Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fresh Out The Labs : Nexus Edition

As a Google fan-boy, today was supposed to be the greatest day of my life. Sadly, hurricane Sandy decided to pass through New York on the exact same day Google was going to announce it's new Nexus lineup. Fortunately for me and my readers, Google revealed these new products by writing up a post on their official blog and by adding them into the Google Play device section. I am still really excited by what Google outed today so lets get right into it.

LG Nexus 4

I have been reading and hearing rumours about the next Nexus phone since the Galaxy Nexus was released back in November of 2011. But in the last month or so, the rumours became more and more accurate to the point I already knew almost everything there is to know about the LG Nexus 4 before it was officialy unveiled. The specs the Nexus 4 packs are simply amazing : a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, a 4.7 inch screen with a resolution of 1280x768 pixels which gives 320 ppi, a SlimPort for HDMI out, NFC and a 2,100 mAh battery that is rechargeable wirelessly. The camera's resolution is the new standard of 8 mega-pixel and the front-facing one is 1.3 mpx. All that awesome hardware runs on a new version of Android which has the same name as before but has a new version number, 4.2. One of the only deception regarding the device is that it's storage is not expandable via an SD card. The Nexus 4 will be available in two different versions, an 8GB model and a 16GB model and we will be able to purchase them starting from $309 on November 13th. I will definately buy one of these bad boy as soon as they come out.

Samsung Nexus 10

The Nexus 10 was less subject to rumours compared to the Nexus 4. Of course, I heard Samsung was manufacturing a new 10-inch Nexus tablet but I only heard about it in the last month or so. To be honest, the device's design looks kind of odd. It looks like a mix between the HP TouchPad and one of Levono's unpopular tablet. Since beauty should be mesured by what is inside, here are the specs : it will run on the new Exynos 5 dual-core processor from Samsung clocked at 1.7 MHz, have 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage space, a 5 mpx main camera and 1.9 mega-pixel front-facing one, Micro HDMI out, NFC, a 9,000 mAh battery and GPS, barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer and compass. All that hooked up to one of the best screen ever built with a resolution of 2560x1600 and 300 ppi. Just like the Nexus 4, it will run on JellyBean 4.2. One of the great thing about it is that it will have MicroUSB connectivity which is also used to recharge the device. I find the Nexus 10 to be a little expensive, starting at $409, but I am pretty sure it is worth the price.

Asus Nexus 7 32GB

The Nexus 7 was released a couple of months ago but there only was a 8GB and 16GB version available. This week, Google pulled the 8GB version in favor of the 32GB version and the HPSA+ model. The new devices will come with Android 4.2 just like the other new members of the Nexus family. Since it is an upgraded product and not a new one, I won't go on about the specs and other what nots. It's a great product, if you are in the market for a 7-inch tablet, I would not recommend anything else, period.

The New Nexus Family

Android JellyBean 4.2

Just like I tought, Android did not go from version 4.1 to 5 but to 4.2. That does not mean the update is a minor one. In fact, it seems like the new features are pretty neat. First, one of the new things is the quick settings menu that you can access from the dropdown menu. That idea was pure genius because there was already widgets and custom Android version that had that option so including it in the OS is just perfect. Another feature that was long awaited is the multi-user support. This will only be available on tablets and it makes total sense because it's not like you are going to share your phone with different users. Android 4.2 also brings the new PhotoSphere feature which is like a 3D panorama picture and it looks really sweet. Maybe you have not heard about this new thing called MiraCast, it is a way of mirroring your phone's screen on your HDTV with a simple touch and an adapter for your TV. JellyBean now supports that. Gesture typing is another feature that was already accessible through apps or custom keyboards and now it is built right into Android. Widgets always have been the heart of Android and now you can have them on your lockscreen. The last of the new feature is what Google calls DayDream. Basically, it is a customizable screen saver for Android.

To me, Google outdone themselve once again with this amazing new lineup. You know I am a fanatic but can also be objective when it comes to evaluate a device or a platform and I truely think Google is the competitor to beat. The Android OS is constantly growing, evolving and maturing to become the most versatile and user-friendly system. With these new upgrades, I think Android stands stronger than ever before and I am confident it is the best bet for any user.


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