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Video: First Look at Verizon Data on the New Nexus 7 LTE

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When the new Nexus 7 (2013) with LTE became available earlier this week on Google Play, I immediately purchased one even at its $349 price. This is the version of the tablet that I have been waiting for. Since it has the ability to connect to Verizon’s LTE network (AT&T and T-Mobile’s too), it was a no-brainer as a device that I could use while on-the-go when traveling or should I happen to step out of my cave home office. WiFi tablets have never really fit into my life as I always felt as if they needed to be stuck at home on WiFi, tethered, or in a state of struggle while finding an open network in an airport or other location. With this LTE model, that’s no longer a worry. 

So here is a quick video on how the whole LTE connectivity situation works for this device. This isn’t a review of the Nexus 7 (I promise we’ll do one of those one day), but it does show you that getting up and running on Verizon’s (or other carrier’s) LTE networks is incredibly simple. Assuming you have a microSIM through your carrier of choice, all you need to do is drop it in the SIM tray and off you go. You could pull the SIM out of your phone if you’d like – by no means do you have to purchase a separate tablet plan to use this phone on Verizon. All it takes is a SIM swap from phone to tablet.

The official press docs for this model show that it supports LTE bands of 1/2/3/4/5/13/17. If you want to run it on HSPA+, it supports 850/900/1900/2100/1700/2100MHz frequencies. Unfortunately for Verizon customers, this does not support Big Red’s 3G, so if you leave an LTE area, you will be stuck without coverage until you return to one.

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  • convoy83

    just got a nexus 7 lte, Went to my local coporate verizon store to add it to my plan and get a sim card for it they say they don’t support it and won’t sell me a sim card. I think maybe the store is just mis informed and call their customer service line and get the same answer

  • TekGru

    Firstly, if you can have LTE on your tablet, it’s the easiest option for data, instead of tethering from your phone or from a LTE modem.

    Secondly, it kills your phone battery(receiving data and sending out data). Even if you have a phone with larger/replaceable battery, tablets have bigger batteries. Mobiles are a critical communication tool, especially when Nexus7 doesn’t have a call facility(WhatsApp, Viber etc are not the ideal tool; they are just a cheaper option when available).

    Thirdly, its cumbersome to carry a LTE modem just for the tablet data. Lesser devices are always more convenient.

  • Mickey A Valentine

    So Verizon LTE for 2013 Nexus 7 but no Verizon support for Nexus 5? What’s going on Google?

    • Braden Abbott

      VZW has to put their grubby hands all over CDMA devices and won’t allow them on their network unless they get control over the software updates. There is no CDMA in this device so VZW has no say. Just look at the disaster that is the VZW Gnex, still no Android 4.3 update for the VZW model.

      • Mickey A Valentine

        Well what if a CDMA-less phone was on the market that supported Verizon LTE was around. Would that be practical? Maybe when VoLTE comes it’ll be a different story, or I’m just having wasteful wishes.

        Yeah I still don’t have 4.3 on my gnex.

        • Braden Abbott

          Best thing is you don’t have to wait for VoLTE, or pay for the minutes and messages anymore. I have been using the OG N7 as my phone for almost a year, using Google Voice over HSPA on ma bell and it works great. My 2013 LTE version came yesterday and I am so excited to try big red as soon as I use my free month of Tmo haha

          • Mickey A Valentine

            I’ve always wondered how to use G-voice without minutes. I’ve been using g-voice after since 2011(never go a texting plan) and it blew through my minutes for calls. With unlimited data on my plan though, it never went through that for messaging. I should get the LTE model then and do that. Just wish MMS worked on g-voice. My only peeve.

          • Braden Abbott

            I use Groove IP, there’s a free version with ads but it won’t call over cellular I think. It’s nice because you can set it to run at startup and stay running. What I do is send my MMS through gmail, put the 10 digit number @mms.att.net or @pm.sprint.com or @vzwpics.com etc just has to be less than 600kb. But I really prefer to Hangout with friends if I send a lot of pics

  • evltwn

    My question is, how is the battery with this version of the N7 wifi/LTE? I had the 2012 wifi only version and battery life was just fine. I bought the wifi/3G (AT&T) version, and battery life sucked like you wouldn’t believe. I now have the 2013 N7 wifi only and once again, I’m happy with the battery life.

  • Steve

    WARNING!!! Do not buy the nexus 7 LTE if you plan to add it as a new device on Verizon. Without a pre-existing and activated microSIM card, you cannot use it on Verizon. Its system cannot activate a new Nexus 7 as a new device!!!

    I did exactly this and spent hours at a Verizon store trying to activate it. Even with a helpful store employee who tried several workarounds, no luck.

    Unless you are replacing another device (preferably a tablet) with an activated microSIM card, you are out of luck unless Verizon changes its policy (or starts selling the Nexus 7).

  • NewtonWhale

    I use a Nexus 7 tethered to my Verizon phone. It works great and is a lot easier than swapping out a sim card.

    • James Briano

      What do you use for tethering? Do you pay extra for that?

      • NewtonWhale

        There is no extra charge for tethering on our Verizon plan.

        I use the built-in tethering function in the settings menu for both the phone and the tablet.

        It’s free. It works.

  • Charlie

    My Nexus 7 LTE arrived today. I took it the local Verizon store, and the guy there couldn’t activate a new SIM with it. He said something about the Nexus 7 not being in their system. However, it sounds like a SIM from a device that already has an active Verizon SIM can be switched over with no problems. I think that just leaves me with four options.

    1) I’ll have to buy used tablet that is compatible with Verizon, active the SIM, and then switch it. (Expensive)
    2) Use my phone as a hot spot. (I’ll would rarely do this, and would use my phone instead most of the time)
    3) Use the t-mobile SIM that came with it.($30/mo. instead of $10/mo.)
    4) Wait and hope that Verizon adds the Nexus 7 to their system.

    • Josh

      I was told the same thing when I went to the store to activate. They recommended I try cutting down the SIM from my old Motorola Xoom. I have not done it yet though.

      • http://www.unexpectedparameters.com Aaron Hurt

        That does appear to work.

  • joejoe5709

    Other than how it DESTROYS my GNex’s battery, I don’t mind tethering whenever I need a connection. It’s not too difficult and I don’t have to have a separate data plan. Other than that, I’m almost always on Wifi and when I’m not Wifi, I’m usually driving and can’t use my tablet anyway.

    AWESOME device though for those who could use it. I’m absolutely in love with my Nexus7.

    • James Briano

      The GNex battery comes pre-destroyed.

      • Mickey A Valentine

        Actually I had my gnex on airplane mode and the battery lasts 16 hours, 7 of that gaming and 9 of that just daydreaming. The 3g/4g is what comes pre destroyed

        • James Briano

          Ahhh…. so the disclaimer should read: Do not use this phone as a phone.

          • Mickey A Valentine

            Exactly haha

  • mh0520

    Would I be able to buy a verizon SIM card on ebay, activate this on Verizon and use my current unlimited data plan for this? I don’t have an LTE phone (still on an old droid incredible) so I can’t just easily swap the SIM from my phone to the tablet.

    • RichFromBX

      Probably not – when you go to switch the device it’ll more than likely tell you that it’s an incompatible for that device but I could be wrong….

  • droidrazredge

    Kellex or anyone, I have been wondering if this would be possible to do since the Nexus 7 does not natively come with phone.apk if someone can try to install through Titanium backup for instance the phone.apk of the Nexus 4 and see if you manage to get something with an app called tablet talk instead of going the Google Voice route because, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Google Voice need an actual cellular number to call, as it is not truly VOIP like Pinger because all Google Voice does is mask your cellular number with your Google Voice number when you make calls out. Eventually I was wondering though when VoLTE is implemented in 2014 and that changes how voice/data are done over LTE since there will be no CDMA chip in those devices will the Nexus 7 LTE technically be VoLTE ready or will the same SoC that are in the newer phones like Verizon’s Galaxy S4 and such be required for VoLTE capable devices. I’m just thinking this because say for instance Verizon does not get the Nexus 5, this route would technically make this a Nexus 5 type device for Verizon.

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      Ok when you get a Porsche 911 Turbo. Come back!

  • Bootleg Zani

    Damn I could just pop in my SIM from my Galaxy Nexus and have LTE on this. Time to sell my 32 GB Nexus 7 and get the Nexus 7 LTE.

  • RaruMSI

    Can you try out Google Maps with GPS and Data enabled? I’m dead curious if this would work?

  • Lloyd

    I want to be able to use my phone and the tablet at the same time. Can I buy an extra SIM card from Verizon or one from a deactivated phone?

    • http://androidiantech.com/ Juan Lopez

      You would need to open a separate line for the tablet. A SIM card in the system can only be assigned to one device. If not just tether!

  • steve james

    I tether my of nexus 7 to my Nexus & it has 3g &4g. Why would anyone ever buy these versions is beyond me. Be honest have you EVER walked out of the house with your Nexus & not brought your phone also?

    • Detonation

      Not everyone has the ability to tether or wants to pay for it

      • steve james

        I here ya some phones don’t have the ability. Pay for data twice? I don’t.

    • aztekman

      Multiple networks. T-Mobile for Phone and Verizon for tablet.

    • JohnThackr

      My wife always carries a purse with her. It’s far cheaper for her to have this plus a really cheap pay as you go plan on a dumb phone. She gets a bigger, nicer screen when using data too.

  • Detonation

    So anyone with Verizon service, unlimited or tiered, can just pop their sim card in and get data, basically as if you’re activating the N7 as your current phone?

    Doesn’t Verizon have a limit on the number of times you can reactivate a sim card in certain time period?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Not sure on the limit, but yes, you can pop your phone’s SIM in and get LTE on the tablet.

    • ostensibly

      I’ve swapped the sim between my note 2 and my gnex 10 times or so. If there’s a limit it’s a weirdly high number.

    • JRomeo

      you’re not reactivating the sim card when you pop it into the tablet……. the sim card is always active, no matter how many times you swap it into different devices. to reactivate a sim card you would have to cancel service on that sim card and then reactivate service on that sim card.

  • CasperTFG

    Who was saying Talkatone performs better than GrooVe IP?

  • coolsilver

    I already have an CDMA tablet. Called in yesterday to have sim card shipped out and guy wanted to argue with me over if the device existed. I am leery about swapping sim from phone but I know I can at least test and run 3g only on my S4 til I get the new card.

  • clobberedchina

    I just love the Nexus 7.

  • Justin Duncan

    So I’m thinking about returning my droid maxx for the lg g2 tomorrow so it’d be nice to do a review on it!

  • Lucas Tetrault

    Goodbye Galaxy Nexus – hello Nexus 7!!

    (chuckles to himself)

  • wickets

    i have the wifi version and have been waiting for the lte since day dot, but only being ‘alive’ on lte (vzw) is very troublesome……too many places dont have lte

    • yankeesusa

      That’s crazy that you say that about too many places not having lte. Especially since verizon said that towards end of 2014 only lte phones will be sold. But good thing is verizon moves pretty quickly on rollout of network upgrades. I just wish they still had the 4gb option plans. I would switch in a heartbeat.

      • wickets

        As an example, Im in an area that according to vzw maps is lte, however my location its 3g…vzw doesnt have much to say lol!

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Good way to get out of your contract though ;-)

        • chihova

          could be your phone. my gf always has trouble getting lte on her Gnex while my S3 is always rocking solid LTE bars.

        • harrisondisc

          Take the phone out of global mode. (If you haven’t already) They come that way out of the box, and rarely ever get changed to LTE/CDMA. If it’s in global and you do actually go into a 3G area, it is tough for the phone to switch back to 4G. If you already have taken it out of global mode, then it could be the phone.

  • Andrew

    1.6 mbps?

  • canucknnv

    So If I buy can I just slide the Sim from my Verizon G’Nex in and get data? with no calling Verizon to change my plan? I’m still unlimited and don’t want to change that

    • GoBlue

      Yup

      • canucknnv

        thanks

    • Jose S

      The GNex has a full sized sim card. You would need to chop it down to size in order to use it on the Nexus 7.

    • Tim242

      Yep, all will be fine. You can use Groove IP for Google Voice VoIP calling.

      • canucknnv

        I guess I’m going to get one and send the Transformer Infinity to ebayland

    • DanSan

      just use google voice once u switch it into the nexus 7

      • canucknnv

        that’s what I use now so It should be a seamless transition

  • Andy

    I use my nexus in the car for my son to watch Netflix. It’s great. I just tether my S3 connection.

  • Andy Stetson

    Wondering if the LTE version will ever show up anywhere other than in the play store or ebay, i’m talking brick & mortar…

    • hkklife

      Highly unlikely. AFAIK, the GSM N7 2012 edition was not available anywhere, B&M or e-tail (at least domestically) other than from Google.

  • yankeesusa

    That is awesome. This would work perfect with my wifes tmobile phone

  • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 Mr Frodo24

    Does SMS use Verizon’s CDMA network?

    • yankeesusa

      sms goes through a phone connection so theoretically it should work with lte. I think there was an article years ago when companies used to charge for texting saying how it doesn’t cost companies one penny to run texts through the network as it uses the same method as phone calls. That is why texts come in even while on a call. Of course Im not a pro on this so don’t quote me.

      • Tim242

        Verizon’s SMS works through 1X/EVDO. You’d have to use GV.

        • yankeesusa

          Great point. Google Voice works perfectly when you have a decent connection. That’s why I can’ rely on it yet since I have 1 sprint phone still.

      • hkklife

        I dont think it will. Plain text SMS are routed through the voice /1x network. Picture messages require a data connection. At any rate, I wouldn’t get my hopes up since the N7 lacks a native dialer or messaging app.

        • yankeesusa

          That’s what I was missing. It runs through voice/1x or evdo. But lte has to have a way to route texts especially once verizon only makes lte phones. does this mean that verizon’s current lte version does not do texting?

    • Matt Larson

      But u could just install the VerizonMessaging app and get all of your texts on your tablet that way over data and respond.

      • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 Mr Frodo24

        .. wasn’t really my question, but okay.

    • cheezer88

      i think i saw on XDA that a dev side loaded the messaging app and it worked.

  • cheezer88

    have you tried to text with it yet?

  • StuckOnVerizonForever

    Does it kill the battery?

  • Fra

    When are you doing the LG G2 review. Im thinking of getting one of those

  • ricardo_r21

    How good are the radios??

  • TeeJay1100

    Nexus is simply revolutionary!! One tablet multi band… Gorgeous

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      If only we could get this on their phones.

      • Open1Your1Eyes0

        Would be a moot point since calls are made over CDMA on Verizon/Sprint (for now).

        • Brendan Dillon

          Nexus 5 has CDMA/GSM/LTE bands for Sprint, TMobile and ATT. No VZW because VZW sucks.

      • TeeJay1100

        I think it’s coming sooner than later.

  • Mordecaidrake

    I never understood spending more money for an LTE tablet, when you can just tether it to your phone through not so carrier supported methods or through the carrier apps($30 a month).

    • Sean

      Exactly!!

    • ReturnOfTheMack

      I rarely find myself using my N7 when I’m away from wifi so I just tether it to my phone but I can see how this would be beneficial to someone constantly using their tablet away from home or public wifi.

      • gadget_hero

        No I was just saying as a example, I have car chargers in all of my cars and car a wall charger everywhere with me. My dad can tether on Verizon’s shared plans but prefers to have tablets with WWAN capability rather than tether.

    • gadget_hero

      One thing to consider is battery life, if you have a Motorola Maxx then this is less of a issue, but working your phone which is no doubt syncing lots of services and the data flow from your tablet would most likely over tax normal phones. Plus for people like me for example (Nexus 4) don’t have LTE and might want the fast connection on a tablet.

      • Mordecaidrake

        In what area’s will you not have the ability to plug in though? I find in 9/10 places I’m using my N7 I’ve got a place to charge if need be.

        • Ryan Stewart

          Same here. I dont need the phone in my lap if I am tethering so when I was traveling often what I would do is plug the phone in where it was convenient (usually in he wall across from where I was sitting) and have it in a hot spot mode.

          • aQuickBit

            Literally HOT spot :P

      • Don Crist

        With a removable battery that is never an issue. Got to love the GS4!

    • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ Stynkfysh

      Consistency of service is not very good when tethering, for one. And if you need all-day and instant access, it becomes time consuming to start and stop tethering throughout the day, which often also includes troubleshooting since it doesn’t consistently work.

      • Icehunter

        I think it depends on where you live. I live in the bay area and commute 2 hours a day round-trip by train and my connection to my phone is solid when tethering.

    • David Hayden

      Maybe some people plan on using this device as their phone.

  • Brad Breitenstein

    Can you use it as a hotspot?

    • CasperTFG

      My perception is that you can pay $20+ to use Verizon’s portable Wi-Fi hotspot under settings. Or you can use apps such as FoxFi. I’ve read elsewhere that AT&T blocks FoxFi from the Play Store requiring a sideload. However, sideloads break notifications of app updates.

      • JamesU513

        Verizon’s new Share Everything plans include the hotspot ability , no extra charge. If you’re on unlimited data still, then there is a $30 a month fee. Fox Fi will work, but some phones like the Moto X require that you have a lock screen to use FoxFi. When you want the lock screen off again, you have to go into your security settings and clear the credentials you gave to FoxFi. Its annoying as hell.

  • KleenDroid

    Amazing