Google (GOOG) Announces New Nexus Devices

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced three new Nexus devices – in “small, medium and large” as they phrase it. They all run on a new and improved version of Android – Android 4.2. Originally scheduled to be launched at a press event in New York City, Hurricane Sandy prompted Google to instead use a blog on its website to promote the new offerings.

“Small” is the Nexus 4 smartphone, made by LG Electronics. It has a 4.7 inch screen, 2 GB of RAM, a choice of 8 or 16 GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a 1.3 megapixel front camera, a micro-USB port, NFC and wireless charging. A feature of Android 4.2 they call “Photo Sphere” allows users to shoot 360 degree panorama photos.

Reviewers are impressed with this phone’s looks, speed and features. However, it lacks 4G LTE capability and may be most suitable for users outside the U.S.

“Medium” is an upgraded Nexus 7 which offers twice the storage (32 GB), optional 3G and the new Android 4.2 with Photo Sphere. As with the older model it has a 7 inch display, a 1.2 megapixel front camera and a micro-USB port. The Nexus 7 is manufactured by Asus.

As noted, the new Nexus 7 is an upgraded version of an existing product. Thus most commentary revolves around how it compares with the new Apple iPad mini rather than other similarly-sized tablets. Here, the Nexus 7 wins clearly on price. In other respects a lot seems to revolve around personal preferences.

“Large” is the Samsung-made Nexus 10 and is aimed squarely at Apple’s iPad. It has what Google describes as “the highest resolution tablet on the planet with a 10.055″ display at 2560-by-1600 (300ppi), that’s over 4 million pixels”. Per Google the battery offers 9 hours of video watching time and 500 hours of standby time. Also, a new feature in Android 4.2 allows for multiple users with the ability to switch instantly from one user profile to another.

The Nexus 10 has 2 GB of RAM, a choice of 16 or 32 GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.9 megapixel front camera, NFC and a micro-USB port.

Google’s new tablet is getting positive reviews from those who have had a chance to test it. The new display, its speed and power, its look and feel, and its ease of use are all receiving favorable commentary. It’s also priced less than comparable iPads. The biggest negative is that this version of the Nexus 10 does not offer either 3G or 4G LTE connectivity. Mobile users will be limited to W-Fi connectivity to the internet.

The Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 are expected to be available on November 13. The new Nexus 7 is available now in some markets.

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