Nexus 4 is Google’s fourth generation smartphone running Android operating system. The phone is as usual high end and the first product running Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1. It is also the only high end smartphone priced very competitively (that is if you purchase the Google Nexus 4 from Google Play store, not from a carrier). The price of this Google smartphone starts from 299 dollars (that is the base model). This is also the first time Google is teaming up with LG for smartphone manufacturing.
Do you need further reasons to buy Nexus 4? Here they are. Also, there are a few reasons not to purchase this smartphone.
First up, the technical specifications.
|Besides GSM & GPRS, 3G UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+; HSDPA at 42 mbps; no LTE|
|4.7 inch; LCD IPS; 1280×768 px; 320ppi|
|Corning Gorilla Glass 2|
|Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5 GHz (quad-core)|
|Qualcomm Adreno 320|
|8 GB / 16 GB|
|Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean|
|2100 mAh Lithium-Polymer|
|8MP (1080p HD) main; 1.3 MP (720p) front facing|
SlimPort HDMI (Mobility DisplayPort or MyDP) via Analogix ANX7808 transmitter
As you can see the phone is fully packed with pretty amazing features. In terms of hardware, the Nexus is at a commanding position. Processor is fast and highly evolved with quad-core power. The display is amazingly large and runs LCD IPS technology that gives truer colors. Battery, camera, and the system memory are above par. System memory of 2 GB is probably the highest you can get among the smartphones available today. Besides these, there is Near Field Communication (NFC) and a number of other nifty features.
These are reason enough to buy Google Nexus 4.
Features that You Will Love
Wi-Fi Direct technology gives this smartphone the ability to connect with any other device by Wi-Fi without having to go through an access point. This technology works through a built-in app as well as through the NFC capability.
You can share your phone’s Internet connection through Wi-Fi (while the phone acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot) or through USB through USB tethering functionality.
Wireless charging is another interesting reason to buy Nexus 4. The technology for wireless charging comes from electromagnetic induction. LG has made available wireless charging pads for you to purchase.
Wireless charging the smartphone:
MyDP (Mobility DisplayPort) is a type of HD video out for mobile devices, and Google Nexus 4 is the first smartphone to have this technology. It uses ANX7808 SlimPort transmitter. This is an amazing technology; with proper adaptor, it can convert the micro USB port of your smartphone to virtually anything (audio and video out) such as HDMI, DVI, VGA, etc. This means you can connect this phone to any kind of TV you have, whether it is HDTV or the regular TV or a computer monitor. And this supports extremely fast connectivity.
Connecting SlimPort adaptor:
The Price Truth
According to early reports, Google Nexus 4 sells hot. Right now, the play store is empty and customers have to wait for new stock to arrive. This probably has become the most successful Nexus to date. And the major reason behind this is the price of the smartphone.
You cannot find such competitive pricing among smartphones. While Apple iPhone 5 is making huge profit, Nexus 4 is selling almost at the price of its parts. When you are purchasing the phone, however, look no further than Google Play Store. Carriers have come up with locked and unlocked Nexus 4 at higher prices in order to take profit from the phone’s low price from Google. For instance, O2 sells the Pay as you go Nexus 4 at 399 pounds.
What Lacks in Google’s Smartphone
We have seen the great features of this smartphone that would attract any smartphone geek. However, there are a few reasons why people may not buy Google Nexus 4.
Firstly, the silly thing; LG doesn’t provide a microSD card slot to expand the storage of Nexus 4, which already has only a limited amount available. While 64 GB of storage has become quite common and pretty much a standard these days, LG has decided to go with 8 GB and 16 GB models. My old smartphone of 2009 came with much more space than this Nexus 4.
In fact, the actual available storage will be much less than 16 GB due to the existing Android Jelly Bean files. We have seen the actual available storage of only 12.9 GB, which is not quite enough for storing your files, I suppose. Also, without any means for expansion, you may be stuck with cloud storage for storing your files (and of course Google Drive is available by default in this phone).
Also, imagine what will happen to your battery and monthly usage bill if you continue to use the cloud storage. If this is in any way a Google trick to popularize Drive, then it’s evil!
Google, LG, Where Is LTE?
With network operators popularizing the Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in all their networks, converting the existing infrastructure to this fast IP-based network for connecting users at ultra-high speeds, this technology has become not an option, but a norm in new handsets.
And yet, Google Nexus 4 comes without LTE support (however it includes a dormant LTE chip as found by AnandTech). The previous version of Nexus, Samsung-manufactured Galaxy Nexus did come up with an LTE version. In a recent interview with The Verge, Andy Rubin, the chief of Android, mentioned that a lot of the networks with LTE capability are actually using hybrid networks (containing both 3G and LTE the true 4G technology). This is one of the reasons why LTE (which should actually take much less battery power) currently takes too much battery on your device.
According to Google, non-inclusion of LTE is quite reasonable. Nexus is intended to be carrier-independent. In order to support LTE networks, they have to come up with an alternate version of this smartphone.
However, going forward in the future, when LTE becomes completely nationalized, I suppose it is best to have it in a handset. Also, by that time, we will be seeing tremendous advantages of LTE communication such as extreme speeds, need for fewer towers, highly reliable communication, and savings in battery power (yes, LTE takes much less battery than HSPA or any other technology).
HSPA+ speed given by Nexus 4 is pretty good at 42 mbps. While several carriers are providing HSPA+ at 21mbps only, T-Mobile has 42mbps capability in its widely available HSPA network. T-Mobile will transition to LTE soon, and AT&T already has the best nation-wide LTE network in the United States.
Addendum: Here is the world deployment of LTE technology:
If it had LTE capability as well, more people would love to purchase Google Nexus 4. We may as well await an LTE-enabled version of the handset in the coming days.
With an appropriate price, Google Nexus 4 is a wonderful purchase indeed. However, without LTE support, the handset may not be as future-proof as it needs to be. The features available and such a remarkably low price distinguishes this smartphone among the likes of iPhone and Microsoft Surface tablet. So, our vote is positive. If you love the design and features, go ahead and buy Nexus 4.