Google had to cancel its big event in New York due to Hurricane Sandy. But it also had to go ahead with the launches as the products were going on sale immediately after the planned event. So with a lower key blog post, Google introduced the new Nexus lineup.
Because, yes, there is now a Nexus lineup. There are no surprises, all of the details had been leaked ahead of time. From smallest to biggest, Google now has three branded devices, the Nexus 4, replacing the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10.
The Nexus 4
is the new flagship Android phone. It's built by LG, but Google made it a priority that the build quality be top notch and those that got a hands on it can attest to that.
The specs put it at the very top in the smartphone category, but the price is the big surprise, the Nexus 4 starts at $299, €231 unlocked, for the 8 GB version.
Next up is a slightly refreshed Nexus 7, built by Asus. The only change here is the upgrade in storage space, the $199, €154 Nexus 7 comes with 16 GB now, the $249, €192 one comes with 32 GB.
Finally, there's also a new Nexus with HSPA+ for $299, €231 the Nexus 7 was WiFi only until now.
The Nexus 10
completes the lineup. Built by Samsung, this is Google's first attempt at a 10-inch tablet that will go head-to-head with the iPad.
Google is packing all it can in this one, starting with the display, which boasts a 2560x1600 resolution, higher than the Retina display iPad, if that's what you're wondering. It's a high end device with stereo speakers and a battery large enough to last it nine hours of video, Google says.
The big feature though is in the software, this is the first tablet with multiple user support, so the entire family can share the device while still keeping separate profiles. The Nexus 10 starts at $399, €309 for the 16 GB model.
It's clear that Google has finally realized that if it is going to compete on the hardware front and push Android makers hardware to try harder, it's going to have to build its own devices, including tablets.
The Nexus line of devices should be the very best Android has to offer, especially considering the prices, which are below Apple's and, crucially, below what any of the big name Android makers are peddling.
Whether this will succeed remains to be seen, but it can't hurt and Android tablet sales can't go any lower. The Nexus 7 has been a very popular device so far, the low price helped, it remains to be seen whether the Nexus 10 can compare, though at only $100 cheaper than the full-fledged iPad, it's going to be tough.