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

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.

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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

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24 comments
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  • Wow.. those are some amazing prices...

    Considering it's unlocked and retail...

    And thank you Google for *finally* selling to Canada through Play. We're kind of tired of only ever seeing the Nexus 7.

    I have a Samsung Nexus right now and I'm pretty happy with it - but it's nice to have another option...
    TheWerewolf
  • That 32GB Nexus 7...

    At $249.00 is going to be hard to resist. There's really nothing else that can touch is on a price/performance/flexibility scale.
    dsf3g
    • google is the most wanted website of the world and the peaple searching.

      Google, not the manufacturer or carrier, is responsible for software updates and upgrades. This means that, on average, users will get their Android updates and upgrades sooner. And there's no crapware pre-installed.

      Waiting for the Nexus 9 to compete with Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's large form-factor tablets ...
      SUDHAKAR KRISHNA
  • What will happen to Nexus7 8GB still in inventory?

    Would they be on sale for $150?
    RelaxWalk
  • Not Impressed.

    The reality is that not a single Android tablet can be your only solution. If you get one, you still need a laptop or desktop to do "real work". I like the idea of having profiles in their OS, but we have to see how the security is implemented. The specs look good for the phone, but at some point the specs will be almost as meaningless as it is in the PC world. We no longer talk about the Mega/Gigahertz of a CPU, but how many cores it has or the type of core it is. Why?; because almost any HW sold today can handle Windows just fine. I feel that this plateau will be reached next year and the only thing that will differentiate these devices is what featured HW is unique to each device. Time will tell, but like I said, I'm not impressed.
    Drewidian
  • Nexus line is the best brand for OHA-manufactured, Android-based devices

    Google, not the manufacturer or carrier, is responsible for software updates and upgrades. This means that, on average, users will get their Android updates and upgrades sooner. And there's no crapware pre-installed.

    Waiting for the Nexus 9 to compete with Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's large form-factor tablets ...
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Nexus line is the best brand for...

      Hey buddy, have you heard of the Nexus 10?
      xyzyxx
  • Price Amazes Me

    The Nexus 4's price is shockingly low compared to what I paid for my unlocked retail Nexus S a few years ago, especially considering the improvements.
    zdnet@...
  • Thanks, Apple, for picking $329 for the base iPad Mini

    You basically guaranteed us that we wouldn't see a $149 or $99 Nexus 7, but not choosing to challenge on price. Gee thanks.

    Oh well, grey market it is.
    daboochmeister
    • Don't rule out a less expensive Google tablet yet

      It may not have been announced today but Google may still be working on a lower-cost tablet. There are already $100 and under Chinese imports though none of them are quite well made or powerful enough to merit the Google stamp of approval, but I suspect it will be possible for them to offer a "good enough" $100 tablet soon. I think the minimum specs would be a 1GHz dual core or 1.5GHz single core, 1GB of RAM, 8GB flash, and 1024x600 display. A VGA front camera would also be nice to provide basic video chat capability. Battery life needs to be at least 6 hours, more is better.

      It's equally important for Google NOT to sell a device that ISN'T good enough. The $100 price point is where they need to get to really shake up the market, and if they can't offer a quality device at that price yet it's better to wait than to damage the Nexus brand by offering a substandard product.
      anonymous
  • Looks like a decent lineup to me

    Sure, the three members of the Nexus family come from three different manufacturers. But all of them will be running the same software, and all of them are good values and reasonably close to the technological state of the art. The biggest miss is the lack of LTE, especially in the Nexus 4; I'm willing to give the cellular version of the Nexus 7 a pass because of its very low price for a cellular-enabled tablet.

    If Google can continue to get manufacturers to cooperate with this strategy, the Nexus brand will be strong. A possible problem will happen when two or more device makers want to produce something for the same market segment (phone, small tablet, large tablet). Right now they have only one of each if the intent is to usher out the Galaxy Nexus, which is no longer listed on the Google Play store but may continue to be available from carriers.
    anonymous
  • Good Price, but missing what should be standard features

    The Nexus 4 comes in at a good price, but it's really missing what should be standard now on at least mid-range smartphones. There needs to be LTE and at least a 32Gb option (if they're insistent on not providing an SD card slot).
    m00nh34d
    • Why the Nexus 4 doesn't have Lte

      For Google, Nexus is a flagship brand that represents the best of Android, with Google leading by example to show other hardware manufacturers what Android can be. And though partners build the hardware, Google wants direct control of the software on Nexus devices with no carrier intervention. That alone means Google can't sell an LTE device, as there's simply no access to LTE networks without working with carriers in one way or another: Verizon and Sprint's LTE networks still require compatibility with their 3G CDMA systems, and there's essentially no such thing as an unlocked CDMA device. AT&T's fledgling LTE network runs on different frequencies than other LTE networks around the world, so Google would have to build a custom phone for just 77 markets in the US. Doing that without AT&T's financial assistance makes little sense. More at link below regards

      Sent from my iPad http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3569688/why-nexus-4-does-not-have-4g-lte
      worldbfree4me
    • Unless your on tmobile

      I usually get 9-18mbps on tmobile 4g on a 5gb/unlimited-throttled plan that includes wifi sharing for about 1/2 what you would pay on ATT/Verizon. So perfect phone for tmobile maybe not so much for ATT / verizon :P
      jagoob
  • Nexus 7 Tablet

    I have a Nexus 7 Tablet and love it. I got it for 25$ less than retail when someone decided to sell theirs right after they bought it.

    I am not all Google, but I use this tablet for a lot of things and it is just the right size and has the right programs for me and the right price.

    I have use of other brands of tablets at work, but for my use after work, this tablet is just what I wanted. To surf, to read, etc.

    It all depends what you want what you need access to and that is what will sell it. I believe a lot of us are moving in that direction using several different brands. It just all depends on your needs and expense account.
    madeline.sparling@...
  • Cue Daverock And Pals To Tell Us How Horrible These Devices Really Are...

    Ooo
    .
    .
    .
    (crickets)
    ldo17
  • Here is suggest: Check the reviews on LG brand phones

    LG makes the worst phones/smartphones in the market today. They are so bad that in many places, crapware models actually have much better quality and reliability than LG phones.

    So, based on verifiable history ... do yo expect LG to be any different just because it is sticking a Nexus logo on the back of the device??
    wackoae
    • RE: Here is suggest

      Really? What's bad about LG phones?

      If software/updates is the problem, no need to worry because LG isn't the one handling software on this phone, Google is.
      xyzyxx
      • Did you see the word "software" anywhere in my post??

        LG has the WORST quality of hardware and the reliability is horrendous.
        wackoae
        • Is it so

          You are an MS troll. How do you know?
          Van Der