Nexus 4 review. Is it the best Nexus smartphone yet?

| November 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Nexus 4 smartphone is Google’s first smartphone to run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Nexus 4 Review

The Nexus 4 from Google’s is the first smartphone to run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The software system offers some options that the previous release of Jelly Bean didn’t, and the hardware itself packs a really heavy punch. Still, it isn’t equipped with 4G LTE support and it allow expandable storage. Are these features deal breakers? The answer to this question is in the review below, keep reading.

Nexus 4 hardware

I was overwhelmed when I first picked up the Nexus 4  not because of the fact that it’s style isn’t solid, the real issue it’s is similarity with the LG Optimus G, the phone it was based on. The front is dominated by an imposable 4.7-inch screen that, when it’s turned off seems to change from edge to edge. I like the high bevel, that slopes right down to the slick and sparkly backside. It feels super solid, is straightforward to carry and isn’t too serious. I like the texture on the back that, according to my memory, is really familiar with what Samsung incorporated in it’s Omnia line.

I don’t love the plastic border running round the phone, it cheapens the otherwise premium look of the device . There’s a volume rocker on the left side of the phone, a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top and a microUSB port at the bottom.

Google LG Nexus 4 review

Let’s get into the nitty gritty specs of this phone. The Nexus 4 packs a Qualcomm S4 professional processor, that is one of the most powerful chips you can get on the market in these days. Multiple reports have confirmed LTE support on board, however the phone itself doesn’t use it. Instead, you’re cursed with HSPA on AT&T or HSPA+ on T-Mobile but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The speeds you can reach on this device are satisfactory, since the smartphone isn’t restricted by carrier approval procedures (off of T-Mobile, that is), and you’ll get the latest release of Android. Different hardware specs include a whopping 2GB of RAM, SlimPort HDMI (it uses the microUSB port), 8GB or 16GB of internal storage (ours has 16GB) and a 2100mAh battery.

My biggest gripe with the hardware is that you’re stuck with either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. If this is not enough to store all of your music, videos and photos Google forces you to use it’s cloud storage services to further expand the memory of the device. It’s a bummer that there isn’t a microSD card slot. The DROID DNA, for instance, ships with simply 16GB of storage and HTC mentioned that it’s specifically what Verizon requested. I would be careless of me not to mention the wireless charging support built into the Nexus4. Jon Rettinger is going to be able to check this out absolutely in his video review, since he has our Qi-certified charger (it shipped with our Lumia 920 review unit), however you’ll additionally purchase wireless charging pads from Energizer to make use of this feature.

Google LG Nexus 4, it feels super solid, is straightforward to carry and isn’t too serious.

Software

The big standout feature of the Nexus 4 is its operating system. It’s the first smartphone on the market to launch with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean straight out of the box, and it’s the most effective version of Android I’ve ever used, despite having some odd bug that won’t allow you to use Dec as a month for an occasion within the “People” app. Everything is super sleek and feels natural. The smartphone benefits from some enhancements brought by the 4.2 Jelly Bean, however nothing major. Some notable enhancements are higher camera controls, a 360-degree panorama choice, higher notification management and more. My favorite thing is the keyboard, that allows you to swipe from letter to letter to make a word. It’s rather like Swype, the third party application, but, deep down at heart, I’m still a tap-type writer.

Google LG Nexus 4 review

I love the new lockscreen, which can be customized with widgets. I can, for instance, quickly see my Gmail inbox or my calendar appointments while not unlocking the phone. This is very helpful that I’m really curious to why this wasn’t implemented in the older versions of Android.

Google Now and Google Search are refined, though I couldn’t notice a large distinction in what was offered in Android v4.1 Jelly Bean. Google Now quickly tells me the weather and the traffic before I head out for the day, and there’s support for specific flights and different notifications in your email. If a flight is popping up, it’ll automatically inform you in your notification schedule. Google Search enables you to use your voice to search something and I like it because it reminds me of Siri. I’m a (recent) Brooklyn Nets fan and it keeps me up to date on the score of a game and when will a new one be broadcasted so I don’t miss any details. I also can quickly ask any question I want, like how tall is the Empire State Building for that matter receive the answer in seconds. It’s surprisingly correct at understanding unique voice inputs. I also love that Google incorporated a little icon in it’s notification bar to quickly access the settings that you often change. I will use it at any time when accessing my very own Google profile, when I need to change the brightness or change some other settings like flipping the WLAN on or off, check the battery level, activate the plane mode and manage my Bluetooth. Quad core Performance The Nexus has a S4 professional chip the same as the one employed in the HTC DROID DNA. I ran our common Quadrant benchmark and it received a score of 4,775, that is way below the score that the HTC DROID DNA manage to acheive (7,461). But from a user point of view the smartphone feels super snappy and apps load up instantly. Data/Call Quality/Battery Life

Google LG Nexus 4 review

Call quality on the Nexus 4 was on par with the other high-end smartphones I’ve tested recently. There weren’t any stand out features, however I could just simply hear the other caller and nothing more and I didn’t experience any dropped calls in New York and thought the phone was loud enough even when I’ve used it in really noisy areas of the city.

Again,  LTE isn’t active on the Nexus 4, even though it’s been found to be lying asleep. By running the SpeedTest app it tried, for no reason, to make a route for me to Wisconsin when the GPS was activated. I additionally noticed  that it wasn’t updated to take full advantage of the screen. I’m dead sure issue lied somewhere with SpeedTest, since Google Maps found me in almost an instant. That said, I received an average transfer speed of about 1Mbps on AT&T’s 3G network, that is pretty terrible compared to LTE speeds. I tested it once more with a T-Mobile SIM card and received a transfer speed in my flat of 1.31Mbps and an average transfer speed of 1.18Mbps. Again, this was on T-Mobile’s HSPA network and not the carrier’s quicker “4G” HSPA+ 42Mbps  network. However, there area only some restricted areas in New York that have this sort of coverage, but if you’re not lucky enough to be in one of them, except the standard 3G speeds for the most part. The 2,100mAh battery was able to get me through a full day of usage, however I found it drained significantly faster when I was taking photos. I went outside with 8% left and after 15 minutes, the Nexus 4 turned off. It usually idled pretty much too, thus I was able to use it in the mornings with the little battery charge it had. Overall, even though it doesn’t run on 4G LTE networks, it has a quad-core processor, thus you’ll wish to have your charger close by on longer journeys.

Nexus 4 camera

The Nexus 4 comes with an 8-megapixel camera on the backside and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. The photos aren’t superb, I was able to take better photos using an iPhone 5 or a Lumia 920, however they’re OK. Oddly enough the pictures seem to be pretty bad when viewed on the phone’s screen but when you look at the om the PC they’re quite nice.

Nexus 4 camera

The new 360-degree panorama feature is neat, however others can have this feature with other Android 4.2 devices or from downloadable apps on Google Play. It’s frustrating to use to a certain degree I had to snap 5 totally different panoramas to make an accurate image and on just one occasion it told me that I  move to fast even after I followed the rules. Generally, this isn’t a reason why I might want the phone; it’s just a somewhat neat feature.

Google LG Nexus 4 review The 8-megapixel camera is capable of recording 1080p video. Also, from what I can make out, it lacks continuous auto-focus. The front-facing camera was good, however I wasn’t blown away by it’s performance. I actually like the optical lens on the HTC Windows Phone 8X and would really to see it incorporated in other phones because it can drastically increase the picture quality of the front camera. I won’t blame the Nexus 4 for not having one, it’s just a feature I really like and want to see it in all of my phones. Nexus 4 Review

 LG Nexus 4 smartphone

I really just like the Nexus 4 from a packaging perspective and, in terms of hardware, I feel it’s the nicest Nexus device nonetheless. The screen is pretty fantastic, the battery life is good and therefore the package can virtually be the best one release from Google. That’s a bonus to many individuals, particularly those that don’t want to wait for the next version of Android. I’m quite bummed that the phone solely runs on HSPA+ and HSPA networks, for T-Mobile and AT&T, but it’s not a deal breaker. I realize that I’m typically on Wi-Fi anyway.. I additionally want it to have a lot of storage, 16GB at the high-end simply isn’t enough on for me. Look, at the end of the day this smartphone is for developers and people that merely wish the most recent version of Android. This Nexus 4 isn’t for the everyday client, otherwise a lot of carriers would supply it and it’d pack consumer-friendly options like 4G LTE support and a lot of storage. Is it a good smartphone? Yes. Is it the most effective Nexus yet? Yes it is. Would you choose it over the Galaxy S III, the DROID DNA or over the other beefy high-end Android smartphones? Not unless I’d really want a phone with Android 4.2 right this instant. Nexus 4 Review   Video from androidauthority.

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Category: Smartphone & Android Reviews

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