Is Google playing the field? With projects well underway on 3 new Google gadgets with 3 different manufacturers, Google has proven its ability to play the field, juggle manufacturing relationships. Top of the list of new gadgets is the long awaited and highly anticipated Nexus 4 Smartphone, an LG and Google collaboration.
Along with the next generation Nexus Smartphone Google is also expected to expand its line of tablets, ready for the Christmas rush. Do they make stockings that can hold a tablet or do they go straight under the tree?
Preparing a full refresh of the stocking stuffers, by Christmas Google will have a shinny new Smartphone and 3 tablets in its line-up. An impressive array of market leading hardware, especially for an internet company.
They call me Nexus 4
Very rarely does a product differ so greatly over such a few generations, it’s also rare that a company chooses to change manufacturer for every generation of a product. Google is by no means a normal company though; trying new things seems to come naturally.
Free of custom skins and as close to rooted (unlocked) as you get, without rooting that is. With the full suite of Google apps pre-installed and integrated into the phone (contacts, messaging, mail etc) and easy customization options the Nexus is held up by Google as the perfect example of Android in action.
The name of the latest Nexus model is in itself interesting, Nexus 4, with the number 4 obviously signifying the fourth generation of Nexus but also adhering to the new naming convention relating to size. It will have a display four inch size range. A naming convention first established with the initial Nexus 7 tablet and now about to be extended out to cover an expanding range.
As with all new Nexus phones the hardware is leading edge. The display is 4.7 inch IPS LCD capable of 1280×720 resolution. Internally the chipset is the 1.5GhHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset providing Quad core and 4G/LTE connectivity that has 2GB of system RAM available. The rear camera is a capable 8 megapixel and Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 will be installed standard. Other leading edge technologies such as wireless charging and NFC have also been rumoured.
LG’s interpretation of Nexus has produced a phone that is flatter and thinner than the current Nexus while having straighter edges and slightly less curve, though it still looks like a Nexus.
Early performance reports suggest Jelly Bean is still a little buggy, performance is subpar and the camera’s image quality is an issue. Let’s hope LG and Google can turn the Nexus 4 around, are they in danger of following Apple’s iPhone 5 lead or will they deliver on the Nexus heritage.
The French newspaper La Figaro is reporting Google will announce the Nexus 4 on October 29, other rumours suggest November 6. The most unusual and unconfirmed rumour suggests that Google may release a cheaper Nexus 4 that lacks the 4G/LTE connectivity and only includes 8GB of storage for the bargain basement price of $399 out right, when purchased through the Google Play store.
Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 includes bugfixes, Project Butter improvements and extra lockscreen functionality. Project Butter should bring silky smooth interface graphics that maintain 60 frames per second all the time, no stutter or lag.
The 10″ Google Samsung Tablet
Teaming up once again the dynamic duo, Samsung and Google, have something special in the works, an iPad killer, the Nexus 10. The new tablet will sit squarely at the head of the Nexus family as a premium product. You can expect Samsung and Google to pull out all of the stops for the Nexus 10, this will be a multi media powerhouse with an impressive price tag to match.
While the Nexus 7 uses the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset this time around Samsung will go with a different chipset, possibly their own Exynos 5 chipset using the Mali-T604 (4 or 8 core graphics).
Some clues can be gleamed from the specifications of Samsung’s other new high end tablet due out soon, the Note II. The hardware in the Note II’s case includes the Exynos 5 4412 quad core chipset, the T604 Mali GPU has been boosted from 400 to 533Mhz making it close to console speed in games. RAM is raised to a far more multitasking friendly 2GB and flash storage will range from 32GB up to 128GB. Expect the Nexus 10 to inherit a very similar spec list.
As with all of the new Google devices Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 with be the flavour of the day when it comes to the version of Android installed.
The display will push the pixel density and resolution boundaries all the way up to 299 ppi (pixels per inch) providing a resolution of 2560 x 1600, the panel is expected to steal the show.
The Nexus 10 will sell in the $700-$800 price range and should be released shortly after or along-side the Nexus 4. The most interesting question remaining is will the Nexus 10 include a stylus?
THe Nexus 5 HTC Mystery Device
There are only two details that industry pundits agree on when it comes to the Nexus 5; Google is working with HTC on a product and it will be 5 inches in size. Will it be a luxury 5 inch phone or a budget tablet, or a phablet somewhere in-between, speculation varies. This may also suggest that the Nexus 5 is a long way off, it’s release due closer to Christmas, mid November perhaps.
Here at Highpants we believe the Nexus 5 will be a budget Wi-Fi only tablet that may include a stylus. The screen and chipset will be pure mid-range but the price tag will be incredibly low, possibly as low as $99 when purchased through Google Play.
By the second week in November the Nexus brand will look very different. The Samsung Nexus Smartphone will have been replaced by a shiny new LG interpretation and no longer will the Nexus 7 stand alone.As the next generation Nexus Smartphone and tablets fast approach, with all price points covered and all markets considered, Google have in the blink of an eye become a major hardware player.