Google Nexus Q Review

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean has finally made its way into the hands of a lucky few developers courtesy of Google’s I/O event in San Francisco, bring along a couple of new friends for the ride. However, one of the most talked-up and promising of all is the new Nexus Q which demands a Jelly Bean handset to run, therefore is as yet something most are yet to experience their first taste of.

Of course, those lucky enough to give the Nexus Q a run-through have been more than willing to share their experiences with the rest of us!

Google Nexus Q Review


The actual setup of the Nexus Q is mercifully simple – pretty much taking care of itself if you have the necessary Ethernet cable. If the device is running correctly, the Nexus Q app detects the hardware immediately and you’re pretty much good to go.

One of the key features that could see the Nexus Q succeed is the way in which users can control several Q’s around the home or office using one network – you simply name each device separately during setup to take control. Users can also customize the name of the network, which is otherwise set to a default of “My Home”.

Light and Sound

Once everything seems to be up and running, accessing streaming media by way of Google’s Play Music will then give you the options of playing said music via your handset or through the newly installed Nexus Q – whatever you’ve decided to call it.

If your Nexus Q happens to be connected to a TV, you’ll be treated to brightly colored visuals as the music plays, while the colored lights around the edge of the Q will also pulse and change in time with music. These color schemes and patterns can be changed as desired, or turned off if so wished.

Setting up a playlist for the Q is as simple as you would expect it to be.

Playing video content and accessing YouTube is just as easy as the above as once you’re signed into your Google Play account most of the work is already done. Video quality was as expected – i.e. good but not exceptional.

Guest Access

So that’s the basics taken care of and the Q certainly seems to be in line with its rivals in terms of core functionality, but sadly this is where the fun comes to an end…so far at least. If you were to invite a friend or colleague along to add his or her music to your playlist, you’ll probably find the Q doesn’t seem to allow this. Once you adjust the settings to accept guest access this hiccup is supposed to go away, but it doesn’t.

The Nexus Q didn’t actually appear on the second phone used for the tests no matter how many attempts and tweaks were made.

More annoyingly still, playback by way of streaming media from the primary test device used also highlighted a number of bugs in terms of frequent interruptions and pauses. The guide that comes with the Q suggests that a reboot will usually solve all such problems, but in tests this often made the problem worse.

Following a reboot it sometimes became rather difficult to reconnect the Q to the network, stating that the network was unavailable one second and then mysteriously appearing the next…and so on.

Streaming from the main device was less than hideously problematic but during the course of testing it has so far proved nigh-on impossible to get the Guest feature to work without a pitched-battle. Given the fact that the Nexus Q’s purpose is less than revolutionary and has already been pioneered and perfected by several rivals, there really is very little explanation as to why it needs to be so difficult to use in certain instances.


The Nexus Q certainly has some attractive and useful features such as the dancing light-show when playing back content through a TV, but at this stage in time it has far too many bugs in the system and feels far from complete. Of course, there is still time for Google to focus on and iron out all such problems before the Q’s official release, as with a $299 price-tag it will be entirely unacceptable to offer anything that isn’t 100% polished to perfection.

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