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Before you buy a $199 Nexus 7, check the $149 Hisense Sero 7 Pro tablet

The de-facto standard for small Android tablets is arguably Google’s(s goog) own Nexus 7, which debuted last May. I was expecting to see the popular $199 slate get a refresh at last week’s Google I/O event, but that didn’t happen. Instead Google focused on software: Unifying the services and APIs between Android and Chrome. That opens up a window of opportunity for other Android tablet makers. Take, for example, the Hisense Sero 7 Pro, announced Thursday and now available at WalMart(s wmt).

Sero 7On the surface the Sero looks just like the Nexus 7 and it shares many of the same hardware specifications: a 7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen, a quad-core 1.3 GHz Nvidia(s qcom) Tegra 3 chip, 10 hours of battery life and 1 GB of memory. The device also runs Android 4.2 out of the box, so the software is up to date. The Sero has a few extras though, when compared to the higher priced Nexus 7.

Hisense’s new tablet includes a mini-HDMI port and a microSD expansion slot; neither of which exist on Google’s tablet. The latter port may come in handy, mainly because the Sero only has 8 GB of internal storage. In this area, the Nexus comes out on top with the $199 tablet offering double the capacity. But the Nexus doesn’t have expandable storage, so that 16 GB is all you get.

If you want to output the Nexus 7 display to an external monitor you’re out of luck as it has no HDMI output nor does it support MHL adapters for that purpose.

The Sero 7 Pro has a front-facing camera like the Nexus 7 but it uses a 2 megapixel sensor as compared the 1.2 megapixels on the Nexus 7 camera. Hisense also added a rear camera — not found on the Nexus 7 — with a 5 megapixel sensor.

I may sneak over to my local WalMart to get a quick hands on with the new Hisense slate. If it’s essentially as good as the Nexus 7 with a few extra features included, I think it will be a hot seller at the large retailer. Of course, when Google eventually does give the Nexus 7 an overhaul, it could offer the current model for $149 or less.

23 Responses to “Before you buy a $199 Nexus 7, check the $149 Hisense Sero 7 Pro tablet”

  1. 48 hrs with His sense Zero 7 Pro and… it’s sensational. Is there another tablet that has all the following:
    – full GPS
    – SD card slot
    – HDMI out
    – 32gb onboard
    – 1200*800 screen
    – front/rear cameras
    – NFC
    – Bluetooth

    Am streaming HD video over wifi from nas to TV with audio via BT to speakers. Working flawlessly. Very very impressed.

  2. sd card will not store downloaded content(music,pictures,video), only pictures and video recorded with the device’s camera. Internal memory fills up fast. Have you found this to be your experience with the device?

  3. andriod fan

    I have a Nexus 7 and a Sero 7 pro and I have to say the Sero 7 really exceeded my expectations. It’s solid and fast and powerful. Runs anything my Nexus does and just as well. I play a lot of games and the Sero 7 plays well and keeps on going. I love all the added features like SD card slot and HDMI that the Nexus lacks. The camera quality is also really good. The only down side is you only really get about 5.8g of usable storage for apps.

  4. Jesse Griffin

    Nexus 7 fans I’d wait for two to come out if you like quality and accurate programming check out this link these are the specs of nexus 7 2nd gen. Nexus 7 is never sluggish sumthing is wrong if it is try ram booster on play store its a green sweep broom image and download battery booster oh live wallpapers depending on the maker can slow nexus 7 down to. mine is always mentioned boot loader so I’m kinda assuming you already know this but just incase.

  5. Stephanie

    My mom and dad has the nexus 7 and I bought the sero 7. I have had no problems with mine and have better and more features than they do. For everyone who is interested in the rear camera, it’s amazing!!!! Highly recommend this product! My parents wish they had gotten the sero 7 now. Why spend more for less?

  6. Gadget Consumer

    I bought the Sero 7 Pro just to play with. I found with normal use it works just fine. I didn’t root it and I’m not trying to push it beyond its limits and run every single app known to man at the same time. It responds just fine. I played a couple of the new Nvidia T3 games and they played just fine without any lag. I put in a 32 gig micro SD card & it works just fine.

    Right now I have 110 of “Top 100 apps – according to PC magazine” installed. The internal RAM consumption is 693.39 MB and 57% of the internal device storage used. I still have 2.3 GB free not including an empty 32 GB SD card. Despite only having having approximately 300 MB of free RAM left over, apps start in about 2 secs and an Nvidia T3 game starts in about the same amount of time. HBO to Go and Netflix playback flawlessly. A fully charged battery performs just as the specs describes. So for less than the price of a Nexus, Asus, or Samsung I got the Sero 7 Pro, case, and screen shield.

    The only thing I can’t determine YET is the reliability / failure rate. Practically everything is manufactured in China and I’ve been one of those lucky customers who spent top dollar for a name brand and had it fail right out of the box. My up time for my device is 50 hours without crashes or failure.

    I don’t know how easy or hard it is to root this device, I didn’t try.

    All I can say is try it….if you hate it return it.

    The only thing I didn’t like about it is you have to let it run its setup prior to using it which requires a wireless connection. If you have a secured network, the MAC address is not in the paperwork, or on the box and I couldn’t bypass the setup to find it. I solved this by going to the local coffee shop, ran the setup while sipping a cup of coffee and reading the quick start guide. Providing it doesn’t fail…..I have no complaints and its a viable option for an everyday user who wants to save $50 + tax.

  7. Brian Magers

    I’ve got a Nexus 7 and there are are two major complaint areas that will make me try this other device.

    1) MHL/HDMI – I want this option really bad. The tablet could act as a fully functional computer on any screen anywhere you go.

    2) Rear facing camera. I want one device to do it all which means I need a rear facing camera.

  8. I saw this new Sero Pro Model the other day, bought it but had problems and took it back and replaced it but it had problems too. Both the memory slot & HDMI connections on both were bad and system kept flaking out. Spotted some reviews of this today, heads up.

    • Henuacu

      exactly my thought. All I know about hi-sense is that they make insanely low priced big screen tvs that has very high failure rate. They usually thrive on black friday sales. Why would I buy such a brand device over Asus made nexus 7 backed by google. If you find a deal on nexus, the price difference might be well less than fifty bucks. Buy nice than buy twice.

  9. Marion

    The cost is reasonable and makes a good gift for an early Christmas present or Birthday. Some are just not into the specs thing. They only care that it is fast enough and works without a problem. As for my preference, the earlier post if the RAM were 2GB instead of 1GB would definitely catch my interest. a Hifive to Hisense for trying.

  10. John Nemesh

    I would much rather my money go to the Republic of China rather than the People’s Republic of China! No “Hisense” for me.

  11. rcadden

    This is pretty interesting. Obviously no one believes that Google isn’t going to refresh the Nexus 7, and soon, but to have better specs AND a better price? Interesting.

    I know most consumers won’t care, but my question is, what’s the bootloader situation look like? I’m going to go ahead and assume the HiSense isn’t one that most people know their way around – did they even bother to lock the bootloader to begin with?

    I dig my Nexus 7 more than I thought I would (coming from an iPad 2), but it definitely gets a bit sluggish – if this HiSense model had 2GB of RAM, I’d be all over it like white on rice.

    • HiSense is well known for high rate of failure of their TV’s – just look at customer complaints online – drastically higher than most other budget brands. Spend the extra $50 and buy just about any another brand, chances are it will last significantly longer.