Mobile Technology

Galaxy Note 8.0 vs. Nexus 7

Galaxy Note 8.0 vs. Nexus 7
We compare the specs - and other features - of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and Google/Asus Nexus 7
We compare the specs - and other features - of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and Google/Asus Nexus 7
View 11 Images
The Galaxy Note 8.0 holds a bit more juice
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The Galaxy Note 8.0 holds a bit more juice
The Nexus 7 has no camera on its backside
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The Nexus 7 has no camera on its backside
The Note's Exynos chip should offer better performance, but neither tablet will have problems in that department
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The Note's Exynos chip should offer better performance, but neither tablet will have problems in that department
The Note's surface is larger, but the Nexus 7 is thicker
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The Note's surface is larger, but the Nexus 7 is thicker
The Note 8 gives you an extra inch of screen, but the Nexus 7's will be sharper
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The Note 8 gives you an extra inch of screen, but the Nexus 7's will be sharper
We compare the specs - and other features - of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and Google/Asus Nexus 7
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We compare the specs - and other features - of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and Google/Asus Nexus 7
S Pen stylus, or great price? (dollar image: Shutterstock)
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S Pen stylus, or great price? (dollar image: Shutterstock)
The Note doubles the Nexus' 1 GB of RAM
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The Note doubles the Nexus' 1 GB of RAM
The Note offers more storage, along with expandable microSD card support
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The Note offers more storage, along with expandable microSD card support
Weight is just about even
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Weight is just about even
Both tablets come in cellular data models, but the Note's has faster LTE
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Both tablets come in cellular data models, but the Note's has faster LTE
View gallery - 11 images

After several years of the 9.7-inch iPad dominating tablet sales, we’ve seen a shift. Customers are gravitating more toward smaller (and cheaper) 7 to 8-inch slates. Two of today’s top choices in that bracket are the Google/Asus Nexus 7 and Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 8.0. Read on, as we compare the specs – and other features – of these two mini tablets.

Size

The Note's surface is larger, but the Nexus 7 is thicker
The Note's surface is larger, but the Nexus 7 is thicker

The Galaxy Note 8.0 has a larger surface, but is significantly thinner than the Nexus 7.

Weight

Weight is just about even
Weight is just about even

The two tablets weigh roughly the same, with the Nexus 7 tipping the scale just a hair more than the Note 8.

Display

The Note 8 gives you an extra inch of screen, but the Nexus 7's will be sharper
The Note 8 gives you an extra inch of screen, but the Nexus 7's will be sharper

Samsung’s display sits in the 8-inch range that many iPad mini customers enjoy. If you can sacrifice that (diagonal) inch of real estate, the Nexus 7’s screen should appear sharper.

Processor

The Note's Exynos chip should offer better performance, but neither tablet will have problems in that department
The Note's Exynos chip should offer better performance, but neither tablet will have problems in that department

Both tablets sport quad core processors. The Note’s offers better performance, but for everyday use, both will more than suffice.

RAM

The Note doubles the Nexus' 1 GB of RAM
The Note doubles the Nexus' 1 GB of RAM

The Galaxy Note 8.0 doubles the Nexus 7’s 1 GB of random-access memory (RAM).

Storage

The Note offers more storage, along with expandable microSD card support
The Note offers more storage, along with expandable microSD card support

The storage edge goes to Samsung’s tablet. It offers larger internal flash memory options, as well as SD card support. The Nexus 7 doesn’t have a microSD slot.

Wireless

Both tablets come in cellular data models, but the Note's has faster LTE
Both tablets come in cellular data models, but the Note's has faster LTE

If you’re looking for a Wi-Fi only device, both deliver. As far as (more expensive) mobile data options go, the Note has LTE and the Nexus 7 settles for HSPA+.

Cameras

The Nexus 7 has no camera on its backside
The Nexus 7 has no camera on its backside

Megapixels aren’t everything, but Samsung clearly wins this round. The Nexus 7 has no rear camera.

Battery

The Galaxy Note 8.0 holds a bit more juice
The Galaxy Note 8.0 holds a bit more juice

You’ll always want to take battery capacity with grains of salt, as many other factors combine to determine actual uptime. With that said, the Note 8.0’s battery holds a bit more juice.

Intangibles

S Pen stylus, or great price? (dollar image: Shutterstock)
S Pen stylus, or great price? (dollar image: Shutterstock)

After several years where its Galaxy Tabs met lackluster sales, Samsung has found more success with its Galaxy Note line of tablets and "phablets." Its marketing angle centers around the Note's stylus input, and the creativity and fine-tuned-input that it (supposedly) allows.

The Galaxy Note 8.0’s stylus (S Pen) sees some upgrades, with greater integration into the Note’s Touchwiz software. Unsheathe the stylus, and the Note will prepare for pen input. Hover the S Pen over the screen, and select apps will respond accordingly (like previewing a post in Flipboard).

The Nexus 7’s X-factor is its price. We don’t yet know how much the Galaxy Note 8.0 will cost, but it won’t likely meet the Nexus 7’s affordable US$200 starting price. Expect something more in the range of the iPad mini’s $330 for the Note.

The Galaxy Note 8 runs Android 4.1.2 Jellybean (with Samsung’s Touchwiz UI sitting on top). The Nexus 7, meanwhile, not only ships with the newest version of Android (4.2.2, Jellybean). It will also get future updates much quicker than Samsung’s tablet will. The Nexus 7 also sports “pure” (unskinned) Android, which many customers prefer over manufacturer UIs.

Wrap-up

Many of these comparisons reveal either two very similar devices, or one clear winner for most shoppers. Here, though, we have two divergent paths:The Nexus 7 offers a sharper display, a more compact build, and pure Android. Its rock-bottom price doesn’t hurt either.

The Galaxy Note 8.0, though, delivers a larger screen, a thinner form factor, and a faster chip. Some customers may also find its stylus to be a perk.

Which is for you? While you mull over it, perhaps you’ll want to see how the Galaxy Note 8.0 compares to the iPad mini.

View gallery - 11 images
5 comments
Bill Mitchell
Lol, "Some customers may also find its stylus to be a perk..."
Yes the ability to take, save and search handwritten notes is pretty lame. Can't imagine many people wanting that. Leaving out students and business people of course -- they write things occasionally.
Amazing how you denigrate the single biggest selling point of the Note 8.0 - THE ABILITY TO TAKE NOTES! That's why they call it the Note.
Oztechi
While the Note's stylus can be used to take notes, it is arguably more useful for sketching and other design related functions.
Developers can also create more buttons and make them smaller for those that use a stylus instead of their chunkier fingers for certain tasks.
Until more countries install LTE, the Nexus with its HSPA+ will be more useful and almost as fast.
Robert Leuszler
Dear Samsung, The new note looks great, but please increase the resolution on the device before I buy. Why is a company that makes LCD's always putting the older technology on their devices and still hope to beat Apple?
Rodger Hodgson
The stylus is a perk... Um...Amazon.com 8 stylus $5.99 Download a note program to your Nexus 7, and walaaaaaa It's a Note!
John Hogan
Nice round up. I've got an n7 which I'm using now. For people wanting a compact tablet, I wouldn't go any larger than the n7. It fits in larger pockets and is quite sturdy. I can vouch for Samsung's build quality etc but I think it and the iPad mini both blow through the convenient size for smaller tablet computers.