Google has expanded its Nexus line of Android devices by announcing new Nexus 4 phone, Nexus 10 tablet and updating Nexus 7. All Nexus devices will be shipping with new Android 4.2 and go on sale on Tuesday, November 13.
The specs of Nexus 4 were mostly covered by numerous leaks in the last few weeks. Nexus 4 is made by LG and has 4.7″ display (1280 x 768 pixels), Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz Quad-Core CPU, 3G (WCDMA) and HSPA+ support, 2GB of RAM, 8GB/16GB internal storage, 8MP rear and 1.3 MP front cameras and NFC. The phone is 9.1mm thin and weighs 139g. Notably, it supports wireless charging using the wireless dock.
Nexus 4 does not support LTE due to cost and battery life concerns as well as “tactical issues” with carriers (see this for more detailed explanation). It also lacks SD card support since it was deemed too “confusing” for most users, as explained by Matias Duarte.
What about the price? At $299 for unlocked no-contract 8GB version and $349 for 16GB version, Nexus 4 is priced very aggressively for a flagship device.
Nexus 7 price has been dropped to $199 for 16GB version and $249 for 32GB version. Additionaly, a new 32GB model with mobile data support (HSPA+) will be available on November 13.
Nexus 10 is a new 10-inch tablet from Google manufactured by Samsung. The standout feature of Nexus 10 is its display resolution of 2560 x 1600(300 ppi), which is quite a bit higher than iPad 4 resolution (2048×1536 resolution, 264 ppi). Nexus 10 is also slightly thinner (8.9 mm) and ligher (603g) than iPad 4, although Nexus 10 is about 23 mm “taller”.
Nexus 10 has 5M rear and 1.9M front cameras, NFC, micro USB and micro HDMI ports, 2GB of RAM and 16 or 32GB of internal storage.
Google Play store has been updated with the information about new devices. Samsung Galaxy Nexus (as well as its accessories) and Nexus Q are now gone from the online store.
Google has also updated its mobile operating system to Android 4.2. All new Nexus devices will ship with Android 4.2 and previous Google experience devices such as Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S are expected to get this update fairly soon.
Android 4.2 update is still branded Jelly Bean and includes the following new features:
- redesigned camera app with new photo sphere mode allowing to capture 360-degree images
- gesture typing support in the keyboard, inspired by Swype keyboard
- multi-user support on tablets
- wireless screen sharing to TVs using Miracast technology (requieres either compatible TV or Miracast dongle)
- power controls accessible via notifications
- lockscreen widgets
Another interesting change in the user interface is the placement of system buttons and status bar on Nexus 10. Nexus 7 was the first tablet to experience this new design introduced in Android 4.1, but Nexus 10 screenshots show the same design choice. System buttons (back, home, task switcher) are now in the center at the bottom of the display, while status bar is accessible from the top. In other words, both buttons and status bar are positioned on tablets exactly as on phones.
This is a change from Honeycomb design, where system buttons were shown in the lower left corner with the status bar accessible from the lower right corner. Moving system buttons to the center would seem to make them less easily accessible given Nexus 10 width. Matias Duarte explains that based on usability studies his team chose consistency in placement of those controls.
Pricing and availability
Pricing and global availability of new Nexus devices:
– Nexus 4: 8GB for $299; 16GB for $349; available unlocked and without a contract on 11/13 on the Google Play store in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada. The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199, with a 2-year contract (check here for more details).
– Nexus 7: 16GB for $199 and 32GB for $249; available in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan, and also through our retail partners Gamestop, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Walmart.
– Nexus 7 with 32GB and mobile data: $299 and unlocked, on sale 11/13 in the Google Play store in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada.
– Nexus 10: 16GB for $399; 32GB for $499; available on 11/13 in the Google Play Store in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan.