What Google was planning to launch tonight was more than simply a new phone and a new tablet — this lays out Google’s entire hand against Apple and Microsoft.
It’s got a 4.7-inch 1280x768 screen at 320 pixels per inch. The screen is slightly crisper than the iPhone 4/4S/5’s retina display, in other words.
Its 8-megapixel camera might be the first one in a Nexus phone that doesn’t suck, according to the The Verge. Also it’s the first phone that does 360-degree panorama PHOTO SPHERES (more on that below).
The back is made out of glass. And it has a cool sparkly pattern etched into it.
It’s got a wireless charging orb, like the defunct Palm Pre line and newer Nokia Lumia 920. This doesn’t mean wireless charging is going to be totally standard tomorrow, but you can start to see how we’re getting that point — and more importantly one where we won’t be plugging phones in anymore.
It doesn’t have the fastest wireless speeds, though since it doesn’t have LTE like most new Android devices, Windows Phones and the iPhone 5.
It’s a staggeringly good deal at $349 for the 16GB model without a contract. It comes out Nov. 13.
- It’s got a 10-inch, 2560x1600 display. At 300 pixels per inch, it’s more pixel dense than the retina iPad’s display, which is 264ppi. IT’S MORE RETINA THAN RETINA, in other words. Google even has a jargonier name for it, “True RGB Real Stripe PLS.” (No, I won’t explain won’t that means.)
- It’s slightly thinner and lighter than the iPad at 8.9mm thick and 604 grams (vs. 9.4mm and 652 grams.)
- It’s $400 for a 16GB model and $500 for 32GB. No cellular networking, just Wi-Fi. (Which Google is pushing hard as VERY AWESOME MIMO Wi-Fi, much like Amazon and Microsoft did with their tablets.) It comes out Nov. 13.
- It’s version 4.2 and it’s still called Jelly Bean because there isn’t a TON of new stuff. It’s obviously on the new phone and tablet.
- These 360-degree panoramas are called Photo Spheres and they seem kind of like Microsoft’s Photosynth, but baked into Google Plus and any phone with Android 4.2. You can still send people a regular, flattened out pano image, though.
- It has gesture typing, where you slide you finger from key to key and the software figures out what you mean. It’s a lot like the popular Swype keyboard, but built-in and faster, according to one hands on.
- Android 4.2 now has an AirPlay-like video and audio-streaming feature that uses the Miracast industry standard to beam stuff to your TV and other devices.
- Multiple user account support makes it way easier to share your device with another snoopy human being.
- Of course, there’s no telling when you’ll get Android 4.2 on your current Android phone! If you want the “Best of Google,” you gotta buy the O F F I C I A L Google gear.
Like Apple and Microsoft, the Google’s real play for consumer products now is hardware and software, designed together. While the Nexus line is built by Asus (Nexus 7), Samsung (Nexus 10) and LG (Nexus 4), make no mistake — these are Google products. This is the future of the gadgets that are truly important to us: one company, one product.