Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 vs Google Nexus 9: Tablet Battle

Posted by B. Johnson
Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 vs Google Nexus 9: Tablet BattleHi guys, welcome back!

Despite being the only tablet made by the company, Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 surprisingly is a decent quality tablet in the whole aspect.

As a matter of fact, it is one of the best gaming tablets you can find on the market right now - alongside Google Nexus 9, NVIDIA Shield Tablet or even iPad mini Retina -, especially thanks to the monster Tegra K1 processor embedded beneath its engine.

More amazingly is, even with its high-grade hardware specs that are ‘on par’ with iPad mini Retina, this tablet carries a really affordable price tag, cheaper than other flagship devices like iPad mini or Samsung GALAXY Tab S series.

And that’s truly amazing because it’s really rare to see a tablet that is really impressive in terms of specs and even build quality, but costs below $250.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 vs Google Nexus 9 benchmarks and gaming performance

I know that Kindle Fire HDX 7 or Google Nexus 7 (2013) are both also great gaming tablets at affordable costs, but they both don’t have microSD card slot, and the 5MP camera on Nexus 7 is not something to write home about.

And this really contradicts with Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 that has microSD card slot for up to staggering 128GB (thanks to Tegra K1 processor) and its 8MP camera really takes decent and sharp quality shots though.

Anyway, besides Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9, there’s also one other Tegra K1 tablet that also impresses me a lot last year, and that is no other than Google Nexus 9 (of course, besides NVIDIA Shield Tablet).

Not only is this tablet really great for playing games, but it’s also really impressive as a productivity device, especially thanks to the official keyboard case that Google releases officially on Play Store.

That’s the reason why today, i’m really excited to compare between Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google’s tablet in my next comparison review.

I think the comparison between these 2 tablets would be interesting to see especially because – besides being Tegra K1 tablets -, they both have similar quality of hardware specs, like screen, cameras and of course, UI.

Well, if you want to see these 2 tablets get compared by me in every aspect, especially in gaming experience, then check this one out, my comparison review between Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9.

Introduction

Compared to HTC, the journey of Xiaomi to conquer the tablet market can be considered as really smooth as this Chinese-based company has managed to ship million units of Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 to the entire world.

And that’s no doubt thanks to Xiaomi’s brilliant strategy to sell its devices at online stores by using hunger marketing or known mostly as ‘flash sales’, which only provides some limited units of devices (like 20.000 – 100.000 units every flash sales) in short amount of time in order to create a huge buzz across the net from people who don't get the chance to buy the phones.

And this has proved to work amazingly for Xiaomi in the past 2 years as this company now has become one of the top 5 biggest smartphone manufacturers around the globe, alongside Apple and Samsung.

More impressively, Xiaomi manages to maintain its success as well on its tablet - Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.

According to what i’ve heard around few months ago, this tablet amazingly has sold around 7 million units across the world and it’s still counting until today.

On the other hand with Xiaomi, when it comes to tablet-making business, HTC doesn’t have such any amazing story to tell to its grandchildren.

And that’s proved by 2 of its older-gen tablets – known as HTC Flyer and JetStream – that didn’t manage to speak that much around the tablet market, which was the main reason why this manufacturer decided to stop the production of its 2 tablets.

However, in 2014, HTC came back again to this market - actually thanks to Google’s success to convince this manufacturer to enter the tablet market for the second time – with its new-gen device called Google Nexus 9.

HTC’s latest tablet is actually released under Google Nexus flag, which makes it Google’s property, especially in terms of entire design decision, specs and of course, software build.

But as a tablet made by HTC, of course this company still has some influence especially on its design and camera, 2 of the sectors where HTC has been really good at.

Both Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9 are powered by NVIDIA’s latest and greatest Tegra K1 processor.

However, Google’s tablet probably looks slightly more superior than Xiaomi’s slate given that its tablet gets the real monster from NVIDIA – a Tegra K1 dual-core processor in 64-bit architecture -, as opposed to the 32-bit quad-core Tegra K1 processor embedded beneath the Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.

So there should be some noticeable differences in terms of performance between these 2 tablets, although not very significantly.

But despite having ‘only’ the 32-bit Tegra K1 processor, it doesn’t straightly make Google Nexus 9 more superior in the whole aspect than Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.

Well, that’s so wrong because if we explore more on each of these 2 tablets, i personally think that Xiaomi’s tablet still has many things to brag in front of Google-branded tablet, like its camera, UI, features, storage capacity, etc.

But we’ll get more on this later at the end of this comparison review.

But the questions remain, with all of the high-grade monster specs found on each of these devices,

which one between Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9 that deserves to be a better gaming tablet as a whole?

Which one between these 2 devices that is a better tablet in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to get any of these 2 tablets, especially for gaming?

You're gonna get the answers of the questions at the end of this review. So keep reading!!

Design

Google has always been really consistent when it comes to the design of its Nexus lineup. So basically, most of Nexus devices – either smartphones or tablets – carry this “Nexus” characteristic on their design, which makes them look pretty similar, even though they all have different design approach one to another, according to each manufacturer.

It goes the same with HTC’s homemade Google Nexus 9. This tablet may be made and assembled by HTC in its lab, however, if we take a look closely at the entire design of this device, we will certainly know that this tablet is a Nexus tablet.

It’s similar just like when we see Google Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 made by Asus and Samsung respectively, and we can straightly know how these tablets have that “Nexus” identity at the glance – like the specific rounded rectangular design, soft touch rear-cover, etc.

Xiaomi Mi Pad
Xiaomi Mi Pad
Google Nexus 9
Google Nexus 9

Similar just NVIDIA Shield Tablet, Google Nexus 9 also has dual-speaker grilles on the front – left and right sides.

According to many reviews on YouTube, this dual-speaker grilles on this device produce a really good sound quality.

And this makes the experience of watching movies or playing games more realistic because the sound that comes out from this dual-speaker is really loud and clear.

This actually kind of reminds me exactly with the same design of HTC’s flagship smartphone – HTC One M8, which also has that dual-front-speakers.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is on the other side of the road compared to Google Nexus 9, in terms of design.

Unlike Nexus 9, this Xiaomi tablet doesn’t have that dual-speaker on the front, which means its sound quality will not be as great as Google-branded tablet.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 actually looks similar with iPad mini Retina, especially given that its screen has similarities with the Retina Display found on Apple’s mini tablet – from its 7.9-inch screen size, 1536x2048 pixel resolution, -324 ppi and even 4:3 aspect ratio.

In fact, at the glance, we can certainly tell how Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 blatantly copies the entire look of iPad mini on its design, although not that significantly.

Between Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9, i think Google Nexus 9 looks more superior on the sector of design than Xiaomi’s device.

And that’s mostly because it looks more modern, elegant and has its own characteristic compared to other competing devices.

Meanwhile, the design of Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 has nothing to write home about because it looks really similar with iPad mini Retina.

However, in terms of build quality, i think i have to go with Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 this time instead of Google Nexus 9 because according to many reviews on YouTube (including TheVerge and PhoneArena), the rear-cover of Nexus 9 is really prone to catch finger prints and human grease.

And this really contradicts with the rear-cover of Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9, which feels really sturdy and solid, plus is not friendly to finger prints, despite using a plastic materials.

Back to Top

Xiaomi Mi PadGoogle HTC Nexus 9
No SIM
Released June 2014,
Weight 360 g (12.70 oz)
7.9 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1536 x 2048 pixels, (~324 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15 Nvidia Tegra K1 Chipset
ULP GeForce Kepler (192 cores) GPU
2 GB RAM
Android OS - MIUI 6
16/64 GB of Internal storage
microSD Memory Card slo for up to 128 GB
8 MP rear-facing camera
5 MP front-facing camera
No EDGE
No GPRS
USB
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth
HTML5 Browser
No Radio
No GPS
Java MIDP emulator
Colors Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, White, Gray
Li-Po 6700 mAh battery
Talk time (multimedia): for up to 11 hours
Music play: for up to 86 hours

    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 card slot
    16/32 GB Internal storage
    8 MP rear-facing camera LED flash
    1.6 MP front-camera (720p video recording)
    HSDPA, HSUPA, LTE
    Bluetooth v4.1
    NFC
    Wi-Fi 802.11
    USB
    GPRS
    EDGE
    No Radio
    GPS
    Java MIDP emulator
    Indigo Black, Lunar White, Sand Colors
    Non-removable Li-Po 6700 mAh battery
    Stand-by : for up to 720 hours (3G)
    Talk time (multimedia): for up to 9 hours

    As 2 Tegra K1 tablets, both Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9 carry some high-grade monster specs here and there on their hardware.

    Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 comes with:
    • a 7.9-inch display sporting the so called “Retina” 1536x2048 pixel resolution, 
    • a quad-core Tegra K1 processor with 32-bit architecture, 
    • 2GB of RAM, 
    • 8MP rear-facing camera, 
    • 5MP front-facing camera, 
    • MIUI, 
    • 192-core Kepler GPU, 
    • 6700mAh battery and some other standard features.
    Meanwhile, Google Nexus 9 looks more superior than Xiaomi’s tablet as it comes with:
    • a bigger 8.9-inch display sporting the same “Retina” 1536x2048 pixel resolution (but of course, less pixel density due to larger screen size than Xiaomi’s tablet), 
    • a dual-core Tegra K1 processor but with 64-bit architecture,
    • 192-core Kepler GPU, 
    • 2GB of RAM, 
    • 8MP and 1.6MP cameras back and front respectively, 
    • Android 5.0 Lollipop with stock vanilla UI 
    • and the same 6700mAh battery inside.

    However, as a Nexus tablet, there’s no microSD card found on this device, which is a shame given that Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 has it for up to 128GB.

    Screen

    One interesting fact found on both Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9 is actually their screen resolution.

    Both of these tablets sport the same “Retina” 1536x2048 pixel resolution, the same exact screen resolution of Apple’s iPads.

    So that would make Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 the right contender for iPad mini Retina, while Google Nexus 9 will fight against the larger iPad Air.

    So when it comes to sharpness, these 2 tablet are definitely “on the same level” with Apple iPads.

    However, in the real life implementation, i think i have to go with Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 instead of Google Nexus 9 because in terms of display quality, this Xiaomi’s tablet is more superior than HTC-produced device.

    That’s thanks to Xiaomi’s decision to use SHARP as the screen supplier for its devices, including Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.

    And we all know that Sharp has been one of the screen suppliers of Apple devices as well.

    So when it comes to quality, like color reproduction, viewing angle, color saturation and sharpness, there’s no doubt that Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is much better than Nexus 9.

    On the other hand, the screen of Google Nexus 9 surprisingly gained some negative reviews across the net, especially YouTube.

    According to TheVerge, the display of Nexus 9 is not nearly as nice looking as the display of iPad Air, there’s also a visible gap between the glass and LCD, and also, the colors often look washed out. Not to mention, the backlight is very visible on the side of the screen.

    But even so, the display of Nexus 9 is still relatively great in high-end class, if not the best.

    It may be plagued with some flaws here and there, but in terms of sharpness and overall quality, i believe it’s more than enough for most of users out there.

    User Interface

    Xiaomi has been criticized for its heavy MIUI that usually takes a lot of space in the memory/RAM. And that’s not shocking given that MIUI is filled with a lot of attractive looking features and visual presentations here and there on its pre-loaded apps.

    Not to mention, there’s a bunch of other cool secret features found on this platform.

    This is the main reason why Xiaomi devices should have huge RAM and bigger battery in order to be reliable in the long run.

    But the good news is, there’s a huge 2GB of RAM found on Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9. So that means, this tablet is still more than capable to perform fast and smooth even when opening many apps at once.

    That really contradicts with Google Nexus 9 that still keeps Google’s tradition on its software.

    Unlike Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 with its heavy UI, Nexus 9 is more prominent with its straight-forward UI made by Google Android team, which is a stock vanilla Android UI.

    The good thing is, this tablet comes with the latest and greatest Android 5.0 Lollipop software build out of the blue (i mean, out of the box!).

    So when it comes to performance, it’s no brainer that Nexus 9 is a much better performer than Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9, plus more efficient with the use of battery given that Android Lollipop comes with many improvements on battery life department – like Project Volta, battery saving mode on the lockscreen and not to mention, some other tweaks made by Google to make this software much faster and smoother, plus more energy-efficient – despite using new entirely design based on “Material Design”.

    Back to Top
    I’m probably not gonna talk a lot about the gaming performance of both devices because i’ve already done that in my previous comparison reviews between both Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9 with other competing tablets. So you can read more about the gaming performance of these 2 devices in my previous reviews.

    Basically, with Tegra K1 processor, 2GB of RAM, 192-core Kepler GPU and a “Retina” 1536x2048 pixel display, Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is no doubt gonna excel in terms of gaming performance.

    Any games that you see today on the Play Store – like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or even some next-gen games that are made for Tegra K1 devices, such as: Trine 2 (PS3), Half Life 2 (PC) and many more – all can be executed perfectly on this Xiaomi tablet, in buttery smooth performance and of course, in full highest graphics.

    It goes the same with Google Nexus 9. Thanks to its Tegra K1 dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 192-core Kepler GPU and the same “Retina” 1536x2048 pixel display, plus stock Android UI, this Nexus 9 is also a really powerful device for playing games, similar just like Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.

    However, if pitted side-by-side against Xiaomi’s tablet, i think i have to go with Google Nexus 9 simply because it comes with stock Android UI and a 64-bit dual-core Tegra K1 processor (as opposed to the 32-bit quad-core Tegra K1 processor on Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9).

    The difference may not be that significant. But if compared against each other, it’s definitely Google Nexus 9 that will perform much faster and smoother than Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9, in terms of gaming performance.

    Not to mention, Google-branded tablet also has the dual-speaker-grilles on the front, which makes the gaming experience more realistic, while Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 doesn’t have it.

    So between these 2 tablets, i think Google Nexus 9 is a much better gaming tablet than Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.

    Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 vs Google Nexus 9, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

    Cameras

    Google Nexus devices have always been plagued with the issue with their cameras. Most of Nexus devices unfortunately have mediocre cameras, especially if compared to Apple’s devices.

    The good news is, through Nexus 9, Google finally puts that negative tradition to an end.

    According to many tech reviews on YouTube (including theVerge and PhoneArena), the cameras – especially the rear-facing camera – of Nexus 9 amazingly take some decent quality shots, even without manual tweaks.

    And this is really impressive because this is the thing that Google has been trying to achieve through its Nexus line – which is a great consumer device with great camera -, in order to compete with Apple’s devices.

    This is actually the same thing found on the Nexus 6 made by Moto, which also takes great pictures with its cameras.

    The same applies with Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9. In fact, according to what i’ve seen on some video reviews across the YouTube (mostly 720p videos taken with its camera), the 8MP rear-facing camera of this tablet impressively is really good at taking pictures, especially 720p videos.

    The quality is really sharp, the colors look realistic and the sound quality taken in video recording is also pretty good.

    This is actually no surprise given that the camera department on Xiaomi devices is mostly taken care by Samsung’s camera sensor.

    And we all know that Samsung flagship devices have been the top of the line when it comes to camera. So if you’re still looking for a powerful gaming tablet with good quality camera, then Nexus 9 and Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 can be good options for you.

    Battery Life

    Through Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google mostly tries to make this Android operating system more efficient with the use of battery.

    And that’s why it now comes with Project Volta and a bunch of other battery saving improvements like tap-to-wake the lockscreen without waking up the entire pixels and many more.

    The good news is, Google Nexus 9 becomes the world’s first tablet shipping with Android 5.0 out of the box.

    So when it comes to battery life, it’s definitely Google Nexus 9 that will be the winner here compared to Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.

    Even though they both are powered by the same 6700mAh battery inside, the software build and UI of Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 will be more power hungry than the stock Android UI on Nexus 9.

    And the fact that they both come with Tegra K1 processor and super-high-resolution display is also the reason why these 2 tablets will drain their battery much faster.

    So with that being said, then Nexus 9 has the advantage here compared to Xiaomi’s tablet because not only does this tablet come with very light weight UI (compared to MIUI), but it also has some battery life improvements in its software (like Project Volta, battery saving mode on lockscreen, etc).

    And this is really crucial in making this device long lasting especially in heavy use.

    But basically, both of these devices are able to survive in a full solid day on a full charge, of course in moderate use.

    However, in heavy intense use without resting the screen at all, any of these probably can only stay for as long as around 4 to 6 hours the longest, of course with Nexus 9 having the longer battery life than Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.

    My Personal Opinions

    So in conclusion, i personally think that Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is still a much better tablet in the whole aspect than Google Nexus 9.

    Okay, this Google-branded tablet may have a more efficient software than Xiaomi’s device, or official keyboard folio case from Google, not to mention, 64-bit processor and the dual-front-speaker grilles that produce great sound quality.

    However, on many other sectors on both devices, in my opinion, Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 looks more superior than Nexus 9.

    First of all, Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 has microSD card slot, while Nexus 9 doesn’t have it.

    And this could be important for some users because not only does this element give much bigger storage capacity to the users, but it also makes it easier for users to swap the data/media files without synchronizing the device to the laptop/PC.

    And the fact that Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 supports for up to 128GB of external storage makes Nexus 9 look inferior with its only 16/32GB of native storage.

    Second of all, Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 has a much better display quality than the one found on Nexus 9.

    As mentioned above, according to theVerge, the display of Nexus 9 is not nearly as nice looking as the “Retina display” on iPad Air, despite using the same “Retina” 1536x2048 pixels.

    And this really contradicts with Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 that has great display quality given that its screen is supplied by one of the screen suppliers of Apple devices – Sharp.

    So when it comes to sharpness, color reproduction and saturation and viewing angle, there’s no single doubt that Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is far more superior than Nexus 9.

    The software somehow also becomes the other reason why Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is a slightly better offering than Nexus 9. Its MIUI may be heavy with its features and visual presentations, which makes it more power hungry compared to the stock Android UI on Nexus 9.

    However, having a MIUI on this tablet is actually not a bad thing at all.

    This UI looks and works great, even better than the iOS 7 of iPads. There’s a lot of cool and useful features, and the visual presentation on its pre-loaded apps also look nice on this platform.

    The good thing is, this Xiaomi tablet is provided by a huge 2GB of RAM, so there will be no issue with laggy or stutter especially when opening many apps at once in multitasking mode.

    The gaming performance of Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is also ‘on the same level’ with Google Nexus 9, despite using 32-bit architecture as opposed to the 64-bit Tegra K1 processor on Google’s device.

    And you can totally expect to see this tablet excel perfectly even when playing the most graphically demanding games like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or even the next-gen games like Trine 2, Half Life 2 and some future console-quality games that will arrive in 2015.

    But even so, both Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9 are still great equally, especially for playing games.

    But Nexus 9 is probably more suitable for those of you who are looking for a productivity tablet because it has its official keyboard folio case (sold separately).

    Meanwhile, Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is more suitable as a media-consumption device and gaming tablet.

    So bottom line, if you’re still looking for a decent quality tablet for enjoying your favorite media contents or even playing games, then Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 and Google Nexus 9 can be your best shots here.

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