The Nexus 5 smartphone, the newest entry in the Google Nexus family
|Type||Smartphones, tablets, digital media player|
|Retail availability||January 2010–present|
|Online services||Google Play|
Google Nexus is a line of consumer electronic devices that run the Android operating system. Google manages the design, development, marketing, and support of these devices, but some development and all manufacturing are carried out by partnering original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The product family consists mostly of mobile devices—five smartphones and three tablet computers have been released to date. As of February 2014[update], the devices currently available in the line are the Nexus 5 smartphone (made with partner LG Electronics), second-generation Nexus 7 tablet (made with Asus), and Nexus 10 tablet (made with Samsung).
Devices in the Nexus line are considered Google's flagship Android products. They do not have manufacturer or wireless carrier modifications to Android (such as custom graphical user interfaces) and feature an unlockable bootloader to allow further development and end-user modification. Nexus devices are the first Android devices to receive updates to the operating system. The Galaxy Nexus is one of the few smartphones recommended by the Android Open Source Project for Android software development.
The Nexus One was manufactured by HTC and released in January 2010 as the first Nexus phone. It was released with Android 2.1 Eclair, and was updated in May 2010 to be the first phone with Android 2.2 Froyo. It was further updated to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It was announced that Google would cease support for the Nexus One, whose graphics processing unit (GPU; Adreno 200) is poor at rendering the new 2D acceleration engine of the UI in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Nexus S and newer models have hardware designed to handle the new rendering. It was the only Nexus device to have card storage expandability (SD).
The Nexus S, manufactured by Samsung, was released in December 2010 to coincide with the release of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. In December 2011 it was updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with most variations later being updatable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in July 2012. The device support was ended after 4.1 Jelly Bean and no longer receives updates from Google.
The Galaxy Nexus, manufactured by Samsung, was released in November 2011 (GSM version, US released on Verizon 15 December 2011) to coincide with the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The device support was ended after 4.3 Jelly Bean and no longer receives updates from Google. This device is known in Brazil as Galaxy X due to a trademark on the "Nexus" brand.
The Nexus 4 smartphone was released in November 2012 and manufactured by LG. It was the first Android device that used Android's 4.2 Jelly Bean update version. The Nexus 4 has a 4.7" Corning Gorilla Glass 2 touchscreen with a 1280 × 768 pixel resolution, 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait processor on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 chipset. It features an 8 MP main camera, 1.3 MP front-camera, and is the first Nexus device to have wireless charging capabilities. It was updated to Android 4.3 in June 2013 and to Android 4.4 in November 2013.
The Nexus 5 smartphone, again manufactured by LG, was scheduled for sale on October 31, 2013 for $349 at the Google Play store. It is the first device to use Android 4.4, named KitKat. The Nexus 5 has the following characteristics:
- Display: 4.95" Corning Gorilla Glass 3, IPS LCD touchscreen, 1920 × 1080 pixel resolution
- Processor: 2.26 GHz Krait 400 quad-core processor on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC
- Cameras: 8 MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, 1.3 MP front camera
- Battery: 2,300 mAh lithium polymer
- Memory: 16 or 32 GB
- Connectivity: 4G LTE, wireless charging, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
On 27 June 2012, at its I/O 2012 keynote presentation, Google introduced the Nexus 7, a 7-inch tablet computer with a 1280×800 pixel display, developed with and manufactured by Asus. Released in July 2012, it was the first device to run Android 4.1, and make content available through Google Play, including e-books, apps, music, and video.
On 24 July 2013, at Google's "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" press conference, Pichai introduced the second generation Nexus 7, again co-developed with Asus. Keeping with Google Nexus tradition, it was simultaneously released with the latest OS version, Android 4.3. It was made available on 26 July 2013 at select retailers and on the Google Play store in the United States. On 20 November 2013, it was available from the Google Play stores in Hong Kong and India. On the same day, the Nexus Wireless Charger was made available in the United States and Canada.
The Nexus 10, a 10-inch tablet, manufactured by Samsung, was revealed in late October 2012 by the Exif data of photos taken by Google executive, Vic Gundotra, along with the leaks of its manual and a comprehensive series of photos. The leaked photos revealed a design similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, a 10.1 inch 2560×1600 display, 16 GB or 32 GB of storage, Android 4.2, and a dual-core 1.7 GHz Exynos 5 processor. The Nexus 10 was expected to be unveiled officially during a Google press event on 29 October 2012, but the event was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy.
The Nexus Q was a digital media player that ran Android and integrated with Google Play, to sell at $299 in the United States.
After complaints about a lack of features for the price, the Nexus Q was shelved indefinitely; Google said it needed time to make the product "even better". The Nexus Q was unofficially replaced by the Chromecast.
Philip K. Dick estate claim
Upon the announcement of the first Nexus device, the Nexus One, the estate of sci-fi author Philip K. Dick claimed that the Nexus One name capitalized on intellectual property from Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and that the choice of name was a direct reference to the Nexus-6 series of androids in the novel.
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