June 27th 2012 12:26 pm

final rating

reviewed on
this review has been viewed 1578 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Media support The Nexus Q only plays content from Google Play, but you can upload music you own to Google play and stream it from there. so-so
  • Video quality No comments
  • Audio quality No comments
  • Ease of use Confusing, opaque, and difficult to pair Android device with Q. poor
  • Design and form factor I love the way it feels in your hand. It is really heavy and solid, and the action of the volume/mute hemisphere is satisfying. great!
Detailed review
The Q is a beautifully designed, high-end product for Android users who already own sweet entertainment systems and want a media streamer to match. If you don't have an HDMI television, or a stereo with optical or banana plug connectors, AND an Android device for an interface, you can't use the Q.

I use an iPhone and I only just bought a TV with HDMI, so I would not have chosen a Q for streaming. However I have one from Google I/O, and it is such a beautiful object I wanted to try it. Fortunately Google I/O also provided me with an Android device to use it with.

So far my experience with it has been mixed. It was fairly straight forward to set up, considering you have to use a TV and an Android to interface with it, though not as straight forward as Apple TV. Once you are configured, there is an ambiguous process by which you can play content you choose on your Android through the Q. It is not entirely clear how the connection between the devices works. Some part Bluetooth, some part NFC, mostly Wi-Fi, and completely counterintuitive. For example, you would think that to play music from the Android, you would open the Q app or you would have a "stream from Q" option in the music player, but it doesn't work like that. Your Android may deign to show you a "beam" icon which will give you this choice. If it does, everything is as expected. But it may not. If you don't see the icon, even when everything is set up, you can't use the Q. Touching the Q with your Android will briefly show you a "Tap to Beam" option (which you will tap but nothing will beam) and then try to get you to download the Q app again. And again. Frustration ensues.

Right now the Q is sitting on my console doing nothing and I am trying to decide if I want to bother to get it to work. Google's help forums were characteristically not helpful, but the Q is uncharacteristically elegant looking, even in repose.
review history
Rated Ease of use a 2
Updated detailed review
Updated overall rating
Edited comment on Ease of use
Updated detailed review