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Google Announces New Nexus Smartphone and Tablets 297

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new dept.
TheBoat writes In with news that not even a hurricane can keep the Google product announcements away. "Surprise, surprise. It looks like Hurricane Sandy can't hold Google down, as the company has just gone ahead and unveiled the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet even though its press conference was canceled. Nexus 4 specs include a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display with 1,280 x 768-pixel resolution, an 8-megapixel camera, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.2. The phone starts at a shockingly affordable $299 without any contract or subsidies, and it will launch in the United States on November 3rd. The Samsung-built Nexus 10 tablet sports a 2,560 x 1,600-pixel display with a pixel density of 300 PPI, a dual-core 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos chipset, 2GB of RAM, NFC and a 5-megapixel camera. Pricing starts at $399 with 16GB of storage and tops out at $499 for the 32GB model, and both will launch on November 3rd alongside the Nexus 4. Both devices will be available through the Google Play store."
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Google Announces New Nexus Smartphone and Tablets

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  • I was anxiously awaiting the price point on the Nexus 10. Glad I don't have to stay in suspense.
  • No Strings Attached? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    $299, no contracts, and those specs? Maybe it's time I finally paid attention to the smartphone market and finally bought one. I've not kept up though - will I have to have any kind of "google account" or "phone home to google" stuff enabled to use this phone properly? And if so, how hard would it be to jailbreak the thing and fully change that (without introducing additional issues)?

    • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:23PM (#41807051)

      Nope, it is optional. You cannot use the play store without associating the phone with the Google Account though. You could use Amazon App Store, which has most apps. You could side load apps (just copy them to the system apps folder), if you have the apk and you are rooted (I dont know of a reliable site, where you can get the apk file from though)

      • by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:24PM (#41807079)

        I don't think you need to be rooted to install APK files ... just drop them on the phone and run them.

        • by brian.swetland (1739666) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:46PM (#41807485)

          This is correct. Just check the "unknown sources" option under settings and you can install apps from pretty much anywhere (web, email, etc) -- the system will show what permissions the app needs and obtain permission to install it (or not) from the user.

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:59PM (#41807781) Homepage Journal

        I dont know of a reliable site, where you can get the apk file from though

        Ideally, the publisher of a Free, free, freemium, or ad-supported application would distribute an APK on the application's web site, usable by anybody who has turned on "Unknown sources". A reliable site will use HTTPS with a well-known CA or HTTPS + DANE (public key fingerprints in DNSSEC).

      • by guises (2423402) on Monday October 29, 2012 @03:00PM (#41808787)
        With my Nexus 7 there was no option to boot the first time without first setting up a Google account. I don't think this is such a big deal, I set up a separate throwaway account with each of my devices, but that annoyed me.

        I'm also a little annoyed that I got my Nexus 7 just a month ago... Would certainly have waited for one of these here Nexus 4's.
    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      Typically you don't need to set up any Google stuff on it at all, although the Google software will definitely come installed on it. The only thing you lose is access to the Google Play market, but you can use Amazon, several others, or side-load.

    • by Beavertank (1178717) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:24PM (#41807081)
      You'll need a google account if you want to use the Google Play Store (the app market from google) but you can install the Amazon Appstore (which uses an amazon account) instead if you prefer. Otherwise no, you don't have to have a google account to use the phone. Because it's a Nexus device you should be able to unlock the bootloader in a simple process (usually as simple as checking a box in settings and rebooting) then you can flash it with any custom ROM you want. So if you don't trust the default ROM not to phone home you can use a community created one instead (and also since it's a Nexus device a community for producing these custom ROMs should grow quite fast once it's in people's hands).
    • by HTMLSpinnr (531389) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:27PM (#41807125) Homepage
      There's a bit missing in those details. $299 buys the 8GB version, and $349 buys the 16GB version. There is no 32GB version, and a CDMA/LTE version was not announced - these are solely Pentaband HSPA+ devices for now. Or... you can ultimately pay more and go T-Mobile subsidized if you can't handle that much out of pocket at once with $199 out of pocket and $20/mo in subsidies for at least 20 months (Value plan, or $20 more/mo for the plan in general over Value for 2 years if Classic plan).
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      $299, no contracts, and those specs? Maybe it's time I finally paid attention to the smartphone market and finally bought one. I've not kept up though - will I have to have any kind of "google account" or "phone home to google" stuff enabled to use this phone properly? And if so, how hard would it be to jailbreak the thing and fully change that (without introducing additional issues)?

      I'm waiting for a sufficiently stupid (read: not loaded up with clever bloatware) little smart phone I can move my Pay-as-you-go service to and do some basic web surfing through free wi-fi spots. I don't need books, I don't need financial software, I don't need instant/text messaging and I really don't want a lot of crap which makes the phone wake up and kill the battery so it's not available when I need it.

      • by cduffy (652)

        I'm waiting for a sufficiently stupid (read: not loaded up with clever bloatware) little smart phone

        The Nexus line are pretty good about this; if you buy them direct from Google and not through a carrier, they won't be loaded down with much, and if you want more control than that, you can root them using manufacturer-supported (albeit warranty-voiding) tools.

        The down side is that you're limited with respect to choice of pay-as-you-go carriers (as quite a lot of them resell Sprint service, and so aren't comp

      • Consider something like a ZTE blade. For $50 you can do all that and a lot more on a reasonable second gen smartphone. Unlocked from the get go, HDSPA, wi-fi, multi-touch, and most of the the apps from the Play Store. The screen is about iPhone 3G-era, which is great for the bucks. And its sold around the world at a low price, wherever you are. Sometimes under the name Orange San Francisco, but its the same thing just carrier locked (£18 unlock for non-customers in the UK).
  • Booyah!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:21PM (#41807003) Homepage

    I knew there was a reason I didn't buy the Samsung Galaxy S3. Among the reasons:

    1. To get it 'affordably' I would have to buy it from a wireless carrier... oh yeah and extend or buy a new contract with expensive data plan.
    2. To get it otherwise, I would have to pay about $500... that's an expensive toy.
    3. The darkest color I could get is blue...blue?! Really? Something wrong with black or grey? White is for chicks and Apple users.
    4. When you get a phone through a carrier which is carrier branded, unless it's an iPhone, then the carrier is responsible for firmware updates. In cases like that, you will either never get one or it will be extremely late in coming and will contain even more bloatware than before.

    Something told me that if I were to just hold off a little longer, I could get my next phone without all the trouble, And there we have it... A new Nexus 4 heading to my pocket in the near future.

    As for the new tablet?? Well... that's kinda pricy. I've got a Nexus 7 and I'm pretty happy with it. But then again, the price was extremely reasonable. $500?? That's well within my "balk" range... the $200-$250 range is well within my "I'll strongly consider it" window. And a phone without obligations at $299? And likely to support high speed data options (which I will not likely use or pay for)? It's a no-brainer.

  • Still no microSD? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:24PM (#41807085)
    All the leaks seemed to indicate the Nexus 4 would have no microSD slot, and none of the news this morning seems to contradict that. I'd pick one up in an instant if not for that fault.

    My ancient Nexus One has an 8 GB microSD card in it, and that filled up ages ago. So getting the 8 GB Nexus 4 would be a non-starter, and i don't expect it would take me long to fill up the 16 GB version either. I don't care what Google says, streaming everything off the cloud is not an option. I'm happy with T-Mobile for the price i'm paying, but they don't have the best coverage. (And from what i understand other carriers that have better coverage have stricter limits on data usage instead.)
    • Re:Still no microSD? (Score:4, Informative)

      by LodCrappo (705968) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:27PM (#41807127) Homepage

      out of curiosity, what did you fill up 8gb with? I went for the 16gb version of the nexus 7 and after 2 months and literally hundreds of apps have only 2gb used, thinking I should have saved the $50 and got the 8gb version.

      • Re:Still no microSD? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by HTMLSpinnr (531389) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:38PM (#41807301) Homepage
        I'm not the OP, but in my case, At least 7GB of the ~13GB available on /sdcard (partition, not actual removable media) in my Nexus S is music which I listen to on occasion - mostly in my car or on a flight. The balance (when closer to full) is pictures before transferring to local network or cloud storage or Apps installed to USB (no longer required for Nexus 4's monolothic partition), etc. Amazon MP3 with CloudDrive storage solves the balance of my music problem (you don't have to marry yourself to Google Play for everything). For most, it's simply silly to carry around your entire collection. It's unlikely you'll want all of it available, thus learning to place effective selection criteria when picking what goes to your device helps manage the size constraint.

        Personally, I'd feel constrained by 8GB, but not by 16GB once you realize that even 8GB of "music" is more than anyone needs unless they're spending a TON of time away from the balance of their library. What will put the squeeze on things are 8MP photos and full HD video. Provided I can offload my photos to cloud storage (via Wifi thanks) or home storage, I can live with this level of storage. Thus, I'll be buying the 16GB version to replace my Nexus S.

        Now if they had 32GB at $429, this would be a compelling compromise/price point, and would shut down many of the "it's too small" comments.
        • by poity (465672)

          I have the GS3, and after filling it up with my music and apps, I still have more than 6GB left. Plus, I find myself listening to internet radio 90% of the time. I thought the microSD would be a good investment, but now I'm convinced I don't need it, and wouldn't ever need it.

        • by tepples (727027)

          Amazon MP3 with CloudDrive storage solves the balance of my music problem

          Provided you're using your phone on Wi-Fi at home or at a public hotspot, or you can afford a big data plan.

          For most, it's simply silly to carry around your entire collection. It's unlikely you'll want all of it available

          Unless you want to play a particular song for someone else who's in the room or in the vehicle.

      • if you install a lot of games, the space goes quick. it's not uncommon for a game to take up over 1GB of local storage. i have one (bard's tale) that takes up over 1.6GB.

        also, if you ever want to pre-load movie rips, you are looking at 700MB-1.4GB each.

      • No idea about Daetrin's exact situation, but like him, I can't possibly afford to stream everything from the cloud. I filled up most of a 32 GB microSD card with music and video; if it weren't for the video I'd only need maybe 16 GB. Let's see--should I pay an extra $10/month for a (much) larger data plan, or should I get a phone with a microSD slot and buy a 32 GB microSD card for like $25? Of course, it's complicated by the fact that the kind of phone that comes with a microSD slot is very different from

      • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:55PM (#41807671)

        Media. Audiobooks in my case.

      • 8gb is holding the OS so you don't have the whole 8gb. Apps aren't exactly small these days and neither is my music collection. I have an old 8gb ipod touch and even when it was new it felt absolutely tiny. I think Max Payne alone was nearly 2gb is size.
      • I like to load recorded TV on mine. 128 GB is the bare minimum i need to operate at the volume i want to. Im paitently waiting on the new NAND process to come online and make bigger modules available. Google is artificially restricting how much memory these devices can hold to force you through their services. Its punishment, not innovation.
      • by Jethro (14165)

        I am also not the OP, but I've run out of space on my 16gb Galaxy Nexus, and no SD card on the Nexus 4 might mean no more Nexus phones for me. I tend to keep my phones till they die (had a Nexus One before this guy) but the lack of expandable space has limited the lifetime by quite a bit.

        I have 5gb dedicated to music cache, and I got a whole bunch of Audubon Field Guide apps when they were on sale for $0.99. I can only have one or two of them installed at a time. It's ridiculous.

      • by LodCrappo (705968)

        OK I get it (and thanks for the polite answers , realize now I should.have guessed the answer to my own query).

        It seems to be not apps but offline media storage that ppl need the larger storage for, or maybe for some massive games.
        I guess maybe my usage is atypical as I don't (or havent yet) take the nexus anywhere that I need media and don't have wifi. Just wasn't thinking along those lines at all

        Thanks

      • by Daetrin (576516)
        Looks like you've already got lots of data points, but in my case a quick check with SpaceMonger shows:

        2.5 GB - Music (I'll sometimes use Pandora at home, but when i'm out driving or rollerblading at the beach i want to use my own playlists rather than stream stuff.)
        1.4 GB - Audiobooks (I always try to have several books on there at a time, because it sucks if i finish a book up away from home and find i don't have any other new ones downloaded yet.)
        1.4 GB - Pictures and video (I'll occasionally transfe
  • Nexus 4 specs include a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display with 1,280 x 768-pixel resolution...

    Lay of the TV marketing crack, Google. True HD means 1920 x 1080 pixels.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:42PM (#41807409)

    They managed to cram some awesome hardware into the Nexus 10. 2560x1600 at a $399 price point is very, very good.

    But the physical design of the tablet – there's no way to sugarcoat this – is butt-ugly. Why did they have to make the bezel so huge? And asymmetrical? (I suppose that latter factor may have been a precaution against being sued by Apple.) Even though the hardware inside is great, the exterior just looks cheap. It looks like what you'd find on a $99 Archos tablet. Samsung's other designs are much more elegant than this.

    I'm not at all impressed by the lack of a SD card slot. I loathe the "cloud" (and since this is a Wi-Fi-only device, it's not a viable solution anyway), and I'm not going to spend an extra $100 for 16GB extra of flash memory that cost the vendor under $10. Admittedly, this doesn't make Google/Samsung any worse than Apple on this front, but I had hoped they might actually do better.

    Also, is there a physical home button? I can't tell from the photos. A tablet needs at least that one physical button.

  • I'm sure I'm not the only Verizon user disappointed with the lack of a CDMA/4G LTE version. Especially if it was also offered at $300 unsubsidized, I'm sure there would be many people interested since it will allow users to retain any pre-existing unlimited data plans. Hopefully they have something in the works - I would really love for my next phone to be a Nexus device (especially given how much I'm enjoying my Nexus 7), but I'm not willing to change carriers and lose my current plan with discounts for it.
    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Yep. I'm stuck on a Droid 1 right now to keep my unlimited data. Doing the math for my usage habits it would be another $40-50 per month higher over my existing plan to move to the "Share Everything plan" with enough bandwidth. Taking a subsidized phone isn't worth that, but there is a definite lack of any reasonably priced unsubsidized phones for Verizon. $299 for this phone I could handle, but seems every decent handset on Verizon (even the ones they're GIVING away subsidized) is over $500 without con

  • Google Voice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jerpyro (926071) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:02PM (#41807829)

    If I order the new nexus phone with no contracts, can I activate and use it as a wifi phone without it being associated with a carrier via Google voice?
    I would gladly pay $300 for that.

  • Interesting.

    Now all I need is an SD slot, but Google prefers a consistent user experience, so accomodating user storage is limited to the built-in they provide. Kinda like the browser no longer being able to load the desktop version of iGoogle. But I'm not bitter.

    I could buy this one.

  • by Jethro (14165)

    Any word on storage on the Nexus 4?

    I have a Galaxy Nexus, and the absolute worst thing about it is the lack of an external storage slot. Since I have an unlocked GSM model I was limited to 16gb. And yeah, that got filled up REALLY fast. If the Nexus 4 doesn't have external storage (or at least a model with a LOT of internal storage), that might be a deal-breaker for me and the Nexus line of phones, which would be very sad.

  • The summary says November 3rd, but the linked article says November 13th. I'll assume the original article is correct.

    And how could you not mention the confirmed upgrade to the Nexus 7? That just moved it from my "interested" to my "must buy" column.

    "Google is also upgrading the Nexus 7 tablet. The 16GB version of the 7-inch device is now $199, and is joined by a 32GB version retailing for $249. There’s also the option of HSPA+ mobile in addition to WiFi, which adds a bit of cost. Like the Nexus 4, it

  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:29PM (#41808335)

    Are the Korean hands getting bigger every day? Or is it now popular to hold a phone with two hands now?
    I really wish there was a Nexus phone with a 4"(or less) display.

  • by farble1670 (803356) on Monday October 29, 2012 @04:37PM (#41810145)

    can someone explain this to me?

    i can buy a 32GB micro SD card for $20. that's retail. but google charges +$50 for +8GB? that, and it has to be cheaper for them to add flash internally that for me to buy a retail-packaged micro SD card?

    even assuming retail prices, they should be able to ship a 32GB version for less than $20 more, and still make the same profit on the extra memory that would otherwise be made on selling the memory retail ... ?

    i understand that they might want to milk customers here ... but if they are really trying to beat apple on prices, offering a low-priced 32 or 64GB model seems like a no-brainer.

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