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October 29, 2012

Google revamps Nexus range of devices

New 10-inch tablet and flagship smartphone introduced; Nexus 7 tablet gets more storage and 3G

By Steve Evans

Google has revamped its Nexus range of mobile devices, introducing the Nexus 4 smartphone and a new tablet to rival Apple’s iPad.

The Nexus 4 smartphone, built by LG, will ship with version 4.2 of Android and features a 4.7-inch 1280×768 display. It runs a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. The Nexus 4 will feature an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, Google said. It has all the usual connectivity options but perhaps surprisingly does not support LTE, which is becoming more of a smartphone standard these days.

In terms of prices, Google said the Nexus 4 will start at £239 for the 8GB version and £319 for the 16GB, unlocked and without contract from Google Play in US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada. The release date is November 13, Google confirmed.

These figures are in line with those accidentally leaked by Carphone Warehouse earlier this week.

Google has also released details of its new bigger tablet, called the Nexus 10. Built by Samsung, it features a screen resolution that Google claims is higher than the iPad, packing over 4 million pixels into the screen. The release of a 10-inch tablet increases the competition between Google and Apple.

The Nexus 10 will be available in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan on November 13. The 16GB version will set you back $399, while the 32GB Nexus 10 will cost $499. It looks like there will be no 64GB version of the Nexus 10, unlike Apple’s iPad.

Google has also revamped its original Nexus 7 tablet. It has increased the storage sizes available, introducing a 32GB version. However like the original version it lacks an SD card slot, limiting the storage space available. The 8GB version has been dropped.

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The update also sees 3G connectivity introduced to the Nexus 7.

The 32GB model starts at £199 and will be available from today. The 3G version will be available through Three Mobile in mid-November; tariffs have yet to be revealed.

All these devices will run on Android 4.2, the latest version of Google’s Jelly Bean version of its mobile operating system. It will offer multi-user accounts, meaning more than one person can have an account on the device with their own settings and apps and so on.

Google has also introduced Photo Sphere, which lets users take 360-degree images and share to Google+ and other social sites. This feature mimics the panoramic capabilities added to Apple devices on iOS 6.

These announcements were meant to be made at a big event held today in New York, which Google cancelled ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.

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