The Nexus family just keeps on growing.
In a blog post published on Monday afternoon (in lieu of a media event scrapped by Hurricane Sandy), Google announced two new Nexus devices, including the new Nexus smartphone, called the Nexus 4, and a 10-inch Nexus tablet called the Nexus 10. The company also announced that it has refreshed its popular 7-inch Nexus 7 tablets, lowering the prices for higher storage options and adding options for mobile data.
All in all, it's three new "Nexus" devices, in three new product categories, for Google going into one of the busiest times of the year for tech shopping: The Nexus 4 will battle the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3; the Nexus 7 will battle the iPad mini and Kindle Fire; and the Nexus 10 will battle the new iPad and Microsoft Surface in what will surely be one of the most rich and fruitful times to be a tech buyer in some time.
The Nexus line by Google, you may know, features gadgets built by Google in conjunction with another hardware maker and generally features the latest edition of Android without any software "skins" added on top. It is pure Android, and Google's chance to show device manufacturers what an Android device can look like and do.
So, let's take a look at what Android devices can look like and do in late 2012:
Perhaps the most notable of the three fresh Google gadgets is the Nexus 10, Google's first attempt at a full-sized tablet and its first tablet since the $199 Nexus 7 hit in mid-2012. Google built the Nexus 10 with Samsung, and this one appears aimed straight for the killer feature of Samsung's nemesis: Google boasts that the Nexus 10 is "the highest-resolution tablet on the planet"; it sports a 10-inch screen with a 2,560x1,600 resolution and 300 pixels-per-inch, which would, indeed, give it a crisper display than that of Apple's tablet (2,048-by-1,536 resolution and 264 pixels per inch).
The Nexus 10 is also thinner than the latest iPad (8.9 mm versus 9.4 mm) and lighter, too (1.33 pounds versus 1.49 pounds). It runs a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor and features a rear 5 megapixel camera and front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera. The Nexus 10 -- and all of the nexus devices announced Monday -- will run Android 4.2, an update to the Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" version announced by Google in the summer.
Android 4.2 brings improvements the Google Now virtual assistant, Google's powerful answer to Siri; new "gesture typing," which is similar to the Swype keyboard input familiar to most Android users; and a solution to wirelessly transmit the content of the phone onto an HDTV.
The Nexus 10 will cost $399 for a 16GB model and $499 for a 32GB model. It will go on sale in the online Google Play Store on November 13th. Those interested can learn more and sign up for more information on the official Nexus 10 page.
Also announced was the Nexus 4, a collaboration with LG and the followup to last year's Samsung/Google Galaxy Nexus smartphone. It will be one of the first smartphones in America with a quad-core processor and adds a large 4.7-inch high-resolution display. The Nexus 4 will also ship with Android 4.2 and brings a feature called Photo Sphere, which allows you to snap "3D Panorama" photos: You just continuously snap photos in any direction (not just side-to-side or up-and-down) and the Android software stitches those photos together after the fact.
Wireless charging without a case comes standard, following the lead of Nokia's Lumia 920. There is a rear camera (8 megapixels) and front-facing camera (1.3 megapixels), and the connectivity is the slower 3G HSPA+ instead of the now-standard 4G LTE; The Verge has a detailed explanation of why, though many are likely to be disappointed that the newest Nexus device does not take advantage of the newest mobile connection.
The Nexus 4 will be available in the Google Play Store unlocked for $299 for an 8GB model or $359 for a 16GB model starting November 13. The smartphone will also be available on T-Mobile for $199 on a two-year contract. For full specs and pre-order information, click here.
Finally, Google also announced changes to its Nexus 7 tablet to make it more attractive to buyers, as alternative handheld tablets from Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble hit the market. A 16GB Nexus 7 will now cost $199, and a 32GB Nexus 7 will cost $249 -- both prices having dropped $50 from their previous points. A 32GB Nexus 7 with HSPA+ connectivity will cost $299 off-contract.
Watch this video put together by Google showing off the Google now feature on its three newest Nexus devices, the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10:
For more information on all of the new Nexus devices, check out Google's official blogspot. Take a look at images of these new devices (below).
The new Photo Sphere shooting mode allows the user to take a "3D Panorama" in any direction. Image credit: Google.
The rear camera is an 8 megapixel shooter; the front camera is 1.3 megapixels. Image credit: Google.
The smartphone comes with NFC and built-in wireless charging; an orb accessory that will charge your phone when you place the Nexus 4 on top will cost extra. Image credit: Google.
The nexus 4 will ship with Android 4.2, updated for better information from Google Now, Google's Siri competitor.
Image credit: Google
The Nexus 10 is 8.9 millimeters thin, 0.5 millimeters thin than the new iPad. It comes with micro USB charging and a a micro HDMI port. Image credit: Google
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly listed the price of a 16 GB Nexus 4 as $399.