Google Nexus 4 review

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Quad-core processor
  • Latest Android four.2 (Jelly Bean) OS
  • Pleasing shape plus strong construction
  • Wireless charging support

Cons

  • Moderate power life
  • Lacks LTE support
  • Non-replaceable battery
  • No storage expansion
  • Currently from stock at Google Play store

If we need an Android smartphone that’s unencumbered with provider or mobile operator skins plus bundled apps, plus receives timely OS updates, Google’s Nexus range has been accessible to fill this part because January 2010. The newest inside a line stretching within the HTC-made Nexus One, from the couple of Samsung equipment (Nexus S plus Galaxy Nexus), is the Nexus 4. This time, Google has partnered with LG for the showcase Android handset.

The Nexus 4, that runs the newest Android four.2 (Jelly Bean) OS, comes with 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. There’s no outside expansion, thus select the model carefully. The 8GB adaptation bills UK£239 (inc. VAT) from Google’s Play shop (US$ 299, AU$ 349), whilst the 16GB adaptation fees UK£279 (US$ 349 or AU$ 399).

We were transferred the 16GB model for review, plus it quickly turned out to be a hot ticket — Google’s UK shop sold out in 25 minutes of starting for Nexus 4 company about 13 November (a pattern repeated inside different countries). At the time of composing, the store’s content remains “We are from stock. Please check back soon”, though it’s nonetheless accessible (at a premium) from O2 plus Carphone Warehouse inside the UK.

Until today, LG hadn’t precisely set the smartphone planet alight, though its latest high-end Optimus 4X HD plus Optimus G (about that the Nexus 4 is based) handsets were perfectly received. So let’s see what the hassle is all about.

Design
The £279 16GB Nexus 4 doesn’t resemble a device which costs £250 lower than Apple’s 16GB iPhone 5, or about £120 lower than Samsung’s 16GB Galaxy S III, however, that’s considering Google makes small or no margin found on the device — O2, by comparison, charges £399.99 for the 16GB model about Pay As We Go, for illustration. Hence the feeding frenzy at the Play shop as well as the thriving eBay marketplace — a fast study of the UK site showed the 8GB model opting for about £371 as well as the 16GB model fetching about £428 at the time of composing.

nexus-4-1The four.7in. Nexus 4 has a 1,280-by-768-pixel IPS screen plus front (1.3MP) plus back (8MP) cameras. It’s based about LG’s Optimus G, nevertheless has a more rounded appearance.

This is a classy-looking smartphone, built about a four.7-inch Gorilla Glass 2-protected screen, measuring 68.7mm broad by 133.9mm deep by 9.1mm thick plus weighing 139g (that’s 2.7in. by 5.27in. by 0.36in. plus four.9oz inside imperial measurements). For those whom care regarding these aspects, it’s 0.5mm wider than the Galaxy S III plus 1.5mm wider than the iPhone 5. Weight-wise, it’s 6g heavier than the S III plus all 27g heavier than the iPhone 5.

It can be wider plus heavier than the iPhone 5 plus Galaxy S III, however the Nexus 4 — that is somewhat rounded at the best plus bottom to counteract its otherwise very angular appearance — feels comfortable inside the hand plus usually fit into many shirt or jacket purse. The chamfered sides have a rubberised finish which assists with grasp, plus even the metallic-finish band framing the screen doesn’t cheapen the total look — mostly considering it’s reasonably understated. The back is a flat part of Gorilla Glass 2 with a near-unique feature (it’s additionally employed about LG’s Optimus G): Crystal Reflection etching which polarises incident light to provide a jewel-like sparkly impact. This sounds because though it may appear tacky, in truth, like the rest of the shape, it’s reasonably discreet. The back carries the leading 8-megapixel camera plus an LED flash, Nexus (instead of Google) and LG branding along with a tiny vertical speaker grille.

nexus-4-crystalThe back of the Nexus 4 is a flat part of Gorilla Glass, treated with LG’s distinctive Crystal Reflection procedure.

There are no bodily buttons found on the front of the Nexus 4 — rather, there are on-screen buttons for back, house along with a list of latest apps. This not just takes up screen area, and leaves a fair amount of unused bezel above plus under the show (there’s simply a notice LED inside the center of the bottom bezel). The edges are very uncluttered, too. On the left side there’s a amount rocker along with a slide-out Micro-SIM tray, whilst the appropriate side has the on/off/sleep switch. At the best is a 3.5mm headphone jack plus among the 2 microphones; the alternative mic is at the bottom, to the proper of the Micro-USB 2.0 charging/PC connection port.

The Micro-USB port may furthermore be employed with SlimPort adapter cabling to connect to an outside show — whilst simultaneously charging the telephone through a 2nd Micro-USB port found on the adapter. You are able to purchase an HDMI cable about Amazon for UK£23.95/US$ 29.95, with VGA, DVI plus DisplayPort versions to adhere to at the finish of November.

nexus-4-bottomThe Nexus 4′s Micro-USB port may connect the device to an outside show, because of its help for SlimPort adapters.

Strictly talking, the power isn’t removable, however, when you’re determined it’s possible to receive inside the handset by removing 2 little Torx screws at the bottom plus prising the back off.

We’ve been carrying the Nexus 4 for a week or thus, plus found it very immune to scratches plus minor bumps. It’s not suffered any drops from extensive height onto difficult surfaces, thus you can’t comment about its ability to withstand severe mistreatment.

Features
The Nexus 4 is driven with a state-of-the-art SoC — the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, comprising the quad-core APQ8064 CPU running at 1.5GHz as well as the Adreno 320 GPU. It’s supported by 2GB of RAM plus, inside the review device, 16GB of internal, non-expandable, storage. Out of the box, 12.92GB of the storage was accessible for consumer apps plus information.

The screen, because said above, measures a sizeable four.7in. over the diagonal plus is a 1,280-by-768-pixel IPS device protected by tough Corning Gorilla Glass 2. The significant pixel density (318ppi) makes for sharp pictures, as well as the show could go quite bright when turned right up — though you’ll pay for this inside power existence. Contrast is superior, colors are reasonably exact — at smallest to the nude eye — as well as the touchscreen is especially sensitive.

Connectivity is superior — with 1 proviso which could or will not be noticeable depending about where we reside plus that mobile operator we employ. I refer, naturally, to LTE help, that is not enabled found on the Nexus 4 — inspite of the presence found on the motherboard of the Qualcomm LTE chip (WTR1605L) plus an LTE-compliant modem (MDM9615A). What we do receive is quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, penta-band 3G (WCDMA/UMTS) plus DC-HSPA+ help (about 42Mbps download). In the UK (where this review was conducted), the newly established EE (Everything Everywhere, created within the merger of T-Mobile plus Orange) LTE network has limited coverage plus is currently experiencing teething troubles, thus the deficiency of LTE help is unlikely to trouble various consumers. Elsewhere, aspects may be different.

Completing the wireless lineup is dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC (Android Beam) plus GPS/GLONASS. There’s moreover help for exterior monitors through Wireless Display (based found on the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Miracast standard) plus wireless charging through the Qi standard. Unfortunately you were unable to test either of these qualities because you had neither a Miracast-compliant show neither a Qi-compliant charging station.

Like all high-end smartphones, the Nexus 4 is bristling with sensors — accelerometer, compass, ambient light, gyroscope plus barometer (the latter’s main cause being to deliver altitude information for quicker GPS lock-on).