Google October 29 non-event part 1: LG Nexus 4 and Android 4.2

nexus 4 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Despite hurricane Sandy causing Google to cancel its Android event scheduled for today in New York, the search giant has gone ahead and announced all of its new projects on their official Android Blog. So, without further delay, let’s get to the announcements.

LG Nexus 4

First up, we have the LG Nexus 4. Perhaps Google’s worst kept secret, the look and manufacturer of the phone shouldn’t surprise anybody. The LG-made device isn’t a huge leap in terms of features, but does have a few new surprises.

Getting the basic specs out of the way, the Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch “True HD” IPS Plus display with a resolution of 1280 x 768, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, upgraded 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, and 2,100mAh battery. Sensors include the standard GPS, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, and compass. Physical connectivity includes microUSB, SlimPort HDMI, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, while wireless connectivity includes NFC, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth.

Now, on to the more interesting bits. Google is touting the Nexus 4’s wireless inductive charging feature, something not found on smartphones since the Palm Pre. Along with NFC, this is being pushed as a completely wireless solution, so in the future we may see Google try to get rid of the microUSB port.

Unfortunately, the Nexus 4 doesn’t appear to have pogo pins, which were found on the Galaxy Nexus. For charging, the inductive pad can take the place of the pins, but they would still have been useful for audio or video output without plugging in a cable. In addition, the Nexus 4 appears to have a non-removable back cover (probably due to the wireless charging), which means no battery replacement or microSD card slot. The SIM card tray can be found hidden on the side of the device.

Since there is no storage expansion option, many will be disappointed to hear that the Nexus 4 will come only in 8GB and 16GB variants. This will save you some money over other unlocked devices, however, as the 8GB Nexus will cost only $299 unlocked, and the 16GB version will be a mere $349. The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199 on contract. Both devices include quad-band GSM and HSPA+, meaning that they will work on most US and international carriers, and will be released on November 13.

Android 4.2

Along with the Nexus 4, Google also announced Android 4.2, a new version of Android still nicknamed Jelly Bean. The changes are mostly minor updates with small added features.

Probably the most obvious Android 4.2 change is the new keyboard, which includes a new feature called Gesture Typing by Google. Basically, Gesture Typing is Google’s take on Swype, and allows the user to slide over the standard Android keyboard to input text. HTC already includes this feature in its stock keyboard and Samsung actually includes Swype on its devices, but it is nice to see the functionality finally added to stock Android.

Android’s camera software has also been improved, with better panorama features. Panoramas can now be captured in all directions, leading to huge images that aren’t just stretched in one direction (left to right or up and down), but are instead more like the entire field of vision or even a 360 degree view. In addition, sharing features have been improved with better integration into Google services.

Both multiple user accounts and quick settings in the notification bar were rumored, and both improvements turned out to be real. Android 4.2 now includes profiles for multiple users, as well as quick settings in a separate portion of the notification shade.

Lastly, Google Now has also been upgraded, although there are few specifics. In general, it seems that Google has worked to make the service faster, added new cards, and helped it provide better answers to questions. With Google Now already as good as it is, I’m excited to see what Google has decided to improve even further.

Google also announced additional tablet hardware, which you can read about here.

[Official Android Blog]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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11 thoughts on “Google October 29 non-event part 1: LG Nexus 4 and Android 4.2

  • Avatar of hisuwh

    Wow some very interesting announcements.
    Seems to be a lot of stuff to compete directly with all the other announcements going on.

    The new music service sounds awesome. Completely knocks Amazon cloud player out of the water. You can store up to 20,000 songs online!!

    They’ve brought in gesture typing finally. Having multiple users on one device is very useful addition for tablets in my opinion. Clearly competing with windows 8 tablets.

    And ultimate best thing – the prices. Can’t believe how cheap the new nexus phone is compared to everything else on the market. Nexus 10 is well priced too, $499 matching the iPad, except with double the storage for the same price.

    Can’t wait for November 13th

    • Avatar of hisuwh

      Just had a look at photo sphere – that looks awesome too

  • Avatar of closet nerd

    I ‘ve been looking forward to this phone since the first couple leaks, and now it seems Sprint won’t be getting it

  • Avatar of D. Stroya

    Very nice Google,keep up the good work.

  • NO SD SLOTS? Where the hell are they going with this? Are they going to turn in to apple next?

  • Avatar of Michael Perry

    You didn’t mention that his will not be an LTE device. Rubin made a point that LTE is too new in terms of network coverage to justify LTE battery drainage. I too am disappointed greatly as I’m a Sprint user and this affects me. Nexus was to be my next device, but it seems that HTC will once again take my money and the root community will deliver salvation (disarmed toaster and Anthrax 3.6.4 makers me wonder whether my evo 3d is really all that dated.) I might have to try out T-Mobile one day if Sprint won’t deliver on their network before I die of old age.

  • Avatar of Tray Rolin

    considering this model was based off the Opitmus G, will it have the same features as it like the air play feature or the transparent video option?

  • Avatar of Hayden Smith

    I like the 4.2 update, but I was hoping it would come with a new name :(

  • Avatar of Gaffer

    The absence of LTE is massive. What were they thinking? Even the late-to-adapt-to-new-technology iPhone 5 has LTE. Bonehead move by Google and LG.

  • They probably won’t have LTE until T-Mobile unrolls their LTE network.

    I wish some manufacturer would put some pressure on Google and make stock Android phones with SD card slots. Nexus with SD slots would be the best combination!

  • Avatar of sledie

    No more for me until they add mSD or USB host. Just a deal breaker for myself without one or the other.


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