Google, Samsung Nexus 10, LG Nexus 4 Release Date Announced, Early Reviews Pour In, 'Very Affordable, Nice Smartphone,' Even Missing LTE
Google has had its hands full this week canceling its New York City media event due to Hurricane Sandy, but that hasn't stopped the company from introducing a new line of Nexus devices: The 10.1-inch Google, Samsung Nexus 10 tablet, LG Nexus 4 smartphone, and a 32GB version of its Nexus 7 tablet.
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We've already discussed the serious hype surrounding the new Microsoft Surface, and Apple iPad 4-competing Google, Samsung Nexus 10 - spoiler alert: the display quality is reportedly gorgeous. And as early first impression reviews of the LG Nexus 4 smartphone pour in, critics look equally enthused about its future potential, especially loving its $299 price tag.
LG Nexus 4
The LG Nexus 4 smartphone features a quad-core processor, "which means its super fast," says Google. The phone's display is a "crisp" 4.7-inches (320 ppi) "that's perfect for looking at photos and watching YouTube." The phone offers wireless charging, so, you just have to set the phone down on a power mat to recharge the Nexus 4's battery.
"While Nexus 4 is incredibly powerful under the hood, it also features the latest version of Jelly Bean, Android 4.2-the simplest and smartest version of Android yet," the company said in its statement.
"Starting with the camera, we've reinvented the photo experience with Photo Sphere, which lets you capture images that are literally larger than life. Snap shots up, down and in every direction to create stunning 360-degree immersive experiences that you can share on Google+ with friends and family-or you can add your Photo Sphere to Google Maps for the world to see."
"Android 4.2 brings other great goodies like Gesture Typing, which lets you glide your finger over the letters you want to type on the keyboard-it makes typing fast, fun and a whole lot simpler. Android 4.2 also adds support for wireless display so you can wirelessly watch movies, YouTube videos and play games right on your Miracast-compatible HDTV."
8GB for $299; 16GB for $349; available unlocked and without a contract on Nov. 13 on the Google Play store in the 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.
Tech Hive loved the design, camera, and impressive display quality.
"The LG-built Nexus 4 is an improvement over last year's Galaxy Nexus, and I came away from my encounter quite impressed with the phone's performance and slew of interesting features."
"The Nexus 4 feels great to hold, and made my own personal Galaxy Nexus feel chunky and cheap by comparison. I was initially worried that the Nexus 4's large 4.7-inch display would make the phone difficult to use one-handed, but those fears were put to rest shortly after I began handling the device: Unlike other similarly-sized smartphones, like the Droid Razr HD, I didn't have to keep readjusting my grip in order to do things like compose text messages or check notifications."
"The phone is roughly the same dimensions as the iPhone 5, though the Nexus 4 is about half an inch wider than Apple's smartphone. The Nexus 4's glass back looks nice, but I worry that a short fall is all it will take to shatter it. Unlike the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, the Nexus 4 does not have a user-replaceable battery, and you will need to use a special tool to access the phone's microSIM card slot."
"Menus flew beneath my fingertips, and I noticed no lag while using the phone. The few games I was able to try on the Nexus 4 ran well, but the phone felt hot after a few minutes of gameplay. Odd, considering I didn't have these issues while using the LG Optimus G (another quad-core Android phone)."
Computer World was so clearly enamored with almost every one of the device's features you could play a drinking game with the word "beautiful" while reading its review.
"My first impression is that this is one very nice device."
"In terms of basic hardware and form, Google has clearly taken the best parts of LG's Optimus G -- the foundation upon which the phone is based -- and polished them to near-perfection. This is truly a melding of LG's basic hardware and Google's sense of design."
"Put simply, the Nexus 4 looks and feels the way a high-end smartphone should. It's sleek, solid, and not at all flimsy. There are no cheap-feeling, plasticky surfaces here."
"Speaking of the screen, boy, is it a beaut. If you've seen the Optimus G, you know what to expect: The device uses True HD IPS technology and boasts a resolution of 1280 x 768, with 320ppi. It looks fantastic -- crisp, clear, and bright, with phenomenal detail. This is hands-down one of the best screens I've seen on an Android phone, rivaling the likes of HTC's One X for the gold-medal spot."
"At the risk of firing off an overused adjective, I feel compelled to say that the back of the Nexus 4 is -- yes, I'm going there -- beautiful. LG has created a mesmerizing moving-crystal effect that brings to mind the classic Google Nexus wallpaper. The design actually appears to shift as you change your perspective. It's really something to see. (The downside: The glass does seem to pick up an inordinate amount of visible fingerprint smudges.)"
The Next Web
The Next Web is reserving the majority of its review until it can spend more time with the phone, and mainly lamented the absence of LTE in the Nexus 4. Though, as the site reasons, LTE could be missing to make the phone available to anyone, anywhere on the planet, and could perhaps signal Google and LG aiming at permeating the Chinese smartphone market.
"Last year's Galaxy Nexus had an LTE variant, so the 3G-only Nexus 4 seems like a step backward."
"For its part, Google has spun the move as an effort to bring its devices to 'every network on the planet.' The lack of LTE may be a blow to customers in the US or Europe, but in China, where 4G networks are still in testing and at least a few years from widespread adoption, there weren't many tears shed over it."
"In fact, the more I look at the tech specs of the Nexus 4, the more it appears to be perfectly suited for the Chinese market...I should point out that there's as yet no mention of whether the Nexus 4 supports the TD-SCDMA standard that China Mobile uses for its 3G network, so it's not clear whether the Nexus 4 will actually be able to get on "every network" at this point. With close to 700 million subscribers, it might even be worth Google's time to make a separate model, but that'll be up to them."
"The most impressive quality about the Nexus 4 is its aggressive price. At $299 unlocked without a contract, the 8GB version is a very affordable phone, especially in markets that tend to prefer pre-paid wireless plans."
"A source reportedly close to the Android team also told the paper that Google's decision to pursue a low-cost flagship device was the reason it partnered with LG and not Samsung for the phone, since the cheaper phone would potentially jeopardize sales of its popular Galaxy S line."