LG and Google Announce the Nexus 4, Starts at $299by Jason Inofuentes on October 29, 2012 12:39 PM EST
This isn't how they wanted to do it, but LG and Google are going ahead with the announcement of the Nexus 4, and it's a steal. The lineage of the device is clear, with specs aping those of the LG Optimus G, but blessed with the latest update to Jelly Bean: Android 4.2. The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro features four Krait cores clocked at 1.5GHz , the Adreno 320 GPU, and paired the requisite 2GB of RAM. The same 4.7" TrueHD IPS Plus display has a 1280x768 resolution, and the design is updated with a new back surface. Available in 8GB and 16GB configurations, the new Nexus will start at just $299, and top out at $349 unlocked and off-contract, through the Google Play Store on November 13th.
When Google's Galaxy Nexus was sold unlocked for $349 it was a stupendous bargain, despite somewhat dated hardware. With today's announcement, though, we have top of the line hardware being sold at prices that bend the price curve drastically against buying on-contract devices. We'll see how that all plays out over the coming months.
There's also some indication that announcements are imminent for the other devices that were in the works for today's canceled event, including the 32GB Nexus 7 and the new Nexus 10 slate from Samsung. We'll update as we hear more.
Update: And there it is! In addition to the Nexus 4, we'll also be seeing the Nexus stable expand with two new SKUs for the Nexus 7 and a brand new stablemate, the Nexus 10 from Samsung.
The first update to the Nexus 7 comes in a 32GB variant that takes the place of the original 16GB SKU at $249. The 16GB model now slots in at the $199 and both are joined by a new "mobile data" variant of the 32GB SKU that will be available unlocked for $299. The unlocked nature of the device indicates it may be 3G only, we'll dig in more in a second.
The Nexus 10 was first rumored just a few weeks ago, and piques our interest in a big way. Built in partnership with Samsung, the 10" tablet is powered by Samsung's Exynos 5 Dual (nee 5250) SoC, making it the first Android device powered by ARM Cortex-A15 cores. In this case, two Cortex-A15 cores, clocked as high as 1.7GHz, are mated to the Mali-T604 GPU and 2GB of RAM. On the front of the device you find a 2560x1600 10" display, making it the highest resolution Android tablet to date. The display is made possible by the Exynos memory subsystem that puts two-port DDR3-800 on the table for 12.8GB/s of bandwidth. The Nexus 10 will be priced at $399 (16GB) and $499 (32GB) and be available along with the rest of the line-up on November 13th on the Google Play Store. Interested shoppers can sign up for more information today through the store.
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trynberg - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkNo LTE != top of the line
Also, for people defending the lack of storage because of the low price...give me a break. How much would it cost to add an SD slot? Very little. The lack of storage is a deliberate means of control (forces you to use Google cloud services), not cost savings.
bplewis24 - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkYou could always, you know, buy a third party Android phone.
Google isn't trying to force you to do anything. You can have a top-of-the-line Android phone with the specs you want from Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Huawei, etc. It's not like 1 version of an Android phone is released each year and the end-user is stuck with whatever Google decides for that model. That's the way the "other" guy operates.
trynberg - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkUnfortunately, this is an otherwise top-spec phone with an unlocked bootloader. I can't get that on Verizon. Google should play hardball with Verizon and offer an unlocked model with LTE/CDMA radios as well. I don't care if it costs $600-$650.
pmartin - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkOr they can make a phone that works anywhere in the world for $300
noblemo - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - linkUnlocked Developer Editions of the Verizon Droid RAZR M and RAZR HD are available for $550 and $600, respectively.
icrf - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkThe lack of LTE is what really bothers me. It definitely seems like a much larger step backwards. New Nexus has slower wireless connectivity than old Nexus? It boggles the mind. I mean, what does an MDM9615 cost?
The lack of SD card doesn't bother me. I haven't once pulled the SD card from my phone in the 18 months I've had it. It did, however, have a 32 GB SD card. To that end, 16/32 seems like good capacity points, considering the difference in flash costs is something like $10. I see no reason to have a phone with no expandable storage and only 8 GB on-board.
Adding an SD card is always a little complicated, so I'm not surprised to see it missing. If you take a picture, where is it stored? How do you explain to the user that they've run out of space, but there is still free space?
A5 - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkThey claim it's because they didn't want to deal with Verizon's BS again and AT&T's LTE doesn't cover enough people to be worth the difference in cost without financial help from AT&T.
Considering that the HSPA+ GNex was far more popular than the Sprint/Verizon versions, this isn't that surprising.
I'm guessing that if you want LTE, there will be plenty of XDA projects to port the Nexus ROMs to the Optimus G.
lmcd - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkDid the Google Play-shipped version have LTE?
trynberg - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkThis is 2012, not 2011.
JasonInofuentes - Monday, October 29, 2012 - linkCarriers have an agenda, and for the last decade, all of the agency in the US. When Google announced that they would be selling the original Nexus through their own channel (unlocked and unfettered) it was a shot across the bow of the US carrier market. This is the next shot. If the Nexus 4 sells with the alacrity of the Nexus 7, then that will demonstrate to the carriers that buyers are interested in performance and software updates, and unwilling to put up with bloated, antiquated software just for the latest air interface.
By pricing these so cheaply, by dragging the unlocked price down as low as it'd go, they are applying pressures that could hopefully push the carriers to give Android the same regard as iOS devices.