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Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl: Which cheap Android tablet to buy?

Michael Sawh

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Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl: Which Android tablet to buy?

Is the Tesco tablet better than the Nexus 7 2? We compare the specs, features and performance to find out.

The first Nexus 7 was a game-changer. The 7-inch Android tablet was proof you could make a sub-£200 slate with a great screen, plenty of power all wrapped up in a sleek and stylish design. Its successor the Nexus 7 2 makes improvements to the screen resolution, introduces a main camera and tweaks the design to make it more comfortable to use.

The reigning 7-inch Android tablet has a new challenger and it has come from an unusual source. The Tesco Hudl tablet, priced at £119 (or £60 if you have enough Tesco Clubcard points), is the supermarket giant's first attempt at an affordable Nexus 7 2 alternative. Is it better than the new Nexus? We pit the two against each other to find out.

SEE ALSO: Tesco Hudl 2 review

Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl tablet - Design

Nexus 7 2 - 16:10 aspect, 290g, 8.65mm thick

Tesco Hudl – 16:10 aspect, 370g, 9.85mm thick

The Nexus 7 2 and Tesco Hudl are both portable tablets designed to be small and light enough to use comfortably one-handed. Google’s tablet is the nicer looking of the two. It’s slimmer and lighter than the Hudl and looks much sleeker than the Tesco tablet.

The Hudl doesn’t really break from tradition in the looks department and shares a strong resemblance with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. It also has a textured back but the finish feels harder than it does on the Nexus 7 2. It’s also heavier at 370g making it more of a strain to use for long periods in one hand.

Buttons and ports on the Hudl are clearly designed to use the tablet in landscape mode. The Nexus 7 2 is better suited in portrait mode but is equally comfortable to use in landscape mode to watch video.

Nexus 7 2 win

Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl - Screen

Nexus 7 2 – 7-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 pixels IPS

Tesco Hudl – 7-inch, 1,400 x 900 HD

The original Nexus 7 had one of the best screens seen on a 7-inch Android tablet and Google has bumped up the resolution to a ‘retina class’ 1,920 x 1,200 resolution display with 323ppi. The results are razor-sharp images and great viewing angles thanks to the IPS display.

The Hudl offers a decent 1,400 x 900 HD display with 242 ppi which is pretty good for a cheap tablet. Image sharpness is good but not fantastic. The depth and range of colours are lacking compared to the Nexus 7 2 and the screen looks a little murky and washed out particularly on the homescreen.

Nexus 7 2 win

Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl – CPU and RAM

Nexus 7 2 - Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, 1.5 GHz, 2GB RAM

Tesco Hudl – A9 quad-core processor, 1.5GHz 1GB RAM

In general use, the Nexus 7 2 performs better than the Hudl. The Nexus 7 2's 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM offers massively improved performance over the original Nexus 7. It’s exactly the same innards as the Google Nexus 4, and as a result, browsing is zippy and gaming suffers from no lag whatsoever.

The Hudl features a 1.5GHz Cortex-A9 quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM. It’s fine for everyday tasks like browsing and checking emails but comes under greater strain when trying to run games like Real Racing 3. It’s also slightly sluggish swiping through homescreens in comparison to the Nexus 7 2.

Nexus 7 2 win

Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl - Software

Nexus 7 2 - Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Tesco Hudl – Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean

The Nexus 7 2 unsurprisingly is up to date with Android 4.3 (it is a Google tablet after all) while the Hudl currently runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. There’s not really a raft of features that makes 4.3 better than 4.2.2.

You still get access to Google Play to download Android apps, have the ability to create folders and re-size widgets on the homescreens. The Nexus 7 2 does, however, have the benefit of restricted profiles to choose what apps other users have access to. This can be useful if you are planning to share the tablet with the family.

The Tesco Hudl has a strong but not overbearing presence of Tesco content. There’s a dedicated Tesco home button to access all services like online shopping and banking. Tesco also includes its Blinkbox movie streaming app, ClubCard TV and Music streaming services.

There’s a middling effort by Tesco to make the Hudl a child-friendly tablet. There is a lot of very useful, well-presented information on what child safety apps to install and content filters to apply, but there’s nothing specific Tesco adds to make it more family-friendly.

Nexus 7 2 win

Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl - Cameras

Nexus 7 2 - 5-megapixel main camera, 1.2-megapixel front camera

Tesco Hudl – 3-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel front camera

Leaving out a rear-facing camera in the original Nexus 7 no doubt helped Google keep the cost of the tablet down. But clearly there has been demand to include one this time around - the new Nexus 7 now includes a 5-megapixel main camera alongside a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera.

The main camera delivers adequate results but struggles to focus at times and fails to identify anything in low light. The 1.2-megapixel performs the job of video calling adequately, just like it did on the first Nexus 7.

Things don’t get much better with the Hudl. The 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front-facing cameras are low on quality and performance. There’s no flash or autofocus making images blurry and noisy. There’s a Night mode to improve low light photography but don’t expect improved results.

nexus 7 vs Tesco Hudl photo samples 3

3-megapixel photo taken in Auto mode with the Tesco Hudl

nexus 7 vs Tesco Hudl photo samples 1

5-megapixel photo taken with the Nexus 7 2

nexus 7 vs Tesco Hudl photo samples

Low light performance of the Nexus 7 2 main camera

nexus 7 vs Tesco Hudl photo samples 2

Tesco Hudl tablet in Night mode struggles to capture images in low light

Both are either bad or - at best - basic, but the Google Nexus 7 2 wins once more.

Nexus 7 2 win

Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl - Storage

Nexus 7 2 - 16/32GB storage, non-expandable

Tesco Hudl – 16GB storage, microSD card support to expand up to 48GB

Google is still not budging on adding a SD card to its Nexus 7 tablet, so if you like to watch a lot of movies and download a lot of big games you are probably best going for the 32GB model.

The 16GB-only Hudl does includes a SD card slot pushing storage potential up to 48GB. For some this could be a big reason to go for the Tesco tablet over the Nexus 7 2.

Tesco Hudl win

Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl – Connectivity

Nexus 7 2 - microUSB port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 3G/4G optional

Tesco Hudl – microUSB port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, micro HDMI

The 32GB Nexus 7 comes in Wi-Fi only and 3G/4G variants. It also offers GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and wireless charging.

The Hudl on the other hand is Wi-Fi only offering dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) to improve connectivity. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS, and there's a micro HDMI port to hook it up to a TV.

Nexus 7 2 win

Nexus 7 2 vs Tesco Hudl - Battery life

Nexus 7 2 - 3,950 mAh battery, claimed 9 hour battery life

Tesco Hudl – Claimed 9 hour battery life

We tested both the Tesco Hudl and Google Nexus 7 2 battery life by playing a looped 720-quality video. How long do you think they lasted before draining down to nothing?

Both Tesco and Google claim their tablets will last for up to nine hours. The results weren't too far off. You'll get between 7.5-8 hours of video playback out of these tablets. That's at 50 per cent brightness.

In terms of powering back up from a critical battery level (below 10 per cent), after charging for 30 minutes the Hudl only add a couple of per cent. The Nexus 7 2 in comparison charges up quick (around 8-10%) on a 30-minute charge

Both are more than capable of being used over a few days when used more generally.

Draw

Verdict

The Nexus 7 2 is a clear winner here. It’s the nicer looking Android tablet, has a gorgeous screen, and the solid overall performance to match. If you really have to take photos, it will do a slightly better job than the Hudl.

The Tesco tablet is not bad though. It has a decent screen, good battery life and the all-important SD memory card support. When you consider you can get it for around £60 if you are Tesco ClubCard holder it’s great value for money. If you can afford to spend some more though, the Nexus 7 2 is our pick of the cheap Android tablets.

Next, read our round-up of the best Android tablets to buy.

PGrGr

October 9, 2013, 4:07 pm

So, you compared the two tablets on 7 criteria and the Nexus wins on 6 of them, and yet you declare a draw?!

Fussy

October 10, 2013, 2:13 am

The battery life is a draw. The verdict says Nexus wins.

George Michaelson

October 10, 2013, 3:53 am

HDMI out is a major win for many people. I've used an N10 do do HDMI onto a SONY and it looked peachy-fine. the N7 really blew it not having an HDMI and proffering vague ideas of screencast/miracast at a later stage.

you also don't rate the SD slot anything like as highly as you should. We are not all ok with life in the cloud. there are times local storage wins.

EuroAnchor

October 10, 2013, 11:12 am

Sure, the Nexus is a better tablet but I will walk past a huddle of Hudls twice a week while I'm shopping. I don't expect my resistance to last very long. The SD card will only weaken my resolve.

Karl Buckland

October 10, 2013, 12:22 pm

Seems odd not to compare price as there is a significant price difference here?

Marco

October 10, 2013, 1:27 pm

Surely the Connectivity winner must be the Hudl with it's HDMI output! NFC & wireless charging don't push up the Nexus' general functionality, but connecting the Hudl to a TV to watch videos certainly does.

And yes as Karl mentioned, you very much need to include the price comparison (I believe Hudl is considerably cheaper). Hmmm a slight bit of bias methinks

deekbee

October 10, 2013, 9:20 pm

What a pointless comparison. Two devices targeting very different price points. The Hudl is competing against the original Nexus 7, or the Kindle Fire HD.

As Marco says, slight bias.

lazerbeak

October 11, 2013, 12:32 am

nice effort well written but daft, the nexus 7 2 costs twice as much, so thats the point in this review

Mad Panic

October 11, 2013, 10:48 am

What a stupid review... Of course the Nezus 7 is faster and has a better camera as its over twice as much! I was planning on getting a N7 but instead bought a Hudl. Why do I need to play games on it when I have a games console and a PC? Full HD playback, HDMI output, crisp display, high build quality, good battery life and a micro SD slot to boot its a great piece of kir (especially at the price!).

Taylor Johnson

October 11, 2013, 9:56 pm

A daft review, and NO you can't get it for £60! If you have £60 worth of club card vouchers, they double the value, so in effect it's free. The Hudl has superior connectivity, memory card, HDMI etc as mentioned. However, the Hudl speakers are loads better....louder and unlike the Nexus 7, 2 they are not suffering the fault of the top/left speaker being louder. Also, it is superb in 3d gaming...in fact, it runs some games faster. If you use demanding emulators like ppsspp you will notice. The screen has a better contrast ratio at lower back light levels, the nexus can look washed out at higher brightness, agreed the nexus is able to be brighter....but...

The audio output from earphones is louder in the Hudl, and overall I prefer the durability of the Hudl....it feels more solidly built than the Nexus

Winner Hudl.....love it!

James

October 11, 2013, 10:46 pm

Like others say... a bit pointless! Also, this really bugs me with some tech sites (and quite often TR), ever heard of cleaning your devices before taking photos of them?? They both look horrendous in the images within the review!

Mav

October 13, 2013, 12:54 am

Pointless! Surely a better comparison would have been between the Hudl and the Asus MeMo Pad HD 7?

Brian Clark

October 13, 2013, 9:03 am

Having used the Nexus 7 and found it to be great I sold it on ebay as wasn't using it as much as I'd hoped. In some ways I wanted to use it in a rough and ready way - chuck it in the car, take it to work etc. and its just too well made an item to take chunks out of. I found myself not taking it places in case I broke it.

The Hudl on the other hand does exactly the same thing, but at a price I wouldn't worry about if I accidentally bust it. Ok it would be annoying but I wouldn't get depressed over it!

So far the performance has been great and battery life great. Videos are actually quite vibrant and colour rich - which I wasn't expecting. Thought it would be a crap washed out screen but its actually really good. The camera sucks but I don't care about that. Maybe on a bright sunny day it will be better but overcast Essex isn't very inspiring at this very moment. Low light level operation is pants but as said above!

For the price, and with the availability of the full range of Google Apps (not a cut down selection like the Kindle Fire), and its a winner. Comes bundled with a selection of Tesco offers I would never consider taking them up on - so great bit of PR work there Tesco. Box boasts lots of discounts and offers but when you find out none of them are actually worth anything its a bit of a piss take.

If you're going to say £10 off, £20 off or £30 off, put a voucher in there for general shopping. That is what people will expect you to do!

But in summary, great priced unit, colourful vibrant screen and responsive hardware with the latest Jellybean OS. 4.2.2 think it said when it immediately updated out of the box!

Balanced

October 16, 2013, 7:14 pm

Ha ha how many tesco employees have responded :-)

Brian Jones

November 4, 2013, 1:23 pm

What a ridiculous review!! Did the reviewer actually possess a device? As already said comparing the Hudl to the Nexus at twice the price is pointless. What the Hudl does is give you a sofa surfing device that may not be quite as pin prick slick as something that costs at least twice as much but I got one by using £60 worth of shopping vouchers - SIXTY QUID - oh and by the way I'll grant you it may not be as slick as on my iphone5 but I put Real Racing 3 on it and it's not as bad as these people make out. And the point about having control over who has what apps - you can create 'user profiles' on the Hudl - in fact if the reviewer had actually bothered to review the help that the device offers you then they would have seen how it could be done with settings in various places and by way of pin controlled user profiles. But of course why would anyone actually RTFM?? Practically a hanging offence in tech world isn't it?

Evan

November 4, 2013, 1:47 pm

Hi Brian
As you mention it's only £60 with some clever voucher work, otherwise you're looking at £120. It makes sense to compare the two as they're both 7-inch android tablets, and if the extra cost is not an issue then they may well want the slicker experience the Nexus 7 provides. The Hudl is undoubtedly a bargain even at £100, though.

Brian Jones

November 5, 2013, 9:32 am

Well possibly - but at the same time lets head off to review a Ford Mondeo and a Bentley Continental, after all they're both cars so it should be interesting to see which one is faster, better built, has nicer seats etc etc :-)

Evan

November 5, 2013, 1:38 pm

Over-exaggerate much? The difference is nowhere near as stark. They're both 7-inch Android tablets for under £200. Many people might want to spend the extra for Nexus 7 for the better screen and performance and others may well only want to browse and be quite happy pocketing £100 and getting the Hudl.

Brian Jones

November 5, 2013, 3:11 pm

Well maybe it was an exaggeration but for what it's worth if like me (and I accept that many may not be) you want something to sofa surf with, or stock up with entertainment for the kids on long journeys, and maybe play a few games on, which is easier to read than a phone screen, doesn't take any time to wake up (and you have the vouchers) then as an owner my advice to those interested is that yes it does do those things and apart from perhaps the superheavyweight games it does them at least as fast as my laptop or iPhone connected to the same network. Fair enough if I wanted to find the Higgs Bosun Particle with it or finish the SETI project then it's probably not best suited to that kind of workout so I think you made a great point that I missed and I'm grateful for that - for the things I want to use it for why pay the extra money for performance and better screen when this one does the things I've mentioned acceptably well. At the end of the day I'm not ordering anyone to buy one of these, I just thought that anyone considering it might want to hear from someone who has one and doesn't need it to replace their XboxStationKineticMove gaming behemoth.

Lisa Price-Dobson

November 13, 2013, 7:55 pm

Could you do me a massive favour please and see if it will play 'X Plane' ok?

slimport

December 9, 2013, 7:14 pm

I would agree, but then the N7-2 supports Slimport for HDMI out, which while it eats up your microusb port, preventing conventional charging while using tv-out, seems quite useful.

JC

December 14, 2013, 9:51 pm

I've got a Nexus 7 (2013) 32Gb and a Hudl, and must say, that the Nexus 7 is a bit faster, screen looks nicer and cost me £220 (after discount vouchers). but the Hudl cost me £40 cash after £35 of doubled up Tesco vouchers and some discount vouchers.

I really don't care if the Hudl gets scratched, and is used my my young daughter, and is taken and used everywhere.

The Nexus on the other hand, I was in awe over when I first got it due to the super crisp 1080p display. I used for a while on the daily commute, but then in the end rather than carrying it around all the time I left it at home. I've decide to sell the Nexus, since it no longer gets much use.

A definite case of the technically superior device not necessarily winning out in practicality of everyday use or value overall.

As for photos etc, surely most people use their mobile phone which they always have on them rather than a tablet??

Joe Camp

August 24, 2014, 8:37 pm

I will think you will find that the hudl has the same specs as a nexus 7 1. And if you are seriously that picky about a tiny bit less quality. Go and buy an iPad. And just to clarify, small tech stores in town can sell hudls for 25 pounds. I got this one for £10 and it was brand new. The hudl unlike the nexus is tougher, clearer, child friendly, incredible priced, and in my opinion. Probably better than a nexus. It looked better. Range of colours. 2 charging sockets unlike the nexus 1, so before you doubt either. Please realise what you are talking about. I am 14 and there are comments from google saying that tesco have given them a run for their money

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