It’s Black Friday, a day that is supposed to be all about deals. In that vein, I’ve saved the best for last in this week-long gadget series: the Nexus 5 smartphone.
Google’s new flagship mobile device has much in common with the company’s Chromebook laptops, which I covered off in yesterday’s post. Both are unique weapons in the search company’s attack plan to get more people using more of its services. Both are priced well below competitors’ products, mainly because Google isn’t really interested in making big profit margins on hardware. It’s all about the ad dollars garnered when using search, Gmail, Maps and all the other software-ish stuff it does.
The Nexus 5 differs from Chromebooks in one key way. While the laptops are relatively low-powered compared to competitors, Google’s smartphone has similar specs to other rival high-end devices and is in some cases better (it has a higher screen resolution than the iPhone 5S, for example). But, just like the laptops, it’s way cheaper, coming in at a base price of $349 in Canada.
That’s a very important distinction from other phones because it’s about more than just saving buyers a few dollars. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it actually has the potential to reshape society. Read the rest of this entry »