Google Nexus 4 Review
The Google Nexus 4 is Google’s latest flagship Android smartphone and the successor to the Galaxy Nexus. Built by LG, the Google Nexus 4 is design-wise, very similar to the LG Optimus G. But under the hood, the Google Nexus 4 is pure unadulterated Android backed up by class-leading hardware. Read on for our full Google Nexus 4 review.
Google Nexus 4 Design
As you may expect, the design of the Nexus 4 is something of a marriage between the Galaxy Nexus and the LG Optimus G. The look and feel of the phone is very similar to the Optimus G, but overall much-improved. The Nexus 4 features an elegant design, with smooth lines and a solid build. Gorilla Glass adorns both the front and back of the device, which looks great but comes at the cost of durability. The back panel of the Nexus 4 in particular has proven very prone to cracking, with many users reporting hairline fractures in the glass after short-distance drops.
Google Nexus 4 Features
At the heart of the Google Nexus 4 is one of the fastest CPU’s on the market – the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and paired with 2GB of RAM. It’s very, very fast. There is zero lag between application switching, graphics intensive games run incredibly smoothly and every interaction with the phone feels snappy.
The display on the Google Nexus 4 isn’t the best we’ve seen, but it certainly gets the job done. The Nexus 4 sports a 4.7 inch IPS LCD display running at a resolution of 1,280 x 768, and is a marked improvement over the display on the Galaxy Nexus. The screen has excellent viewing angles and produces bright, crisp images. The only issue we encountered was that colors on the Nexus 4 display looked a bit washed-out, with photos and videos appearing less true-to-life than on other leading smartphone displays.
The Google Nexus 4 features an 8MP auto-focus camera with LED flash on the back, and a 1.3MP forward-facing camera on the front. Again, it’s not the best shooter on the market but it’s a solid everyday camera. The Google Nexus 4 continues the growing trend of wireless-charging amongst Android devices, and is compatible with the purpose-built Google Wireless Charging Orb.
As you’d expect, the Google Nexus 4 is running the latest version of the Android OS – Jelly Bean 4.2. The upgrade from Jelly Bean 4.1 brings a number of new features, including gesture typing and gesture-based camera input, allowing you to access all of your camera’s features using just one thumb. Google Now has also received a significant update and there have been a number of other additions and improvements to email, search and notifications.
Google Nexus 4 Price and Availability
You can buy the Google Nexus 4 now, unlocked, from the Google Play store. Prices start at $299 for the 8GB model and go up to $399 for the 16GB version. In the U.S., the Nexus 4 is also available on-contract from T-Mobile for $199.
The Google Nexus 4 is a worthy successor to the previous Nexus made by Samsung, and a solid smartphone, but is not without its demons. It’s the best version of Android that we’ve seen yet, it’s fast, has a great display and looks the goods. However, the new Nexus suffers from several weighty drawbacks. Chief amongst the detractors is the lack of LTE in this phone – it seems an incredible oversight in a market where LTE has long-ago become the standard. Yes, you can get very good download speeds with HSPA+, but not LTE good. For U.S. buyers, the fact that the Google Nexus 4 does not have LTE may be an unredeemable nail in the coffin. For international users that don’t have access to LTE networks, the Nexus 4 is still a great option.
If you’re in the market for an Android tablet, take a look at our full review of the Google Nexus 10.
Have you tried out the new Nexus? Do you agree with our Google Nexus 4 review? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.