According to the latest InMobi and Mobext survey, there’s a significant rise in the interest of owning/using a connected device. Tablet use rose quickly to 29.5 million U.S. users or 11% of the total U.S. population. People have drastically changed the way they consume media making mobile devices their top go-to device for media gluttony. But does this mean people will be willing to shell out a few hundred dollars for a media streaming device that leverages our newfound mobility + cloud killer combo?
The Google Nexus Q looks promising as a home entertainment device, plus the design looks simple yet intriguing. It’s round, unlike other media players which are typically box-shaped. Some living rooms just need a little bit of umpf to make it come alive, and Google hopes to achieve some points with the differentiation as a social streaming tool.
As Google’s first foray into home entertainment for consumer electronics, there’s a lot riding on the Nexus Q’s debut. Though it looks sleek, the Nexus Q still needs to address some issues.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – This just baffles me. It launched alongside the Nexus 7 tablet that runs Jelly Bean, so why doesn’t the Nexus Q have JB as well? Maybe the chip can’t support JB? But it has the same chip as the Galaxy Nexus!
User Interface – the Nexus Q doesn’t have a physical button, it only features the mute LED button. You can only control it using your smartphone or tablet. So what if you can’t find your device and you want to play something or stop something from streaming? Simply put, it’s a useless thing-a-ma-jig without an Android device synced to it, and that could be limiting in the long run.
Price – The Nexus Q would cost about $299 without speakers and cables. If you want the accessories, you’d have to pay an extra $399 for the Triad Bookshelf speakers and $49 for speaker cables with banana plugs. The price is quite steep for something that’s useless without an accompanying Android device. Google should’ve paired the Nexus Q with a high end wireless speaker like those from Sonos.
Streaming issues – even with high-speed internet connection, streaming TV shows was frustrating – it tends to stop for buffering. But, streaming content from YouTube showed no buffering on the Nexus Q so far, which is comforting. So what about everyone else’s content and how can this be improved?
Matte finish – I know that a shiny black finish sometimes makes a device look cheap so some go for the matte finish. But matte surfaces love oil – as in the oil on your hands and fingertips. So you can expect that once a party is over, your Nexus Q could look pretty shiny after all as curious party-goers will be all but tossing around this Nexus Q by the end of the night. Maybe one or two color/finish options would make the Nexus Q more appealing to a broader audience.
Google is not really a hardware maker so the Nexus Q is something new for the company. And though it wasn’t mentioned during the conference, Nexus Q is proudly made in the US. Still, they’re not disclosing where they’re making this device, and if it’s proudly Google-made or just Google-branded.