The world of tablets and smartphones is a fast one. It seems like a new device that pushes the boundaries is introduced each week. When it comes to Android, what devices set the boundaries for others to break? Google's Nexus line. Nexus devices are what Google thinks of as the 'benchmark' Android device; what an Android device should be. On November 13, two brand new Nexus devices were made available for sale.
This year, there are two new Nexus devices to tempt eager buyers. There's the Nexus 4, a 4.7 inch phone made by LG and the Nexus 10, a 10 inch tablet made by Samsung. Here's a brief overview of the two devices based on the five most important aspects most business users look at when looking for a new phone.
The display is one of the most important components of any mobile device, as it's what enables us to use it. As such, development companies are pushing the envelope in terms of resolution. The Nexus 4 has a 4.7 inch display with a 1280X768 (HD) screen. The display is on par with other devices currently available, and many reviews have noted that the display is the best they've seen in midday sun.
Samsung is well known for their displays, take a look at a ES900 TV next time you're in an electronics store and it's hard not to stare in amazement at the picture clarity, not to mention the thinness. This quality transfers over to the Nexus 10. The display is 10.1 inches, and has a resolution of 2560X1600 - the same resolution as the new 13 inch MacBook-pro Retina display.
Another noteworthy point related to the display of these devices is that they both use Corning's Gorilla Glass 2, which make them considerably more scratch resistant than older devices.
For business users, the amount of time they can use a mobile device before needing to charge it is crucial. The battery on the Nexus 4 should be powerful enough to get you through the day with moderate usage. Reviews are coming back that the device is actually fairly poor in terms of battery life. According to engadget, "our standard video rundown test, which consists of looping a movie at 50 percent brightness with WiFi on (but not connected) and normal pull notifications for email and social media, (the Nexus 4) lasted for five hours and 18 minutes before the battery died." Most business users will likely be charging this phone at the office.
The Nexus 10, when subjected to the same test by engadget writers, lasted almost seven and a half hours. This isn't bad, considering the display, but it isn't great either, almost every tablet of the same size lasted longer. The late 2012 iPad lasted for just over 11 hours for example.
The faster the processor, the better the apps will run. The Nexus 4 has a 1.5GHz quad-core processor which is comparable to other high-end devices currently available. This processor should be more than capable at handling all you can throw at it, and likely will for at least the next year or two.
The Nexus 10 has a slightly more powerful 1.7GHz quad-core processor, which is currently one of the fastest processors available for mobile devices. As with the Nexus 4, the tablet should be able to hold its own for at least the next few years.
As is tradition, the release of new Nexus devices means a new version of Android. This year, Google has released 4.2, however, it's an incremental update rather than a completely new version of Android - 4.2 is still called Jelly Bean. The new update brings a number of features including a small update to the layout, a new camera app and a new keyboard where you can swipe your finger over the letters to spell words.
The biggest new feature in 4.2 is the ability to set multiple users. Each user gets their own private environment with different apps, settings and files. The downside to the multi-user environment is that it's only available for tablets at this time. It will likely be available for smartphones in a later update.
Price and availability
When it comes to picking devices for use at the office, price will play a large part of which device business users select. While the Nexus 7 tablet, released earlier this was ridiculously cheap considering it's specs, both of these devices carry on this trend.
The Nexus 4 is available in a 8GB or 16GB versions for USD$299 and USD$349 respectively. Both versions come unlocked and can support nearly every network around the world. The only downside is, there's no LTE. So if you upgraded to a LTE plan in the past few months, you may want to give this one a pass. Does the price seem a bit high? The next cheapest device with similar specs is USD$450. Based on price alone, this phone is worth it, and if you live in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany or Spain, you can pick one up now. Other countries will likely have to wait a couple of months.
The Nexus 10 is available in either 16GB or 32GB for USD$399 or USD$499, respectively. While this is a fairly large chunk of change, the iPad starts at USD$100 more. Like the 4, the Nexus 10 is, comparatively, a good deal when looking at price alone.
All Nexus devices can be found on the Google Nexus Store.
Ultimately, are these devices worth it? If you're looking for a new Android device that isn't too costly and don't want to bother being locked into a contract where you can't replace your phone. these devices are a good to great choice. Wondering how they will work in your organization? Contact us, we may have a solution.