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Holy shit - $299?

That settles it.  I'm getting a Nexus 4.

/me hearts Moore's Law
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39 comments
 
That was my initial reaction. (That's $299 unlocked and unsubsidized, too.) I'm not sure it'll stay that way, though: no LTE. That seems like a critical omission.
 
+Joel Webber I'm pretty sure I do get near max HSPA+ bandwidth on my G2 where I live, but I agree that LTE deployment is not yet advanced enough for this to be a deal-killer.
 
+Eric Raymond Definitely nice when you can get it. But I end up on 3G (TMo) much of the time when out of the house. I do admit, however, that it's pretty amazing that we now split hairs over the difference between "fast" and "damned fast" -- I would have killed for even 10Mb on my landline not all that long ago...
 
My biggest complaint is Ive always failed at using software keyboards, part of the reason I was waiting for a good upgrade for my G2 (even though it's taken some damage and having issues) but I installed the "Gesture type" keyboard on my ICS ROM on my G2 and I'm slower but it's useable.  I'm seriously considering the Nex 4 and trying to move on with out my beloved hardware keyboard.
 
I don't expect to get LTE near me any time in the near future, either. (The death of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger killed that.) Even so, I consider having LTE to be future-proofing, and I do travel enough to make a difference.
 
I'm more excited about the ChromeBook for $250.
 
Don't get too happy. You can get an iPhone for $299 as long as you accept 2 years of carrier lock-in and rates that extract far more than  the subsidy from you.

To appreciate the Nexus pricing, you have to be savvy enough to know about MVNOs like Straight Talk or Ting.

Google is on the cusp of breaking the subsidy/lock-in model, and, to do that, they had to make the price so compelling as to erase the subsidy "advantage," even for customers who can't evaluate what a subsidy rate will cost them. I hope it works. If it does, it will make phones, and service, cheaper for everyone.
 
My Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ model gets me pretty good performance on T-Mobile around here; I can't imagine a Nexus 4 will do any worse.

$30/month prepaid: 100 minutes of voice, 5GB of data before throttling kicks in (never even come close), unlimited texts.
 
+Zigurd Mednieks: MVNO?

+Christopher K Davis: I've been an AT&T customer ever since my first 2G iPhone, and unlike most, I have no particular heartburn with them. I also have a grandfathered unlimited data plan, and keeping that is worth a lot to me.

+Jef Poskanzer: All right, I'll bite. Why is the Chromebook so compelling? Especially compared to a tablet?
 
+Zigurd Mednieks T-Mobile is at least one big carrier trying to satisfy customers savvy enough to know they're taking a bath by paying the full monthly price on other networks. Their coverage is only slightly spotty at times (though much better than most MVNOs in my experience), and their customer service is excellent.
 
+Joel Webber I'm on T-Mobile, a happy customer since G-1 days.

Yes, I actually... like ...my cell carrier.

They ain't perfect, fer sure. But all reports suggest that dealing with their competition would be much more annoying.
 
+Jay Maynard Mobile Virtual Network Operator, i.e. a service retailer that buys capacity from companies that build, own, and operates networks. Typically, MVNOs offer different pricing models and payment models than network operators, who, in the US, tend to push their postpaid subscription (read lock-in) plans.

If you buy a Nexus 4 and you now own your phone outright, you can buy service from an MVNO like Straight Talk or Ting, and you won't pay for subsidized phone prices.
 
Can't wait for the nexus 4 to go on sale. I, too, have a g2 but sadly the third party ROMs never took off like they did on the G1. On JB it is barely usable, though Flinny's builds are getting slightly better now. Not his fault per se, with so many more models the devs are spread thin.

I use a TMo value plan which is a great deal. I'm paying $100/mo for four phones, two with 2GB data, two with unlimited voice, and all with free sms.
 
I'm with +Eric Raymond I switched from Sprint to T-mo to get the G1, and have been happy with them.  Back before the G2 came out T-mo had introduced some new contract free plans, and one was $10 more per month then I was paying but was unlimited everything, I wanted to switch but was still under contract, and they wouldn't let me.  A few weeks later I got laid off and started going over my minutes talking to recruiters and doing phone interviews (kind of hard to put them in my myFaves which had been working before).  When I went to T-mobile to discuss it they cancelled my contract without making me pay the penalty switched me over to the contract free unlimited everything plan and backdated it a month so I wouldn't have to pay the overages.  I've been a very happy contract free customer with them ever since.
 
The Nexus 7 is also a great piece of hardware and impressive value for price.  I got my wife Cathy one; she's been enjoying it a lot.
 
If I weren't so impressed with the Nexus 7, I wouldn't have given the Nexus 4 a second glance. As it is, I'm considering getting one when finances permit...well, make that getting two: one for me, one for my roommate.
 
+Jef Poskanzer Can you get a tablet for $250?

Sure.  If price is your only consideration, you can get one for $200 or less.  I was looking at the Nook Tablet. Root it, and you have a general purpose Android tablet for as little as $159, depending on model and options.

The determinant is form factor.  I might go for a Nexus 10, since I want screen real estate, but I'd add a USB keyboard to the mix.  I do enough text entry that an on-screen virtual keyboard would be unacceptable.  But many of my use cases involve carrying it around and accessing info on the fly.  For that, a tablet and touch screen are ideal.
 
I'm looking forward to killing my current lock-in contract, switching to to a MVNO who only charges halve the monthly fee and provides the same service without the lock-in. The saved fees over 24 months do not quite cover a nexus4 and the switching costs, but I expect the non-locking contract to keep the MVNO more honest and supporting than the I've-locked-my-customers-so-i-don't-need-to-care carrier I'm with now.

Also I'm quite satisfied with the (unlocked) galaxy nexus in my pocket, so I can stay away from the nexus4 for a little bit and have a ROI on the switch within a few months.
 
Me too! I am getting that Nexus 4. :-)
 
I'm so very tempted... but I worship the 64gb sd card in my current phone. That's the only thing putting me off though. I love the nexus 7 and use usb-otg to copy media onto it from a usb stick when desired. Perhaps I could just live with that same solution...
 
+Joseph Price I hear you.  It seems like a ripoff to pay an extra $50 for 8GB more flash, when you can get a huge class 8 SD card for less than that.

That said, even at $350 it is way cheaper than anything remotely comparable from another vendor, and at least they'll have driver updates for a year or two.  My G2 has been a pain with all the glitches since anything more recent than gingerbread is one big hack (and so is Gingerbread, but at least more devs were using it back then since that was pre-Galaxy-Nexus).
 
That $299 N4 only has 8GB and is non-expandable. It might be ok but please think carefully about it. The $350 N4 is probably worth it for most people.
 
+Jay Maynard Not sure I'd run out and buy a Chromebook, but I get use out of my CR-48.  If I owned a small business I'd strongly consider them though.  

The main advantages over a tablet include:
1.  It has a laptop form factor.  For getting work done that is a BIG plus, but it still has the fast boot time and long battery life associated with tablets.
2.  It has full disk encryption by default and enterprise management features.  All settings are cloud synced.
3.  It isn't really usable for local storage, so you're fairly assured anything important makes its way to the cloud.
4.  2+3 means that if one breaks you just buy a new one, with nearly zero overhead for desktops.  At worst if you want enterprise management the admin just has to log in to trigger an auto-configuration (no buttons to push - just log in).
5.  It gets all updates/etc automatically by default.
6.  It has cellular data, though you'll still pay to use it.

The big gap is that you have to be 100% web-based to use it (or use Chrome apps).  If they just had some clients for remote desktop, citrix, and NX that would go a long way towards making them more usable in an enterprise.  

I could see deploying one for a relative for zero-maintenance web browsing.
 
Yeah, I did a double take too. My one fear is that I'll need a new micro SIM card, which will draw the carrier's attention to my sweet grandfathered account, and they'll raise my rates.
 
It's worth spending the extra $50 on the 16gb model, as it doesn't have an SD card slot. Still, at $350, one hell of a deal for T-mobile users.
 
Also... Remember to order a micro SIM if your switching. The Nexus 4 uses a micro SIM instead of the more conventional variety. I have mine on the way.
 
+Svein Ove Aas  Yeah... that's why I also ordered a micro-SIM from T-Mobile. I'm going to try to cut my own, just for the hell of it. A non-activated micro SIM costs $0.99 from T-Mobile, including shipping. If I'm successful, I have a spare SIM lying around and also save myself a call to customer support. If I fail, no big deal.
 
Another thing: remember to unlock your bootloader before you set up the device. "fastboot oem unlock" wipes the device. 
 
+Aaron Traas Yeah, I've heard of SIM trimmers.  But my fearful self would prefer to keep the old SIM intact.
 
I'd get the Nexus 4 if I didn't have a year left of Verizon contract.  It looks like a really nice phone!  As it is, I will stick with my Galaxy Nexus for one more year, and jump ship to a GSM carrier with next year's Nexus.  I hope it's even nicer than the Nexus 4, and still as reasonably-priced.

+Jef Poskanzer - I am also excited about the $250 Chromebook; Going to get one as a second laptop / kids' machine.

+Jay Maynard - I'm also impressed with the Nexus 7, but I was holding out for something bigger.  It looks like my wishes were granted, I will be getting the Nexus 10 as soon as they start selling them.
 
Wait until cheap tablets get mainstream. Right now in the US you can get a basic ICS tablet for $60. It's low resolution and only has 512M RAM, but that's still a heck of a deal for $60, and would have had people salivating a year ago. And there's a bunch of tablets lined up in warehouses in China that are at least as good as the old Nook tablets for around $100 shipped to the US.

This time next year you'll be able to get something at least as good as today's Nexus 7 for under $100.
 
+Zigurd Mednieks Be careful not to confuse apples and pears - while MVNOs are a great solution, Ting uses Sprint's network, so it's not going to be a valid option for the Nexus 4 (or any other non-Sprint phone, including my Verizon GNex, sadly.)
 
+Rob Walsh Doh! I knew there was some reason I could not try a Ting account for our Samsung Nexus, but I forgot what it was. Straight Talk has both Verizon and AT&T options.

In general, you have to be good at evaluating pricing and terms, as well as the gotchas about GSM and CDMA networks in the US, in order to get a good deal, and MVNOs have a history of leading short and interesting lives in the US. Wal Mart owns Straight Talk, so they are more likely to be around next year.
 
I was going to get a Nexus 4, until I found that between the time I left home to commute to work, and the time I tried to check my mail (gmail) again at work this morning after the commute, google had locked my gmail account...

... And now I "just wait unitl I find out it isn't unlocked"...

Now I'm not so sure I really want another device completely dependant on google not locking my account...

No gmail on my Nexus7.  No gmail in a browser, no email... Life just got scary.. I always thought "it will never happen to me...."
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