05 Nov Google Adds To The Christmas List With A New Smartphone And Tablet
Overwhelmed by the extensive options for tablets and smartphones? Google is about to complicate things further.
On the back of the launch of Apple’s iPad mini and the 4th Generation iPad, Google have thrown consumers another choice in the now almost gruelling process of purchasing a tablet or smartphone, by announcing the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet last week, just in time for Christmas.
So what does Google have to offer in its latest additions to the Nexus family?
Manufactured by LG, the Nexus 4 provides not only updated hardware from its predecessor the Galaxy Nexus, but also an update to Google’s 4.1 Jelly Bean OS.
The Nexus 4 boasts a screen size of 4.7 inch, which is just slightly smaller than the Galaxy S III, with a resolution of 1280 X 768. Under the hood, the Nexus 4 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz quad-core processor with 2GB RAM. Interestingly enough, the Nexus 4 does not have a microSD card slot, which limits the internal storage to either 8GB or 16GB. In terms of the camera, the phone sports an 8-megapixel rear facing camera and a 1.3- megapixel front facing camera. The Nexus 4’s 2,100mAh battery offers a decent but perhaps slightly disappointing battery life of 5 hours running a movie on loop at 50% brightness with WiFi and normal pull notifications for email and social media, while subjecting the battery to a moderate amount of email, social media, messaging, web surfing, taking a few photos and making a few phone calls provided almost a full day of use (source: Engadget).
Another feature of the phone is the updated version of Google’s 4.1 Jelly bean OS, dubbed 4.2, which features a few (but minor) updates to 4.1 Jelly Bean. Google have improved their Voice search, Google’s version of Apple’s Siri, which allows users to schedule meetings, check to see when your next appointment is as well as enabling users to launch apps. Google have stated as well that when you ask questions that may not have a definitive answer, the service will do a comprehensive search for your inquiry, see what the general consensus is and provide you with an answer based on what it found. The update also pulls up more information than the previous version of Voice Search. Another feature of 4.2 is “Gesture Typing” which borrows from the very popular keyboard app “Swype” that allows you (as the name suggests) to literally ‘swipe’ your finger from one letter to another across the keyboard to type. Additionally, the lock screen now has the ability to display widgets, so you can launch apps without having to go to the home screen.
Following suite from the Nokia Lumia 920, the nexus fully supports the Qi wireless charging standard, which means you can use any Qi-capable charging pad to refill your battery.
One failing of the Nexus 4 is the lack of support for LTE, which means the phone will only run on 3G.
In terms of pricing, the Nexus 4 will be available for $349 or $ 399 for the 8GB or 16GB models respectively, and is only available through the Google Play Store from November 13th.
Following on from the huge success of the Nexus 7 tablet, Google have decided to partner with Samsung to develop the Nexus 10 tablet.
The rumour mill was on the ball with the Nexus 10, with rumours that the Nexus 10 would have a better screen resolution than the iPad’s Retina display coming true. The Nexus 10 sports a super-high resolution 2560 X 1600-pixel display, which gives the Nexus a higher pixel density than the iPad.
With a 1.7GHz dual-core Exynos 5 processor and 2GB RAM, the Nexus 10 provides respectable processing power. It features a massive 9,000mAh battery, which will offer fantastic battery life even under considerably heavy use. The Nexus 10 comes in 16GB or 32 GB versions, with (like the Nexus 4) no microSD card. The tablet also features a micro-HDMI and micro-USB.
While, like most tablets, the rear facing 5-megapixel camera isn’t fantastic, it benefits from a feature of 4.2 Jelly Bean named Photo Sphere, which literally adds another dimension to panoramic photos; instead of simply snapping images horizontally, you can add another dimension by going vertically as well. This allows you to create a 360 degree view, which you can scroll through, making you feel as if you’re actually there. To make it even more engaging, the phone is capable of doing the scrolling for you so you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Like the Nexus 4, the Nexus 10 benefits from the minor updates to Google’s 4.1 OS by running on 4.2 Jelly Bean, however, the Nexus 10 does not support cellular connectivity.
For those who like watching media on their tablet, movie purchases and rentals through the Google store will become available for Australian customers, while Google’s new partnership with Twentieth Century Fox, Warner and US magazines like People and Time will improve the quality and quantity of media available in the Google Play store.
In terms of pricing, the Nexus 10 is also only available through the Google Play Store, and will be priced $469 and $569 for the 16GB and 32GB respectively. The Nexus 10 goes on sale on 13th November along with the Nexus 4.