Are Google Nexus 7 Tablets Deteriorating Over Time?

Google Nexus 7Over at Android and Me, Dustin Earley is reporting that his Nexus 7 “has gone from the best to worst tablet I’ve ever owned.”

That’s a pretty bold statement, and I had to read the article and browse the comments.

According to Earley, his once-beloved Nexus 7, which used to be responsive and snappy, is now slow, ponderous and sluggish, often taking several seconds to respond to screen rotation and taps.

He had a dramatic quote:

I can’t find one person who has been using the Nexus 7 for an extended period of time, and hasn’t seen a massive downgrade in performance.

Not surprisingly, the comments on the post were mixed. There were a lot of “me too” comments, often with descriptions of what they had tried to revive their struggling tablets. However, there were also a good number of people who responded with some variation on “still running smoothly.”

I’ll be curious to see if the problem is limited to the early production runs. In an article on Apple Insider, which covered the story in more detail, they quoted an Asus representative:

Google wanted the device to be “fast, cheap and good,” as well as “thin and light,” and ready to debut by that summer’s Google I/O conference. This placed extreme design challenges on Asus.

It’s possible future production runs fixed some of the problems and later tablets may not have the same problems.

I’ve only had my Nexus 7 since January, so I’m well short of the year mark, but it’s still a snappy and responsive device for me. I’ve noted, however, that screen rotation was never as smooth as my iPad, and I’ve got it locked in portrait because it had a tendency to rotate when I didn’t want it to and then slowly rotate back. I have the same problem on my Nook HD, though, so it might be an OS problem, not hardware.

Anyone else want to share their experiences with their Nexus 7 tablets?

10 Comments on Are Google Nexus 7 Tablets Deteriorating Over Time?

  1. Got it almost as soon as it came out in the UK – haven’t seen any performance degradation to speak of. And I’ve been playing Dead Trigger on it daily, so I’ve got a pretty good benchmark for any slide in performance.

  2. Susan Lulgjuraj // June 20, 2013 at 11:52 am //

    I got thee Nexus 7 in the first run so I’m about to hit the year mark. I’m probably somewhere in between of smooth running and a disaster. I’ve noticed a little lag here and theree but my BIGGEST issue is the charge. For some reason, chargers don’t continue to work with it. They work find on my Android phone but I’ll go several weeks with the Nexus with one charger before it stops working. Not sure why this keeeps happening.

  3. Mine still works pretty snappy. The browser gets a bit slow. Here are two ideas for improving speed and performnace:

    1) shut down and restart periodically. I find that after some apps update, the device is sluggish. A restart usually helps quite a bit.

    2) empty your cache periodically. This gets rid of the saved web pages for “quick” recall, but after a while that cache starts working against the device’s speed.

    Tablets are computers. just as you periodically restart and clear the cache of your desktop, you should do the same with your tablet computer. Doing these two things has kept my Nexus 7 working pretty zippy. YMMV

  4. I do reboot mine regularly. Clearing the cache is a good idea. I forget about that.

    I’m kind of thinking someone had a bee up his backside and decided to rant about it to the world at large. I still think the Nexus 7 is an awesome 7″ tablet.

  5. I bought the Nexus 7 8 GB directly from Google on pre-release. It’s a terrific unit and has performed flawlessly (including OS upgrades) in daily use since then. I rarely reboot although I do use the app switch icon to dismiss apps from time-to-time which ought to clear up memory. I have around 50 apps (including some that came with) and allow these to update manually. It’s sort of a game with me.

    Anecdotal evidence of “I couldn’t find a single person … hasn’t seen a massive downgrade” isn’t really helpful analysis when it is extended the installed base as a whole. Here’s my anecdotal evidence: I have not experienced a single instance of the bad behaviour the blogger calls out: “like a lag of ten seconds, or more, just to rotate the display; touches refusing to acknowledged; stuttering notification panel actions; and unresponsive apps”.

    The blogger calls out the Nexus 7 as “an embarrassment to Google”. Oh, please. At least this article is marked “Opinion” and not “news”.

  6. This is a very misleading article. I’ve had a Nexus 7. I think it’s the least user friendly of all the tablets (iPad, Kindle, Nook, Nexus 7). However, performance wise it’s very good and it hasn’t degraded.

    What is probably happening is this

    1) Users are not restarting and putting tablet to sleep. This means less and less free memory over time.

    2) Users are downloading lots and lots of apps. Guess how those free apps make money? By collecting your data and sending it to the cloud and by downloading ads from the cloud and showing you ads.

    The more apps you download, the more always-running-in-the-background apps you have.

    You should check with your friends. If all of you have downloaded a bunch of apps, then just check to see which of them (it’ll usually be quite a few) have always-on background services running.

    Just uninstall those and you’ll be fine.

    I also play a 3D game from the same company that made Dead Trigger. So, that’s a good benchmark. No slowing down.

  7. @–SteveS — Can you let us know if you use an app to clear your cache, or if you just go through the tablet’s setting? I use the QuickCleaner app on my Android phone, and it works really well, although I keep forgetting to download it for my Nexus 7.

  8. @abhi, very good points, and I’d say you’re probably right. I wouldn’t say that makes the article misleading, though. If the article’s author was truly ignorant about what was causing his tablet to slow down, then he wasn’t intentionally misleading anyone, was he?

    And furthermore, I’d say that after reading all the other comments posted to this article, he’s not the only one who may not have realized why his machine wasn’t performing as well as it once did. But now, everyone reading this article who may be experiencing the same thing with their Nexus 7 has at least an idea of what to try.

    Incidentally, back when I first got an Android-powered mobile phone, I was not tech-savvy at all, and the exact same issue described here was happening with my phone. I eventually discovered that I could simply clear my cache in the phone’s settings, and I later downloaded an app that also made it easy to clear the cache of my call logs, my SMS messages and my Web browser. (As I mentioned in a previous comment in this thread, it’s called “QuickCleaner.”)

    Of course, there are lots of cache-cleaning Android apps out there; if anyone who has used one could leave a comment about a cache-cleaning app you’ve used, either pro or con, I think that’d be really helpful. (I’ve downloaded at least one other cache-cleaning app for my phone, for instance, that did nothing aside from crashing every time I opened it, although I’ve long since deleted it and I’m not sure about the name. I *think* it was Quick Cache Cleaner, but I’m not 100 percent sure.)

  9. Mine (an early model) has gone reeeeeally slow too. Have done a few factory resets which helped a bit for a while. It’s certainly worse (like 20 minutes to boot) if you don’t have several GB free so definitely NAND/TRIM related.

  10. Nexus 7 (2013) is a piece of junk; had it for a year & it won’t charge…

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