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Google Nexus 4 Review

Google Nexus 4 9

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Google Nexus 4 Review
Introduction:

Moving steadily along with momentum on its side, Korean-based manufacturer LG is seeing itself in a very unfamiliar position in the smartphone industry. For a change, the spotlight has been directed at them of late – thanks primarily to the recent launch of its flagship device in the LG Optimus G. And with that going for them, it surely surprised many when the first rumors started coming around hinting to the notion that they would be the one to actually produce the next Google Nexus device.

Without question, it’s a prized opportunity to be the one chosen by Google to come up with the next Nexus smartphone, since as we know all too well, they’re highly prized items sporting the latest and greatest with Android. Oppositely, for the Mountain View based company, they’re also shifting into top gear by bringing the heat to the competition this holiday season. Combining the two’s efforts, they’ve collaborated in producing the Google Nexus 4 – the fourth generations Nexus smartphone.

Already in the last couple of months, we’ve seen some fantastic smartphones come to market – with each one seemingly raising the bar. In a time when we’re presented with renowned devices such as the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC DROID DNA, and even the LG Optimus G, one can only imagine the kind of star power needed by the Google Nexus 4 to stand apart from all the rest. Well, seeing that we’re given the latest flavor of Jelly Bean, combined with one unimaginable price point, it seems as though the Nexus 4 has all the correct ingredients to make a meaningful, yet highly prized smartphone in this cutthroat business.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety & Warranty Guide
  • Terms & Conditions, Return Policy, and Limited Warranty Guide

Design:

Arguably, the last two Nexus smartphones put out by Samsung haven’t been cutting-edge per se in the design department, but thankfully enough, LG manages to bring back a small sprinkling of premium to the beloved line. But to tell you the truth, the overall design of the Nexus 4 still doesn’t match the precision and attention to detail seen with the original Nexus One. From the front, its minimalistic and clean surface stands out most prominently, but as a whole, it looks very much like the Galaxy Nexus from last year. However, it’s in the rear that we’re most impressed with the handset, since it’s employing a cool looking pattern design very similar to what’s seen over with the “Crystal Reflection” rear casing of the Optimus G. Depending on the angle, it sparkles brilliantly with its alternating dotted patterns. Even better, the glass casing layered on top of it adds that desired level of premium to its entire construction.

The glass casing layered on top of the Google Nexus 4 adds that desired level of premium - Google Nexus 4 Review
The glass casing layered on top of the Google Nexus 4 adds that desired level of premium - Google Nexus 4 Review

The glass casing layered on top of the Google Nexus 4 adds that desired level of premium


Strangely though, the Nexus 4 comes of being super slippery in the hand – attributed to the handset’s front and rear surfaces being covered in glass. In fact, it’s so very slippery that when we place it on a surface with a slight incline, it begins to slowly slide down, and in many instances, we’re always left to remind ourselves to keep an eye on it. Additionally, it’s a magnet for all the nasty baddies out there that dirty up its beauty – like fingerprints and smudges. With the help of a cloth, though, they’re relatively gone in one quick wipe, thus, bringing it back to its pristine appearance. Compared to other recent handsets, the Nexus 4 doesn’t attempt to push its construction to the limits, which is evident by its 0.36-inch thick profile and 4.9 oz weight – making it still somewhat unwieldy to hold in the hand. Ultimately, if it weren’t for the glass casing and enchanting pattern design of the rear, this would’ve been a bland looking handset.

Google Nexus 4 Review

You can compare the Google Nexus 4 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Attached with the Nexus moniker, it doesn’t surprise us there are no capacitive buttons below the screen on this beauty, but rather, its LED pulse notification light is positioned there instead. On the opposite edge, we greeted with the usual suspect of characters – these include its earpiece, light & proximity sensors, and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, the latter of which can shoot video in 720p.

Checking out the items littered along its trim, which is sporting a matte soft touch coating, we find its volume control on the left edge and power button on the right. Raised slightly above the surface, they’re distinctive enough to feel out with our fingers, but even better, they exhibit good feedback when pressed.

Along the top trim, there’s the 3.5mm headset jack and noise-cancelling microphone – while on the bottom, we’re left with only the standard mic and microUSB port for charging/data/video-out connectivity. Somewhat of a bummer, the Nexus 4 forgoes using a more favorable MHL port for video-out functionality, and instead, it relies on a Slimport socket, which means you’ll need to purchase yet another proprietary adapter in order to connect it to a high-def TV. Additionally, it boasts wireless video-out functionality too, but you’ll need to have equipment that’s compatible with Miracast’s wireless display standard – again, it’s a complex process, sadly.

Front side - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 - Google Nexus 4 Review
Left edge - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 - Google Nexus 4 Review
Top - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 - Google Nexus 4 Review

Front side

Left edge

Top

Right - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 - Google Nexus 4 Review
Bottom - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 - Google Nexus 4 Review
Back - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 - Google Nexus 4 Review

Right

Bottom

Back

The sides of the Google Nexus 4


Flush to the glass surface of the rear, the Nexus 4 is sporting an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, which is capable of shooting 1080p videos. And finally, the narrow speaker grill is located towards the bottom right of the rear casing. Seeing that it’s sporting a closed design, there’s no easy access to its internal 2,100 mAh battery.


Display:

Having seen the razor sharp and awe-inspiring 1080p display of the HTC DROID DNA, there isn’t much wow factor seen with the Nexus 4’s display anymore. To tell you the truth, though, it’s the same one used by the LG Optimus G – so it’s been done before already! Regardless of that, there are some noteworthy elements seen with its 4.7-inch WXGA 768 x 1280 True HD IPS Plus display.

Google Nexus 4 Review
For starters, it’s still one detailed thing with its above average pixel density of 318 ppi – and that’s despite being outdone by the DROID DNA. Secondly, since it’s relying on good old IPS LCD technology, it delivers colors that are the most natural in tone, giving it a distinctive realistic appearance over the saturated tones put out by the rival AMOLED technology. And finally, it works rather well when it matters the most with outdoor visibility, which is attributed to its strong brightness output, decent reflection rate and wide viewing angles.

Protecting everything, its screen is soundly reinforced with Gorilla Glass 2, which is rounded around the trim to seamlessly transition and mix well with its sides. Just like on the Optimus G, it’s utilizing Zerogap technology that simply combines the LCD panel with the glass and eliminates the air gap usually found there, to make it appear closer to the surface. All in all, it’s sharp looking no doubt, but as we’ve made it transparent, it’s nothing that’s ground-breaking.



Google Nexus 4 360-degrees View:



114 Comments
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posted on 19 Nov 2012, 08:04 12

1. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


It is a shame that the Nexus4 didn't get LTE radios. LTE chip technology has advanced to the point where multiple frequency bands can be supported, so it would seem to be technically possible.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 08:14 39

5. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


As some other tech sites explained, the US is just a small portion of the market. It'd rather sacrifice LTE than having carriers blemish the software. You know, I don't really get Americans and 4G. We don't NEED 4G. It's some sort of extra - but we can live with 3G. Some countries even rely on 1mbps WiFI.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 08:31 7

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


That sounds like rationalizing the absence of LTE as opposed to a reason not to have LTE. There is a reason why most of the flagship phones are shipping with LTE.... Even Apple is now on the LTE bandwagon.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 08:58 21

21. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4002; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Come on...how fast would you want your phone to be??? As i see it, 3G is quite enough!!
Have to agree with BobFreak...
It's a accessory we can do without, but having it is a plus.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 09:08 6

24. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Ok, you are definitely entitled to your opinion. 4G LTE is the future. It will take over as the world standard in less than 10 years. Voice & data will be handled with 4G LTE.

Also 100mbps is going to be the norm. GSM & CDMA is going to go extinct. Might as well embrace 4G LTE because sooner than later you won’t have a choice & once you get a taste you are going to wonder how you ever could say "Come on...how fast would you want your phone to be??? As i see it, 3G is quite enough!!"

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 12:19 5

45. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1311; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


The problem with LTE is that the speeds that they promise you are just theoretical. I mean think about it: how many times have you gotten your phone to clock in at or around the speed the carrier supposedly has? I can tell you only one time I had close to the theoretical speeds on a carrier and that was when they were first rolling out LTE into our area. I believe carriers need to work on the problem of network traffic instead of just promising more and more theoretical speed.

And while LTE may be the future of wireless networks, it doesn't justify needing it on a phone at this point in time. I have seen people use HSPA+ and get the same speeds as someone using 4G LTE. The truth of the matter is that LTE is not in it's prime state right now. It will indeed take a few more years for it to get to a prime state, and when it does you can bet the next Nexus phone will have LTE on it.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 12:38 2

47. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Just did a speed test after I read your post & it hit 16mbps. I only did it once. I bet I would get higher if I kept trying. Verizon is the only carrier that backs up what they sell. Yes they are expensive but they are ALWAYS investing into their network & I reap the benefits by being a Verizon customer. Again LTE for Verizon covers over 225 million people in the U.S. at this point. That is almost the whole population of the U.S.

They are talking about releasing LTE Advance in 2013. So let's say they never reach 100mbps, can you imagine consistent 35 to 50mbps? That just blows my mind!

Fact is it will happen & in a few short years (I say 6 to 7 years heck even sooner) that type of speed WILL be common worldwide.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 13:17 2

50. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I just did a speed test and my score was 43 ms latency, 22 mb/s down and 21 mb/s up. For comparison, with Comcast cable Internet service, I am reliably seeing 25 m/s latency, 26 mb/s down and 8 mb/s up.

I wonder if those same people who question the need for LTE have the same opinion about processor improvement? 'Cause with a slow Internet connection, you really don't need the faster processors. Unless all you do with your phone is play games.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 13:47 2

54. Lboogey6 (Posts: 281; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


hspa+ on T-Mobile i myarea averages 21 & 19 what's your point

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 14:02 1

56. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


My point is, that T-Mobile doesn't have HSPA+ everywhere like Verizon has 4G LTE. Hey I am very stoked you have that, but my boys DON'T & lots of other people I know who I see & talk to most everyday don't also.

Verizon's 4G LTE coverage is blanketing over 225 million people in the U.S. T-Mobile not so much. I know I travel a lot for my job.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 13:44 3

52. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


In the S.F. Bay Area, HSPA+ seems to suffer from variable speeds. When the Note II was exclusive to T-Mo, I purchased one and did a test of speed at a number of places on the S.F. peninsula over the course of 2 days at different times. The best I saw was latency of 65 m/s, 8 mb/s down and 5 mb/s up. The worst was latency of 1,200 m/s (that is 1.2 SECONDS), 500 kb/s down and 115 kb/s up. At the same time as the worst HSPA+ result was produced, I ran a separate check on my GS III on VZW and scored 68 m/s latency, 15 mb/s down with 16 mb/s up.

Needless to say, I returned the T-Mo Note II and am impatiently waiting for the VZW edition of the Note II to spit out from FedEx.

LTE IS where the future is headed.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 13:46 2

53. Lboogey6 (Posts: 281; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


that argument is irrelevant forthis because in a year you'll have a new phone until then all the Americanspeeds aren't muchdifferent live in a real lte countrywith 100 mbps speeds thencomplain

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 14:09 2

57. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I really don't follow you. Why is my argument irrelevant? You know BOTH GSM & CDMA are obsolete technologies right? You know it's only a matter of time until they go away right?

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 01:34

106. nacho69 (Posts: 21; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


I agree. LTE is the future. But also, this phone does have everything it needs to support LTE on tmobile who will use band 4 1700/2100mhz for LTE, which is a plus for t- mobile customers(especially the ones with unlimited data plans). I have VZW LTE service, and am very satisfied. they have the best and largest LTE network by far and will continue until the entire 3G footprint is covered with LTE. That means all the red 3G you see on their map will also be LTE by next summer. For everyone reading, If your on t-mobile get a nexus 4 since its future proof for you, if your on AT&T/VZW/sprint get a LTE device.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 15:11 3

62. tedkord (Posts: 12203; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


You must have never used Verizon's 3g. My old dial up 14.4 modem was faster. When I was on Verizon's 3g, all these wonderful things I can do now, like stream Netflix, were impossible. Even loading webpages was painful. Hell, I couldn't even get through a while song on Pandora.

Now, Netflix looks almost HD. My Slingbox streams smooth. Webpages are just there. So, yeah, LTE is lined of a big deal.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 09:03 9

22. Retro-touch (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


So you think the whole world consists of America? This is why Americans are considered stupid, there is a whole world out there and the LTE markets are tiny when you take that into account. Apple including LTE still doesn't benefit most people since 95% or more the world has no LTE its just not important, not to mention the insane prices for Apple products

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 09:15 2

26. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Retro-touch, Droid_X_Doug didn't say that, you did.

There is no need to name call. We are all adults here & we are all entitled to our opinions.

4G LTE is going to be the world's future standard not just here in the U.S. GSM & CDMA are obsolete technologies. In less than 10 years you won't even remember what GSM or CDMA was like.

CDMA is HUGE in VERY populous countries (China anyone). There is money to be made with a CDMA LTE Google Nexus 4.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 14:27 1

59. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


LTE is an evolution of GSM.

In other news, give it a few days. There is some evidence that the Nexus 4 has LTE capabilities somehow on bands 1, 2, and 4.

I don't know too much about networks, so I don't know if this makes any sense. What I've seen is that it has a 7-band LTE chip, as well as full radio/antenna sets for 5 GSM bands. Bands I, II, and IV are on both, so it might have LTE on this bands.
Problems: I don't know if a HSPA+ radio can accept LTE waves, and I read that the LTE chip has no power source.

That said, AnandTech seems to have some amount of confidence that LTE theoretically would work, so take from that what you will.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6440/google-nexus-4-review/7

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 14:42 2

61. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Update to my earlier post:
According to iFixit, the Nexus 4 packs a Qualcomm MDM9215 modem. This modem supports LTE, apparently. It is also used by the HTC One X+.

http://www.qualcomm.com/chipsets/gobi

There you have it. LTE appears to be a thing on the Nexus 4. The real difference maker here is whether the LTE chip is hardware disconnected from the rest of the phone. If not, a bit of software hacking might be all it takes. Again, I'm not an expert, but this is looking pretty awesome.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 12:40 3

48. theo14461 (unregistered)


Sorry my bitter friend, I'm reading this article in the U.S.A.!! I CAN get LTE, so that is why it should be offered with the LTE radio. Who cares if the rest of the world doesn't.

posted on 23 Nov 2012, 13:49

99. JussSaynMayn (Posts: 6; Member since: 01 Nov 2012)


Suck it up, it doesnt have LTE, move on!

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 01:49 1

84. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)


One word- IT'S JUST A PHONE. HOW SUPER DO YOU WANT IT TO BE??!? 5.5GHZ, EIGHT CORE PROCESSOR? 5 G? 10 INCH SCREEN?!!? 4MM THICKNESS!?!?!?

ITS JUST A BLOOODY PHONE!

Live with it.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:38

91. ajnxs4androd (Posts: 8; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


And how much data do you use on your LTE Device may I ask?? Because the plans are just too expensive if you want more data caps, so you're eventually gonna use WIFI at home or office whenever possible. So what's the point of Having LTE if you're gonna use it very rarely. And plus LTE eats battery faster than HSPA+ and also it has 41 Bands worldwide so it's a very complicated thing to include support for so many bands. Even Iphone 5 doesn't cover all LTE Bands. I'm not saying that LTE is a bad thing, but as per it's current situation, it's still got a long way to go. Maybe an year or two down the line, it will become a well-estabilished technology and definitely the Next Nexus Device will support it natively. Also LTE will be widespread all over the world like HSPA+ and then we'll get to see some good data plans for it too. But for now and maybe an year or so down the line, HSPA+ 42 is more than enough to satisfy your needs as it's plans are much more reasonable than LTE Plans..

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 08:53 6

18. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Once you try 4G LTE you will be BLOWN away. It literally is a life changer. You need to experience it & you WILL be converted. It REALLY is THAT "BIG" of a deal! You couldn’t pay me to go back to 3G!

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 08:56 1

19. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


"You couldn't pay me to go back to 3G!"

That kind of says it all. And is a significant reason why VZW is doing as well as it is. Dogs like dog food that tastes great!

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 09:04 4

23. Retro-touch (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


First world problems!

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 18:20

66. epdm2be (Posts: 554; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)


probably because the jackasses who sell 3G never really exploited good. The fact is that average 20Mbps LTE or 20Mbps HSDPA+ makes no difference. Sure LTE 'could' go higher but they (the telco's) won't deliver it higher (for now).

Unfortunately in my country LTE is a dream and since 3G isn't even properly installed... pfft... I have no illusions. I'd rather have a microUSB card slot (and root access). To download stuff at home and sideload them on the phone when wanted.

Anyway. Has anyone seen those awfull photos. Holly Crap, my old SE K750i can do better. This nexus just SUCKS! It isn't good in anything but average in everything!

8Gb internal storage are you kidding! Awfull photo's, oh come on! Sure it has 'photo editing' on the gallery.. so what? Nokia's Symbian phones have had photo editing since the N8 in their gallery.

Is there anything significant on this phone that would make want it? Nope! So LG.. Nice try but no cigar!

posted on 31 Mar 2013, 17:15

113. h1234abcd (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Mar 2013)


You can get a 16 GB version of this pphone. Lets be honest who cares about the camera? it's pointless if you want a high quality camera go and buy one seriously if your going to spend £280 on a phone just for the camera then you're a bit retarded. 'It isn't good in anything'? are you on crack this phone has awesome specs for a reasonable price, it has the same cpu and gpu as the Sony xperia z (which costs around £550 for an unlocked one), it also has the same amount of ram as the xperia (2GB) all of this means that this phone is excellent for gaming and multi-tasking and day to day use, you obviously do not know much about smartphones (forgot to mention that this phone is the first to updates and is very cheap for what you're getting)

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 10:38 1

35. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


exactly.You guys are lucky in the States to get it and that also for $350. In most of the countries it wont be even available despite a huge demand;(
here in India N4 16GB is selling for approx $560 and above on ebay without any warranty.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 21:37

77. Mkondrak (unregistered)


"Some countries"? Ha I live in Chicago and my att (15$) u-verse gets me 1.4 mbps up (speedtest). In real world downloads i get 170-180 kbps.

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Google Nexus 4

Google Nexus 4

OS: Android 5.1 5.0 4.4.4 4.4.3 4.4.2 4.4 4.3 4.2.2 4.2.1 4.2
view full specs
Display4.7 inches, 768 x 1280 pixels (318 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
2 GB RAM
Size5.27 x 2.70 x 0.36 inches
(133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm)
4.90 oz  (139 g)
Battery2100 mAh, 15.3 hours talk time

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