Google Nexus Q Media Streamer

The Nexus Q is a media streamer from Google that functions to exclusively receive both audio and video content from the company’s online services. Control happens within any android tablet computer or smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S3. Google markets the device as the world’s first social media streamer.

Physically, the Google Nexus Q is very distinguishable. It is shaped like a sphere with a 45-degree split denoted by a total of 32 indicator LEDs. Even from the other side of the living room, the device can already be perceived as something different, at least physically. The Nexus Q is quite the charmer though, and can even be hazarded as elegant or attractive. It has a matte finished look that not only contributes to its appeal, but also makes it feel great. The device is a fingerprint magnet though so one still has to be careful. The base is weighted so it doesn’t roll off easily.

The upper half of the Google Nexus Q consists of a volume knob while a single blue LED crowds the front, which not only serves as an aesthetic element but also houses the device’s touch sensitive mute button. On the back of the device is an array of ports. This includes a micro HDMI and optical audio outputs, an Ethernet jack, and a USB port. Developers can use the latter as a byway to hack into the device. The external speakers can be hooked up directly using a set of banana styled connectors, with the device housing a 25-watt amplifier. There is a set of recessed audio port built-in that can alternate with the banana connector. The Google Nexus Q packs a total of 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB worth of flash storage.

Given that the Google Nexus Q has no interface of its own, getting it to pair with an Android device can be a bit more complicated and difficult as desired. All the Nexus Q does (or pretty much all of it) is to sit there and stream media content; it is the Android device that manages and initiates streaming. Initial pairing brings up the download page for the Nexus Q management application. This means that you have to have an Internet connection in order to share with the device, at least for the first time. The device is made to pair with multiple devices. Streaming as well as basic settings are all controlled by the application, including adjusting the brightness of the LEDS, changing visuals, even turning off the various ports.

Streaming with the Google Nexus Q is not so much like a standard affair. One gets to choose between three Android applications: YouTube, Play Music, and Play Video. What the Nexus Q does is it serves as a remote control that channels your command to Google’s servers and send the media back down to the Q through the Internet. This means that one can use the Nexus Q to switch as the output device of Google Internet audio instead of the tablet. Visuals are provided for by the display. Videos on the other hand are streamed to the display as well.

In terms of performance, syncing with the Google Nexus Q can sometimes be problematic, requiring restart of either the application or the device. Sound quality is crisp and well detailed and can easily fill up the room. Video quality though is noticeably poor, poorer than what you would get with just playing the whole thing within the tablet.

Overall, the Google Nexus Q is a fine idea but with all of its bugs and functionality gaps, it’s quite difficult to really market it successfully to a specific group of people.

Google Nexus Q Media Streamer Price in Singapore Dollar (SGD): Approximately S$ 380.00

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