Google updates Nexus lineup and Android: New phone and tablet

Though Hurricane Sandy caused Google to cancel today's New York Android event, the company did not allow its parade to be totally rained out. Google has updated and expanded its Nexus lineup with a new phone and tablet, while kicking Android up to version 4.2.

LG has been invited to the Nexus party and has delivered Google's flagship phone for the holidays. The Nexus 4 looks quite a bit like the Galaxy Nexus, but updates the specs to the top of the current line. The 4.7-inch (1280-by-768) display is powered by a Snapdragon S4 Pro running at 1.5GHz across its four cores. The phone is reminiscent of the iPhone 4 with a glass back whose durability is currently an unknown quantity. 2GB of RAM round things out, but Google has a new accessory to share as well. The Wireless Charging Orb looks more than a little like Palm's old Touchstone wireless charging solution and provides equal functionality. Disappointingly, the Nexus 4 will not include an LTE radio, settling for the quick, but not quite 4G HSPA+ technology.

Samsung, which moved off of the Nexus phone project, must be happy to help Google launch the newest entry to the Nexus line, the Nexus 10. You won't be surprised to hear that it's a 10-inch tablet, but the spec list contains a few new details. The screen has a 2560-by-1600 display (which compares quite favorably to the iPad's 2048-by-1536 display.) Internally, the 10 packs an all-Samsung 1.7GHz Exynos dual-core CPU. Stereo speakers and an NFC chip make the cut, as do 2GB of RAM.

As for availability, the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 will join the Nexus 7 on November 13. Options for the Nexus 4 include an 8GB model for $299 and a 16GB model for $349. These are joined by a T-Mobile version (16GB) that will sell for $199 on contract. The Nexus 7 is seeing a small update. The 8GB model is history, with the 16GB model moving down to $199. A 32GB model slots in at $249 and another 32GB model, equipped with an HSPA+ radio, comes in at $299. The Nexus 10 will run at $399 for 16GB and $499 at 32GB. No cellular options are available for the Nexus 10.

All of the new models will ship with Android 4.2, an incremental update that retains the Jelly Bean name. Headline features for the update include support for multiple user profiles(!) a quick settings menu, accessed by a two-finger swipe from the top of the screen and a revised interface for ten-inch tablets that now mirrors Android on smaller devices. A panoramic photo-snapping addition called Photo Sphere is being touted as well. Google Now has seen an incremental update; it will now frighten you by searching your email for travel dates, incoming packages, flight numbers and reservations.

Google, via TheVerge, and Engadget

For the latest tech stories, follow DVICE on Twitter
at @dvice or find us on Facebook