Google is working at a rapid pace to stay ahead of the pack by introducing new hardware and improvements to its Android operating system. Of course, we all know that in the field of smartphones, tablet computers, and laptop systems, speed in releasing new products to the marketplace is mandatory and that those who lag in ideas and / or improvements are often left in the dust. But Google’s unusual and brilliant strategy to join ranks with industry giant Walmart may have been its best move yet. In fact, it is this partnership with the low-price leader Walmart that could well allow it to stay competitive against the likes of Amazon and Apple.
However, we all know that without new product releases, even this linkup would be worthless without Google’s innovative products. One of the first products that introduced Google to the tablet market occurred when it introduced its Nexus 7 tablet computer. Since that time, the Nexus 7 has been well-received with Google claiming to have sold approximately one million units of its tablet computer in a month. With its success, though, came increased competition from the likes of Amazon, which was forced to improve its already popular Kindle Fire model, and from Apple, which has now entered into the 7″ tablet market. This, in turn, resulted in Google introducing a new 10″ tablet branded Nexus model.
For consumers, these innovations are both good and bad. On the one hand, it means that more choices are available and perhaps price competition will make the tablets more affordable for the average consumer. However, it also means that making a decision as to which tablet is best for you could become even more confusing.
So, with this being said, it is obvious that I can’t cover all of these choices in one article; my main focus will be concentrated on Google’s newest smartphone: the Nexus 4. The Nexus 4, at a price point of just $299, is — in my opinion — a steal, and has an impressive list of features including a quad-core processor. However, it also has a major drawback in that it does not support LTE (Long Term Evolution). This major shortfall is notable since LTE is considered, by many, to be the future of 4G.
Does this mean that you should look to other tablets to meet your needs? Of course not, but this is one reason that I started to look at the Nexus 4. For me, it could mean changing from my current T-Mobile service that uses the HSPA+ network, which works well for me. I am not sure that I am willing to do that. Of course, how well even this service works will be dependent on where you live.
As of now, I have chosen to use a prepaid plan from T-Mobile that costs me $30 a month. The plan includes an amazing 5 GB of data a month and unlimited text, but is limited to only 100 minutes of talk time. Since I rarely talk on the phone, this plan is ideal for me. However, this plan did not work for my wife, who requires more talk time minutes than I do, so she chose a different T-Mobile plan. Her plan, also a $30 per month prepaid plan, gives her a combination of 1500 texts and/or talk time. She is limited, however, to only 30 MB of data usage, which is often used up quickly through automatic updates. Together, our two plans allow for almost any situation in which we may find ourselves since we each have a separate phone and, if I need to talk for any length of time, I can use her phone.
Our phones are older, though, so let me go back a little. My first experience with a quad-core processor and its Android Jelly Bean operating system was with the Nexus 7 tablet. The Nexus 7 has been a great tablet computer that runs extremely smoothly. In fact, I have never had the system — which I received a few days after the device was released — freeze up on me.
So for me, this is a no-brainer. I will just purchase Google’s Nexus 4 and then buy my SIM card from T-Mobile. However, I know that what is right for me and my situation may not be the best for you. If that is your situation, here are three other prepaid plans that are offered by other carriers:
Solavei offers mobile prepaid services starting at only $49 and includes unlimited voice, text, and data.
Straight Talk offers mobile prepaid services starting at $45 a month and includes unlimited voice, text, and data. I used Straight Talk services for over two years and was very pleased with its service. My only reason for changing to T-Mobile was the fact that T-Mobile had 4G with 5 GB of data for less.
Simple Mobile offers its prepaid plans starting at $40 a month. Its plans include unlimited voice and text, but limit you to 250 MB of data at 4G speeds.
So here is the bottom line: The Nexus 4 offers an outstanding smartphone with the latest Android operating system for a reasonable price. You can keep the carrier that works best for you, which means that I can keep my current T-Mobile plan. If you don’t already have a carrier to which you are loyal, I would highly recommend that you check out all of the services listed above to see which works best where you reside.
Comments are welcome.
Source: Android and Me
Source: Google Nexus 4