By Robert Varga
The much-anticipated successor to Google’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone was unveiled on Oct. 29 at Google’s Android event held in New York City.
The device is called the Nexus 4, and Google has picked LG to build the device for them this time, a departure from the previous two Nexus phones which were built by Samsung.
The Nexus 4 is part of Google’s new lineup of Android devices, starting with the 4 and going up to the Nexus 7 tablet and the new Nexus 10 tablet, also unveiled at the event. All these devices are shipping with Android 4.2, the newest edition of Google’s popular operating system.
These three Nexus devices are now competing directly with the newest iPhone and iPads from Apple, which are in nearly identical in size. Google is keen to offer customers a solid Android competitor to the most popular smartphones and tablets currently available.
In many ways, Google has one-upped Apple with the Nexus 4, 7 and 10. The biggest area of improvement is with the displays on their devices, which all have higher resolutions than their Apple competition.
Price wise, all three Nexus devices are very competitive as well, with the Nexus 4 starting at $299, the Nexus 7 starting at $199 and the Nexus 10 starting at $399. The tablets undercut Apple by about $100 and the Nexus 4 is significantly cheaper than iPhone when bought off-contract (the only way you can buy a Nexus 4).
The glaring omission however, is none of these devices are available with LTE, the latest and greatest network standard being offered by U.S. carriers. The Nexus 4 and 7 are available with HSPA+ data connectivity, meaning it will only work with AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.
If your area has LTE service, or if you have Verizon or Sprint, you will need to wait and see if the Nexus 4 will be available for your carrier sometime in the future. Google has not announced whether the Nexus 4 will make it to those carriers, but the previous Nexus phone was available on Verizon with LTE.
If you absolutely need to have LTE, the Galaxy S III or iPhone 5 are the best choices on the market right now. If having the latest version of Android in its stock form is important to you though, the Nexus 4 is the only choice.
The Nexus 4 will not be available to purchase until Nov. 13, but technology sites like The Verge and Wired already have had a chance to review the phone, and first impressions are positive.
Joshua Topolsky of The Verge said the Nexus 4 is “easily the best Android phone on the market, save for one small thing.” He is of course talking about the lack of LTE.
Brad Molen of Engadget said, “the price of freedom has never been more reasonable,” referring to the fact that the Nexus 4 is one of the cheapest smartphones available off contract.
Will the Nexus 4 remove the iPhone from its throne as the best selling smartphone? The short answer is no, but it shows that Google knows how to make a phone that is at the top of the class.
I will let you know my impressions of the Nexus 4 when it becomes available to the public and will share my experience as I make the transition from iOS to Android.
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