Google Nexus 9 vs Nokia Lumia 2520: Tablet Battle

Posted by B. Johnson
Published on January 27, 2015 | 0 comments
Google Nexus 9 vs Nokia Lumia 2520: Tablet BattleHi guys, welcome back to this site!

Productivity-centric tablets have never been as popular as media-consumption tablets, especially iPads.

However, the existence of this tablet category in my opinion is really important because productivity tablets can be a really great replacement for old school notebooks or laptops.

And that’s the thing that cannot be found on media-dedicated tablets.

That’s probably the reason why Google through HTC doesn’t want to be left behind in the productivity tablet category.

With their recent collaboration together, they come up with an awesome powerful productivity tablet called Google Nexus 9.

Google Nexus 9 vs Nokia Lumia 2520 benchmarks and gaming performance

Anyway, around a couple of weeks ago, i’ve already showed you a bunch of comparison reviews that involved this Google’s tablet against other competing devices, either productivity or media-consumption devices.

However, there’s one interesting tablet that actually can be the other contender for Google Nexus 9. The tablet is made by Nokia but its platform is injected by Microsoft. You probably already know it.

Yes, you’re right. It is Nokia Lumia 2520.

As far as the hardware specs goes, i think both of these productivity tablets are on the same level especially given that they are the flagship devices from each manufacturer and they also have the ‘flagship’ material on their specs.

I’m actually kind of curious to see how they compete on the sector of gaming performance and experience as well, since they both are running on entirely different platforms.

Well, if you're interested to know more about my comparison between these HTC and Nokia tablets and see how they compete against each other in this review, as well as my take on their gaming experience and graphical performance, then here you go, my comparison review between Google Nexus 9 vs Nokia Lumia 2520.

Introduction

Around the tablet market, Nokia is of course not as good as other top-end rivals like Apple or Samsung, especially in making tablets that sell like hotcakes.

However, despite being a totally new player in this industry, i think there’s still something to appreciate on one of Nokia’s offering on tablet market.

As a matter of fact, there are 2 tablets made by Nokia that in my opinion are still on par and in fact, deserve to be positioned alongside other popular flagship devices from Apple and Samsung.

They are Nokia Lumia 2520 and Nokia Lumia 1520, a 10.1-inch and 6-inch tablets respectively.

The reasons why i think these 2 devices are so great is because not only do they have high-grade quality specs on their hardware, but they are also really impressive in the whole aspect.

Like the rear camera of Nokia Lumia 1520 that is equipped with Carl Zeiss optics for example – and i know how Nokia is really great because it has years of experience in camera technology especially with its Pureview.

The big-screened variant - Nokia Lumia 2520 -, however, can be the right contender for many 10-inch rivals on the market – even the iPads. It sports 1080p resolution on its screen, while its performance is handled perfectly by Qualcomm’s flagship processor – Snapdragon 800 -, accompanied with Adreno 330 GPU.

On the other hand, Google and HTC also have a really impressive offering for those looking for simple productivity tablet. And that is Google Nexus 9.

Besides having an insanely powerful Tegra K1 processor along with a staggering 192-core GPU – which ensures console-quality gaming -, this tablet also ships with its own keyboard folio case (sold separately though).

So with that being said, then both Google Nexus 9 and Nokia Lumia 2520 can be considered as really powerful especially as productivity devices and even gaming tablets.

But the questions remain. With all of the powerful specs and great graphical performance found on both devices,

which one between Google Nexus 9 and Nokia Lumia 2520 that deserves to be the best gaming tablets in this comparison review?

Which one that is a so much better device in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets, especially for playing games?

You'll find out more about my final conclusion of this comparison review at the end of this post. So be sure to keep reading!!

Design

Given that Google Nexus 9 is manufactured by HTC, then this tablet will of course take some inspirations from this Taiwan-based company. And that’s what happens exactly here on this device.

Similar just like HTC’s flagship smartphone – HTC One -, there are some of the elements of that HTC’s smartphone that can be found on Google Nexus 9.

The most prominent one is of course the dual-speaker grilles on the front side of this device. This is actually a good decision by HTC because by placing the speaker grilles on the front, it really makes the speaker sound really loud and clear.

Google Nexus 9
Google Nexus 9
'
Nokia Lumia 2520
Nokia Lumia 2520

In fact, according to some reviews on YouTube (including theVerge, Phonearena and Marques Brownlee), the sound quality of this tablet is really great.

It’s not because its sound output is better than the other flagship tablet like iPad, but it’s more because the placement of its speaker grilles that makes its sound come out really loud and clear to users.

However, despite that impressive sound quality, there’s one downside found on the design of this Google’s tablet. And that is on its rear-cover.

So again, according to the same sources of reviews on YouTube, the back cover of Google Nexus 9 is really prone to catch finger prints and human grease.

This of course can be really annoying because in the long run, most users will be bothered a lot with this issue, forcing them to buy some external case to protect its rear cover.

On the other hand with Google Nexus 9, the design of Nokia Lumia 2520 probably has nothing to write home about. I’m not saying that its design really sucks compared to Google Nexus 9.

However, the design concept of Nokia Lumia 2520 is actually not a huge departure from Nokia’s previous Lumia smartphones.

So basically, it has that sharp looking design with less rectangular corners. And the entire coating of this device is dominated with plastic matte finish.

The great thing is, as a productivity-centric tablet, this Nokia Lumia 2520 also comes with its own keyboard case – similar just like Google Nexus 9.

So if you like doing your home work or just simply writing something on your blog, then you will feel at home when using this tablet.

And thanks to its Windows RT platform – which takes some features from the full-fledged version -, there are some important productivity-related features and pre-loaded Office apps from Microsoft that you can enjoy on this tablet.

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Google Nexus 9 (HTC )Nokia Lumia 2520

4G LTE
Released November 2014
8.9 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1536 x 2048 pixels (~281 ppi pixel density) 16M colors
Dual-core 2.3 GHz Denver Nvidia Tegra K1 Chipset
Kepler DX1 GPU
2 GB RAM
Android OS 5.0 Lollipop
No microSD memory card slot
16/32 GB Internal storage
8 MP rear-facing camera 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
1.6 MP front-facing camera, 720p
HSDPA, HSUPA, LTE
Bluetooth v4.1
NFC, USB, GPS
GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11
No Radio
Java MIDP emulator
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Sensors
Non-removable Li-Po 6700 mAh battery

4G LTE
SIM Micro-SIM
Released December 2013
615 g (Weight)
10.1 inch IPS LCD touchscreen 1080 x 1920 pixels (~218 ppi) 16M colors
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 Chipset
Adreno 330 GPU
2 GB RAM
Microsoft Windows RT
Corning Gorilla Glass 2
ClearBlack display
microSD Memory Card slot for up to 64 GB
32 GB Internal storage
6.7 MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics and 1080p @30fps Video recording
2 MP front-facing camera (720p@30fps video recording ability)
Bluetooth v4.0
NFC
No Java
Non-removable 8120 mAh battery

As mentioned above, both Google Nexus 9 and Nokia Lumia 2520 have that ‘flagship’ material especially on their hardware specs.

And that can be seen perfectly on their spec sheet that is dominated by some high-grade specs that are still considered as powerful in today’s standards.

In fact, with all of the specs found inside these 2 tablets, there’s no single doubt that both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Google Nexus 9 are flagship quality devices that deserve their places on tablet market alongside iPad Air 2 or other flagship tablets.

So what do we have here?

Nokia Lumia 2520 is equipped with a 10.1-inch sporting the full HD 1920x1200 pixel resolution, while Google Nexus 9 looks more superior with its 9-inch display packing the “Retina” 1536x2048 pixels.

On the sector of performance, there are Tegra K1 64-bit dual-core processor + 2GB of RAM and 192-core Kepler GPU found on Google Nexus 9, while Nokia Lumia 2520 is also impressive with its quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor along with Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

The rest of the specs on both devices are also really great equally. Nokia Lumia 2520 comes with Windows RT on its platform, 6.7MP rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, 2MP camera on the front that can do 720p video recording, microSD card for up to 64GB, NFC, 4G LTE, a huge 8120mAh battery and some other standard features.

Meanwhile, Google Nexus 9 is more prominent with its 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash (plus HTC’s camera technology of course), 2MP camera on the front, 16/32GB native storage, Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, NFC, 4G LTE, a pretty huge 6700mAh battery and some other standard features as well.

Unfortunately, there’s no microSD card slot on this device, giving users no expandability option for their extra media contents.

Screen

If we look at the spec sheet, on paper, Google Nexus 9 looks more superior than Nokia Lumia 2520 because its smaller 9-inch screen is sporting the much higher resolution 1536x2048 pixels than the full HD 1920x1200 pixels crammed on the bigger 10.1-inch display.

When it comes to sharpness, Google Nexus 9 is of course the winner here against Nokia’s tablet. However, in the real life implementation, this Google’s tablet apparently is not good as many people thought it could be.

So according to theVerge, the display of Google Nexus 9 is not as good as the “Retina” display found on iPads – despite having the same exact resolution.

Its colors often look washed out, there’s visible gap between the glass and LCD and there’s also this visible backlight on the side of the screen, especially when the screen turns to dark black. MKBHD or Marques Brownlee (a famous tech reviewer on YouTube) also says the same things.

Even so, the display of Google Nexus 9 probably still looks more superior than Nokia Lumia 2520 simply because it already has the sharpness, and its overall quality is actually not too shabby at all.

The same thing applies to Nokia’s tablet.

It may not look as sharp as the display of Google Nexus 9, but i believe its full HD resolution is still more than enough and in fact, still looks insanely sharp for its 10.1-inch display.

User Interface

Google Nexus 9 comes with the stock Android 5.0 Lollipop without any added customization from manufacturer – in this case, HTC -, meanwhile Nokia Lumia 2520 is injected with Microsoft’s light-weight tablet-dedicated OS called Windows RT.

So when it comes to UI, of course both of these tablets are on the different sides of the road.

Google Nexus 9 is more prominent with its homescreen element filled with widgets, while Nokia Lumia 2520 is more comfortable with its box-shaped Live Tiles UI.

Between the 2, i probably will side on the stock Android 5.0 Lollipop UI than the Windows RT UI of Nokia Lumia 2520.

And that’s not because Android is more popular than Windows RT, but it’s more because i always like the homescreen and widget elements found on its UI – which is why Google still keeps these things on this platform.

And of course, i also love how Android ecosystem is still growing significantly, especially in terms of app/game catalog, which is great and has bright future compared to Windows RT that is still struggling to catch up with iOS and Android especially with app catalog, even until today.

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As 2 flagship tablets with high-grade quality specs (especially processors and GPUs), it’s just no-brainer that both Google Nexus 9 and Nokia Lumia 2520 will be amazing for playing games. Nokia Lumia 2520 has a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330, plus 2GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, Google Nexus 9 looks superior with its 64-bit Tegra K1 dual-core processor, a staggering 192-core Kepler GPU and 2GB of RAM.

So with these 2 hardware packages found on both tablets, of course they are more than adequate even to handle the most graphically demanding games in town.

With Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, there is a lot of Windows RT games that you can play perfectly on Nokia Lumia 2520, even in full highest graphics.

They are Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 5, GTA San Andreas, FIFA 2014 and a lot more. I don’t really know quite sure about all the games that are available for the Windows RT on Nokia Lumia 2520.

But with its high-grade specs, no doubt this device is more than capable to execute most of the games you see today on the Windows RT Marketplace.

The same applies to Google Nexus 9. With high-grade processor like Tegra K1 dual-core processor with 64-bit architecture, plus its 192-core GPU and 2GB of RAM, this tablet also flies in terms of gaming performance.

So basically, you can throw any games like Modern Combat 5, GTA San Andreas or Asphalt 8: Airborne on this device, and these games will be executed perfectly in buttery smooth performance and in full highest graphics.

Between these 2 devices, i think it’s really obvious that Google Nexus 9 is far more powerful than Nokia Lumia 2520.

And it’s not because its processor runs in 64-bit architecture, but it’s because this Tegra K1 processor – according to console game and Epic Engine developers – is capable to deliver the same graphical performance as today’s desktops/PCs.

And that’s shown perfectly when this device is deployed with 2 console-quality games – Trine 2 and Half Life 2, OddWorld Stranger's Wrath -, which are ported straightly from consoles and PC, along with all of their graphics and visual effects.

So when it comes to gaming experience as a whole, of course Google Nexus 9 is far better than Nokia Lumia 2520 because it has the capability of desktop’s quality graphics performance. But that’s not it.

Besides a more powerful gaming performance, there are also some other things that make this Google Nexus 9 a better gaming tablet than Nokia Lumia 2520.

And those are its great sound quality (thanks to its dual-speaker grilles), huge support from many mobile/console/PC game developers to port their titles specifically to Tegra K1 hardware like Google Nexus 9 and last but not least, NVIDIA’s close partnership with many famous console game makers like Ubisoft, Activision or EA.

And this of course makes it easier to convince these developers to port their famous games to Tegra K1 tablets in the future.

The other most important factor that also puts Google Nexus 9 on the higher level than Nokia Lumia 2520 is also its Android platform.

Thanks to this Android OS, you’ll easily find any of your favorite apps without any hassle.

Almost all the famous games and apps on iOS can be found on Google Play Store. And this really contradicts with the Windows RT platform of Nokia Lumia 2520, which still lacks of many popular games and apps.

So long story short, if you’re looking for a great productivity tablet that has the best gaming experience, then Google Nexus 9 should be your destination here.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Google Nexus 9 and Nokia Lumia 2520, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Cameras

If there is one specialty that Nokia Lumia 2520 is more superior at than Google Nexus 9, then it’s definitely its camera. Nokia Lumia 2520 comes packed with a 6.7MP rear-facing camera that has Carl Zeiss optics, plus 2MP camera on the front to do selfies.

On paper, it probably doesn’t look as impressive as the 8MP rear-camera found on Google Nexus 9.

However, in the real world performance, Nokia Lumia 2520 could come out as the winner here against Google’s tablet.

And that’s mostly thanks to Nokia’s years of experience and expertise in the developments of its camera department along with its technology – known as PureView tech.

So when it comes to quality and sharpness, there’s no doubt that Nokia Lumia 2520 is more prepared than HTC’s homemade tablet.

But of course, it doesn’t straightly mean that the camera of Google Nexus 9 will suck compared to Nokia Lumia 2520. Well, that’s so wrong actually.

According to some reviews, the 8MP camera found on the back of Google Nexus 9 still takes decent quality shots, but it’s not up to par especially with the 8MP iSight camera on iPads.

Even so, either you pick up Google Nexus 9 or Nokia Lumia 2520, the cameras found on these 2 tablets won’t be such a big disappointment to you, even if you’re into photography.

Battery Life

On paper, Nokia Lumia 2520 looks more powerful in terms of battery life than Google Nexus 9. And that’s shown perfectly by its huge 8120mAh battery found inside this Nokia’s tablet, as opposed to the smaller 6700mAh battery equipped by HTC on Google Nexus 9.

Well, that’s probably right because – besides having light-weight Windows RT platform, which is not as power-hungry as the full-fledged version – this tablet also comes with hardware that don’t require a lot of power to execute, like its full HD display and a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor.

This really contradicts with Google Nexus 9 that comes with a much higher-resolution 1536x2048 pixel display, plus an insanely powerful 64-bit Tegra K1 dual-core processor.

So when it comes to battery life, it’s definitely Nokia Lumia 2520 that will come out as the winner here against Google Nexus 9.

But the good news is, this Google’s tablet already comes pre-installed with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which brings a lot of improvements especially on battery life department.

So i believe this could really help a lot in making this tablet more efficient with the use of memory and of course, battery life.

So even if you’re a power user, you can still have a lot of hours to play with both of these tablets.

You can expect to see them survive probably around 5 to 7 hours (maybe less maybe more) especially when deployed with some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all – like watching HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row.

However, if you throw some console-quality gaming on Google Nexus 9 without stopping (like playing Half Life 2 maybe), its battery would drop significantly faster to around 3 to 4 hours.

My Personal Opinions

So the final conclusion of this comparison review is, i think, as productivity-dedicated tablets, both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Google Nexus 9 are really well-built devices with flagship quality specs and performance, which make them great for productivity tablets.

And thanks to their keyboard case/dock, you will feel at home when using them to do all of your productivity stuff like homework or job tasks.

It goes the same as gaming devices. With their high-grade powerful hardware specs, you can also count on their performance totally even to handle the most graphically demanding games in town.

The same applies on many sectors of these 2 devices. Both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Google Nexus 9 are also great in terms of cameras, software, features (but Nokia’s tablet is much better when it comes to productivity-related features and apps), battery life and some other more.

However, there are still some downsides – or weaknesses, if you would -, found on both of these tablets. For example like the absent of microSD card slot on Google Nexus 9, which can only be found on Nokia Lumia 2520.

Meanwhile, the display of Nokia Lumia 2520 is not up to par with the “Retina” screen on Google Nexus 9 (although it’s still not nearly as nice looking as the real “Retina” display of iPads). And also, the rear-camera of Nokia’s tablet that has no LED flash, where Google Nexus 9 has it.

So with all of these strengths and weaknesses found on each device, hopefully they can help you decide which one of them that suits you perfectly.

But if you ask me, i will definitely go with Google Nexus 9 instead of Nokia Lumia 2520.

And that’s mostly because its platform – which is Android OS – that has much brighter future than Windows RT of Nokia Lumia 2520.

That’s shown perfectly on the game and app catalog of Google Nexus 9 on Play Store, where you can find literally any of your favorite app without any hassle.

This really contradicts with the Windows RT MarketPlace that still lacks of many great popular apps on Android and iOS. You probably think that this issue 'won’t bother you that much'.

But in the near future, there will be the time whey you finally think that the lack of your favorite apps and games on Windows RT of Nokia Lumia 2520 will be a huge problem for you. You will find a hard time to get the alternatives or other options that are as great as the original apps/games.

And you could end up selling this tablet just for that simple reason that you ‘thought wouldn’t bother you that much’.

So at the end of the day, the final decision of buying these 2 tablets will totally come down your personal preference and your needs as well.

So if you’re looking for a great simple productivity tablet that is also great for playing games, then Google Nexus 9 can be your best shot here.

Meanwhile, if you’re in the search of great productivity tablet with great camera, Windows RT platform and good battery life, then Nokia Lumia 2520 can also still be a good choice for you.

But you should remember about its lack of app/game catalog though. You probably think that this issue doesn’t bother that much for now. However, in the future, you will think otherwise.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...

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