By now it is pretty clear that we love Google (most of the time). But the company can learn a thing or two from Apple, especially when it comes to important product announcements. On Monday, while Hurricane Sandy was hitting the East Coast ‚and 7.5 million people in 16 states have lost power, Apple announced that the company’s senior vice president of iOS was getting fired for (apparently) refusing to apologize publicly for the Apple Maps mess. The timing was impeccable, since nobody noticed nor cared. Well, at the very same time, Google was announcing three new Nexus devices; a smartphone, a 7-inch tablet, and a 10-inch tablet. Guess what happened? Nobody noticed nor cared.
All three devices run Android 4.2, which Google describes as “a new flavor of Jelly Bean.” The Nexus 4 is Google’s latest 4.7-inch, quad-core Nexus smartphone, developed with LG, and priced well below analysts expectations. It will be available for $299 (8GB) and $349 (16GB) for unlocked, contract-free units. However, the best deal seems to be the 16GB unit on T-Mobile for $199. We can’t really predict how sales will perform, but what is certain is that the Nexus 4 will make a strong impact on the smartphone market.
Although we are more excited with Samsung’s Galaxy Camera, one of our favorite features of the new Nexus smartphone is Photo Sphere, a camera app/Google Maps hybrid that allows users to create and share 360-degree panoramas.
The physical size and weight, screen size and resolution, and event the camera are all almost identical to what many (geeks) consider the best Android phone available, the Samsung Galaxy S3. But there’s one big difference: The Nexus 4 is about half the price, which is enough to at least get our full attention.
Galaxy S3 Nexus 4 Price
$199/$299 (with contract) $299/$349 (SIM-free) OS Android 4.0.1 Touchwiz UX/US Android 4.2 Processor Exynos 4412 (Quad Core) Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Display 4.8″ Super AMOLED 4.7″ WXGA IPS Resolution 1280×720 1280×768 Dimensions (WxDxH) 5.38″ x 2.78″ x 0.34″ 5.27″ x 2.70″ x 0.35″ Weight 133g 139g 4G LTE Yes No NFC Yes Yes Wi-Fi 2.4GHz, 5GHz (dual-band) WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (dual band) Rear-facing camera 8 Megapixels 8 Megapixels Front-facing camera 1.9 Megapixels 1.3 Megapixels Video capabilities 1080p Recording 1080p Recording Internal storage 16/32GB 8/16GB SD card slot Yes (up to 64GB) No Max. battery life 11 hours (3G talk/data use) 10 hours (3Gtalk/data use)
The pricing for Tablets match or beat Lenovo’s and Amazon’s offerings: The Nexus 7 is priced at $199 for 16GB of storage, and $249 for 32GB; an HSPA+ version with 32GB of data is also available for $299. An H what? HSPA+ stands for Evolved High-Speed Packet Access, a technical standard for wireless broadband telecommunication with 168 Mbit/s (download speed) and 22 Mbit/s (upload speed). Obviously, these are theoretical peak speeds, and in reality HSPA+ is simply an upgraded 3G GSM technology.
The obvious question now is; will the Nexus 10 be able to truly compete against the fourth generation Apple iPad ? It seems so. Not only the specs are very attractive, but the 16GB Nexus 10 is $100 less than the Apple iPad.
What is oddly missing from the chart below is the pixel density on the Nexus 10, a massive 300ppi, beating the iPad’s 264ppi retina display.
iPad 4th generation Google Nexus 10 Tablet
Size 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 (mm) 263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9 (mm) Weight 652g 603g Screen 9.7-inch, 2048×1536 10-inch, 2560×1600 OS iOS 6 Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) Storage 16/32/64 GB 16/32GB SD Card Slot No No Processor Dual-core A6X Dual-core A15 RAM Not listed 2 GB Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G LTE Wi-Fi Camera Front 1.2 MP, Rear 5 MP Front 1.9 MP, Rear 5 MP Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 3.0 Battery 42.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer 9000 mAh Lithium polymer Charger Lightning connector Micro USB Marketplace Apple App Store Google Play Store Starting Price $499 $399
How well do you think Google will compete against its fierce competitors? Are you on the fence on which Tablet to get for the Holidays? Please share your comments and questions below.
Does the iPad finally have a formidable foe?
In 2000, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took the stage at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, Nev. A theater filled with computer industry experts watched as Gates made some big declarations. Among them, he proclaimed the era of the browser had come to an end. He also said that server-based computing — what we now think of as cloud computing — was a dead-end. And he impressed the crowd by unveiling a prototype model of a tablet PC [source: Arar].
It turns out that Gates was a little off target with his announcements. Web browsers and cloud-based computing have become intrinsic parts of our computing experience. We’ve got browsers on computers, smartphones,tablets, e-readers and televisions. And as for the tablet PC — the public wasn’t interested.
The story changed a decade later. In January of 2010, Steve Jobs announced the iPad, Apple’s tablet device. Jobs succeeded where Gates had failed — he energized not only the industry experts, but the general consumer. Suddenly, tablets had become a big story.
But what about the company that introduced its first PC-based tablet to great acclaim back in 2000? Microsoft had no answer to the iPad. Other companies launched tablet devices — some running a version of Windows with Microsoft’s support — to try and compete with the Apple juggernaut. It wasn’t until 2012 that Microsoft introduced updated tablets. The new line of devices took its name from a previous Microsoft product: The Surface.
What powers the Surface? What sets it apart from other tablets? And can Microsoft make up for lost time and carve out a space in the tablet market?