Hurricane Sandy may have put a damper on Google's big event today, but the long-rumoured (and leaked and found in a bar) Nexus 4 has finally, officially broken cover. As predicted, this thing looks like it might be the best Android phone yet.
The Nexus 4 is made by LG (in collaboration with Google) and basically a rebranded Optimus G. That's welcome news; the Optimus G is almost certainly the fastest phone we've ever used, but was hampered by some sub-par software that will be remedied with stock Android 4.2. And while the Optimus G was a very linear — and sometimes uncomfortable — rectangle, the Nexus 4 is nicely rounded. Better!
Wanna talk specs? The Nexus 4 packs a blistering quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, a lovely 4.7-inch 1280x768 display and an 8MP rear-facing camera. There are two storage sizes, 8GB and 16GB. The Nexus 4 will also support wireless charging out of the box.
The Nexus 4 is also the first phone to run Android 4.2 (still called Jelly Bean). Some of the banner new features include PhotoSphere, which allows you to create a fully immersive, interactive photo, and Gesture Typing (which sounds very similar to sliding-keyboards like Swype), which allows you to slide between letters to form words. Android 4.2 also adds support for Miracast wireless displays, so you can beam your photos, videos and games to an HDTV.
Google Now has also been improved, adding flight information, restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations and shipping details.
The location-savvy feature was already pretty good in 4.1, and these are all welcome enhancements. Which of these will be available in Australia is yet to be detailed.
In the US, the 16GB version will be available exclusively on T-Mobile for $US200 with a two-year contract. You can get unlocked versions of the phone for $US300/8GB and $US350/16GB. Unfortunately, this means there's no LTE on board, which is a major disappointment.
The unlocked version will be available on November 13 from the Google Play store in US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada.
In Australia: the Nexus 4 will be available outright from Google directly for $349 (8GB), $399 (16GB). This is great news, since it means that users will get updates directly from Google like Apple releases iOS updates. No more waiting for carriers to roll out amended updates!
It certainly seems like the Nexus 4 just grabbed the Android phone crown; we can't wait to play with it to find out for sure. [Google]