Posts Tagged ‘Nexus 4’

The golden age of Nexus smartphones is over

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Google’s Nexus line has lost its way. After a few beautiful generations of affordable smartphones that offered stock Android on the best hardware, the Nexus series has become a premium proposition, indistinguishable from other models on the market.

The golden age of Nexus smartphones began with the release of the Nexus 4 in late 2012. The phone was a marvel of its time, boasting a beautiful 4.7-inch screen, a fast processor, a slick glass-backed design and even fanciful extras like wireless charging. This was all great, but the killer feature was the price. At $299, the phone was half the price of similarly equipped rivals and sold accordingly. Half a year later, the price dropped further to $199, prompting another wave of interest in the phone.

The Nexus 5 was a strong follow-up when it launched a year later. The new phone included a larger 5-inch screen, more robust design, better camera, LTE support and updated internals for $349. Again, the phone sold well despite its limited supply, providing an excellent introduction to Android for thousands of customers.

Now it’s 2014, and we have the obvious follow-up: the Nexus 6. The phone comes with many familiar upgrades: a larger 6-inch display, faster internals, a better camera and of course a new version of Android. Yet the price is completely inconsistent with past versions. At $649, the phone is one of the most expensive Android smartphones on the market.

The higher price tag coincides with the erosion of the Nexus line’s unique feature: stock Android, the operating system as it comes from Google with minimal changes to its look or feature set. Many phone makers are now turning to a near-stock version of Android for their phones, and the remainder are dialling back their customisations and producing lighter skins.

So if you want a Nexus-style phone – with good hardware, clean software and a killer price – then where should you turn? One good option is the OnePlus One, which was released in June for a very Nexus-like price: $299 for a 16GB model, or $349 for a 64GB version. The phone is quite solid, with a fast processor, a great 5.5-inch display, 3GB of RAM, a good camera and excellent battery life.

If you don’t fancy the OnePlus One, then there are other good Android phones on the market for a reasonable price. The Xperia Z3 Compact has near-stock Android, a smaller 4.6-inch display, a good camera and awesome battery life. The Moto X, the phone upon which the Nexus 6 is based, also comes with stock Android, a slick design and reasonable hardware. The Moto G is a more low-end proposition, but still offers clean Android and reasonable hardware at an absurdly low price.

While alternatives exist, it’s still disappointing that Google have taken the Nexus line in this direction. The phone is no longer an easy recommendation for Android newcomers; instead it returns to being in the domain of Android enthusiasts only.

It’s hard to say what the change will mean for the future of the Nexus line. It’s possible that Google will hear the feedback of its fans and lower sales numbers, and return the line to its roots with a lower price point next time. But then again, it’s also possible that Google decide to break off the line entirely. We’ve heard rumours for some time that Google want to kill off the brand; perhaps this is their way of doing so with a bang.

Ultimately,  it’s a sad decline and potentially an ignoble end to a brand that got me – and so many others – interested in Android. Goodbye, Nexus – it was good knowing you.

Official Nexus Micro USB Charger coming soon

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Google has become increasingly good at producing hardware over the past couple of years, and they’ve even applied that expertise to accessories. Case in point is their latest creation, the Official Nexus Micro USB Mains Charger, which was revealed this week. The charger features prominent Nexus branding, with a boxy design that is only slightly hamstrung by the inevitably massive UK plug at the end. The colour matches earlier Google accessories, with a matte black shade that looks good when new and won’t get as dirty as charging cables of lighter shades.

The charger is quite beautiful, and also compares favourably to previous Nexus chargers when it comes to the technical side of things. The new charger provides a 1.8A output, which should charge the Nexus 4, 5 and 7 at faster speeds than the 1.2A to 1.35A chargers shipped with these devices originally. That means less time with your phone on charge, and longer battery life if you only have a short period of time to charge your phone in the morning.

The charging rate means that the Nexus Micro USB Charger should be a good fit for all Nexus devices, including the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Older Nexus phones, like the Nexus One or Galaxy Nexus, may not see improvements in charging times.

The charger feels quite durable as well, with a reinforced tip and connector to the main adapter. The small size and rectangular shape should also make it quite easy to use on the go, particularly if you already have a Nexus USB cable to use at home.

The Official Nexus Micro USB Mains Charger will cost £9.99, making it a relatively inexpensive upgrade for your Nexus smartphone or tablet. It’s coming soon to Mobile Fun, and is already available for pre-order via the official Nexus Micro USB Charger product page here.

Thanks for checking out the article on the ultimate Nexus 5 charger. Be sure to let us know what you think of the newly designed official Nexus charger, and have a great weekend ahead!

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Google announce wider EU availability for Chromecast, Nexus devices, new Nexus charger

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Good news, everyone! Google has announced that its wares will now be available in more European nation states. That includes Nexus devices (the Nexus 7 2013 and Nexus 5), the popular Chromecast HDMI dongle and a brand new Nexus-branded charger. Let’s take a look at what was announced.

Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 available in 8 new European territories

The biggest news was that the Nexus 5 smartphone and Nexus 7 (2013) tablet are now available in eight new territories in Europe. The full list is Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. It looks like pricing and availability is varying somewhat by location, but the Nexus 7 is going for €269 (16 GB) or €299 (32 GB), while the Nexus 5 is going for €349 (16 GB) or €399 (32 GB).

Google Chromecast comes to 11 new nations

The Chromecast HDMI dongle has proved to be a success for Google since it launched eight months ago in the United States, and today Google are bringing it to the wider world. Eleven new countries are included, many of which will have region-specific video apps available on the Chromecast from day one. The full list of launch countries is Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The cost is remaining low too – £30 in the UK, €35 in Europe, and $39 in Canada.

New Nexus Charging Accessory

A new Nexus-branded microUSB charger rounds out the new arrivals. The Nexus charger has a nice design, with NEXUS written across the top of the boxy shape. The charger provides 1.8A of power, which should allow slightly faster charging than from the 1.2 and 1.35A chargers shipped with the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013). The charger costs $15 in the US, £10 in the UK, and €15 in the EU. Availability seems quite wide at the moment, including the new territories in which the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 launched in this week.

Conclusion

It was a big day of announcements from Google – and we haven’t even covered them all here. Look forward to a piece on Google Wear, a new Android offshoot designed for wearable devices like smartwatches, coming up soon on the Mobile Fun blog.

Official Nexus Wireless Charging Pad coming soon

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Official Nexus Wireless Charging Pad    Official Nexus Wireless Charging Pad

Today we’re going to take a look at the Office Nexus Wireless Charging Pad.

As you might expect, this item provides rapid wireless charging for the members of the Nexus family of smartphones and tablets that support Qi wireless charging – at present, this includes the LG-made Nexus 4 and 5 smartphones, as well as the latest Asus-made Nexus 7 tablet (released in 2013). No matter which device you’re using, you’ll find wireless charging an easy alternative to micro USB wires.

It can be difficult to remember to plug in your Nexus every time it could be charging, but with wireless charging this is quite straightforward – just place it on top of your wireless charger and forget about it. Your Nexus will charge up to its full capacity, then automatically disengage from charging until it hits a low enough level once again. This practice is thought to extend battery longevity and prevents unnecessary heat and power use.

The coolest feature of the Nexus Wireless Charging Pad is its built-in magnets, which allow the Nexus tablets with magnets – the Nexus 7 (2013) tablet and Nexus 5 smartphone – to easily stick to the charging pad, locking in the device at an angle that ensures optimum wireless charging. This keeps your Nexus from sliding around or falling off, and makes placement a (literal) snap.

Of course, as this is an official wireless charging pad produced by LG, you’ll find that it matches the style of the Nexus family quite well. It is nondescript but well-proportioned, and will be a nice addition to your desk or bedside table.

For more information on this wireless charger, check out the product page linked below. I’ll also throw in a link to the rest of our Qi wireless chargers, which should also work with the Nexus lineup of smartphones and tablets.

Thanks for reading and be sure to let me know what you think of the article!

Google Nexus 5 vs The Competition

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Nexus 5 has just been released – but how does it compare to other phones on the market? In this four part series, we’ll answer that question. To get started, check out the comparison table or click the links below!