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Raghavendra S.
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Google’s Nexus 4 has entered the Indian market

In stock:With the Stock Android that the Nexus 4 is shipped with (currently Jelly Bean 4.2.2), users will get to experience the stunning and unfettered elegance of pure Android.— FILE PHOTO: AP
In stock:With the Stock Android that the Nexus 4 is shipped with (currently Jelly Bean 4.2.2), users will get to experience the stunning and unfettered elegance of pure Android.— FILE PHOTO: AP

In a market already flooded with hundreds of feature-rich Android phones, Google has now pitched in with its own smartphone offering — the Nexus 4. Search stalwart Google, with a latency of six months from the U.S. release, is now making its flagship Android smartphone available in the Indian market.

Designed by Google and manufactured by LG, Nexus 4 is in line with Google’s trend of manufacture outsourcing. Previously Google’s Nexus tablets were manufactured by ASUS. Priced at around Rs. 25,000, the Nexus 4 promises to be not just another Android phone, but a phone with hand-picked special features.

The Google effect

Aside from the features such as the quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM, 8 MP rear camera, 4.7-inch screen and a powerful graphics processor, the Nexus 4 has one more thing to offer: the blessings of Google.

This is firstly manifested in the ‘Stock Android’ that the device is shipped with. Stock Android is Google’s Android platform minus the bloatware from device manufacturers plus direct platform updates from Google’s software channel. Bloatware is additional design components by the manufacturers who give Android their custom touch.

With Google’s Stock Android, currently Jelly Bean 4.2.2 running on Nexus 4, users get to experience the stunning and unfettered elegance of pure Android.

The Android ecosystem has the virulent problem of version inconsistencies. Newer apps run only on the latest version of Android, and in many cases phones get outdated because they run older versions of Android. This problem is eliminated with promise of Google’s support to the latest Android platform when running Stock Android, as it is with Nexus 4.

With Stock Android, Google allows regular platform updates. From the current 4.2.2 release, the upgrade to the next 4.3 will simply happen over the Google Play Store. This is true even for the next Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie , whenever that happens.

Apart from zero manufacturer applications, Nexus 4 will have the latest Google apps running on it.

The updated contextual search and personal assistant Google Now, the latest version of Google Maps and Chrome are housed in the Nexus 4.

The South Korean electronics manufacturer LG has had little impact in the smartphone segment in the Indian market. LG’s reputation may deter people from buying the Nexus 4. Apprehensions about battery life and build quality are already making it to discussion forums.

No expandable memory

Tending towards Apple’s iPhone concept, Nexus 4 comes with a sealed back, and no expandable memory. With its fixed variants of 8GB and 16 GB, users might feel deprived of the option to expand memory and this may go down as a major drawback.

In a market like India where feature-rich phones such as the Micromax Canvas HD in the Android segment garner more users, the Nexus 4 may not become the handset in every alternate Android user’s palms.

Nexus 4 is poised to establish itself as the choice for Android purists who understand the nuances of Stock Android. Also, the fact that Nexus 4 will not anytime be seen in stunning commercials such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 will reduce the mass consumption of this sleek piece of equipment.

Will the Nexus 4 be a winner? The answer will be known in a few months, but the real winner within the Android ecosystem is the simple, elegant and powerful Stock Android.

Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One with Stock Android will soon be available from Google’s Play Store competing with Google’s Nexus 4.

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