Google Slashes Price On Nexus 4 Smartphone

Google shaves smartphone price by $100, also expands availability of Nexus 7 tablet to U.K.
Google Nexus 7, Chromecast: Visual Tour
Google Nexus 7, Chromecast: Visual Tour
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Google made its Nexus 7 tablet available in the United Kingdom Wednesday. It can be purchased directly from the U.K. Google Play Store website. It costs £199 for the 16-GB model and £239 for the 32-GB model. In the U.S., the Nexus 7 runs $229 and $259 for the 16- and 32-GB models, respectively. Other than the price, the specs of Google's small tablet are the same across the board. It is also available in Canada, France, Germany and Japan.

The Nexus 7 features a 7-inch display with 1920 x 1200 pixels. It is capable of playing full HD content and looks great doing so. The Nexus 7 runs on a 1.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with an embedded Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU. It has dual cameras for snapping photos and doing video chats, sports stereo speakers, and includes GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. All Nexus-branded devices run a clean version of Android. In the N7's case, that means Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Google has yet to release the promised LTE 4G variant of the Nexus 7. It originally said the LTE version would shortly follow the Wi-Fi-only model. It's been more than a month, and it has yet to arrive. The LTE version will be able to connect to the LTE networks of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless in the U.S. (Nope, no Sprint 4G.) The LTE model will carry a $100 price premium over the Wi-Fi model.

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In addition to expanding the availability of the Nexus 7 tablet, Google dropped the price of the Nexus 4 smartphone. The device, which originally went on sale in November 2012, cost $299 and $349 for the 8- and 16-GB models, respectively. Wednesday, Google sliced $100 off the cost of each model. The 8-GB model now costs $199 and the 16-GB model now costs $249.

The drop in price is a welcome one. Keep in mind, Google is selling the Nexus 4 unlocked and without a contract. That means the $199/$249 gets you a phone with no commitments to a wireless network operator. It puts the Nexus 4 within easy reach of people looking for a spare device, or those who need to replace a broken/lost device without spending a fortune on a full-priced device (most often $600 or more).

The Nexus 4 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and has a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 pixel screen, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.5-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor. It can be used on either AT&T or T-Mobile's networks, though it doesn't support either carrier's LTE 4G. It is limited to HSPA+ for wireless data.

By today's standards, the Nexus 4 lands in the middle of the pack. Devices such as the HTC One, LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy S4 surpass it in most every way, at least as far as the hardware is concerned. In fact, the Motorola Moto X is a closer match as far as the N4's specs go.

Google didn't say why it put the Nexus 4 on sale, but it's a safe bet that the Nexus 5 or other similar new handset is on the way. Google is expected to debut Android 5.0 and the Nexus 5 later this fall, and Google may be simply moving N4 inventory before the N5's arrival.

Whatever the reason, at $199 the Nexus 4 is a pretty good deal.

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