When the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was launched last year, it had a recommended retail price of $799. In comparison, the Nexus 4 will start from less than half of that at $349, and that’s in spite of its new processor, cutting-edge touch screen and the inclusion of a new wireless standard. When Smarthouse asked Brad Reed, LG’s Mobile Communications Marketing Manager why they’d discount their new technologies, he referenced Google’s magical ‘halo effect.’
“I think the selection of LG as a manufacturer to do the next reference device is fantastic for us. We’re really excited about the fact that we can put our name to that device and we can get that brand halo effect happening from this year.”
The halo effect Reed mentions is profound. The last manufacturer to use the Nexus brand-name was Asus. After releasing their $249 Nexus 7 tablet, Asus’ tablet shipments jumped from 800,000 in Q2 of 2012 to 2.3 million in Q3. The Nexus 7 accounted for almost half of Q3’s shipments and solidified Asus’ position as the iPad rival.
The constraints of a $349 price tag can be seen with the omission with 4G, (instead the Nexus 4 will work on HSPA+) and a lack of expandable memory.
When Google purchased Motorola, companies using Android began to worry their partner had turned into a fierce competitor, but Josh Corin, LG’s Mobile Marketing Manager, attests Google remains impartial, choosing who inherits the Nexus contract on the basis of merit.
Google “go out and say we’re looking for a Nexus manufacturer, and everyone puts out their offering and tender. I think what it shows is that at that point in time we had the best offering available for them, in terms of the hardware and what we were able to bring into the market.”
Like its forefather, the Nexus 4 is made up of impressive components. For the chipset, LG has teamed up with Qualcomm and together they will introduce Qualcomm’s new S4 Pro chipset. Each core is clocked at 1.5GHz and is capable of throttling power independently.
“It’s ridiculously powerful,” began an enthused Corin. “That chipset was originally designed for small netbooks and laptops and we’ve put it into a phone. It’s very, very powerful.”
An economical processor is a requisite considering the Nexus 4 uses next-generation screen technology. Its 4.7 inch HD screen infuses the touch sensors into the LCD panel. This “removes a lot of layers out of the LCD manufacturing process,” makes it easier to see the screen under sunlight and keeps the device thin.
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“You get much better touch interaction,” added Corin.
The Nexus 4 is also compatible with the next generation wireless standard, Miracast. Anything you do on your Nexus 4 screen will be instantly displayed on your big screen TV. It’s easy to setup, has a range of 30 metres and can be used with ordinary TVs thanks to a $70 HDMI adaptor.
“The step here is to take the cable away, [but] the next cool thing is you can continue to use the handset while playing content” on your TV.
Miracast is simple and in many ways, helps equip ordinary TVs with the smarts of a smartphone. It is a cheap way of browsing the internet on a larger screen, playing back videos or even making a spectacle out of Angry Birds.
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In Australia, the Nexus 4 will also be the first smartphone to have a whopping 2GB of RAM, equipping it with the skills needed to alternate between applications seamlessly. Other features include an improved 8MP camera capable of Full HD video recording, Near Field Communications and wireless charging. But perhaps the biggest improvement is the new version of Android it comes with, Jelly Bean 4.2.
Jelly Bean 4.2 is an update on the existing 4.1 version, adding 360 degree panorama photos (PhotoSphere), gesture typing and an array of tweaks across the operating system.
Check out What’s new in Android 4.2 here.
According to Lambro Skropidis, LG’s Marketing Manager, the Nexus 4 will go on sale tomorrow morning, the 13th of November, from Google’s online store. The 8GB version will sell for $349 while a 16GB model will be available for $399.
At present, LG hasn’t revealed if or when the Nexus 4 will be available from retailers, but their next smartphone, the LG Optimus G, is due in stores early 2013.
Read The LG Phone that will give Apple + Samsung A Run for their Money