Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 vs. 2013 Nexus 7

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 vs....
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Google/Asus Nexus 7
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Google/Asus Nexus 7
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The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 holds more juice, but it's too early to jump to conclusions about its battery life
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The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 holds more juice, but it's too early to jump to conclusions about its battery life
Both tablets are made of plastic, though Samsung's tablet is emulating a leather finish
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Both tablets are made of plastic, though Samsung's tablet is emulating a leather finish
In terms of megapixels, the Galaxy's cameras come out ahead
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In terms of megapixels, the Galaxy's cameras come out ahead
The Tab Pro's Snapdragon 800 is the faster processor, but performance isn't a concern with the Nexus 7
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The Tab Pro's Snapdragon 800 is the faster processor, but performance isn't a concern with the Nexus 7
The Tab Pro is 10 percent longer and 13 percent wider
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The Tab Pro is 10 percent longer and 13 percent wider
The Nexus 7's screen only gives you 69 percent as much real estate
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The Nexus 7's screen only gives you 69 percent as much real estate
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Google/Asus Nexus 7
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Google/Asus Nexus 7
The Tab Pro has an IR blaster, so you can use it to change channels on your TV and cable box
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The Tab Pro has an IR blaster, so you can use it to change channels on your TV and cable box
The Nexus 7 starts at US$170 cheaper than the Tab Pro 8.4
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The Nexus 7 starts at US$170 cheaper than the Tab Pro 8.4
Both tablets tote 2 GB of RAM
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Both tablets tote 2 GB of RAM
The new Galaxy Pro tablets are set to launch, while the 2nd-gen Nexus 7 has already been around for about seven months
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The new Galaxy Pro tablets are set to launch, while the 2nd-gen Nexus 7 has already been around for about seven months
Both tablets run KitKat, but the Galaxy Tab has a thick layer of TouchWiz hiding its Android underbelly
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Both tablets run KitKat, but the Galaxy Tab has a thick layer of TouchWiz hiding its Android underbelly
Each slate is offered in 16 GB and 32 GB storage options, while the Tab Pro also has a microSD card slot
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Each slate is offered in 16 GB and 32 GB storage options, while the Tab Pro also has a microSD card slot
The Nexus 7 is 12 percent lighter, though when you look at the size difference, both will feel very light in hand
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The Nexus 7 is 12 percent lighter, though when you look at the size difference, both will feel very light in hand
Both are sold in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi with cellular data models
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Both are sold in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi with cellular data models
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It took a while for hardware manufacturers to squeeze high-resolution screens into smaller tablets, but those floodgates are now wide open. Let's take the features and specs of one of the first razor-sharp mini-tablets, the 2013 Nexus 7, and compare them to those of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.

Size

The Tab Pro is 10 percent longer and 13 percent wider
The Tab Pro is 10 percent longer and 13 percent wider

We're looking at two different classes of "mini" here. The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is 10 percent longer and 13 percent wider than the Nexus 7. Samsung's tablet is, however, 17 percent thinner.

Weight

The Nexus 7 is 12 percent lighter, though when you look at the size difference, both will feel very light in hand
The Nexus 7 is 12 percent lighter, though when you look at the size difference, both will feel very light in hand

The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is 14 percent heavier than the Nexus 7, but considering the size difference, it's still going to feel very light in hand.

Build

Both tablets are made of plastic, though Samsung's tablet is emulating a leather finish
Both tablets are made of plastic, though Samsung's tablet is emulating a leather finish

Samsung is putting all of its chips in the pleather pot, as the new Galaxy Pro tablets all have the same faux leather (plastic) backing that we first saw in the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.

Display

The Nexus 7's screen only gives you 69 percent as much real estate
The Nexus 7's screen only gives you 69 percent as much real estate

Screen size is one of the biggest areas you'll want to look at before making this decision. The Nexus 7 only gives you 69 percent as much screen area as the new Galaxy tablet does. The Tab Pro 8.4 also packs in many more pixels, but the Nexus 7's 323 PPI is nothing to sneeze at either.

Storage

Each slate is offered in 16 GB and 32 GB storage options, while the Tab Pro also has a microSD card slot
Each slate is offered in 16 GB and 32 GB storage options, while the Tab Pro also has a microSD card slot

Both tablets sell in 16 GB and 32 GB models, though Samsung's slate also complements that with a microSD card slot.

Wireless

Both are sold in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi with cellular data models
Both are sold in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi with cellular data models

You can also pick up both tablets in Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi with cellular data models.

Cameras

In terms of megapixels, the Galaxy's cameras come out ahead
In terms of megapixels, the Galaxy's cameras come out ahead

The Galaxy Tab's cameras win on megapixels, but that isn't always the best measure. We'll have to wait for some extended hands-on time to have much to say about its front and rear shooters.

Battery

The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 holds more juice, but it's too early to jump to conclusions about its battery life
The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 holds more juice, but it's too early to jump to conclusions about its battery life

Battery life isn't amazing on the Nexus 7, but we also wouldn't brand it as a major concern either. Though it holds a bit more juice, we'll also need to wait for our review to draw any conclusions about the Tab Pro 8.4's uptimes.

Processor

The Tab Pro's Snapdragon 800 is the faster processor, but performance isn't a concern with the Nexus 7
The Tab Pro's Snapdragon 800 is the faster processor, but performance isn't a concern with the Nexus 7

Most versions of the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 will ship with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800, one of the fastest mobile CPUs around. The Nexus 7's Snapdragon S4 Pro is a generation behind and, in terms of benchmarks, can't keep up. But performance is past the point of concern in most high-end mobile devices, so we don't think this should be a big factor in your decision.

RAM

Both tablets tote 2 GB of RAM
Both tablets tote 2 GB of RAM

We're looking at the same 2 GB of RAM in both devices.

Infrared

The Tab Pro has an IR blaster, so you can use it to change channels on your TV and cable box
The Tab Pro has an IR blaster, so you can use it to change channels on your TV and cable box

If you want to use your tablet as a remote control for your TV and cable/satellite box, then the Galaxy Tab has you covered.

Software

Both tablets run KitKat, but the Galaxy Tab has a thick layer of TouchWiz hiding its Android underbelly
Both tablets run KitKat, but the Galaxy Tab has a thick layer of TouchWiz hiding its Android underbelly

Software joins display size as another big area to look closely at before making a decision here. Samsung's tablet runs Android 4.4 KitKat, but it's a heavily-skinned version. Samsung's TouchWiz UI, already one of the thickest custom skins from Android OEMs, now has an extra layer of Galaxy glitz. The Magazine UX is Samsung's new launcher, which adds Windows 8-like live-updating widgets to your home screen.

The Nexus 7, meanwhile, sits at the opposite end of the Android spectrum. Like all Nexus devices, it runs "pure Android," just as Google intended. While you might miss out on a few features, you get a cleaner, leaner, and more focused UI. You can probably tell that I prefer stock Android, but to be fair, many customers seem to be perfectly content with Samsung's feature-rich (or bloated and gimmicky?) TouchWiz.

Release cycle

The new Galaxy Pro tablets are set to launch, while the 2nd-gen Nexus 7 has already been around for about seven months
The new Galaxy Pro tablets are set to launch, while the 2nd-gen Nexus 7 has already been around for about seven months

The Galaxy Tab Pro tablets are all set to launch this month, while the Nexus 7 has been around since mid-2013.

Starting prices

The Nexus 7 starts at US$170 cheaper than the Tab Pro 8.4
The Nexus 7 starts at US$170 cheaper than the Tab Pro 8.4

Samsung didn't boost the Galaxy Tab Pro's price quite as high as we'd feared, but it's still in a different bracket than the Nexus 7. If you can live with the Nexus' much smaller screen, then you can save US$170.

For more on Samsung's new Pro tablets, you can check out our hands-on with the Galaxy Tab Pros and the Galaxy Note Pro from CES. You can also check out our six-months-later review of the Nexus 7.

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1 comment
Trebor
I have a Nexus7. Anything larger than 7 inches creates a security problem for me as it won't fit into my jacket pocket. If it won't fit into my jacket I'll have to put it down somewhere where it may be stolen or forgotten.
Another problem for me is that I have no confidence in the Samsung brand as I took my original Galaxy smart phone back with a frozen black screen 4 times for repair. Every time the technicians claimed there was nothing wrong with it. Of course once they had removed the battery to get at the innards they had reset the device and could find nothing wrong. I finished up getting a second hand Galaxy 2 supplied by the network no thanks to Samsung. From what I've heard that would never happen with the Apple Iphone.