The most important phone of the year has arrived. We not only get a new version of Android, but a new approach to hardware design, too. This isn't just any new piece of hardware; this is (hopefully) the start of a revolution in design and materials for Android phones. This Nexus 4 hardware is so good, so well-built, and made with such attention to detail, that it is the new high bar for any hardware - not just Android hardware.
Finally. Since Hurricane Sandy flooded out New York and canceled Google's press event, we've been trying everything we can think of to get a review unit. Late yesterday we got an email back from an awesome Googler (thanks!), and I immediately flew out the door to go rescue a Nexus 4 from New York. We got one! Mission accomplished!
The Nexus 4 may not be officially available until November 13th, but that didn't stop someone from yanking the system dump and uploading it for all the world to enjoy. Devs can grab the file now and start tinkering away with the goodies found inside the 291MB zip.
For those who may not be interested in grabbing the entire thing and only want some visual goodies, though, we've pulled the new wallpapers from the dump:
If you thought Google's official Ask Me Anything video was a good promo for the new Nexus family, wait till you see this. A design studio called Autofuss (based in San Francisco) has created their own promo video for the Nexus 4, 7, and 10, that does a great job of showing off the new line. Take a look:
Not only is the thirty-second spot a pixel-perfect promo in terms of style, polish, and overall concept, but it stays true to Google's own Nexus branding, art style, and features copy that feels right at home in a promo made for Google.
The time has finally come: after spending the biggest part of a decade with Verizon Wireless, I'm moving to a GSM carrier. This isn't just because of the Nexus 4, though - I've been debating on making the move for months now. However, Big Red delayed the inevitable change when they turned on LTE in my area.
Still, I'm sick of being tied down to CDMA carrier, and the recent Nexus 4 announcement is the straw that broke the camel's back.
The lack of expandable storage in Nexus devices becomes one of the hottest and most controversial topics every time Google does a refresh and we find out that the next generation lacks SD cards entirely yet again. Couple that with the decision to limit onboard storage options to 16GB max, which is the case with the Nexus 4 at the moment and was the case with the Nexus 7 for a while, and you've got a full-blown revolt.
When the Nexus 4 was announced yesterday, there was a bit of confusion regarding its HSPA+ support for faster HSPA+42 speeds offered by companies like T-Mobile. The Device Play Store pages showed HSPA+21, but T-Mobile's press release claimed the faster HSPA+42, also known as DC-HSPA+ (dual-cell). Did that mean that T-Mobile customers needed to get a special variant of the Nexus? The answer is no, but the inaccuracy surely puzzled some.
Back in early October while we were knee-deep in a pre-release Android 4.2 system dump, Ron found an interesting tidbit of info on a "quick settings" menu. Back then, it was a double pull down notification area that housed absolutely nothing of value. Thanks to today's Nexus/Android 4.2 announcements, however, we know not only what options the Quick Settings area will feature, but also how to really access it.
There are actually two ways to get into the QS menu, as highlighted by Hugo Barra in an incredible behind-the-scenes video put together by The Verge (see the full video here):
As you can see in the above clip, there will be a small toggle in the notification area directly beside the current Settings button, which, when pressed, will cause the notification area to do a neat little flip, revealing the Quick Setting area.
If you haven't heard by now, the Nexus 4 doesn't have LTE. It probably won't ever have it, either, based on what Andy Rubin told The Verge regarding the latest Nexus handset's network situation in an interview.
He talks a lot about "tactics" and "user experience" (read: battery life), but it really boils down to one issue: money. The fact that the unlocked 8GB version of the Nexus 4 is just $300 is absolutely crazy.