Google Nexus 10 review

A great value full size tablet with only a few minor shortcomings

Google Nexus 10 review
The definitive Google Nexus 10 review

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The Google Nexus 10 comes with a pretty hefty 9000mAh lithium polymer battery. But although it's a big battery it's also got a big screen to power - slightly bigger even than an iPad's.

Google and Samsung are claiming that it will offer 9 hours of video, 7 hours of web browsing or 90 hours of music. They're all pretty solid figures and in general the day to day performance matched them.

Among the many non-specific improvements promised by the update to Android 4.4 and grouped under 'general performance' was a shot in the arm for battery longevity.

This didn't quite manifest itself how Google would have liked, however, and as soon as the OTA update hit devices, Nexus 10 users were taking to the web to grumble about their power levels draining even quicker than before.

Google Nexus 10 review

To be honest, I didn't experience any noticeable difference in stamina but a subsequent incremental update in the form of Android 4.4.3 is tipped to be arriving soon to fix this all the same.

For general mixed use the battery performed admirably, easily seeing out a day or more with a mix of web browsing, reading, listening to music and taking a fair few photos and videos. That's with it on all day and emails and Facebook updates being pushed to it.

But when watching videos it didn't fare quite so well, with the battery dropping by 1% every five minutes or so. I ran TechRadar's standard battery test on the tablet - turning the screen to full brightness, putting emails and social networks to push notifications and running a 90 minute video from full battery.

At the end the Nexus 10 had dropped to 71%. That's a slightly faster drop than I seemed to experience anecdotally during general use.

The only difference was the screen brightness, so it seems clear that the screen is by far the biggest drain - particularly when turned to full capacity.

Thankfully you shouldn't need it on full brightness most of the time. Plus you can set it to automatically adjust the brightness based on your environment, which is probably your best bet if you want to make sure you're always getting the best experience while maximising the Nexus 10's battery life.

Indeed with the screen off, even with music playing, it can go around 40 minutes without a noticeable drop, so the 90 hours of music claim doesn't seem too unrealistic.

The gist of all this is that battery life will depend on what you use it for, but since most tasks require having the screen on and that's such a big drain it's ultimately pretty average. Not bad enough to let the side down, but not particularly impressive either.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.