Head-To-Head: Google Nexus 7 Vs. Apple iPad Mini

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Communications, Battery

The devices are on fairly even ground in terms of radios. Both have dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. Nexus 7 adds NFC with support for Android Bump, which can wirelessly transmit data between devices. Apple has resisted NFC reportedly because of unsteady standards. Both devices build in sensors for GPS, gyro, accelerometer, compass and ambient light. Both offer an LTE option; Apple also provides GSM/EDGE and CDMA networks for iPad Minis.

Google rates the battery life of its 3950 mAh cell at nine hours, but fails to indicate what the device is doing during that time. Apple claims nine hours on its 4490 mAh battery while surfing the Web using a cellular radio and 10 hours using Wi-Fi, listening to music or watching videos. The Nexus 7's battery supports Qi compatible wireless charging. Android has improved its power efficiency substantially over the years, and Nexus 7 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google's latest OS. But in the Test Center's experience, Android still has miles to go before it's on par with iOS's legendary battery life. iPad Mini runs iOS 6.0.

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