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Episode 21: Unboxing Google's Nexus 4 phone and Nexus 10 tablet: Always On

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Always On: Episode 21: Unboxing Google's Nexus 4 phone and Nexus 10 tablet

31:40 /

It's an unboxing extravaganza: Molly Wood unwraps the new Google Nexus devices, Microsoft's hottest smartphones, plus Jeff Cannata tortures -- and we mean tortures -- the Microsoft Surface tablet by riding it like a skateboard.

-This week on Always On, it's an unboxing extravaganza-- the new Nexus 4, the Nexus 10, the Lumia 920 and more plus Jeff Cannata tortures the Surface tablet. Always On is back. -Hey everyone, I'm Molly Wood. Welcome to Always On. The show that takes a look at the tech that's part of your life and your future. I am back just in time for the crazy Black Friday shopping season to begin and since it's starting a little earlier this year, so am I. We have all the hottest products and we are going to unbox them on this show. Let's get started right now with the Nexus 4. This is the Nexus 4. Now, if you're not familiar with Google's Nexus phones, this is the only way to get the pure Android experience. You get all the updates as soon as they come out and nobody is allowed to put their own stamp on it. The other thing that's new about this phone is that it's the first time that LG has manufactured Nexus phone. Previously, they've all been Samsung. So, this is kind of a big change and I personally am super excited to get in here. This is our review unit and it's a developer unit so there might be a couple of things in the box that you don't get, but I think you'll get the idea. Let's buzz to that. Nexus. It's already been on tape. I'm sorry everyone. Okay. It's not as-- It's a little more squared off than some of the Samsung, but it's not as long. Look at the back. It's got this kind of like matrix thing going on, glittery. I like it. Turn it on. You have your LG branding. Now, these are considered the flagship Android phone, so I have been carrying an iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3, but I think I'm about to switch over to this guy because this is the way to go. All right, now, this phone is asking me for a SIM card so it's a good time to check out what else is in the box. Nothing on top here. This guy out. We have our Nexus quick start guide. Now, if you have any experience buying a Nexus phone through Google, trust me, this is about the only text report you're gonna get so read it carefully. Here's our power brick. Again, not the standard Samsung/Apple square. Nice to see. My little charging cable, which I think we're gonna want 'cause our battery is gone quickly and then of course my little SIM card poker. I don't know. I bet that has a name, but I'm gonna call the SIM card poker. And that is pretty much it. Let's check out the specs. Obviously, the Nexus 4 is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It has a 1.5 gigahertz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor plus 2 gigs of RAM onboard. Google says that should make it the fastest phone on the market and I wouldn't be surprised. It has an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. It also has a 2100 milliamp battery. That's not the biggest battery on the market, but it's a good size and Google says it should last 10 hours with talking. Android phones do just keep getting bigger. This one is no different. It has a 4.7-inch screen, but the screen is beautiful, full HD resolution at 1280 x 768. Obviously, the Nexus 4 has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. It also supports wireless charging and Google is making a new accessory called the Charging Orb so that you can dock and charge that way. There's not much storage on this phone. It starts at 8 gigs and you can only go as high as 16 with no expandable memory. If you buy this phone unlocked from Google Play, assuming you can get one, the price is great, $299 for the 8-gig model and $349 for 16 gigs. It starts at $199 with a new contract at T-Mobile. Now, the Nexus 4 is great hardware. The screen is beautiful. I'm very impressed with the look and feel of this phone, but there are some big tradeoffs that have me a little bit let down namely, the lack of LTE. Google is not working with the carriers other than T-Mobile so you're kind of stuck on a slower network. And that's a huge bomber since you have to live in the cloud because the phone only goes up to 16 gigs. The price is good and like I said I love the hardware, but I think there are few too many tradeoffs unless you are really committed to the true Android experience. You may remember that I recently unboxed the new Microsoft Surface tablet with that pretty pink keyboard and then I sent it off to Jeff Cannata for what I think is a pretty awesome torture test. -Just unboxed my brand new Microsoft Surface that Molly sent me. Of course, she sent me the hot pink version and kept the cool black version, but that's alright. I'm cool with that. Microsoft is really digging this device a lot. I don't wanna torture it. I like it. I really, really like it. I think it's sleek and cool and the OS is really fun to play around with, but unfortunately, my job is not to enjoy, but to destroy. We're back in the bachelor test kitchen in my apartment. We're gonna throw the Surface into the freezer, do the cold test first. I'm keeping the keys on. Hot pink might keep it a little warmer. We'll see, but I wanna check out how the coldness affects maybe the input of the keyboard, who knows. Throw it in the freezer. All right Surface, stay frosty. We're 2-1/2 hours in freeze. So, it's time to check on the Surface and it's chilly, still pink. Let's see if it turns on when put on the link. Hey, look at that. No delay, whatsoever, putting my password, nobody look. Here we go. We're at-- All systems go. It is-- You can see the ice on the screen. It's freezing cold, but this thing didn't care, didn't care about the cold. So, cold test passed with flying pink colors. Time for the heat test, which means baking in the test kitchen. I'm gonna take off the sensitive keyboard and since the surface looks a lot like a baking sheet, which not just use it as one. It's gonna be a mess I predict. Oh, it's touch sensitive. All right, it's going in the oven preheated at 250 degrees. Alright, success, here we go. We'll check on that in a little while. Okay, it has been over an hour in the 250-degree heat of the oven. So, it's time to check on our baking to see how the Surface is faring. Oh boy, delicious, very hot to the touch. Turns out the Surface is non-stick Surface. Umm, who is hungry? It's well overdone, but the good news is the keyboard accessory makes them a wonderful knife. All right, have it a little time to cool down and see if it turns even with egg all over its face. Not turning on. Try plugging it in if that changes anything. Oops, there we go. Just need a little juice. It's working, but look, you can see there's weird screen discolorations from the heat and the top here is weird so you can really see it. Wow. I'm egg-static about the result of the test. I consider myself an eggs-pert in torturing, and this is egg-xactly what I egg-spected. -I got to say Jeff Cannata is eggs-tremely with himself. Okay that torture test just keeps getting better. A little later in the show, we will have the wild card and the drop test and you do not wanna miss them. For now, let's get back to so me more unboxings. At long last, it is time to unbox the Nokia Lumia 920. Previously, the flagship Windows phone until the HTC 8X came out, but this guy is still from what I hear a very good phone and a good value at 99 bucks with contract. We had to have Microsoft FedEx us once, so we don't have like a box, but should there's some kind of box in here. Oh boy. I've been looking forward to this phone actually. Yeah. All right. I wonder what color we got. I'm not gonna cheat. I'm just gonna open it and see. Oh, we got black [unk]. Guys, this is a giant brick of a phone. It is so heavy. I cannot believe it. Wow, alright, but before we end, look, texting and driving, it can wait. I'm all over this campaign of AT&Ts. Let's say what else we have on the box. Oh, look, I like this. They are actually telling me that it's the same door key with a little sign and it's Nokia branded. See what else we have down here. We have-- Oh, it looks like we have our own NFC tag. Also nice with a little explainer about what NFC is. They're trying to make this beginner friendly, which I think is actually quite smart. We have a pretty good how to on program here on NFC tags from Always On with Sharon Vaknin. You wanna check that out. We have our product and safety information here, our power break, which is actually kind of big, although not that surprising since the phone itself is kind of big, very short little charging cable and that will do it for the box. Let's have a look at this phone. Now, I've heard that this phone is pretty big, but dudes it's so fat and beefy, and once again, continuing our beginner friendly theme, we've got stickers all over the back telling us what the various ports are and the various buttons. I can say I am kind of loving this. I was loving it until I thought it was like a real sticker. You stick it. Got that camera front and center. It's a pretty highly touted camera, 8.7 megapixels with the Carl Zeiss lens and I kind of like the orientation of the camera right here. It says, "You can get right to taking pictures. I'm gonna turn it on, go through some set up here. While we wait for it to come on, let's some specs. The Nokia Lumia 920 has 4.5-inch LCD display with a 1280 x 768 pixel resolution. That is full HD. I don't usually talk about the size and weight of a phone, but in this case, I think it's relevant to know that it weighs 6.5 ounces. It's a little bit of a brick. It's powered by 1.5 gigahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor with just 1 gig of on board RAM. It's totally fast, but not blazing fast. The screen is covered in gorilla glass that company says it's scratch resistant. It does support 4G LTE and of course it runs Windows Phone OS 8. The camera is 8.7 megapixels. It has a Carl Zeiss lens and a flash and I can record 1080p video. It's an impressive camera although some of our reviewers found that the photos are not as good as you might expect. There's a 1-mepixel front facing camera, which is find a little disappointing. It terms of connectors, you have micro USB for charging and data and a 3.5-mm universal audio connector. There's also micro USB 2.0 on board. Unfortunately, no HDMI support. The battery is somewhat wimpy at 200 mAh. Now, Nokia says that will give you 9 hours of talk time, but our testing has found quite a bit less than that. You don't have to live in the cloud with this phone. There are 32 gigs of onboard storage and it starts with just $99 with a new contract and is only 449 unlocked. The Nokia Lumia 920 is a pretty serious phone. It is big. It is beefy. It's got that specs to back it up though and at $99. I actually think this is a great way to get into the Windows mobile operating system. It's pretty fun to use. Now it's major competitor is not as cheap, but does have impressive specs of its own. That's the HTC 8X and I'm gonna unbox that one right now. Time to unbox what some people are calling the new flagship Windows phone, the HTC 8X or as they are officially calling it, the HTC Windows Phone 8X. They are pretty fired up about this partnership. Now, this is actually preproduction unit. So, we don't get the whole super duper unboxing. I don't even need my cool box cutter, which is kind of a bomber, but nevertheless, let's see what we've got. Oh, it is taped up, yeah, box cutting time. The Windows phone thing seems to be like make a really colorful pretty phone. So this one comes in sort of a lime yellow and this blue one, which I will never ever, ever get out of this box. Take a look how fresh that is, just gonna live in here forever with this-- Sorry phone. Torture test starts early this year, not really. How do you-- That was very smart. That was not my smartest move either. Okay, oh, I know, how about this. You push it out. I did it. All right, that's a little ridiculous. Also, in our box, congratulations you're one of the first in the world to experience the new Windows Phone 8X by HTC for AT&T. You probably won't get that in your box, but let's have a look at our power brick. Umm, a nice curve design, doesn't look just like the Apple one, which is kind of a refreshing change and then, of course, what appears to be an extremely short little USB cable like your USB charging. That is it. Let's have a look at the phone. This is pretty. This definitely gives the Lumias a run for its money in terms of looks. It's kind of curve back here, not the hugest phone, so it's nice for those people who are feeling like phones are getting a little too bit these days. Let's turn it on. Now, Microsoft is not letting OEMs customize the operating system the way that android is or the way that Google is with androids. So, you should get a pretty consistent Windows phone experience across the board. This phone is also available in 3 US carriers-- the T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, which is a change from the Lumia. So, the Lumia 920, I think, is only available on AT&T. You have the now familiar Windows phone tile interface here, which I like. Alright, let's talk about the gets. The 8X has 4.3-inch touchscreen display. It's gorilla glass too, so it should be pretty tough, and it's a really nice HD display, 1280 x 720 resolution and it looks good with movies. It comes in 16 gigs only. It has an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a front-facing 2-megapixel front camera. That's a pretty nice front facing camera. It can also record 1080p HD video. There's a dual-core Qualcomm processor running at 1.5 gigahertz, so it should be plenty powerful. We don't know to much about battery life. It does have an NFC, Bluetooth 3.1 and of course WiFi. One cool thing to note, if you buy this phone on Verizon, it has support for wireless charging. That's a pretty good feature. One note about the camera, we've heard that some of the photos can be a little disappointing. Read our full CNET review for more information on that. One reason might be that even though that 8X has an 8-megapixel camera, it defaults to 6 megapixels for some reason. All in all, the 8X is a really nice phone. It has a great design. If I saw someone using, I'd wanna know what it was. It's beautiful. It's lightweight and this operating system is very good and usable. The biggest problem with Windows phone of course, there aren't really very many apps available. If the only app you use is Microsoft Office 13, then you're in good shape, but if you want something else, you might be in trouble. This phone starts at 199 on most carriers with a new contract of course. You can find all the details in our full review over at CNET.com. I have both phones right here and I have to say if you are forcing me to choose, I would have a pretty tough time. They both get about the same rating in our CNET review, so you might just have to check them out and see which one you like better. If it were me, I think I would probably go 99 bucks for this big boy right here. I like a humvee kind of a phone. We're gonna take a quick break. When we come back, the conclusion of the Surface torture test and do not wanna miss that plus I'm going to unbox the Google Nexus 10 tablet. Now, let's check back in on Jeff. It is time for the exciting conclusion of the Surface torture test. -The Surface is clearly a high class device, so we're doing a high class liquid test. Exhibit A: Consider if you will a dinner party where you're sitting around with your friends sipping some wine enjoying good times and you think yourself, I've got to share with my friends, something I found on Bing powered by Microsoft. Oh Bing has all the best stories. Friends, friends gather around. I've got something to show you. Where is my Microsoft Surface. Oh, I'm looking for it, I'm looking for it. Oh no, oh no! Oh no, I spilled my wine all over my Microsoft surface. Look at it, it's freaking out. It does not like that. It doesn't recognize my fingers anymore. Let's dry it off and see if it passes, home, home. Nothing guys, that's a fail, maybe this just drank. So, the Surface did not survived the water test functionally, but wanna test the durability. Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky tweeted out pictures of them using it like a skateboard to prove just how durable this thing was. So, guess what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna use it like a skateboard. Molly, I see you hot pink keyboard and I raise you hot pink skateboard wheels. Let's do this. this is pretty solid. Molly, you thought could embarrass me with the hot pink, but no, no. I brace it, service is no as you can see. Still no touch recognition, so that's unfortunate, but it is on, and we're gonna see-- I'm getting skate on it. Hope, it'd die. Hasn't broken, but there's definitely been. Pretty impressive, pretty impressive. See if it turns on. It is not turning on and it-- Oh, wow, is that-- That's crack, see that. It's a crack. It's for transportation, you know, not for free styling, I would say. I'll see you guys later. The Surface is not functional. It is not functional. The wine took out the touch sensitivity. Skateboarding, it won't even turn. Now, the screen is messed up, but I will say this, this glass on the front is not cracked. I stood on it, you saw. I jumped on it, you saw. The glass is not cracked. That's pretty amazing. The case cracked, but the glass did not crack. So, the last thing we're gonna throw at this thing is the ground. Oh Surface, I hardly knew you. But let it fat. So, that's usually not a bad sign. See that was no problem. That was no problem, and you were sitting, and you stood up. You know, well, scuffing on the corner of course, but that glass has no problem. So, it's a [unk] a little bit. Oh, that did it. Going on the corner all is this is a problem. Landed on the power button to, so that doesn't help. So, don't drop it from the height larger than yourself. Well, the Surface is dead, but you know I love this little kickstand on the back that it's got to prop itself up and I kind of wanna check the durability of that, so perhaps the surface can be used as a foot rest or may be not. -Here we have remnants of that poor, poor surface tablet. I have to say that I think Jeff Cannata is turning into quite a torture test virtuoso even if he is taking a lot of years of his own life by eating an egg off of a big surface tablet. Speaking of tablets, let's keep this thing moving because I'm about to open up the Google Nexus 10. At long last, Google has decided to make a true iPad competitor, a 10-inch tablet and it is running the latest and greatest in Jelly Bean. It has the Nexus branding. Let's get this guy out of the box. This is of course our review unit. So, we don't the nuts and bolts unboxing if you will, but we'll do our best. I wonder how Google is gonna keep on-- keeping track of all these numbers, because they have the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7, and the Nexus 10, but the Nexus 4 is a phone, but the Nexus 7 is a tablet. I'm just saying it's getting a little messy in the Nexus world. Okay, focus, focus. Alrighty, oh, check this guy out. This is actually much more like the surface and that it's very rectangular. You can tell it's probably meant to be viewed horizontally more often than vertically, seems just a little less squared off than the iPad. It has a nice surface on the back. Actually, it's sort of plastic and a little bit tacky by which I mean I doesn't slide or around as much as like you grab an iPad these days and it just goes pliant. This is not so much. Okay. Screens are already coming on, nicely preloaded with apps because Eric Franklin has been having a good time with this back in the CNET lab. It's a nice looking thing. Let's what else we have in the box. Not much. Here we go. Alright, we have a little charging brick and of course our Nexus quick start guide or like I mentioned earlier the only text support you ever likely to get with the Nexus product. Sorry, that's just how it is, least there's a warranty, and that is all, okay. Let's talk specs. Find out why you might wanna choose this over an iPad. The Nexus 10 tablet is built by the Samsung. It is a true 10-inch tablet. It is a 10-inch diagonal display with a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. The front is Corning Gorilla glass 2, so it should be pretty durable. Of course, we'll try that out. The weight is about 1.3 pounds, a little bit heavy, but it actually doesn't feel that heavy. There's micro HDMI out. It has a 5-megapixel camera on the back and front facing 1.9-megapixel camera. There's Bluetooth, WiFi, and NFC, and of course, this tablet is running android 4.2 Jelly Bean, so you can really take advantage of some of those cool Jelly Bean features like the Google Now cards. What is Google's stock price? -Google is down 0.37%. -The Nexus 10 has 2 ways to charge- micro USB and that cable is included in the box or a magnetic pogo pin charger. Now, that's gonna charge the tablet a lot faster, but you have to buy the charger separately. It's $399 for 16 gigs or 499 for 32 gigs. If you are looking for a 10-inch tablet this holiday season, I have to say, this is looking like the strongest iPad competitor I've seen in a long time. Unlike previous android tablets, it's running a truly completed operating system Jelly Bean. It's fun to use. It has a lot of useful features and it's easy to figure out unlike Honeycomb plus, I think, the pricing is very smart. Starting this tablet at 399 means frankly it's kind of a better value than a new iPad. I would give this one a serious look. All right, with that all the way, let's answer some of your mail. You guys with the torture test ideas. They just keep rolling in. Here's one that we got from Orlando, not the city, the person. Torture test idea, chocolate. I had my GS3 while doing yard work and listening to Pandora. When I pulled my phone out to skip a song, I realized that I'd put some Dove chocolates in pocket to snack on. Just from the phone and body heat, the chocolate melted. Luckily, I caught it before it made its way to any opening. That would be a good torture test if a device is engulfed a little more with chocolate. Also, I left my GS3 headphones in a pair of jeans different day, which my wife washed and dried in a high efficiency washer and dryer. They survived and functioned just fine, although they are little more coyly now. Heat shrinkage. I thought it would be cool to torture test the accessories that came with the devices, i.e., power supplies, headphones, and other stuff. Thanks Orlando from Massachusetts. You need to be more careful with your stuff. I like the chocolate idea, although when you said that you had it in your pocket while you were doing yard work, I was kind of imagining on mower test, which I think could be pretty red. Moving on in the e-mail, Molly, I'm very interested in a torture test of the iPod Touch as you mentioned in show 18. My 7-year-old daughter is thinking of asking santa for one before elves spend all that time building it, I would like to know if they can handle the kid test. She is the only one in the house without an iOS device. So, please test it so we can put it on the list. P.S. She's been nice. Thanks, Tom. That's so cute. You still believe in Santa, Tom. Just kidding. Just really in the lives of some children with this show. Okay, the good news is we're totally testing the iPod touch as so many of you requested and we're totally testing it with children. Stay tune for next week's episode. I promise you it's gonna be worth it. Oh, good job, good job. And finally, hey Molly, I know it's a small detail, but nice job on the eyebrows. They look kind of strange since you started doing Always On, but now they're actually nice. I figured you should know, smiley face; Anthony of Tampa, Florida. Thank you for noticing everything all the time. It's Nancy and Martha. Those are the 2 makeup ladies that do all this fantastic work. Thanks for all the awesome feedback everyone. I love it. Keep it coming. E-mail me alwayson@cnet.com. You can also find this at Google+, Facebook, and of course Twitter. That's it for this week everyone. Next week on always on, we unbox a whole bunch of Apple products including the new MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina display and, of course, there's that iPod Touch Torture test that I mentioned. Stick around, that's all coming up next week. Thank you for watching. -Molly, this was an eggs-clusive. I think you came through egg-xemplary. I'm not trying to egg-xaggerate anything, I'm promise that now Disney, Star Wars Characters including Vader. I don't look anything like hidden Christianson that's what supposed to be. This is why I'm a bachelor.
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