long time. Here with the Dell Venue 8 and 7 though, they may be setting themselves up for a quick victory. Supposing the market is in the mood for yet another Android tablet in the first place, that is.

The Dell Venue 7 will go into battle direct with the Nexus 7 with a price that’s more than just a little competitive: $149 USD. At that price, it’s likely Dell is aiming for those users who wish to use their slate for web browsing and basic social networking. We’ve yet to see if this machine can live up to the hype included with the processor power under the hood of the Nexus 7.

Inside the Dell Venue 7 you’ll get a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS LCD display with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 Clover Trail+ dual-core processor. Alongside this Intel SoC you’ll find 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage – and there’s a microSD card slot too for an additional 32GB of space. This machine also works with a 3-megapixel camera on its back, a VGA camera up front, and a single microUSB port for power and PC connectivity. This device will go on sale starting on October 18th, 2013.

The Dell Venue 8 will come in at a rather surprisingly low price as well: $179 USD. At that price, this 8-inch tablet will also go into competition with the least expensive tablets on the market. Dell may just be aiming for the likes of users who would otherwise seek discounted tablets from previous generations – why buy an old model for that price when you could have a new one now?

The 8-inch Dell Venue machine will work with a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS LCD display also sporting Intel Atom insides. This unit works with a 2GHz Intel Atom Z2580 Clover Trail+ dual-core processor with a 2-megapixel camera up front and a 5-megapixel camera on its back. Inside you’ll also find 2GB of RAM, a microSD card slot alongside 16GB of internal storage, and the whole lot gets Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean right out of the box.

What Is A Nexus Device?

HTC Nexus One

What Nexus devices are there?

Motorola Xoom

Nexus naming nightmare

As you can see from the product names mentioned above, Nexus devices don’t have a cohesive naming scheme and that could turn out to be a marketing annoyance in the coming years and I’ll show you why.

The first Nexus handset was the HTCNexus One, which had a rather logical name. We were expecting a Nexus Two to follow, but legend has it that Samsung did not want to be second to anybody. Consequently the second and third Nexus smartphones were called the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus, respectively. Finally, the fourth model was unexpectedly baptized the Nexus 4 – not Nexus Four mind you – and we expect this year’s Nexus smartphone to be called the Nexus 5, as long the company making it will not have a different opinion.

Samsung Nexus S

That’s all fine and dandy, but while Nexus smartphones numbers represent their generation, moving along to Nexus tablets will complicate things. The Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are not the seventh and tenth, respectively, Nexus tablets. They’re the first two, only one is a 7 incher while the other sports a 10-inch display.

In case you don’t see the problem yet, then in couple of years we may have a strange mix of Nexus products including the Nexus 7 smartphone and the third-generation Nexus 7 tablet or Nexus 7 3.0.

What matters though is that you remember that Nexus devices are made only by/for Google.

Nexus vs Android devices

So if Nexus devices are running Android, what are the differences between Nexus smartphones and tablets and all the other Android-running gadgets out there?

Hardware

In the Android universe, it’s not exactly possible to have the latest hardware on a device for more than a few months. Because a variety of worldwide retailers launch new Android gadgets every few months, Nexus devices will not always be the hottest devices in town. That said, you should know that at the time of their original launch, Nexus smartphones sport the latest hardware features available to OEMs, and with few exceptions they’re ready to offer you the same set of specs and features found on top-shelf Android handsets

So Nexus smartphones are usually high-end devices, but they may lack certain features, including microSD support, which happens to be a deal breaker for some, and even LTE support (see the Nexus 4) which could be a problem in the future if the trend continues.

With Nexus tablets, or at least with some of them, things are a bit different. Because it wasn’t able to really compete against the iPad since Apple launched the iOS tablet, and because the Search company received an unexpected hit from Amazon, which released the Kindle Fire tablet in late 2011, a device running a forked Android version stripped off all Google elements and apps, and sold at cost, Google was forced to come out with a budget tablet of its own, the Nexus 7, in mid-2012.

Therefore the Nexus 7 tablet isn’t a high-end device specs-wise. It’s not targeting the iPad directly, not that you’re likely to feel any performance troubles during daily tablet operations because it still sports some great internal components. The Nexus 10, on the other hand, is Google’s first try at directly fighting the iPad, and therefore it’s offering some higher-end features.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Software

Buying Nexus vs buying other Android devices

So now that you have an idea what Nexus devices have to offer compared to their Android equivalents, and especially if you’re just moving away from cellphones / featurephones to smartphones and/or tablets, you may be wondering whether it’s better to buy a Nexus or an Android device. You know, since they’re essentially running the same software.

ASUS Nexus 7

But there is no right answer. Going the Nexus way is encouraged if you want to have a pure Google Android experience and have access to the latest software updates without installing custom ROMs based on those software releases. In most cases you’ll run Google’s latest OS version after a few days since it becomes official, although some carriers may still get in the way of timely Nexus updates (see Verizon and Sprint in the USA). You won’t have to deal with custom user interfaces built on top of Android and you won’t have to deal with all the pre-loaded apps from carriers and their partners that you’ll find on other Android handsets and tablets.

Furthermore, if you are a software developer looking to create Android apps and/or bringing your existing mobile apps to the Google Play Store, then owning a Nexus device may be a must, in order for you to stay up to date with the latest Android releases and what not. At the same time, owning a bunch of other Android hardware may be required in order for you to optimize app experience on different smartphones and tablets.

If the timeliness of software updates isn’t such an important factor in your Android device buying decision, then going for any other device isn’t a bad thing either. No matter what your budget is, you’ll be able to afford a new Android handset and/or tablet, and you’ll have a rich mobile experience. You don’t need to buy a Nexus to get that. Not to mention that you may be interested in having a device that comes with a microSD slot or LTE connectivity, which would mean they wouldn’t be available by purchasing the latest Nexus devices out there.

The better acquainted you get with Android on these non-Nexus devices, the more likely you’ll be to try out custom ROMs, and there are a lot of them out there – although we’ll never encourage you to install any unofficial software on any device you own – and you’ll get access to Android updates faster than your carrier wants you to.

Aren’t Nexus devices cheaper though?

LG Nexus 4

How is Google able to pull it off? First off, in the tablet sector it has to fight the Amazon threat, not to mention that Apple has its own cheaper tablet as well, so that’s an area where we can’t expect any price hikes for the foreseeable future.

But what surprised everyone in late 2012 is that Google managed to strike an interesting deal with LG to sell the Nexus 4 for a lot less than anticipated, as long as the device is purchased through its Google Play storefront. The device sells starting at $299 and that’s the off-contract price. But carriers and retailers around the world do not get the same preferential treatment.

Will the trend continue in 2013? That’s certainly something we’re interested to see, because while Google is definitely making waves with its Nexus phones and tablets (with price being an important marketing factor,) it’s also indirectly hurting its partners. All the other Android OEMs don’t have a second revenue stream like the Google Play Store to fall back to and they want to make money from handset and tablet sales. And that’s harder to do when Google is selling hot devices with lower starting prices.

And then there are the carriers, who can’t really afford to offer buyers cheap high-end handsets as the Nexus 4 because subscribers would quickly move from postpaid to prepaid plans, which is not what any mobile operator wants.

On the other hand, the tougher the economy, the more attention one pays to the budget for mobile purchases. With that in mind, getting a brand-new high-end off-contract Nexus 4 smartphone is probably one of the best deals one can look forward to – in fact it’s the only such offer available out there, as no other high-end smartphone will sell for as low under the same conditions (new device, without a subsidy and contract). If only Google had enough Nexus 4 units to go around, right?

Google and Motorola

As you have noticed so far, Google worked with a variety of companies including HTC, Samsung, ASUS and LG to release Nexus devices. And that’s certainly the best business practice for the company. Google can’t just partner up with one Android device maker for Nexus handsets and tablets because at the end of the day Google wants to keep its partners happy in order to have as them making as many Android devices as possible year after year.

However, Google failed to use Motorola to build Nexus devices so far. Starting with May 2012, Motorola is officially a Google subsidiary which means that in theory the two companies could create a plethora of Nexus smartphones and tablets and sell them at cost to hook as many new mobile users into Google’s mobile environment.

Samsung Nexus 10

But Google said it wouldn’t treat Motorola preferentially now that it owns it, and it probably had to show everyone it means that by not creating any Nexus device in partnership with Motorola in 2012. In fact, it looks like it intentionally stayed away from doing so. Moreover, Moto launched several new Android devices in the RAZR family in fall 2012 without equipping them with the then-freshly launched Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS version.

Google execs did say that the Motorola purchase was mainly for its patent chest needed to fight Apple, Microsoft and anyone else that’s attacking Android, although that kind of didn’t work for the company, attractive negative reactions from U.S. and European regulatory commission that went as far as to initiate inquiries into Google’s patent-related business practices.

Will 2013 be the year of the first Motorola Nexus device? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Nexus devices are here to stay

Google Nexus Q

So do expect to see more Nexus devices in the coming years. And whether you pick one up or not next time you’re buying a smartphone or tablet, it won’t necessarily matter for Google, as long as you choose an Android device.

Will you buy a Nexus devices as soon as possible?

Nexus 7 Refresh Tipped For Summer; How It Differs From The Original

Nexus 7 refresh tipped for summer; how it differs from the original

The original Google Nexus 7 tablet (as manufactured by ASUS) has been tipped to be getting a refresh with new hardware and a launch time around June or July. This updated piece of equipment would, if this set of predictions turns true, have the tablet ready to be re-introduced at Google I/O 2013, the company’s developer conference. This conference begins next week, starting on Wednesday the 15th of May, ending Friday.

It was just one year ago that Google I/O 2012 revealed the Google Nexus 7 originally, giving it there to every developer attendee so that they might develop games and apps for the device with ease. That original Google Nexus 7 remains on sale today with the specifications it came with in the first place.

The original Google Nexus 7 worked with a 7-inch IPS LCD display at 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, that ending up bringing on a 216 PPI screen density. This device was 198.5 x 120 x 10.45 mm large and was released in both wifi-only and 3G-capable iterations, having Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS inside. The original Nexus 7 worked with 8GB of internal storage – this was quickly upgraded to 16GB of internal storage in the smallest, standard model, while another 32GB internal storage iteration was released as well.

Perhaps most important of all, this original Nexus 7 was – before it was scooped up by Google – an ASUS/NVIDIA collaboration. As a low-cost quad-core processor-toting tablet, NVIDIA had it announced at CES 2012 with ASUS without a formal release date. This device was quickly spotted by Google and brought on as an exclusive release under the company’s Nexus brand. Fun fact: we also predicted this collaboration – albeit with the wrong price attached.

This ASUS Eee Pad MeMO was announced with NVIDIA’s own Tegra 3 quad-core processor inside and continued to carry that processor through to its re-naming as the Google Nexus 7. In an analyst report with 9to5Google by Mingchi Kuo from KGI securities today, the new Google 7 tablet will be bringing with it a quad-core Qualcomm processor.

The processor this new Nexus 7 is tipped to bring with it is the same APQ8064 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor carried by the Google Nexus 4, the current hero smartphone for Google (manufactured by LG). This would be a relatively major blow to NVIDIA as the Nexus 7 allowed their chipset to reach a relatively large cross-section of users over the past year.

This new Nexus 7 would be manufactured by ASUS as the first iteration was and will have 7-inch LTPS display with 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution. That puts the density of this display at 323 PPI, far greater than the original device. This new Nexus 7 is also suggested to be coming with a thinner bezel than before, Qi standard wireless charging, and a back-facing camera sitting at 5-megapixels strong.

We’ll know one way or the other next week – if Google is aiming to re-introduce the Nexus 7 with new specifications for this year, Google I/O 2013 is the ideal place to do it. Stick with SlashGear in our Google I/O portal for more information on the event and head to our Facebook event page to sign up to remind yourself to join us!

Miui 4 For Nexus S — Install Guide

Another new week, and another MIUI 4 Custom Rom based on Ice Cream Sandwich is out!!! This time, it reaches one of the developer favorites, the Nexus S. XDA member Oodie, who happens to be the same dev who gave us an MIUI 4 Alpha ROM for the Xperia X10 a few days ago, has recently got himself a Nexus S, and has now turned some of his attention towards this wonderful device. The result is an MIUI 4 Ice Cream Sandwich Rom for the Nexus S!

The ROM is called Oodie Prime V2 (since the original Oodie Prime title had already been given to MIUI 4 for the Xperia X10), and is based on stock MIUI 4 with some tweaks added.  MIUI 4 by itself is in a pre-beta stage and not completely stable yet, plus this is Oodie’s first release for the Nexus S, and there may be some minor errors here and there,  but it is a ROM definitely worth trying out!!

Warning

The steps and methods included in this guide are considered risky. Please do not attempt to try this unless you know exactly what you are doing, as it may render your device unusable, and your pocket lighter by the amount it takes to replace it. You have been forewarned!!!

Compatibility

This rom and the guide below is compatible only with the Nexus S GSM version. Please do not attempt to flash it on an incompatible device, as it could cause damage to your device and brick it. Check your device’s model number in: Settings » About device. 

Pre-Installation Requirements

Rooted Nexus S with Clockworkmod Recovery.

Make sure your Nexus battery is fully charged

How To Install Oodie Prime V2 MIUI 4 on Nexus S

Download the Oodie Prime V2 ROM zip file to your PC (link provided above)

Connect the Nexus S to your PC via USB cable and transfer the downloaded zip file to the root of internal storage

Power off the phone

Now reboot the phone by holding down Volume Up and Power until Fastboot mode comes up.

Scroll down and select Recovery and wait for the phone to reboot into recovery mode.

Once in recovery, scroll down to Backup & restore, and on the next screen Select Backup. This will backup your existing ROM (Recommended in case something goes wrong and you want to revert to your earlier setup)

Once the backup is complete, Select Wipe Data/Factory reset from the main menu, and on the next screen select Yes-wipe data

Now scroll to Wipe Cache Partition and select it. On the next screen Select Yes-wipe cache.

Now that you have completed the full wipe, scroll to ‘Install zip from SD card‘

Then Select Choose zip from sd card and navigate to the ‘update.miui4.2.1.20.oodie.prime.v2.zip‘ file you transferred to the sd card in Step 2

This will start flashing the ROM to  your phone. Let the installation complete.

Now select Go Back, and then select Reboot System.

This will reboot the phone. Please note that the first boot might take a while. Do not worry, as this is normal. Once the phone has booted up completely, do not touch it for 5 mins. After 5 mins have passed, reboot the phone again to make sure that all the default apps have settled down.

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