Hurricane Sandy stops Google's press event, but not its product announcements
Hurricane Sandy put the kibosh on the press event Google had scheduled for yesterday morning, but rather than delay product announcements the company went forward, making due with press releases instead. Somehow that wasn't quite as exciting as seeing these devices on-stage but with launches pending or in some cases already happening I suppose there was no other choice. So here's what we would've seen had the event taken place.
First up is the Nexus 4 phone, from LG. It has a 4.7" 1280x768 display, a quad core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and no LTE, which cements its place as a developer tool, at least here in the US. It launches on November 13th for $299 (8GB) or $349 (16GB). TechCrunch has a good piece on why Google is not offering LTE on the phone, and why their reasons don't matter. It's a big disappointment in what would otherwise have been a pretty awesome phone.
Next up is the Nexus 7. The 8GB version is gone, the 16GB version is now $199 and the 32GB version, which was already being sold in some stores before Google announced it, is $249. There's also an HSPA+ version for $299, so at least Google is being consistent when it comes to avoiding LTE.
The most exciting announcement was the Nexus 10. This is a 10.05" tablet with a 2560x1600 (300ppi) display. That's a higher ppi than Apple's retina display, which I'm sure was the point. Inside is a Samsung Exynos 5250 dual core cpu running at 1.7Ghz and a quad core Mali GPU. It weighs 603 grams (1.33 lbs – lighter than a 4th gen iPad) and is 8.9 mm thick. It has 5 megapixel rear facing and a 1.9 megapixel front facing cameras. It'll ship on November 13th in 16GB and 32GB configurations for $399 and $499 respectively. Once again storage isn't expandable (no MicroSD slot) but there is a mini-HDMI port on the Nexus 10, something the Nexus 7 lacks.
Both the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10 will ship with Android Jelly Bean 4.2 (presumably the Nexus 7 will be upgraded soon as well). New features in 4.2 include a new 360-degree panoramic photo feature called Photo Sphere, 'gliding' text input (similar to Swype), a new version of Google Now and wireless streaming of audio and video via Miracast. The tablet version of 4.2 supports multiple users. Android Authority has more details on the additions and changes in Android 4.2.
It remains to be seen how much Hurricane Sandy hurt Google. Do Android aficionados get as excited about new gear without the stage show? Probably, though it may take a little longer for the word to get out.
I have to say the Nexus 10 is calling my name, but I'm concerned about how much support that high resolution screen will get.
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