Google Nexus Mobile Devices: How They Shape Up Against Apple Products

NEWS ANALYSIS: Google is getting serious about competing in the mobile market with three Nexus devices that take aim at Apple's popular mobile products.

Google is ready for a fight with Apple. The company recently announced two new devices in its Nexus line—a smartphone called the Nexus 4 and a larger tablet that will be known as the Nexus 10. As one might expect, given recent naming conventions in the mobile space, the 4 and 10 represent the products' respective screen sizes.

The Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 complement Google's previously announced Nexus 7, a tablet that comes with a 7-inch display and is designed to compete against the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire and Apple's iPad Mini.

It's that battle for preeminence that is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Google's Nexus line. For years, Google has been content to partner with device makers and offer a so-called "Nexus" product for the main purpose of promoting its Android operating system. Now, though, Google has partnered with companies to deliver its own branded devices to take on other hardware makers. Like Microsoft with its Surface tablet, Google's Nexus line is an attempt on the search giant's part to achieve new (and perhaps greater) things in the mobile device market.

Here is what Google is trying to achieve with its Nexus product line.

1. There's something for everyone

One of the nice things about Google's Nexus line now is that there's a mobile product for just about any customer. Looking for a smartphone? The Nexus 4 is for you. Need a lightweight, cheap tablet? The Nexus 7 is your winner. Even the Nexus 10 will satisfy customers looking for a more high-end experience.

2. Price is on Google's side

When comparing Google's mobile products to those from companies like Apple, it's hard to find fault in the Nexus devices. The Nexus 7 starts at $199, making it much cheaper than the $329 iPad Mini. And at just $399 for the Nexus 10, Apple's iPad, which kicks off at $499, looks awfully expensive in comparison. If nothing else, price is on Google's side.

3. Design is not a strong suit for the Nexus Devices

Google's Nexus line isn't going to win many points for the aesthetic design of the devices. They come with a basic smartphone or tablet design with rounded edges and a black finish. Compared to Apple's iPhones and iPads, the Nexus devices are rather ugly.

4. Screen quality is on Google's mind

Google has made it abundantly clear to all who will listen that screen quality matters. That's probably why the Nexus 10 comes with a display that has 300 pixels per inch, beating out Apple's Retina display with 264 pixels per inch. Those looking for a high-definition viewing experience might find a lot to like in the Nexus 10.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...