Review: The Elusive Nexus 4

By on January 13, 2013

 

4 WEEKS and $422 Later, My phone is finally here, but was it worth the wait?

 

Screen

The screen on the nexus 4 is possibly one of the best on the market for the price point. It has a display resolution of 1280 x 768 and ppi of 320, with a 4.7 inch IPS monster display I doubt you’ll have any trouble watching movies or reading content. It’s a crisp, clean display which has better viewing angles and truer colours than amoled displays. I honestly like IPS displays better than amoled because they tend not to oversaturate colours while amoled screens tend to make certain colours look fake. But IPS displays do not display as clean a black as an amoled display. This is evidenced by the software keys at the bottom of the nexus 4, the nexus devices generally do not have hardware buttons like other handsets but instead have three software buttons. On the galaxy nexus, it was almost indistinguishable where the screen ends and the buttons start as the background is black, but on the nexus 4 its pretty obvious due to the backlighting used on the IPS display, small price to pay in my opinion but some folks may prefer the true blacks of an amoled screen.

 

 

Software

Ohhh jellybean, jellybean, jellybean. Wait….does that mean I’m going to get haunted now for saying it 3 times? Or was that Beetlejuice?

 

Android 4.2.1 is the latest variant of Google’s operating system, and on the nexus 4 it’s a pure android experience untampered with by manufacturer skins or bloatware.

 

MY favorite feature of jellybean has to be Google Now, now a lot of you will say this is a gimmick like iPhone’s Siri, but it’s much more. Google Now not only answers questions and sets appointments like Siri but it also does things without you asking, for example I left for work yesterday and was greeted with a card (that’s how the info is displayed) that told me it would take 20 minutes to work down Eglinton Ave. with light traffic. I didn’t ask, but it was there, Google Now learns your schedule and will give you suggestions based on that. Some people are going insane thinking about Google knowing your every move, but in todays day and age privacy is way overrated.

 

The software runs in absolute sync with the hardware like they were built for one another, no stutters or lags like you see on other android phones all the time. Over all stock android is in my opinion the best untainted android experience and here’s to skinless droids from now on!

 

Hardware

The Nexus 4’s specs are mind boggling when it comes to the price point, but there are reasons for the lower tag. A quick overview:

 

Corning Gorilla Glass 2, 4.7 inch display

Quad core 1.5 ghz Snapdragon processor

2 GB RAM,

HSPA+ speeds LTE hackable (doesn’t always work)

8/16 GB storage options

8MP backside/1.3 MP front facing cameras,

Hotspot, WIFI a/b/g/n, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0

 

While LTE is capable (look up the way to enable it) it doesn’t always work and will only work in Canada, the reason being there is a LTE modem in the Nexus 4, the Snapdragon processor and LTE modem come together as a pair and do not function separately. There are other parts that make LTE work properly in a phone and these weren’t included in the nexus 4. While every flagship from every camp has LTE onboard the nexus 4 lags behind in this category. I personally cannot comment LTE speeds as it hasn’t worked for me but from what people are reporting online it’s a slight step up from the HSPA+ speeds that I get stock, and seeing how I’m not downloading large files or streaming anything huge its safe to say I’ll be alright with 19 Mbps down. You wouldn’t be able to tell it cost a little over 400 by looking at it though, its absolutely the cleanest phone I’ve seen from LG, both back and front are glass with rounded edges so it feels very comfortable in the hand, and the performance is nothing like my first impressions of android.

 

Phone

Call quality is one of those things you think would be the first thing reviewed for a phone but now days I find myself rarely using my phone for calls. The speaker and mic is clear from what I could tell and it does have a second mic for noise cancellation which works pretty well. It was a pain in the ass trying to find a way to switch all my contacts over from my iPhone but I did find a way online using an android app to sync them with iCloud, once I figured this out it was a snap so if you’re switching over look up CardDAV and iCloud on Google and I’m sure you’ll find a result, it took but 2 minutes to set up.

 

Camera

The camera quality is decent when the light is good, but in low light situations it’s mediocre at best, like any other smartphone camera its not perfect but it does what its supposed to do, be a simple point and shoot camera. You’ll see from my test shots it does a lot better in natural light, it’s by no means the best shooter on the market but it does a damn good job. The one thing that’s a little irritating is the fact that the 8MP lens is set to the right so to take a photo that’s properly centered you have to tilt the phone or move over, this seems like one of the few design flaws, a centered camera would have made this 100 times better.

 

Battery Life

Depending on how you use your device android phones can be pretty heavy on battery from my experience. The nexus 4 does well though, at work it tends to last all day without any issue, and that’s with minor web browsing, texting, calling etc. With heavy usage on games and processor intensive apps it keeps up but like you would expect the drain will be a lot faster. For power users you may want to carry the USB charger with you but I find it does fine for me as long as I tinker with the sync, GPS settings, etc. as I go.

Nexus Battery

Nexus Battery

 

Overall its well worth the money I have to say but the stock issues and long delivery time almost put me off. Now that its here though I’m glad I went off contract for my new phone and it wasn’t that pricey either thanks to Google and LG. Pick one up for yourself at the Google Play store online, oh wait….you cant! The way LG and Google have been handling the demand for this phone is ridiculous, so many people are waiting to buy it yet they cant seem to even ship out all the ones that have already been ordered in a timely manner. Honestly I hope they figure it out because it’s a great phone and I hate to see it ruined for everyone due to them not producing enough of them. Get one when you can, there’s an app that will track the play store for you to see when it’s in stock so for you real fanatics get your hands on that.

 

Sources:

http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_nexus_4_e960-5048.php

http://www.zdnet.com/googles-nexus-4-has-an-lte-chip-but-why-is-it-disabled-7000007903/

Rohan

About Rohan

An upcoming independent hip hop artist and writer for egomagonline. Check my articles and write ups, feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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