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Google announces Nexus 4 smartphone, Nexus 10 tablet, and Android 4.2

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October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy didn't stop Google from moving ahead with its biggest announcements of 201...

Hurricane Sandy didn't stop Google from moving ahead with its biggest announcements of 2012

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Google had some big announcements today, and it couldn't even be stopped by a Super Storm. Though Hurricane Sandy forced the search giant to cancel its planned New York event, the company plowed ahead and revealed three new devices and a major software update.

In the third major mobile tech reveal in the last week (following big events by Apple and Microsoft), Google announced the Nexus 4 smartphone, the Nexus 10 full-sized tablet, and a minor update to the budget Nexus 7. All three devices will ship with Android 4.2, which carries on the Jellybean name.

Nexus 4

Google is returning to the off-contract, online strategy that it used with the Nexus One

Google is returning to the off-contract, online strategy that it used with the Nexus One

Most of the details of LG's first Google collaboration were leaked in advance. Like the original Nexus One, the Nexus 4 is being sold directly by Google: online and off-contract. US$299 gets you a 4.7-inch 1280x768 display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip, and a bedazzled back. The base model sports 8GB of storage, but you can boost that to 16GB for $349.

The Nexus 4 is one of the first big-name smartphones to ship with wireless charging tech. The phone doesn't include a charging mat, but Google advertises that the inductive charging capabilities are built into the phone.

Though the Google/HTC Nexus One wasn't exactly a hot-seller when it was sold off-contract online, things have changed in almost three years. Google has now established its own online storefront, Google Play, which will increase the device's exposure. Its modest off-contract starting price should also help offset its lack of LTE.

The Nexus 4 is available on November 13 in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada.

Nexus 10

The Nexus 10's display should be quite a bit sharper than the iPad's Retina Display

The Nexus 10's display should be quite a bit sharper than the iPad's Retina Display

Google also revealed its first direct iPad competitor, the Nexus 10. Building on the success of the Nexus 7, the full-sized tablet has an unprecedented 10.055-inch 2560 x 1600 display. Its 299 pixels per inch (PPI) are a significant upgrade over the Retina Display iPad's 264PPI.

The Nexus 10 starts at a competitive US$399. You won't have to wait long for the new device, as it too ships in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan on November 13.

Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 didn't change much, only adding more storage and a mobile data option

The Nexus 7 didn't change much, only adding more storage and a mobile data option

The Nexus 7 received an expected minor spec bump. For the prices that used to buy you 8GB ($200) and 16GB ($250) of storage, you can now get 16GB and 32GB of storage.

The 7-inch tablet also, for the first time, gets cellular data. Though there's no LTE to be found, the tablet connects to 3G networks across the globe, as well as HSPA+ (typically marketed as "4G").

New Jellybean

Look out, Swype: stock Android now ships with its own trace keyboard

Look out, Swype: stock Android now ships with its own trace keyboard

Though it didn't receive the honor of being named after its own alphabetical dessert, Android 4.2 is a big update to Jellybean. It features a stock Swype-like trace keyboard, a new take on panoramic photography called Photo Sphere (it takes panoramas that extend 360 degrees in all directions), and support for multiple user accounts on tablets. Google Now also receives an update, now letting you track packages, check movie listings, and browse popular photo spots.

More to come

With the holidays approaching, the last week has been jam-packed with new products. If Google's slew of announcements – combined with Apple's and Microsoft's – are too much to digest, check back for more in-depth analysis and comparisons of all the new gadgets.

Source: Google

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin covers consumer technology for Gizmag. He's previously written for Android Central, Geek, GottaBeMobile, Android Police, and The Huffington Post.
He lives in New Mexico, U.S., with his lovely wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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