back to article Google Nexus 7 blighted by brightness blunder

Google's Nexus 7 tablet has been warmly welcomed all round, however one display specialist claims the fondleslab's screen has something "seriously wrong" with it. Raymond Soneira at DisplayMate Technologies claims that while the tablet's LCD panel has much to offer, the calibration of display parameters - usually performed …


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  1. John Burton

    Mine is ok

    I know this is hardly a scientific survey, but mine seems ok. The colours seem fine.

    Although I don't really use it for movies, maybe it's more obvious there.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Thumb Up

      Re: Mine is ok


      A proud Nexus 7 owner in our office has just been showing his off, and the display is perfectly fine.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mine is ok

      Mine too.

      Apple really are plunging to new depths to try and discredit the Nexus7.

      We will now have to endure YEARS of iPad fanboys quoting this expert that nobody has ever heard of...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Mine is ok

        Where do you find these fanboys? Do the plague your street corners like bored teenagers, or picket the gates of your workplace? And why do you enter into conversation when you do stumble across them?

        1. fandom

          Re: Mine is ok

          "Where do you find these fanboys?"

          Ever heard of a site called "The Register"?

      2. toadwarrior

        Re: Mine is ok

        They don't need to quote him. They can link to the vidoe showing loads of people having issues with the poor packaging, the video showing the touch screen abilities going wonky on half the screen if you play games or anything requiring above average power or they can link to all the complaints in google's forums about the creeky / loose screen.

        Face it, google released something that's low quality. I'm surprised they didn't slap a beta sticker on it. All they've really done is make it look like the claims westerners do a better job is bs given this tablet was supposedly assembled in the US. They really would have been better off saving some money and getting the chinese to do it if they're going to build a POS that could end up with a high return rate.

        I was considering one but I'm really glad I waited. I won't touch the nexus at all. It's more likely there will be even more stories about its low quality than a story about google rectifying the problems.

      3. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        @Barry Shitpeas:

        The report comes from a chap working for DisplayMate, a company that specialises in professional display calibration tools for high-end professional graphics work.

        Computers display graphics on RGB displays. Printers use CMYK and Pantone™ process / spot colour systems instead. The two systems have colour gamuts that do not map directly, (or, in the case of some special Pantone™ colours, like silver and gold, at all), to each other.

        In case you hadn't noticed, printing on paper (and other materials) is still quite a popular choice, and this requires accurate colour calibration. Calibration ensures the shade of red on your screen is going to be printed in exactly the same shade on your printer.

        Congratulations! You are to graphic design what Stephen Fry is to technology. And that's not a compliment.

    3. Gizzit101

      Re: Mine is ok

      Like the above, mine seems to be perfectly adequate.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but there appears to have been a fairly concerted hate-campaign on the go...

      Every delivery has been "Gordon Housed" - mine wasn't

      Every screen is coming apart - mine hasn't

      Every screen has dead pixels - not mine

      Every screen suffers from light leakage - nope

      I can only answer for me and the people I know, but none of us who ordered this glistenening beauty has experienced any of the above problems, or has any complaint at all

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Add this to your list of checks:

      2. fandom

        Re: Mine is ok

        "Correct me if I'm wrong, but there appears to have been a fairly concerted hate-campaign on the go..."

        Now that you mention it, it does appear so, just like when Apple releases something, only thing missing is the inevitable class action suit that happens every time Apple releases a new product.

        A couple more days I guess.

      3. Oli Wright

        Re: Mine is ok

        @Gizzit101 To be fair, there were a lot of cock ups with the addresses ("Gordon House" wasn't the only issue - mine had a scrambled postcode - and as every person I spoke to at TNT was aware of the issue I don't think it was a tiny number, but certainly not "every delivery") and the service to resolve it was bloody awful. The screen hasn't been a problem for me though.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Should have gone to Specsavers for all of you

      You can see this from 10 feet away.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You'll see the brightness issue once you remove your Google-tinted glasses.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mine is ok

      'Mine is ok', but what have you actually compared it to?

      I put it next to my iPad, same photo on both.

      I gave the nexus to my sister.

      1. Bugs R Us

        Re: Mine is ok

        I compared mine to an iPad. Gave the iPad to my toddler.

  2. K Silver badge


    My precious arrived yesterday, absolute no problem with it :)

  3. HMB


    I do love my Android devices, but after reading the headline initially with anger considering it Google bashing, I did stop for a moment and think "You know what, Google do get up to some stupid shit at times". It's like they're making devices like me packing my things from being on holiday. Everything seems great then I realise there was one really stupid thing I forgot and left out.

    Ice cream sandwich and low resolution photo sync on stock android anyone? Still a little bit of weird behaviour in Jelly Bean too.

    Apple isn't perfect either and I can name examples but in the interests of not being a flaming arse, I'm not going to.

    Come on Google, socks up a bit!

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hmmm....

      Google is full of clever people, but being clever doesn't mean you have to have any common sense.

      Don't get me wrong; I'm an Android owner and have been since the beginning, but as the OP says there are things that baffle me.

      - NTP support in Honeycomb, but it defaults to using NITZ if you have a cell connection which is often laughably wrong.

      - The lack of microSD slots on the latest Nexii devices.

      - Why the Google+ mobile client changes design every two weeks (currently on a rubbish "display massive thumbnails of text and images which means you can't skim-read" design)

      - Why it's taken so long to allow developer replies to Android Market comments.

      ...and a million other things.

      1. Ian Yates

        Re: Hmmm....

        And that's not even going in to their online services.

        I'm a G+ fan, but the number of different interfaces for uploading photos is bordering on insanity. The worst part is that you can tag a person using some ways but not others, so you have to remember how to share the photo.

        That said, the chocolate factory is pretty good at reacting to users' opinions (especially if you get a "celebrity" to say it publicly.

      2. toadwarrior

        Re: Hmmm....

        You're right, Google is full of some of the smartest people in technology. If you need an algorithm, they'll bash one out for you in no time, I'm sure.

        But they lack a lot of the other sorts of geniuses to make a great product. I can't honestly think of anything they've done that has succeeded that is entirely theirs and isn't something with a zillion other products to reference.

        Search and free email are their big times. Android was bought and even then it lacks a lot of polish, has had some outstanding ridiculous bugs in its lifetime (ie corrupt login cookies causing buttons not to work with no sign anything is wrong), Chrome is built on the back of web-kit and yet it's still not, imo, leaps above any other webkit browser. It's nazi-like restrictions aren't consistent and annoy, it's tabs certainly seem to crash more than FF tabs and it's just not that special now that everyone else has upped their game in Javascript performance.

        They've kill so many products and a lot of them they should have kept but I just don't think they have people that know what to do with them. Notebook as really nice. Bookmarks was stupidly not integrated with Chrome and rather than merging them they just kill Bookmarks. Surely it wouldn't be anything to merge them and I would have loved web access to my bookmarks.

        They need to start focusing hiring geniuses in areas other than computer science because they've proven time and time they just can't pull off a solid all around great product that's not search or gmail.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmm....

          Google Maps? Street View? Google Earth?

          You're not trying very hard, are you? What have you made?

  4. Bill Cumming

    looks fine to me

    Never noticed a problem with images, but I've nothing to compare it against...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: looks fine to me

      Put it next to my iPad.

  5. Simon Ward
    Thumb Up

    No problems here ...

    Although I only picked up my Nexus 7 yesterday, I can't say that I've noticed any problems with the display. Quite the opposite, in fact - it's truly lovely :-)

  6. bdam

    Mines fantastic

    So let's be charitable and just say this guy is plain wrong.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Mines fantastic

      Or that he's reviewing one with a faulty display, and he ought to return it for a warranty replacement.

  7. Bassey

    Has been mentioned before

    To be fair to PCPro (and they don't get a lot right) they did notice this in their review at the start of last week;

    "our only complaint is that colours lack punch, with a washed-out look that’s noticeable next to dearer tablet screens"

  8. Alastair Dodd 1

    Seems fine to me - and like the others here it's truly lovely

  9. the-it-slayer

    Typical lazy Google...

    For almost every one of their products (apart from the web search and web mail), they always fail on the miniscule details that really matter. It's not the fact there's any problem with anyone's Nexus 7s (as spammed here already by fandroid-tards), but the comparative fair test just doesn't match the expected quality with the components installed in the device. To most eyes, it probably doesn't matter; however for prolonged use when you want everything easy on the eye, it'll make a huge difference. More importantly on smaller displays.

    I'd say this is a major cockup between Asus and Google not QAing the product for long enough and being fussy on the final detail which is probably key for this vanilla benchmark product at the 7" size. Possibly fixable if either of them decide to take note (which is unlikely).

    Personally, I think the 7" tab market is no-mans land gumpth and this will be temporary hot-air that fandroids will just put bricks walls up and putting up a poster saying "no wrong with my device! it's apple fanbois being nasty to me!".

    1. Ian Yates

      Re: Typical lazy Google...

      "I think the 7" tab market is no-mans land gumpth and this will be temporary hot-air"

      Will you say the same if the much-vaunted iPad Mini appears?

      1. fandom

        Re: Typical lazy Google...

        According to the latest rumours it is going to be 8.x" so sure, he will be able to keep saying it

      2. the-it-slayer

        Re: Typical lazy Google...

        Yup. I don't like the idea of any 7" tab. Whether it's from Apple or anyone else. It's too small for the human hand to do anything reasonable and without compromise. I know there's been huge rumours of the iPad Mini, but seriously don't think they'll ever release one. I could be wrong, but the rumours for new Apple gear haven't always been spot on (take a look at the iPhone 5 rumours for when the iPhone 4S suddenly appeared). Same with the new iPhone 5 parts/cases that have been floating around.

        10" tabs are the way forward. 7" screens are ultimately suitable for the e-reader though.

        1. SoftFox

          Re: Typical lazy Google...

          if thats the case you are not using a 7' tab for its intended market. i.e a 'Portable' tablet.. 10' is just to big to carry around all the time

          Everybody is different and has different uses for similar products...thank goodness

        2. Bugs R Us

          Re: Typical lazy Google...

          I have small hands so it seems a good size to me. Don't judge the rest of the world by your disfigurements.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To everyone saying "mine is fine"...

    Sometimes there's an issue like this and you can't really tell. It won't affect using it at all (unless you're doing serious photo editing on it or are a serious videophile or something). It might still be 'wrong'.

    This is actually good news if it is, because it's a software thing, google will presumably 'fix' it, and it'll get a whole lot more fine :)

    1. Alex Rose

      Re: To everyone saying "mine is fine"...

      "serious photo editing" on a tablet?


    2. Bugs R Us

      Re: To everyone saying "mine is fine"...

      Or...and much more likely....there's a small percentage with these problems and a bigger deal is being made of it than necessary, probably by those who own APPL stock.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks fine my eyes and to the missus, and she is a professional photographer! Anyway, I didn't expect a reference standard display for £160 just something small, powerful and fast to read, game and browse on.

  12. D. M

    the image does seem a little wrong

    To my eyes, the photo seems a little washed out. The color just doesn't seem as good as other nice display (eg. galaxy tab).

    However, as the "expert" stated, this should be easy fix by software update.

  13. Dave 126 Silver badge

    A small-screened, long battery phone with 3G to WiFi hotspot + 7" tablet would be a good combination for many people, and would work out around the same price as a 'mid range' 4" Android phone. Jackets, handbags, glove-boxes.

    Especially considering the trend for people to have a second 'drunk' phone for those evenings (or afternoons!) where having £300-400 device in your pocket is just daft.

    Side note:

    Please Reg, can you do an article on phones for older people? Emphasis on ease of use rather than strange esoteric features... calls, maps, video chat with grand-children etc. Using a keyboard (virtual, swpey, or bluetooth physical)... I have a retired teacher in my local who is after such a thing, and he worries his fingers are too big.

  14. Stefing

    "warmly welcomed all round..."... "one display specialist claims..."

    That'll be good enough for Gizmodo then!

    Anyway, it's firmware, it'll be fixed if it needs fixing.

  15. Santonia
    Thumb Down


    I have an Asus TF Prime which shares the 'same' IPS panel (Asus makes the G-Nex-7). I definitely have the same 'washed out' issue, although I notice it mostly when going from SGS2 to the Prime. The Play Store icon is the most obvious offender, the 3 colours just do not stand out - whereas on a display which is calibrated correctly, all looks fine.

    I wouldn't be too hopeful of a s/w fix. There have been mutliple firmware updates to the Prime, none of which have made a difference.......disappointing.

  16. James Hughes 1

    As other have said

    Sound like a few parameters changed in the display driver and hey presto - all is lovely. Not a big job (unless, like they haven't done yet, they actually get some people to look at it for QA purposes - that'll take 20 times longer than changing the numbers)

  17. Jyve

    I kinda see it

    I can see the point they're making /slightly/. The top end brightness does seem to merge a bit, the curve I guess? But I've only noticed it as I've a GalaxyTab7 sat next to it, and the same images on both screens show the comparison. But I think half the problem is the Tab's colours are VERY saturated. Almost cartoonish sometimes, so it looks worse than it is.

    By itself, watching films, playing games, it doesn't look washed out at all. Wouldn't mind a twee fix perhaps, some method to control the contrast, but happy to wait for a CM10 rom that lets something like that be done as it's perfectly fine.

  18. ukgnome

    I dare not comment, as last time I raised the build quality of the N7 I was down voted.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You need thicker skin.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please sir post it I need more downvotes for my banana leaf rice meal.

      I get 2 Rupees for each downvotes and 10 Rupees for good reply thank you sir.

  19. Eponymous Bastard


    Has anyone considered the dimensions of the "average" paperback? The Nexus 7 is almost exactly the height, slightly narrower and substantially less thick than most paperbacks - even Roland Barthes' seminal work Camera Lucida ISBN 0-09-922541-7. Perhaps its diminutive dimensions are part of its appeal. Looking at my own images on the 'net I can't see any problem with colour, contrast or sharpness compared to viewing the same images on a regular monitor; perhaps a little less saturated that's all. Chacun à son goût.

  20. Antony Riley


    Screen flicker: software fault will be fixed in an update, and if you can't wait you can force gpu rendering somewhere in the settings.

    Loose screen: open it up and tighten some screws.

    Screen calibration: will be fixed in a future firmware update, hopefully exposing the settings to the end user, or someone will make an app for it. (I believe this is the digital vibrance (tm) setting on the nvidia gpus).

    These all seem pretty minor and fixable.

    Not like say putting the wifi antenna and 3g antennas on the outside such that you can bridge them with a finger.

    Be thankful the thing can be opened up, a lot of modern hardware isn't designed to be user modifiable.

    You'd struggle to find a device that ships from anyone which doesn't have at least one major firmware glitch on launch these days.

    I'm actually tempted to buy one now.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: And...

      Telling the average consumer "open it up and tighten some screws" is as ridiculous as when Steve Jobs said "you're holding it wrong". It's amazing how people will overlook flaws in products they love as being no big deal or discount the reports entirely as being the work of the nefarious opposition, but when flaws are reported in the "enemy's" devices it's clearly a huge problem that affects everyone and shows why no one should buy it.

      If someone really had nothing better to do today, it would be fun to look back at who was on Apple's ass about Antennagate and the "yellow screen" issue and who defended them, and compare their positions on these Nexus 7 issues. I suspect one's allegiance to Apple or Google/Android has a lot more to do with their reactions to Apple's woes versus Google's woes. I'm sure the Apple fans' reality distortion field, and whatever the Google version of that is (rose colored Google Glasses(tm) perhaps?) would prevent them from seeing the conflict in their positions...

      Expecting to be thumbed down by both iFans and Fandroids since this will piss them both off :)

  21. miknik

    Have I got a screw loose?

    My Nexus 7 has a loose/creaky screen. The image on screen seems fine to me but I do get occasional brightness fluctuations. Still, I called Google and they are sending me a new tablet to fix the loose screen, it's no big deal in terms of how the device operates, but I'll have a new one all the same.

    All told I think it's a nice bit of kit, and given the bargain price I can see I might be sharing the Nexus 7 love with a few of my nearest and dearest this Christmas. I was all set to buy a Transformer Infinity but I'm not even sure I would use a bigger tablet now, the portability of a 7" device is a big plus for me.

    1. Bugs R Us

      Re: Have I got a screw loose?

      I totally agree. I am also planning to buy a few for nearest and dearest as Christmas gifts before it's too late and they give in to the iCult. Once they have something that does web, email, eBay, Amazon and Facebook, they'll forget the iPad exists.

  22. BiggleFlysUndone

    I agree. The screen is set up wrong

    This is the first, and so far only, problem I noticed with mine.

    The screen is washed out. I tried reducing the brightness but it made no difference. There is a world of difference in the contrast and colour rendition of the Nexus 7 compared to my Galaxy S2. The colours are richer on the S2 and black text on a white background has a much better contrast. On the Nexus this appears as grey text on a white background.

    I don't have any of the other problems though (yet).

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