Following the surprise success of the Nexus 7 tablet earlier this year, Google opted to keep its foot on the gas rather than rest on its laurels. The result is that, in addition to a revised 32-gigabyte version of the Nexus 7 being made available, the company has also released two new entries into the Nexus series.
The Nexus 10 tablet aims to compete with the iPad and other models in the high-end tablet market, while the Nexus 4 is an ambitious attempt to give consumers a level of independence from the major carriers.
Both devices became available on November 13th in Australia. Their popularity appears to have caught even Google off guard, as both were sold out in a matter of minutes. Availability has been on and off again as the company tries to make enough units available to satisfy the high level of demand for the devices. Let’s take a look at what sets the new Nexus devices apart and makes them so appealing.
The Nexus 10, as the name implies, is a 10-inch tablet. Working with Samsung as a hardware partner, Google designed the tablet to be the company’s vision for Android on a premium tablet. The two companies paid particular attention to the display on the tablet, resulting in a 300 pixels-per-inch screen that surpasses the iPad’s Retina display that Apple so frequently brags about.
Aside from the display, the tablet has a few other points worth mentioning. The processor is a dual-core ARM Cortex A15 chip. The Nexus 10 also packs a 1.9-megapixel front camera for video chat. As far as software goes, the tablet runs Android 4.2 and supports innovative new features such as multi-user mode, allowing a family to share the tablet and still give each user a personalized experience.
On the other side of the page, there’s the Nexus 4. At AU$349 off-contract, the phone is might at first look like a budget entry into the smartphone world. Instead, the opposite is true. The Nexus 4 is built to compete with devices that normally cost well over AU$600, such as the iPhone.
While Google worked with Samsung on the Nexus 10’s hardware, they opted to use LG as a manufacturing partner for the Nexus 4. LG’s influence is visible from the start, as the phone possesses a striking resemblance to the company’s recently released Optimus G. It does borrow some visual cues from its predecessor, the Galaxy Nexus, and from the front looks very similar to that device. Still, the Nexus 4 has a distinctive feel of being made from glass, while the Galaxy Nexus was obviously plastic.
We mentioned earlier that the Nexus 4 is built to compete with top-tier smartphones, and we weren’t kidding. The phone runs Android 4.2, just like the Nexus 10, and direct Google support for updates mean that the phone is future-proofed for the long haul. As far as hardware goes, the Nexus 4 simply shines in every category. A beefy quad-core processor directs the show, while two gigabytes of RAM allow for users to run even the most graphic-intensive games and apps.
Being that the Nexus 4 is a world phone and LTE proliferation is still mostly confined to the United States, Google chose to leave LTE out of the Nexus 4. With limited LTE availability in Australia, this shouldn’t be a sticking point for most potential buyers. One aspect that may cause buyers to be hesitant is the relatively low storage offered by the device, as the Nexus 4 is only available right now with eight or sixteen gigabytes of storage.
Google’s logic here is that on-board storage isn’t as important as it once was, thanks in large part to the company’s growing portfolio of cloud services. For some users, this might be a big deal. Others will have no issues with it, though, and will gladly buy up the phone at its attractive price point.
The Nexus 4 isn’t being sold on any one particular carrier. Instead, it’s sold unlocked directly by the Google Play Store so that buyers can activate on anyGSM network that they choose to. Of course, that isn’t a strong option at this point since the device is still sold out on Google Play. However, it’s expected that the Nexus 4 will be made available again very shortly.
Such is the story for Google right now. The first few entries of the Nexus as a smartphone received mixed reactions, but the company finally appears to have gotten it right with the new entries to the program. The Nexus 7 has been a runaway success that prompted Apple to release a smaller iPad in order to stop the hemorrhaging, and the Nexus 4 and 10 both appear to have been just as well-received.
There are many people left in the Australian market who crave the devices, but the wait should be over soon for those people.
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