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10 Round Battle of the 7-inch Tablets: Nexus 7 vs. Asus Fonepad

Loie Favre (translation)
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The Fonepad and Nexus 7 are two devices from Asus that have a lot in common on the exterior. That being said, behind the 7-inch display that both tablets boast, there are a few miniscule underlying differences: the Nexus 7 has a stronger processor, while the Fonepad can make phone calls. For those who, at some point in time, have the two in front of their nose, we've tested and compared each device in 10 categories. In each round we rated each device with a point system and without spoiling the results, I can tell you that it was a close call.

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© AndroidPIT

Processor

The Nexus 7 is ticking along with a Tegra 6 chip from Nvidia, while the Fonepad is built with an Intel Atom Z2420. What you have here is a quad-core processor with Tegra 3 up against a single core together with hyper threading technology with the Intel chipset. Though the latter is deemed to be cheaper and more energy efficient, it has no chance performance-wise against the the ARM architecture, which has been optimized for years for mobile devices, nor does it compete with Tegra 3's four cores. Point for Nexus!

1 point for Nexus 7 (1:0)

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The displays on both the Nexus 7 and the Asus Fonepad are almost identical. © AndroidPIT

Display

Both tablets boast an IPS display with a resolution of 1.280x800 pixels, albeit the Fonepad reflects distinctively more and the Nexus 7 presents its content more clearly and is much richer in contrast. Darker colors are stronger and light colors shine somewhat more than the Fonepad. Nexus gets another point here, still leading the race.

1 point for the Nexus 7 (2:0)

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The front camera is set up on both devices solely for video calling. © AndroidPIT

Camera

Both tablets offer noteworthy photography possibilities. The front camera triggers 1.2 megapixels, which is more than enough for video-calling. Nexus 7 doesn't have a pre-installed camera app, while Fonepad permits its user to make quick pictures and share them via the usual methods. When directly comparing the quality of both cameras, Fonepad's proves to be better with more natural colors and less image noise, especially in the deeper regions. For these reasons, one point for Fonepad.

1 point for the Asus Fonepad (2:1)

Browsing

For our test, we used the Chrome browser. The loading time proved to be a bit quicker with the Nexus 7. Google's tablet responded more promptly to scrolling and zooming, while also being free of lags with instantaneous response. The native browser within the Fonepad worked somewhat quicker, but in comparison was still slower. Point for Nexus.

1 point for the Nexus 7 (3:1)

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When it comes to browsing and playing games, Nexus 7 is ahead of the pack. © AndroidPIT

Gaming

Games that aren't too sophisticated like Temple Run 2 worked smoothly on both devices without dropouts or loose connection. In the trial round, some differences did come to light while playing the well-loved game Manuganu. The Fonpad was repeatedly choppy during my test, even though it didn't stop the game flow, but still! One point for the Nexus 7.

1 point for the Nexus 7 (4:1)

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 Manuganu worked more smoothly with the Nexus 7 than with the Fonepad. On the other hand, it's fun playing games on either tablet.© AndroidPIT

Design

The Nexus 7 and the Fonepad have almost the same size and also follow a similar design code. The speakers and the Asus logo sign make the front of the Fonepad not quite so reduced and the metallic look for the back-side seems more expensive-looking than the rubberized black plastic on the Nexus 7. In this case the Fonepad beats the Nexus 7 by a nose and gets one point.

1 point for the Asus Fonepad (4:2)

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The alumimium look vs the rubberized plastic: when it comes to design, the Fonepad wins by a nose. © AndroidPIT

Workmanship and Haptic

Haptic, workmanship and design often go hand-in-hand, but shouldn't be confused with one another. The craftsmanship with the Nexus 7 has a more high-valued appearance. It also feels better in the hand. Thanks to its rubberized backside, it's easier to hold and is warmer. In an everyday use situations, it's a plus in terms of comfort, which brings us to giving the Nexus one more point in this category.

1 point for Nexus 7 (5:2)

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 © AndroidPIT

User-friendliness

In terms of controls, there were basically no difference between the two. That being said, the devil is in the details: the notification bar and the quick-settings are found in the Fonepad in the form of a drop-down menu. Within the Nexus 7, they are split into two. Fonepad's keys are set up differently than those of the Nexus 7. Which one you prefer is a matter of taste, therefore both get a point in this round.

1 point for each (6:3)

Software Features

The Nexus 7 has pure Android on board (Version 4.2.2), while the Fonepad has Android 4.1.2, which adds one extra Asus application row. These are partly redundant, partly practical, like the Asus user settings or the ''floating apps'' for example. Even though fans of pure Android might be a little bothered by the unattractive design and even though Nexus has newest software, I still need to give the Fonepad one point because of its additional options.

1 point for the Asus Fonepad (6:4)

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Fonepad has a few useful extra-functions on board. © AndroidPIT

Price/Performance Ratio

The Nexus 7 is offered in various versions; a 3G model is only available with the 32 GB version. It costs $256.98 on Amazon after many price cuts. The Asus Fonepad goes for $249. The Nexus 7 has a memory with 16 GB more, as well as a NFC chip. Fonepad comes with only a full-value mobile communications model, which permits data connection as well as normal phone calls via GSM. It also has a microSD slot on board. Though the price/performance ratio for both devices is good, Fonepad's is just a bit better. In this round, the point goes to Fonepad

1 point to Asus Fonepad (6:5)

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It's a close call. Both devices are neck-and-neck! © AndroidPIT

Results

After 10 test rounds, both devices are almost neck-and-neck: the Nexus 7 excelled in 5 categories, while the Fonepad won in the 4 other disciplines. That being said, we have a clear winner: when comparing the two devices, the Nexus 7 is somewhat better than the Fonepad, even though the results are very close. At the end of the day, your preference is really what makes the call, though my comparison could be a useful guide when it comes down to making a decision between the two.

Which tablet do you prefer?