Google Nexus 7: How Accurate Are Defect Reports?

Google Nexus 7: How Accurate Are Defect Reports?Are the reported defects surrounding Google’s new Nexus 7 true, or just something being rehashed for lack of something better to write about? This is the question I posed to Chris last Sunday afternoon when I suggested writing this article. My premise was that, if a search is made on the Internet referencing the topic, one finds a slew of reports concerning the same seven issues. Suspiciously, however, many of the reports/reviews that have been written appear to be just a rehashing of information that can be found on the Internet and don’t support the claim that an author has any personal experience with the product. With this in mind, what are the complaints on which these reviewers are agreeing?

The seven main issues being reported are:

  • It appears that there is a screen separation accompanied by a creaking noise when one pushes on the screen.
  • There is a backlight bleeding issue that one doesn’t usually see on tablets costing more than $100.
  • There are charging problems due to an apparently faulty micro USB charging port.
  • There are touch screen detection issues that usually occur when the user is involved in extreme game play requiring multiple screen gestures.
  • There appear to be areas of the screen that are unclear due to dead screen pixels.
  • The screen flickers — a problem that is being blamed on the light auto sensor.
  • The microphone is DOA.

When I spoke to Chris on Sunday about this article, he informed me that his Nexus 7 unit was experiencing the screen flickering issue. He had not decided as of this writing whether to return the unit or not.

In reference to the first issue of screen separation, the xda-developers forum has provided a fix. However, the fix requires the user to pry off the back of their brand new Google Nexus 7 and tighten all of the screws. This is something I can’t wait to do to my newly purchased unit, especially since two problems immediately jump to mind. What happens if:

  • I accidentally break something inside the case while applying this fix; would I void the warranty?
  • The fix doesn’t work or if the problem recurs?

The unit I purchased displayed this issue and I chose to return the unit rather than take a chance at voiding my warranty. I am now patiently waiting for a replacement.

Due to my own experience, I was interested in an unscientific poll that the xda-developers forum put out asking its readers if they were experiencing screen separation. To date, the poll has received 355 responses with the following results:

  • No: 209 (58.87%)
  • Yes: 146 (41.13%

However, like with all polls and/or reports, the problems with the Google Nexus 7 may be exaggerated. It could also be that other competitors are allowing their sales representatives to write articles in an attempt to discourage consumers from buying the product. These writers, as well as those who just enjoy throwing a monkey wrench into the buying process, are known throughout the Internet as trolls. These trolls intentionally write either glowing reviews about a product for financial gain or they can write inaccurate or negative reviews about a service or product to the same effect. With this in mind, a purchaser who is really scouting for the perfect product must first determine the truthfulness of the reports.

So, in order to follow my own advice, I asked my fellow Gnomies if they had experienced any problems with the Nexus 7. Here are a few of their responses:

Williams R. Reynolds Young: No problems here. Not being a huge tablet fan, I wouldn’t say that I am in love with the device, but I love the form, factor, and price — it’s a no-brainer!

Chris Pirillo: Mine was flickering — the company has offered to replace it. Unsure if I wanna go that far.

After reading his comment, I made mention that he could try to go into the settings area and turn off the Automatic Brightness, to which I received this response:

David Di Franco, Jr.: I did this right away. It makes a huge difference.

Unfortunately, however, while David was pleased with this improvement, he found another issue that didn’t have such an easy solution.

David Di Franco, Jr.: The left side of my bezel sometimes makes a slight clicking noise. You can feel it moving a bit. However, it’s nothing too bad — just slightly disappointing.

As you can imagine, after reading all of the complaints, my immediate reaction was that I regretted buying the Google Nexus 7 so soon after its release. Perhaps I should have waited a few months until Google and ASUS got the bugs worked out of this new system. However, I have purchased products before, like the Amazon Kindle Fire, that were new to the market and had some bugs that resulted in consumer complaints. For example, the Fire has been labeled as clunky, heavy, and poorly designed, without Bluetooth, a USB port, or a volume switch. Some users also complained that they had trouble getting onto the Internet via Wi-Fi, and still others took issue with the Kindle’s picture quality.

However, Amazon had been producing various Kindle products prior to the release of the Kindle Fire; as a result, the company had the know-how and experience to quickly repair some of these issues via updates. One cannot help but recall the famous Antennagate in which the Apple iPhone 4 was problematic when it came to connecting to various carriers. For this issue, Apple provided all owners with a free bumper case to fix the problems.

With that being said, we all know that no company is infallible. Remember, ASUS (the manufacturer of the Nexus 7) as well as Google have a lot riding on the success of this new tablet. Knowing this, one would have thought that most, if not all, of the design flaws would have been worked out. I hope, for Google’s sake, that the problems being reported don’t turn into an epidemic of complaints resulting in the Nexus 7 becoming a pariah in the tablet computer market. If this happens, and if Amazon does come out with the rumored five or six new Kindle Fire 2s, or if an Apple iPad mini becomes a reality, Google can forget about tablets and give up any hope of competing in the tablet market.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

PS Yesterday afternoon, a replacement Google Nexus 7 arrived. I will be checking it out during the next week and will do a follow-up report on whether I discover any issues or not.

Source: PC Magazine

Source: xda-developers forum

Source: xda-developers poll

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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.