How NOT to announce new products. Google Nexus.

UPDATE: 20121123 Google’s Nexus 4 Smartphone and Nexus 10 Tablet sold out 20 minutes after the Google Play store opened.

By now it is pretty clear that we love Google (most of the time). But the company can learn a thing or two from Apple, especially when it comes to important product announcements. On Monday, while Hurricane Sandy was hitting the East Coast ,and 7.5 million people in 16 states have lost power, Apple announced that the company’s senior vice president of iOS was getting fired for (apparently) refusing to apologize publicly for the Apple Maps mess. The timing was impeccable, since nobody noticed nor cared. Well, at the very same time, Google was announcing three new Nexus devices; a smartphone, a 7-inch tablet, and a 10-inch tablet. Guess what happened? Nobody noticed nor cared. They sold out.

All three devices run Android 4.2, which Google describes as “a new flavor of Jelly Bean.” The Nexus 4 is Google’s latest 4.7-inch, quad-core Nexus smartphone, developed with LG, and priced well below analysts expectations. It will be available for $299 (8GB) and $349 (16GB) for unlocked, contract-free units. However, the best deal seems to be the 16GB unit on T-Mobile for $199. We can’t really predict how sales will perform, but what is certain is that the Nexus 4 will make a strong impact on the smartphone market.

Based on the promo video, it seems that Google is focusing the tablets on education. We have written extensively about technology and education here, here, and here.

Although we are more excited with Samsung’s Galaxy Camera, one of our favorite features of the new Nexus smartphone is Photo Sphere, a camera app/Google Maps hybrid that allows users to create and share 360-degree panoramas.

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The physical size and weight, screen size and resolution, and event the camera are all almost identical to what many (geeks) consider the best Android phone available, the Samsung Galaxy S3. But there’s one big difference: The Nexus 4 is about half the price, which is enough to at least get our full attention.

galaxy s3             google nexus 4

Galaxy S3 Nexus 4
 $199/$299 (with contract) $299/$349 (SIM-free)
OS  Android 4.0.1 Touchwiz UX/US Android 4.2
Processor  Exynos 4412 (Quad Core) Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
Display  4.8? Super AMOLED 4.7? WXGA IPS
Resolution  1280×720 1280×768
Dimensions (WxDxH)  5.38? x 2.78? x 0.34? 5.27? x 2.70? x 0.35?
Weight 133g 139g
4G LTE  Yes No
NFC  Yes Yes
Wi-Fi  2.4GHz, 5GHz (dual-band) WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (dual band)
Rear-facing camera  8 Megapixels 8 Megapixels
Front-facing camera  1.9 Megapixels 1.3 Megapixels
Video capabilities  1080p Recording 1080p Recording
Internal storage  16/32GB 8/16GB
SD card slot  Yes (up to 64GB) No
Max. battery life  11 hours (3G talk/data use) 10 hours (3G talk/data use)

The pricing for Tablets match or beat Lenovo’s and Amazon’s offerings: The Nexus 7 is priced at $199 for 16GB of storage, and $249 for 32GB; an HSPA+ version with 32GB of data is also available for $299. An H what? HSPA+ stands for Evolved High-Speed Packet Access, a technical standard for wireless broadband telecommunication with 168 Mbit/s (download speed) and 22 Mbit/s (upload speed). Obviously, these are theoretical peak speeds, and in reality HSPA+ is simply an upgraded 3G GSM technology.

The obvious question now is; will the Nexus 10 be able to truly compete against the fourth generation Apple iPad ? It seems so. Not only the specs are very attractive, but the 16GB Nexus 10 is $100 less than the Apple iPad.
What is oddly missing from the chart below is the pixel density on the Nexus 10, a massive 300ppi, beating the iPad’s 264ppi retina display.

ipad 4           nexus 10

iPad 4th generation                                      Google Nexus 10 Tablet

Size 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 (mm)  263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9 (mm)
Weight  652g  603g
Screen  9.7-inch, 2048×1536  10-inch, 2560×1600
OS  iOS 6  Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
Storage 16/32/64 GB  16/32GB
SD Card Slot  No  No
Processor  Dual-core A6X  Dual-core A15
RAM  Not listed  2 GB
Connectivity  Wi-Fi, 4G LTE  Wi-Fi
Camera  Front 1.2 MP, Rear 5 MP  Front 1.9 MP, Rear 5 MP
Bluetooth  Yes, version 4.0  Yes, version 3.0
Battery  42.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer  9000 mAh Lithium polymer
Charger  Lightning connector  Micro USB
Marketplace  Apple App Store  Google Play Store
Starting Price  $499  $399

How well do you think Google will compete against its fierce competitors? Are you on the fence on which Tablet to get for the Holidays? Please share your comments and questions below.