An Update, a Tablet, and a VERY Disgruntled User

This is a follow-up post to one of my earlier blogs, How Google Killed my Nexus 7 (and then brought it back to life). In it, I discuss how I got my Nexus 7 tablet up and running smoothly again after a serious post-Lollipop update slowdown.

Two Months Later

It’s been two months since I refreshed the tablet, and I’ve seen a steady decline in performance. The tablet struggles to do the most basic features like loading a webpage – it crawls, it fights, and has truly made itself unusable. It’s an embarrassing moment when you’re trying to demo something at a conference, but can’t due to technical failure. If I DID get it running, more often than not it freezes and crashes.

Spurred by a comment on the old post, I decided to do a time test comparison. I went official you guys – I used a chronograph and everything. Having only two Android devices to spare, here is what we had to work with.


Component Nexus 7 (2012) Galaxy S4 SCH-1545
Operating System 5.1 4.4.2 + TouchWiz UI
Screen Resolution 800 x 1280 1080 x 1920
Chipset Nvidia Tegra 3 Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600
CPU Quad Core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 Quad-core 1.9 GHz Krait 300
GPU ULP GeForce Adreno 320
Storage 16GB 16GB


I know those aren’t the same – I can see the differeces between 1GB of ram vs. 2, and it’s a year older. All of that, I understand. The issue is, before updating to 5.1, my tablet was as fast as my phone – no lag, no delay, no issues whatsoever. Since it’s doing the same basic operations (accessing a web browser, which shouldn’t require anything near that level of power), I don’t think it makes much of a difference.

Time Tests

Here it is – the dramatic comparison, and it’s shameful. All times are measured in minutes:seconds.

Function Nexus 7 Galaxy S4
Boot to reach main screen with icons 3:22 0:37
Time to open Chrome tab 0:30 0:01
Time to load the keyboard after tapping on search bar 0:23 0:01
Time to load this site from a link 0:20 0:04
Total Load Time 4:43 0:43

A four minute difference. Four minutes for a simple load action – this is, of course, assuming that it’s been just freshly loaded and no background apps are running. The numbers would be much uglier if I had left my tablet on for a while, or tried to use it at all.

Moving Forward

I hate to admit it, but my beloved little Nexus 7 has been put down by a Google Update. As they haven’t released a new Nexus 7 since 2014 (with no plans to as far as I’m aware), I would have to move to Nexus 9 – and if we’re making a bigger tablet, I’d rather go with something that has a more robust feature lineup… Galaxy Note 10.1, you’re looking gooood.

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