This is my layman’s comparison review between the Google Nexus 7 ( N7) and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 ( GT77). The N7 is Google’s first entry into the competitive tablet market and is meant to be a budget tablet and a potential first buy to new tablet users. Infact Google claim it is not making any money selling it at US $ 199 ( 8 GB ) and US$ 249 ( 16 GB) . The N7 is manufactured by Taiwanese maker ASUS.
The Tab 7.7 is the most impressive 7 inch+ Android tablet by Samsung and I’d say is the best 7” Android tablet I have used to date. Its display is slight larger at 7.7 inch. I have done a brief review of it at my previous blog post at HERE
This 16 GB 3g/Wifi tablet retails at around US$ 550-580
Pricing aside, this comparison will give you a simple guide what these tablets offer
As before , here I used a simple rating guide to assess the difference between these 2 tablets – a score of 10 being the best and a 1 being the worst. These are my personal assessments and your opinion might possibly differ from mine
The Tab 7.7 is on mod JB rom ( Nexus 7.7 v 1.3 ) found at
I would say this is the best custom rom I have tested on the tab 7.7 and this rom basically simulates the Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 is also on custom rom CNA 3.3.2 ( nightly build dated 23 Aug) which combines the best of stock official rom and AOPK roms
Rom link : http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1839244
This is the main link but the nightlies version can be downloaded at : http://goo.im/devs/codenamedroid/nightlies/grouper
N7 : It is powered by a 1.3 Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor ( NVidia GForce 12 core GPU) with 1GB RAM and comes with two storage options at either 8GB or 16 GB. The quality of the display however is quite disappointing as it is just plain IPS LCD but with a 1200X800 resolution ( 216 pixel/inch). There is no rear camera , only a 1.2 mp front facing camera. There is no 3G simcard slot and so only WiFi is the only connectivity option.
GT77 : This is a dual core Exynos 1.4 Ghz ( with Mali 400 GPU) with 1 GB ram and 16 GB storage. In my opinion, the display quality is very much better than the N7 with SuperAmoled Plus ( 1200X800 resolution and 196 pixel/inch ) with brighter colors , though some might say it looks not so natural. There is a 3.5 MP rear camera besides the 2 MP front camera. In addition this tab comes with added external storage through a micro external SD slot which can support up to 64 GB ( both class 6 and class 10 cards)
Basing on hardware specs alone, the N7 seems to be a winner ( details posted below ) but on practical grounds the GT77 wins with added 3G connectivity and external micro Sd slot
Practically most games, apps and tasks do not really require the need for quad core processing. The quadcore will definitely increase benchmark scores . The potential of quadcore can only be seen with apps supporting it and needing it in future
Summary of differences between these 2 tablets can be viewed at :
Hardware – N7 ( 9) : GT77 ( 8)
Hardware connectivity , storage and camera options – N7 ( 5) : GT77 ( 10)
Here the GT77 obviously thrumps over the N7 with added external micro SDcard ( up to 64 GB ) and additional options of internal storage at 32 GB and 64 Gb. These 2 additional options is anot available in Malaysia. With 3G simcard added in, one have another option to have internet access besides using the tablet for calls and SMS
However one can easily overcome the N7 storage by just using a USB-OTG cable and connect it to an external thumb drives ( tested up to 16 GB) and external Sdcards ( tested with 64 GB microSDcard through a full size SDcard adapter). However the N7 needs to be rooted and have an app Chainfire StickMount installed. It is inconvenient but nevertheless a solution
The added camera at the back of the GT77 is an advantage when you need to take those impromptu shots. The 3.15 megapixel primary camera comes with auto-focus, LED flash and geo-tagging. The camera can record video in 720p at 30 frames per second (fps). The N7 comes with a 1.2 megapixel primary camera for video-calling. The camera can record video in 720p.
BUILD QUALITY – N7 ( 8) : GT77 ( 10)
The N7 looks cheap compared to the GT77. The GT77 oozes class and its back metallic finish is so much better than the pimpled back surface of the N7. There are in fact plenty of poor comments on the web about the N7 glass surface lifting off the edges. The N7 though is a smaller tablet is heavier by 5 gm and is obviously thicker by 2.6 mm. The N7 saving grace is its slight tapered edge to the back which lessen the thicker impression. The GT77 is the slimmest tablet I have come across which at only 7.89 mm thick, is even slimmer than the smartphones SGS II and Galaxy Note
OPERATING SYSTEM – N7 ( 10) : GT77 ( 8.5)
By default the N7 comes with latest Android OS JellyBean ver 4.1.1 while the GT77 is still at ICS ( 4.0.4). I would rate just a 7 for the GT77 on ICS but here I have rated it a closer 8.5 as my Tab 7.7 is now installed with custom Jellybean rom. Overall the N7 is slicker and smoother, and slightly more responsive than the GT77 ( on custom JB rom)
DISPLAY QUALITY – N7 ( 9 ) : GT77 ( 10)
Display quality is debatable. Some users prefer a more natural look while some do not mind a “faked” and not so natural colors. I am in the latter category. The N7 colors looks very slight paler and carries a slight bluish tint . I find the GT77 colors are more vivid and blacks looks real black. This is not so obvious in below shots but practically it is. Both display I’d say looks equally good by itself without any comparison, though I find the GT77 has an edge . However due to its extra 0.7 inch, the pixel density of the GT77 is lower at 196 vs 216 ppi of the N7. Interms of resolution , both tablets are the same at 1200X800 ( HD quality). This difference in the ppi I would say is negligible
LEFT – N77 : RIGHT – GT77
PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKS – N7 ( 10) : GT77 ( 8)
Bench mark figures are just a guide and do not really necessary reflect real life performance. But the N7 is a clear winner here on Quadrant and AnTuTu benchmarking tests I have done. The Vellamo browsing benchmarks, the GT77 scores slight higher. These are the best of 3 readings done.
QUADRANT : N7 – 4776 and GT77 – 3509
Quadrant is a CPU, I/O and 3D graphics benchmark
This app has been widely used since April 2010, and now with its latest update finally supports multiple core and Android 4.0. Quadrant Standard Edition has long been the standard in apps used to quickly benchmark Android phones. There are many arguments on then accuracy and validity of Quadrant benchmark scores, and how those scores translate into real-world use, but nonetheless, it’s the app for seeing what the device can offer against others.
AnTuTu Benchmarks : N7 – 10454 vs GT77 – 6333. This is a benchmarking tool for Android Mobile Phone/Pad. It can run a full test of a key project, through the “Memory Performance”,”CPU Integer Performance”,”CPU Floating point Performance”,”2D 3D Graphics Performance”,”SD card reading/writing speed”,”Database IO” performance testing, and gives accurate analysis for Andriod smart phones. AnTuTu Benchmark can support the latest quad-core cpu. In reaching the overall and individual scores of the hardware, AnTuTu Benchmark could judge your phone by the scores of the performance of the hardware.
REAL LIFE PERFORMANCE – N7 ( 9) : GT77 ( 8.5)
The difference between the two is marginal. The N7 here wins slightly due to its overall smoother UI, and slight quicker launch of apps. Browsing is virtually similar. Games on the N7 appears slight faster though I am unable to measure it. The GT77 will obviously loses out more obviously if it remains on ICS ( I would rate it a 7 ). Project Butter ( responsible for the extreme improvement in UI smoothness ) as on the original Jellybean OS is not being fully captured yet in those JB custom roms of the Tab 7.7 due to unavailability of official stock release
MUSIC and VIDEO – N7 ( 8) : GT 77 ( 10)
The GT77 is much more superior in this . Its audio quality thrumps the N7 which is often softer in most audio and video playback
On the N7, in most videos I need to maximize the volume to have a decent playback of the audio
By default The GT77 supports more video formats : MPEF4, DivX,XviD and WMV besides the usual H.263 and H.264
Several users on the web has complained about crackling audios of the N7 at high volumes
BATTERY LIFE – N7 ( 9) : GT77 ( 9)
The GT77 has a higher Li-Po battery at 5100 mAh against the Li-ion 4325 mAh of the N7. Theoretically the GT77 has extra 18 % battery power. In real life performance, the N7 battery life can easily match the GT77 BUT it is only on the custom rom “ Codename Android 3.3.2 “ that I have installed.
The custom rom has easily increased the N7 battery life I guessestimate by up to 30 %. Continuous video playback on both can easily last 12 hours.
Operating temperatures are equally similar ranging 32-35 degree C in video playing and wifi browsing. This is much cooler than other Android smartphones I have used
SHUTDOWN and SWITCH ON times – N7 ( 7) : GT77 ( 10)
The N7 took 14 sec to shutdown and 70 secs to switch on and fully boot to the lockscreen. The GT77 times is much faster at 4 secs to shutdown and 52 secs to bootup
SUMMARY : WHO is the WINNER ?
There is actually no clear winner in this comparison. If prices of both are similar, I would rate the Tab 7.7 as the winner. The Nexus 7 was never meant to compete with the Tab 7.7 as it is meant to be a budget entry tablet. I would say for RM 950-RM1000 the Nexus 7 is indeed a good buy but you have to accept the absence of external SDcard and 3G connectivity availability. If you just want an affordable tablet for browsing, ebooks, some gaming, checking up your emails, RSS, tweeter, facebook updates I do highly recommend this Nexus 7. Paying an additional RM 900+ gives you the Tab 7.7 with added external microSD card and 3 G capability and a “better” display
The Tab 7.7 has a huge price margin over it at RM 1899 . One can basically buy close to 2 N7 at this price