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Summary:

Google’s Android platform now comes in three sizes, available directly from the company’s store. The Nexus 4 smartphone, built by LG, is an unlocked GSM handset while the Nexus 7 gains storage and mobile broadband. And Google’s high-res Nexus 10 tablet launches for $399.

Nexus devices

Although Google cancelled its Monday Android event due to Hurricane Sandy, the company jointly announced the Nexus 4 handset with LG. The phone will be sold unlocked for GSM/HSPA+ networks starting on Nov. 13 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Australia with availability in Europe, Central and South America, Asia, CIS and the Middle East towards the end of November. Google also announced new versions of its Nexus 7 tablet and the anticipated Nexus 10 slate.

As expected, the Nexus 4 will be sold in both an 8 GB and 16 GB version. The handset will cost $299 for 8GB and $349 for 16GB without contract. A T-Mobile version with contract will cost $199. With so many leaks about the product there aren’t many surprises. Here’s a rundown of the specifications:

  • Operating System: Android 4.2, Jelly Bean
  • Network: 3G (WCDMA), HSPA+
  • Display: 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS Plus (1280 x 768 pixels)
  • Memory: 8GB/16GB
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Camera: 8.0MP rear/1.3MP HD front
  • Battery: 2,100mAh Li-Polymer (embedded) / Talk time: 15.3 hours / Standby: 390 hours
  • Size: 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm
  • Weight: 139 g
  • Other: Wireless charging, NFC

As nice as the Nexus 4 looks on paper, I plan to stick with my strategy of upgrading to every other Nexus phone. I’ll also keep my current Nexus 7 tablet, although you can now get more storage for less money: A 16 GB version costs $199, while a doubling of storage is available for $249. Google is also adding an HSPA+ model with 32 GB of storage capacity for $299; this model works on AT&T’s frequencies in the U.S.

And as expected, Samsung is the hardware partner Google chose for the Nexus 10 tablet, available in both 16 GB ($399) and 32 GB ($499) models starting Nov. 13 in the Google Play Store in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan. The large tablet uses a 2560 x 1600 resolution touchscreen that runs Android 4.2. Google is touting the ability to share the slate with others as the new version of Android supports multiple user accounts.

  1. This is impressive. Any chance you’ll get a review copy of the N4 and N10 and put a video/thoughts up some time soon? Hopefully you are in Google’s sights for this sort of thing.

    The N10 is pretty much exactly what I’ve been waiting for; my wife has been wanting a larger tablet, so she will get that. My NS is noticeably slower these days, so I think it may be time to upgrade to the N4.

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    1. I was supposed to be at the Android event in NYC when Google announced this and hoped to take review units home, but the weather put the kibosh on that! ;)

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  2. David Anderson Monday, October 29, 2012

    The messaging around Android’s versions and Jelly Bean is confusing — the Galaxy Note 2 is said to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and now the Nexus 4 will ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. How does this make sense? And here I thought 4.2 was going to be Key Lime Pie … without consistent naming and numbers, this is just chaotic.

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    1. I believe 4.2 is key lime pie but for tablets. Like honeycomb was

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      1. Actually looks like 4.2 is just an updated version of jb

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  3. Looking at the specs on Google’s website the Nexus 7 is also pentaband supporting T-Mobiles 3G frequencies also. I wish they would also start indicating which size SIM is used for the devices because there are now a lot of devices are using the microSIM.

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    1. I’m kind of frustrated as well about whether you’ll be able to put a third-party Sim card in the Nexus 7. Another blog source emphatically says that there will be a specific AT&T and T-Mobile version but since this whole new mantra about Nexus meaning unlocked doesn’t seem to jive with that restriction. Among the list of accessories for the Nexus 4 for there is a Sim card removal tool, a similar tool is not mentioned on the Nexus 7, and it the tablet evidently doesn’t have an easily removable back panel / battery. I’m salavating at having the SIM card from my T-Mobile unlimited 4G plan paired with the new Nexus 7.

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  4. Kevin,
    Will the N7 HSPA+ be cell phone capable? I know it has to be both capable and then have the app. Assuming putting the app there on our own is always doable, I was wondering if the device itself is capable.
    Then it would be a tough call and probably an economical decision between that and Note2.

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  5. I have a new Straight Talk sim card (AT&T) and was awaiting the Nexus 4 release. I noted that the Nexus 7 is GSM network capable.

    1. I can use my Straight Talk SIM for this device without any issues, right?

    2. What are the pros and cons of using the Nexus 7 as a phone.

    Note- I am a infrequent cell phone user, typically only one or two calls a day. Most of my use would be apps/web browsing/GPS turn by turn. I currently do not have a smartphone or a tablet and was intrigued by the Nexus 7 being utlized as both.

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    1. See my comment above for the 3G version. The tablet needs to be able to leverage voice and have the app to be a phone. The app is not a big deal I guess, but the big question is if the hardware is tapping into the voice part of the 3G and not just the Data part.
      Now suppose that it is, and no one seems to be educated on this now across the web (at least per my search) … you are still getting a device that requires you to use an ear/headphone. That is mostly the drawback I think.
      You may consider the Note2 a better hybrid maybe. Take a look at it and see what is best for you.
      Personally I am starting to question the N7 HSPA+ has the voice capability, but waiting for Kevin to respond.

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      1. The Note2 may be a great phone, but I am looking at the “unlocked” market (contract plans seem way to expensive). In that regard the Note2 can’t compare to a Nexus4’s value. The $300 to $350 for a Nexus4/7 is pushing the limit of what I think a phone or tablet is worth. So I kinda have a self imposed cash cap.

        Yes, Tal I too hope Kevin or someone has some good information on the Nexus7 as a mobil device. I didn’t think about the ear/headphone communication, that is definately a drawback-good point.

        What are the best app choices for utlizing a GSM data device (i.e. Nexus7) as a mobile phone?

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      2. As Data only 3G device you have a wide variety of options. Just keep in mind that the call quality will vary and depending on your location and network may get a sub-par experience than when using voice cell.
        That said, here is what I can think of at this moment:
        There are links all over the net teaching how to use GoogleVoice with the Nexus.
        kype being a notable voip option. As well as Gtalk which has cell calls now too.
        You can find a lot of companies giving you cell out capability over IP. You can also have a real phone number via voip. Skype, GoogleVoice (in the US) and others give that option. In Canada where I live Skype is not providing it and GoogleVoice is non-existent. DellVoice is probably your best option in Canada.

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  6. I would also like to know if the n7 has phone capability. I have a note and it’s starting to feel too small…

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  7. Does anyone know if the Nexus 7 will ship with Android 4.2 or will it still be 4.1?

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    1. says 4.2 on the specs.

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  8. Nexus 4, you shall be mine very soon.

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