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Google Nexus 4 Review

0. phoneArena 19 Nov 2012, 07:59 posted on

Already in the last couple of months, we’ve seen some fantastic smartphones come to market – with each one seemingly raising the bar. 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.

This is a discussion for a review. To read the whole review, click here

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 08:50

16. StreetNerd (Posts: 819; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)

o yes ive been unbanned :D

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 09:45

31. jeck77 (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 Dec 2010)

Maybe you didn't go to settings under Gmail, but there is more to the new Gmail app then just swipe to delete/archive. You can now set the emails to show the full email with pinch-to-zoom functionality.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 19:11

74. Manos (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 May 2012)

Right, but not in the gmail widget, only at the mail one.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 09:51 1

33. Cellphonator12 (Posts: 29; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Nice review John, thank you.
Can you take pictures while recording a video? I really enjoy this feature with my HTC One S.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 10:33 1

34. jan25 (Posts: 470; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

IF it wasn't for the price, the proper rating would've been 8.5. i would taken off half a point on the lack of LTE, 16 gigs of storage, and the average camera. i will buying the Nexus 4 any way since i don't store thousand of hours of music or store many games, HSPA+ is more than adequate for me and i never really cared about the camera (i had the G Nexus with a 5 MP)

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 10:52 1

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

You clearly don't realize that if you remove point for arbitrary reasons as you've stated the iPhone would also score poorly since there are a LOT of things normal smartphones can do which aren't offered on it due its closed system. LTE is not important so its a concern but not for majority of people who will buy this phone, 16GB is enough for most normal users barring power users and lazy one who keep content just cause they can, average camera I definitely agree

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 11:04

41. bucky (Posts: 2570; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

People keep saying the iPhone can't do a lot of things a regular smartphone can but I still can't figure out what. What are they?
Seems to do everything my sgs2 can and more due to accessories.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 13:55 1

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

No USB mass storage
Can't transfer files without iTunes
No bluetooth transfer of files

Just some of the iCrap faults that I could gather

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 14:27 1

60. bucky (Posts: 2570; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

-some prefer iTunes. Files and docs are easily stored in iCloud/apps
-Bluetooth is a good one I'll admit
-NFC is not a concern for 99% of people including myself

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 18:27

67. epdm2be (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)

No bluetooth file transfer
No 2-way call recording (essential for a professional COMMS tool)
No USB mass storage mode

No FM transmitter (can be rectified with external accessories).
Though the iPhone DOES get better pictures than this pos.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 12:12

44. jan25 (Posts: 470; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

as much i believe pure Android is the best smartphone OS there is, cross-platform comparisons is pretty subjective just like Touchwiz/Sense vs stock Android. if high end devices have LTE or better camera quality then the bar is set, even though they are irrelevant to me and you. then again, the price is crazy good which makes the 9 a fair score.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 10:45

37. klink77 (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)

I'm one of those who got the 3 week back order messages from Google for the Nexus 4. If the phone is still in short supply, like it seems to be now, I think I'll sell my phone on Ebay. I'm looking at the average price sold, its going for $540. I wouldn't mind having a little extra dough. Maybe I'll sell on Craigslist to avoid Ebay fees.

Really disappointed in the camera after reading this review. I didn't expect perfection, but at least a big improvement over the Galaxy Nexus. It doesn't look like that happened.

I didn't see anywhere in the interview where it discussed the speaker (not earpiece) for this phone. Is it much improved over the Galaxy Nexus? That was one of my biggest gripes on that old model. Although, custom roms seemed to fix that problem, but only recently for me.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 10:48

38. netslave (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Tried Nexus 4 at the local T-Mobile store and it is the best phone on the planet. Have been a Samsung user and fan. Also used iPhone before. Non of them come close.
About 4G LTE, I dont get it why you need it if you have good HSPA+ speed available in your area.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 11:30 1

43. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)

dont go overboard its not the best phone on the planet

if you had said best for for you fine,

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 12:42

49. andersensam (Posts: 10; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)

A bit strange that the Quadrant scores for the Optimus G are so much higher....

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 13:30 1

51. tggoulart (Posts: 24; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)

iPhone 5 is better

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 15:58 4

63. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

So despite the crappy camera with purple lens flare, a lack of LTE/4G (which will become the standard over the next 6-12 months), limited internal storage, and cheap build quality with obvious design flaws, phone arena recommend this phone over more capable handsets like the Lumia 820, HTC 8X, and Sony Xperia SL and Xperia ST ??
I'm really getting sick of tech blogs putting more weight on raw specs and synthetic benchmarks than usability and benefits to the end user.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 16:19

64. Izzy_V (Posts: 216; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)

Agree 100%. It's better to look up reviews by users on YouTube than to listen to tech sites and their so-called "experts". At least then reviews will be based on real life performance.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 19:05

73. Manos (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 May 2012)


posted on 19 Nov 2012, 21:40

78. Hemlocke (unregistered)

The build quality is NOT cheap. It is the best feeling Android phone I have ever used, and I have used a bunch.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 22:23

79. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

I have the N4. I've tried my darndest to create lens flare and I have yet to do it.

The build quality is damn solid, the screen is beautiful (and I'm an AMOLED fan), the device is silky smooth and everything works well. Coming from a 2 yr old phone like most upgraders, the camera is EXELLENT. Maybe it doesnt beat the SGS3 or Note 2, but it also costs half as much. I can afford to go get a real camera for the money saved if it's that big of a deal.. and its not. I have pix up on my G+ if you dont believe me. figure out my real identity and go look.

There is a battery life issue with the phone but apparently that's tied to 4.2, not the device itself. The battery life isnt bad but it can tap out quick if your using it a lot.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 23:04

83. Hemlocke (unregistered)

4.2 is also responsible for the lower Quadrant and AnTuTu scores than the Optimus G. 4.2 is engaging thermal throttling at much lower temperatures than is necessary.

I have had mine with me for the last few hours, and it is my favorite Android phone, thus far, and I have had the S3.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 18:07

65. mostafa_abbas (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

amaZing mobile and amaZing prize :

1. Quad core processor 1.5 GHz with 2 GB RAM
2.True HD IPS Plus 768 x 1280 pixels, 4.7 inches (318 ppi pixel density)
3. 8 MP autofocus and FullHD Video 1080p@30fps
4. Android OS, v4.2 (Jelly Bean)

these Pros in other mobile cost $ 500 or $ 450 ... but this mobile costs $300 only
i hope i will be A nexus 4's user :)

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 18:34

68. epdm2be (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)

@ mostafa_abbas:
Stop quoting the bulls**t propaganda!
It's handsfree speaker quality probably sucks (like all LG's).
It has no FM-radio (so there goes the sports reports at work with the fella's)
It's photos are crap, It probably can't record calls, It has a ridiculous amount of internal storage of which we STILL don't know what REALLY is free to the user! How good are the included earbuds and how loud is it? I sure don't want to miss another phonecall thanks to a ridiculously crappy speaker!

Stop making these phones so crappy. Give us proper LOUDspeakers. Give is proper line-headphone volume so we hear our music instead of that bloody bus passing by! And NO a nice screen ain't enough!

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 18:55

70. paul48 (Posts: 17; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)

ah, your post crossing at same time as mine, answered my question if they had enabled the FM Radio - which is usually buitn into most of the WiFi/GPS chipsets - so its no extra cost to be able to listen to - and so useful, particularly when outside of 3G signal !! - yet some phonemakers persist in not bothering to make it available.
For me, a 'smart' phone has to be an "All-in-One", as mu pocket is not big enough to carry separate gadgets for each function.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 19:02

71. Manos (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 May 2012)

Hey man, now you 're being unfair with the fellow above! He stated facts and made a wish at the end, where did you see the propaganda?
By the way since it happens to own a Nexus 4 let me give my view of the handset...
1. Speaker quality is good, music doesn't sound bad at all.
2. Yes you are going to miss all those radio sports reports.
3. Pics are good and with HDR on (which by the way works much better on this device as on the S3 though the S3 might take better pics with HDR off) even better.
4. Well the free internal storage on mine (8GB) is about 5,7 GB.
5. There are no ear-buds (that shows that you haven't done enough or correct searching!) but i am using a 20€ pair and the EQ makes the experience great.
By the way i own an HTC one X too which has the best screen (untill Droid DNA comes) and in comparison the IPS of the 4 is no short in performance at all.
Just an advice, forget it's price, the phone has the best overall performance of all out there and think of this... you will never again experience lags, reboots or any sort of annoying actions!
So... Yupiiii

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 17:36

89. epdm2be (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)

"3. Pics are good and with HDR on (which by the way works much better on this device as on the S3 though the S3 might take better pics with HDR off) even better."

Are you joking? The pictures are crap. And as for the SGS3. I've been playing with one from a friend. It too doesn't take great pictures. In fact that friend also owns an N8 and now THAT device takes good pictures. Way better in colour and in sharpness. And the SGS3 is considered as taking good photos. Either those reviewers are blind moles or they get bribed by Samsung/Google.

"4. Well the free internal storage on mine (8GB) is about 5,7 GB."
5,7GB is LESS then 6GB! Stop advertising those ridiculous amounts of storage! Again that friend of mine with his SGS3 bought the 32GB model and guess what. There is LESS than 26GB storage memory free! WTF! That's 25% less then advertised. In my book that's fraud!

Sell that Nexus as a 6GB device (which is still too optimistic) but tolerable. But you guys all tolerate this kind of nonsense. Well, I don't! I don't buy an 8GB device to find out that I have 4GB left for my own use (Xperia U) or 5,7GB (N4).

It seems that these days people are VERY naive and let all those bulls**t corporations get away with these false propaganda!

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 18:35

69. paul48 (Posts: 17; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)

have they enabled the FM Radio ?

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 19:04

72. Manos (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 May 2012)

No man, I 'm sorry.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 20:12

75. paul48 (Posts: 17; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)

I can understand Google cutting the SD slot to prevent users adding cheap memory expansion so forcing users into buying more profitable fixed internal memory at the outset, but I am surprised at Google neglecting to maximise the basic features list by connect up the FM Radio included in the chipset - a no-cost feature.

It is not just the example of previous poster not being able to hear the sports reports, but for those who travel abroad, there is often no phone signal, no internet connection, so an FM Radio had it been enabled, would be the only source of local news from an otherwise then u/s smartphone. One should not have to travel with multiple devices just to get a radio and a phone.

Seems a minority of reviewers appreciate the usefullness of cheap FM radio. Some also fail to even list TV-Out, as again, when travelling even at home, it is often very useful to be able to see/hear a film on a big screen - Google killing TV-Out and FM Radio on the Nexus 7 killed that purchase for me. Samsung got lots of praise for its full-featured SGS3 including FM Radio and TV-Out, and reported to be the best selling smartphone. If Samsung gets the features list right (except the amoled, think IPS better), why is Google cutting it down ?

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 20:23

76. pathmarkpolice (Posts: 102; Member since: 05 Feb 2009)

Lot of people arguing over LTE vs 3g and whether or not people "really need it". With technology, it's difficult to go back once you experience something that is better. My friend had a Lumia 900 and I had a Samsung Focus Flash. His phone supports LTE, mine does not. We have the same carrier, a prepaid US Carrier called Straight Talk. They're both windows phones with near identical processors and internal specs, but his phone performed much faster than mine. Also, since LTE takes up less data resources than 3g for carriers, specifically prepaid ones that are leasing towers from bigger companies (in Straight Talk's case, ATT) a user can have consistently fast web browsing speed with a LTE phone as opposed to a 3g phone. I won't be getting the Nexus 4 for this reason alone. I don't want to spend more than the $49 a month for unlimited everything after taxes, with great coverage, because I want better browsing speeds. For everyone else in the world, that's great, the Nexus 4 is an amazing device. But for the US, it's a little behind the times.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:07

90. jjjsong (Posts: 74; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)

When did straight talk provide LTE services?

edit: the phones do have almost the same spec.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 22:23

80. lovefist (unregistered)

ahhh.. lte, america and it's first world problems. u need high speed data to check on facebook and twitter?

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 22:35

81. min_kim (Posts: 5; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)

This or the Droid DNA...

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 07:02

86. FranksGT (Posts: 167; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)

You get what you pay for thats for sure $350 is cheap for a smartphone and LG and Google proved thats what your getting. A HTC Inspire takes better pictures then this. Iphone 4 video recording, and 8gb storage!

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 09:07 2

92. kdava (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)

All these posts about people who can't live without LTE... wtf? A few years ago we had 1-5 mbps on our computers and we survived. Now we need 20+ on a phone? Why? What do you do on your phone so you absolutely need that bandwidth? Because I think browsing, checking emails and facebook, youtube streaming is just as good on 3g... I simply don't see how this can be a deal breaker.

I, personally, am glad, because LTE is a major battery drain as I heard. I think the other problem, the not expandable memory is not that big of a problem either, altough I can see why people complain. 16 gb have always been enough for me, never managed to fill it totally.

The only thing that's really missing is the radio for me :) But still, for this price (especially the USA price), there is no room for complaint :P

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 16:23

94. epdm2be (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)

"I think the other problem, the not expandable memory is not that big of a problem either"

sure, tell that to my mum when she dropped her phone (again) in water (or concrete) and it died promptly. Usually the items stored on the microSD-card DO survive. But then she always got phones without expandable memory and when its all too late, she aks: "... and what about the photos? Have I lost those as well?..."

the problem is less severe if you regularly upload your photos to your computer. But particularly the less computer-literate seem very nonchalant in this regard. And since phones DON'T last forever they eventually end up with a broken device filled with telnos, pics and messages that they can't retrieve. Sure, some contacts 'might' be stored on SIM. But not the photos. If you shoot pics to the SD-card (which usually outlives the phones) then it's no problem. pop out the microSD-card, insert in the new (smart)phone and ther you are.

The same with music. Have you ever copied over let's say 10GB of music from PC to a phone's internal storage at once? not to mentioning that copying from PC to a card-reader is usually faster then through the phone's card reader.

Already 2 valid reasons for wanting microSDcard expansions.

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 19:39

96. china_pearl (Posts: 5; Member since: 20 Nov 2009)

I personally am a fan of the expendable memory, and it was what kept me from getting a Galaxy Nexus before N4 came out.

Yes, I agree with you that as far as music goes, it'd be nice to just have all of it stored on the SD card, and just move the card over to the new phone when you get one.

However, there are ways to remedy the photo situation you mentioned...

From Dropbox to Sugarsync to a good number of cloud servcies out there that can backup your mom's photos automatically from the phone, as soon as the photos are taken. And if she has a G+ account, all her photos in the phone can up backed up to Picasa Web with NO STORAGE LIMITS. So if your mom is utilizing any of these services (may be with your help to set it up), dropping her phone in the toilet does not mean she loses all her photos.

Same thing with contacts -- there are a number of ways you can back it up to the cloud so when you get a new phone, they can be downloaded to it.

And there are 3rd party apps out there that can backup absolutely everything on your phone. Sure you'll most likely have to set that up for your mom, but once it's set up, it's pretty much automated. Since I suspect you will have to help her when she break her phone again, I'm sure you can help her restoring the data from the backups. I mean, if you mom is so prone to breaking phones, some kind of data backup sure will save her (and you) some headache.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 07:38

105. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

you do know that everything syncs now right?

G+ for photos
Drive for anything
Dropbox for anything
G-Music for.... music

on and on and on.

and all those services happily run in the background without the need for too much user input. Most can be set to "sync on wifi only" and will flip on automatically when the phone connects to wifi to save your data bill.

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 03:36 1

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

Beautiful Phone, but I do wish HTC or Sony had made this. I'm not fond of LG's build quality reputation. LTE would have ruined the balance of the phone & it was a good move by LG, besides 3G is enough and everyone has Wifi now, you can get your Blitz speed there. People want Internet faster than they can possbly handle. Also the Carrier issue with LTE would ruin the Pure Android that it is. LG did everything perfect here.

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 16:32 1

95. epdm2be (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)

"I'm not fond of LG's build quality reputation."
hmm, I think that the build quality of LG's devices is pretty good. LG's has a lousy reputation of the software front. Bad optimizations, (too) late software upgrades. They seem less committed once the device is actually out which tarnishes their credibility.

I keep an eye on the 4X HD for now. To see how LG deals with that device. Whether they'll stick behind that device or not. I fear they won't as it is already started to being neglected.

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 23:39

97. Grajales7 (Posts: 2; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)

Back panel made of glass? '4' as second name? this is so 2010.... :P

posted on 23 Nov 2012, 03:24

98. Vaanres (Posts: 5; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)

best android device ever!

posted on 24 Nov 2012, 14:38

100. atorres7383 (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)

I think Google really messed up big time using LG for this new Nexus 4 phone. I purchsed it and sent it back. I have nothing against LG however, the color of the LCD and camera quality are both absolutly horrible. Compared to my Samsung Galaxy S 2, its like day and night. The Nexus 4 LCD colors are extremely dull and the camera quality is very poor. On the brighter side, the Jellybean software with the quadcore processor is very quick with navigating through the phone. Other than that, the phone to me is no good. Instead, I will be purchasing the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

posted on 25 Nov 2012, 17:50

102. epdm2be (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)

So it seems that not all readers are blind bats ;)

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 01:02

103. garz_pa (Posts: 154; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

Why do you Americans crave for LTE so much? Only a small part of the world has it. Do you really need your mobile internet that fast?

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 07:32

104. manikanth.manu (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)

does it get any buzzing sound on calls coz many of them have been reporting it .
is it true

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 06:43

107. fcvivek (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)

if i buy this phone fron england and then import it in india can i use indian sim cards in it ?
plz reply soon

posted on 30 Nov 2012, 10:03

108. manikanth.manu (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)

yes buddy you it ll work for any gsm in world

posted on 02 Dec 2012, 05:09

109. baraheemo (Posts: 15; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

It looks very strong device

posted on 16 Dec 2012, 23:22 2

110. corleyman (Posts: 6; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)

The Nexus 4 appears to be a phenomenal phone, and I can't wait to get one for myself. I use Pandora for music and Netflix for movies, so I don't need a big micro-SD card. And now that I've got an unlimited everything service plan (including 4G data), this unlocked GSM phone is exactly the hardware upgrade that I need! Here's a quick video of the no-contract plan that I'm enjoying - and hope to use the Nexus 4 on soon! PenniesOverDollars.com

posted on 26 Dec 2012, 12:09

111. uromeo16 (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Dec 2012)

I loved the fact that this phone is available without a contract for a price like that. Honestly, I don’t mind that the Nexus 4 doesn’t have LTE. It also has a gorgeous screen like you said. A DISH coworker convinced me to get it after he showed me how great shows and movies look on his Nexus 4. Now I have the DISH Remote Access app on my phone, so I can stream live TV through the Sling Adapter that I have connected to my home receiver. It’s really useful when I can’t be at home to see my shows.

posted on 22 Jan 2013, 04:36

112. amirata_xman (banned) (Posts: 33; Member since: 05 Jan 2013)

Hi do you want free gift cards?(itunes, amazone, google play....)
Just go tu these sites for get free giftcards. You have to go with your mobile browser, works for android and ios.





Use that linkes to get extra money:) good luck

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 20:52

114. etudiant (Posts: 5; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)

The Nexus 4 on TMobile lacks UMA, because it is a pure Google product, hence without the TMobile firmware customization, at least according to TMobile.
For users in areas of marginal coverage, this is a real deficiency. I would not have bought this phone had I been aware of this problem, which is not getting any corporate attention.
Some Android expert users are hoping to cobble together a workaround by repurposing the similar software in the TMobile G4, once it becomes available, but this kind of amateur effort would not be necessary if either Google or TMobile had customer satisfaction as a priority.

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