Tesco Hudl 2 vs Google Nexus 7: which is the best budget Android tablet?

Tesco has launched the second version of its cheap and cheerful Hudl tablet, the Hudl 2. It’s robust, colourful and has a pleasing screen, but how does it shape up to rival tablet the Google Nexus 7?

Here we compare the two side-by-side to help you decide which to buy.

Tesco Hudl 2 vs Google Nexus 7: the basics

At 9.3mm thick and weighing 410g, the Hudl 2 is a much chunkier piece of kit than the Nexus 7. By comparison, Google’s tablet weighs 290g and is 8.5mm thick.

Hudl 2

The Hudl 2 is also squatter in shape, measuring 223mm wide and 129mm high, whereas the Nexus 7 is 114 x 200mm.

Result: a draw

Tesco Hudl 2 vs Google Nexus 7: screens

The reason behind the size difference is that the screen sizes are different. The Nexus 7 has a 7in screen (measured across the diagonal), whereas the Hudl 2’s screen is slightly bigger at 8.3in. They both have the same 1,920 x 1,200 resolution, though, and quality is good across the board.

Nexus 7

In our full review we found the Hudl 2 to have a bright and colourful display that’s “pleasingly sharp and has bags of contrast”. We were, however, a bit disappointed by the company’s decision to use dynamic contrast which, in a bid to save battery life, dims and brightens the display depending on what’s shown onscreen. This effect is fairly subtle in use, however.

The Nexus 7’s display is even better, though. It goes even brighter, doesn’t use dynamic contrast and contrast is slightly better, too; the only fault we found was that colours were a little on the cool side.

Result: Nexus 7 wins by a hair

Tesco Hudl 2 vs Google Nexus 7: processor, battery and memory

Of the two tablets, the Nexus 7 looks to have the faster processor: a 1.5GHz quad-core Krait 300 vs a 1.3GHz quad-core Intel Atom in the Hudl 2. The reality isn’t as clear cut: in benchmarks, the Hudl 2 outperforms the Nexus 7; but it’s the other way around when it comes to responsiveness in general use, especially when browsing complex and image-heavy web pages. We think the Nexus 7 just edges it here, but there isn’t much in it.

Both have the same 16GB storage and 2GB RAM, too, but while the Hudl 2 can be upgraded using a microSD card up to 32GB in size, you’ll have to purchase a more expensive, higher capacity Nexus 7 if you want more storage. It doesn’t have a microSD slot.

Where the Nexus 7 really outshines the Hudl 2 is battery life. The Hudl 2 achieved a time of just 6hrs 51mins in our looping video test; the Nexus 7 achieved 11hrs 48mins. The Hudl 2 also doesn’t last well on standby.

Result: a win for the Nexus 7

Tesco Hudl 2 vs Google Nexus 7: Cameras and speakers

Hudl 2

The camera specs for the Hudl 2 and Nexus 7 are identical: a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with no built-in flash that is also capable of video capture, and a 1.2-megapixel camera on the front. However, the Nexus 7 blows the Hudl 2 out of the water when it comes to quality.

Bearing in mind both the Nexus 7 and Hudl 2 are budget tablets, neither has a great set of speakers. However, the hudl2 is capable of putting out high-volume, clear audio, whereas the Nexus 7’s speakers are quiet and not as good at delivering low-pitched sounds.

Result: a draw

Tesco Hudl 2 vs Google Nexus 7: Software

When it comes to software, the Nexus 7 leaves the Hudl 2 in the dirt. Android on the Nexus 7 is updated more frequently, and for technically savvy owners, it’s also possible to install the developer edition of new versions of the OS, if you want to be ahead of the curve.

The Hudl 2, on the other hand, is likely to benefit from a more lethargic update cycle, and although mostly free from customisations, parts of the OS can feel a little laggy.

On the other hand, the Hudl 2 does come with some useful extras, including direct links to Tesco services, and preinstalled parental controls, which allows you to lock down and time restrict the tablet. Handy if the tablet is used by the whole family.

Result: Nexus 7 wins

Tesco Hudl 2 vs Google Nexus 7: price and verdict

Despite being a full year older, the Nexus 7 is still more expensive, coming in at around £170 compared to £129 for the Hudl 2, and that means the Tesco Hudl 2 is a strong challenger for the Nexus 7’s budget tablet throne.

Nexus 7

It even performs better in some regards, however the display isn’t quite as good on the Hudl 2, and it isn’t as smooth in general use either. It’s also heavier and chunkier in the hand and – most critically – the battery life is almost half that of its rival.

So, if you’re looking for a compact tablet for yourself or anyone else in the family, the Nexus 7 is still the best bet. Hurry, though: Google has removed the device from the Play store to make way for the new Nexus 9, so stocks at third party retailers may be limited.

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