Google Nexus 4

Google Nexus 4
Developed by: Google
Ranked: 3rd
Overall rating:
Best price: Buy
Purchase:

Stephen
Qualtrough

Reviewer

Technology should make our lives easier

Review summary

Good points Google Nexus 4 review good points

• Very cheap price

• Fast performance

• Impressive display

• Android 4.2

Bad points Google Nexus 4 review bad points

• Lacks LTE

• Glass back can be easily cracked

Our verdict

Google and LG have made an impressive flagship phone and the true winning feature is that sweet price. At $300, it beats most of the flagship devices costing $200 - $400 more. The only problem is for US and other LTE places around the world, you may find HSPA+ a bit slow.

Screenshot of Google Nexus 4 1 Screenshot of Google Nexus 4 2 Screenshot of Google Nexus 4 3



Full review

Design

Unlike most phones, made of polycarbonate, plastic or premium aluminum, the Nexus 4 has gone with a Gorilla glass front and back, to many peoples disapproval. They meet in the middle with a soft-touch rubbery band that makes holding the phone excellent and simple.

While the Nexus 4 does feel great, something you would not expect from an all-round glass phone, it is very susceptible to cracks. Users are already claiming to have found little marks on the device.

LG have put a futuristic design pattern on the back of the Nexus 4, which looks funky when you see it in the right light.

The display is incredible, a 1280 x 768 LCD display at 318ppi almost rivals the iPhone 5 and text looks very crisp. Problems on the display, including how the colors seem a little washed out, are apparent when comparing the phone to the iPhone 5.

Processor

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro is one of the top selling mobile processors and for good reason. The quad-core component is clocked at 1.5GHz and makes the Nexus 4 very snappy and alert.

This is backed up with 2GB’s of RAM to make the experience a lot smoother. Project Butter, a Jelly Bean software upgrade that enhances speeds, also backs this up.

Operating System

Android 4.2 is the newest variant of Jelly Bean, and comes with some meagre features for photos and messaging.

Swype is a new feature that allows you to scroll across a keyboard and the software will pick up all the touches and make the word. This works well but it is questionable how needed it is.

Photo Sphere is another feature that allows users to take street view pictures that can then be added to Google Maps. The panorama shots are impressive without being too hard to do.

Overall, we found Android 4.2 to be a very fluid, customizable and exciting operating system. Our favorite mobile operating system right now.

Apps

Reaping the benefits of early updates and no bloatware from the manufactures, the Nexus 4 has a ton of apps that will always be available, due to Google launching new Android OS’es on the Nexus devices.

Google Play store is packed full of apps and it almost rivals the iOS store, although we still find that Google Play has a few poor apps that wouldn’t make it onto Apple’s store.

Camera

LG have been known for rather poor cameras and this is not true on the Nexus 4. We found that the camera worked very well when taking normal snaps.

It was poor when it came to zooming in and keeping in focus, but we find that most mobile cameras are poor at doing that right now.

The 8MP shooter is robust and can take very good low light shots. The software upgrades on Android 4.2 offer a wide selection of different customizations for the camera too.

Battery

A 2,100 mAh battery is quite powerful and will give you an optimum amount of 12 hours battery life, if you use it frequently. We found in our tests that the average expectancy is around 10 hours.

If you want a juggernaut battery life, you will not be able to change the battery, as it is sealed in like most phones nowadays.

Storage

Unfortunately, with the low price storage options are quite limited, with the highest being 16GB’s. 8GB’s for the base model, which is rather pathetic for most users nowadays.

There is no expandable memory port either, so once you have your storage you are stuck with it. Google does offer Google Drive storage, although this is not compatible with your music files.

Overall

The Nexus 4 is a very incredible device; it is built by one of our favorite phone manufacturers and looks great. With no LTE, it may be a burden for some web addicts. At that price though, you may find it worth the lack of LTE.


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Ratings breakdown

Overall
 received a rating of 5 for Overall
Design
 received a rating of 5 for Design
Reception
 received a rating of 5 for Reception
Processor
 received a rating of 5 for Processor
Operating system
 received a rating of 5 for Operating system
Camera
 received a rating of 4 for Camera
Voice recognition
 received a rating of 5 for Voice recognition
Battery
 received a rating of 5 for Battery
Storage
 received a rating of 4 for Storage