Google rounds out Nexus lineup: Does this brand hold together?

Summary:LG and Google launch the Nexus 4. Can LG really put a dent into Samsung's Android dominance? Samsung chips in a Nexus 10 tablet.

nexus4

LG and Google officially launched the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet with Samsung. Google also announced a souped up Nexus 7. The aim for Google is to use its accounts to cover multiple screens. 

The Nexus line is designed to be the premier hardware for Google's Android platform. The promise is that upgrades come sooner. However, Google and Samsung's Galaxy Nexus received the latest Android upgrade late in some cases---especially on Verizon. In a blog post, Google outlined the Nexus 4 as well as the Nexus 10 tablet:

We're excited to announce three great new Nexus devices … in small, medium and large. And they all run Android 4.2, a new flavor of Jelly Bean—which includes the latest version of Google Now and other great new features.

Again, the promise of the Nexus line is the latest and greatest software from Google. The search giant is touting new photo software and an updated Google Now.

The big question is whether the promise of the latest Google software makes the Nexus brand, delivered through multiple hardware partners, viable. 

For LG, the Google collaboration on Nexus 4 is a big deal. LG is trying to nudge its way into a smartphone market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Other device makers in the Android army such as HTC are struggling to keep up with Apple and Samsung as well as Chinese rivals including ZTE and Huawei. The specifications from the Nexus 4 don't list 4G LTE support.

Details of the Nexus 4 had repeatedly surfaced. See CNET: From bars to the blogosphere, Nexus 4 gets around | Lost Nexus 4 phone proves taking device prototypes to bars is stupid | ZDNet:  Nexus 4 outed by UK retailer, brings Jelly Bean 4.2 along for the ride

Andy Rubin, Google's senior vice president of mobile and digital content, said LG brought "an extraordinary amount of talent to the project."

The Nexus 4 features an 8MP camera, a 4.7-inch screen, Gorilla Glass 2 and a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. The big question is whether the "best of Google" in the Nexus 4 from LG can put a dent in Samsung's market share.

nexus4specs

As for Samsung, it's a no-brainer to add a larger Nexus tablet with the latest software. Google's Android has been very good to Samsung. 

Add it up and Google does have its tablet and phone price points covered. It's just unclear whether Nexus is a brand with staying power. 

Pricing breaks down like this:

Nexus 4: 8GB for $299; 16GB for $349; available unlocked and without a contract on 11/13 on the Google Play store in 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.

Nexus 7: 16GB for $199 and 32GB for $249; available in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan, and also through our retail partners Gamestop, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Walmart.

Nexus 7 with 32GB and mobile data: $299 and unlocked, on sale 11/13 in the Google Play store in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada.

Nexus 10: 16GB for $399; 32GB for $499; available on 11/13 in the Google Play Store in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Smartphones

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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