While a solid 1/3 of the country is tying down chairs and hiding in the depths of their homes with Hurrican Sandy’s impending doom, Google is busy unleashing an Android storm of their own on the world. Today, the company announced a slew of new hardware, software and service enhancements including the new LG Nexus 4, the 10-inch Nexus tablet, refreshed 7-inch Nexus tablet, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and many new enhancements to the Google Play store.
The phone many of you have been waiting for, the Nexus 4. The latest “Pure Google” device is for the first time (really) shipping with near bleeding edge specs (certainly more-so than previous Nexus phones). Specs for the Android Jesus Phone include a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM) S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.5 GHz w/ quad-core GPU, 4.7-inch 720p (WXGA) IPS display with 320ppi, 2 GB of RAM, 8-megapixel/1.3-megapixel rear/front facing cameras, 8/16 GB of interal storage (NO SD card support), NFC/Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)/Bluetooth 4.0, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and a 2,100 mAh battery.
The Nexus 4 is one of the nicest Android phones to date (and certainly the best looking Nexus branded phone) thanks to the glass back which besides adding a bit of weight, goes a long way in simply making the Nexus 4 feel like a higher end device.
The best part about the Nexus 4, however, is the price: $299 for the 8 GB version and $349 for the 16 GB version. (Read: It’s a steal.)
*Get the Nexus 4 beginning November 13th
Nexus 7-inch & 10-inch Tablets
The 10-inch Android tablet world is about to get the one and only worthwhile option, a 10-inch Nexus branded (read: de-crapified) tablet made by Samsung. The 10-inch Nexus tablet will feature an insane 2560×1600 PLS display (iPad 3/4 what?), Samsung’s Exynos 4 SoC tag-teaming pixels with a powerful Mali 604 GPU, 2 GB of RAM and either 16 GB or 32 GB of interal storage. Pricing for the Nexus 10 tablet will come in at $399 (16 GB) or $499 (32 GB). As with the Nexus 4 smartphone, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is the OS of choice from the factory.
Battery life is (as quoted by Google) rated at 500 hours of stand-by time.
*Get the 10-inch Nexus tablet beginning November 13th
If the 10-incher is a bit too big for your tastes, Google also took it upon themselves to update their not-so-old 7-inch Nexus tablet. The refreshed 7-incher features the same specs as before but now comes with global HSPA+ 3G built in as well as a new 32 GB option. Pricing is $299 for the spec’d out 32 GB HSPA+ + Wi-Fi model or $149 for the non-HSPA+ 32 GB model.
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
The desert name of “Jelly Bean” may remain, but Android 4.2 is still a worthy update over the 4.1 predecessor. Google Now, Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri has seen some nice improvements in 4.2, namely, it now shows movie times, public alerts, support for Korea and the ability to add sports teams as “favorites” to follow them exclusively.
Outside of Google Now, 4.2 Jelly Bean includes:
- PhotoSphere: think of this as panorama mode on steroids. Instead of a horizontal shot of stitched images, PhotoSphere will stitch together photos taken in both horizontal and vertical planes making those super-wide/tall images even more awesome
- Gesture Typing: Like Swype? That’s pretty much what Google’s new “gesture typing” is.
- Multiple user accounts: Hate how your family tablet doesn’t cater perfectly to everyone in the family? Android 4.2 Jelly Bean now features user accounts that can store tons of custom settings and preferences. Everything from homescreen layout to active widgets to high scores in games are stored per user account making multi-family households enjoy their Android tablets even more.
- Daydream: show off slideshows, information, social alerts and more when docked
- Enhanced, Expanded Notifications: The expandedable notifications in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean get even more tweaks allowing even more interaction and functionality right within the notification drawer.
- Android Beam: Now you can share pictures and videos with Android Beam natively meaning no more relying on 3rd party solutions for such sharing support
- Widgets: Widgets now auto-resize on their own when space issues are detected, and icons will automatically move and realign themselves as widgets are placed.
As a Google fan, today should leave you with plenty to contemplate, with all said contemplations involving spending your hard earned cash on Google’s latest toys.
At a starting price of $299 unlocked, the Nexus 4 is a very compelling device even with the measely 8 GB of non-upgradeable storage taken into consideration. Likewise, the higher-than-iPad 3/4 resolution display on the 10-inch Nexus Tablet combined with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean definitely makes us at least question a tablet purchase up front. Still, at least on the tablet front, the biggest hurdle for many will be tablet specific apps – something Android still lacks many of.
See anything you like?
Find out everything you could possibly want to know about the refreshed Nexus line as well as that wallet teasing “buy” button over on the Google Play Store: play.google.com/store/devices