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Nexus 4 Review

The Nexus 4 — a smartphone that needs no introduction. Subject of many’s desires, frustrations, and even anger. I was super excited (and a little intimidated) at having the opportunity to review the next iteration of the Google superphone. Was I worthy of even giving my opinion on a phone so elusive, only a handful of people in the world have been lucky enough to hold one in their hands? I’m not going to lie to you, when I first received the Nexus 4 from UPS, I didn’t even open it right away. I just placed it on my desk… and stared at the box. This isn’t the type of thing you rush into. I wanted to make sure I was ready. Well, my body is officially ready. Here is my review of the Nexus 4.

Build Quality/Looks

The phone is fragile, no one can argue that. You also can’t argue that the device looks dead sexy. Like the carbon fiber Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, you’ll turn heads driving the thing but one false move and this thing is history. Even with Gorilla Glass 2 covering the front and back of the device, there have already been reports of minor drops shattering and/or cracking the glass. I snickered when Apple introduced the all-glass iPhone back in the day and my criticism remains — bad move.

Other than the durability of the device, the Nexus 4 is of generally good build quality (not great). I may have some objections to their use of chrome accents on the phone, but that’s all subjective. Overall the use of glass, soft touch plastic, and glittery backing make the device look nothing short of an expensive, $700 smartphone.

Unfortunately, beyond it’s looks, there were still some issues in build quality that bugged me. First off, there’s some give when pressing down on the back area. As shown in my video, it’s a small complaint, but one that made the device feel just a little more “cheapy.” Also, when pressing down on the front glass, you can see LCD ripples you may remember when you were first poked an LCD computer monitor as a kid. Again, nothing major, but something that’s also absent in more plastic-ie devices like the Galaxy S3.

The one issue that bugged me with the previous Galaxy Nexus still irks me on the Nexus 4: dat bezel. While I’m not suggesting I would want a device with virtually no bezels (the Note 2′s are a little too small for my liking), the fact that the Nexus 4 has a virtual navigation bar instead of capacitive hardware buttons means a thicker than normal bottom bezel. I’d say it’s reminiscent of the LG G2X. Yuck.

Hardware

When it comes to top of the line specs, the Nexus 4 is a sort of mixed bag. This is to be expected given the device needs to keep costs low, and just like the Nexus 7, Google is focusing on delivering an optimal Android experience, without all the frills. Unfortunately, these “frills” come at the cost of storage space, which will no doubt be a make-or-break for some users (myself included).

Display

Oh, man… the display. Where do I start. Well, let’s cover the raw specs first. The display on the Nexus 4 features LG’s in-house Zerogap True HD IPS techonolgy. In theory, this will make the images appear more vibrant and results in a more responsive touch screen. The size of the display is 4.7-inches (more like 4.3-inches if you take out the nav bar) and with a screen resolution at an odd 1280×768 (the Galaxy S3 has a 1280×720 display) providing for an impressive 318ppi. This means when it comes to screen real estate, there’s a little more elbow room on the sides of the OS which results in a slightly wider Android experience. Not “LG Vu wide” by any means, but you get the picture.

To illustrate the black nav bar taking away precious screen real estate

Okay, let’s get into screen quality. While the IPS display looks deceptively nice in most cases thanks to rich colors (not over saturated) and deep blacks (almost blend into the bezels), it’s at specific angles, in the dark, or during screen movement that everything turns to sh*t. I also noticed some yellowing in parts of the LCD although my iPhone buddies assure me it’s just the glue from the digitizer/LCD and it’ll fade with time once it dries.

Viewing angles fair well (top, bottom, left, right), but when viewed on from an angle, like when the corners are facing you, the entire screen turns into a bright, washed out mess. Almost white even. I understand this might not bother most folks, but it also means you have to look at your phone from head on to keep the display looking its 100% best.

Blacks are fairly deep, even with the brightness turned on max… in daylight. As soon as the sun goes down (or when viewing from the dark confines of your parent’s basement) the blacks are much more noticeable. It doesn’t help that the ever present nav bar is constantly reminding you of how bright the blacks are, or the notification bar. A little help from ROMs at turning both of these transparent will help you forget about this issue, but stock — it sucks.

Now this was the straw that finally broke my back. The refresh rate is downright atrocious on the Nexus 4. Now that Jelly Bean has introduced silky smooth, near 60fps scrolling, it’s this greasy butter that makes the display’s shortcomings even more prevalent. Whether you’re scrolling on the homescreen or in menus, everything leaves a ghosty trail behind it. Kinda like when you drag your mouse pointer across your computer screen — now picture that on everything that moves on the Nexus 4. Icons, text, graphics, everything. It’s one of the things that’s always bugged me about the LCD displays on tablets, and I couldn’t stand it on my Nexus 4.

Processor n’ RAM

This ones obvious — the 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 with Adreno 320 GPU kicks ass and takes names. It conquered the LG Optimus G and it destroys the Nexus 4 (in a good way). Apps load up quick, game frame rates stay high as the clouds. You can’t slow this processor down if you tried. The added 2GB of RAM make the Android OS a joy to experience. Gone are the days of apps in the background reloading when you return to them — this is simply how Android was meant to be enjoyed. This processor/RAM combo is the reason to own the Nexus 4, make no mistake. It’s also the Nexus 4′s saving grace.

Storage

This is gonna be a big one for a lot of people out there. At the time of launch, Google decided to only offer two sizes options for internal storage: 8GB and 16GB. This was most likely another attempt by Google to keep costs of the device down (and profits up for LG), and while this might not sound like a big deal to those of you who’ve never had to deal with it, placing these memory constraints on users is a definite make-or-break for me. I endured through a 16GB Galaxy Nexus, kept all my music in the cloud, had maybe 2 home movies, and snapped a few pics. I hit my 16GB ceiling after only a few months and I can honestly say I have no idea where the memory went. I do like to play a good game or 2 on my phone, so more than likely it was system resources sucking up all that storage. Don’t forget that even if you opt for the 16GB Nexus 4, after formatting and the OS are loaded onto the device, you’re left with an even smaller 13GB (roughly). Ouch. I’d be willing to bet my left foot that Google will launch a 32GB version 5 months from now. Mark my words.

Battery life

Battery life, while not of MAXX standards, isn’t bad. Rest those fears of quad-cores eating up all 2100mAh’s in double time. The battery life on the Nexus 4 is similar to that of the GS3. On average, I get about 14 hours daily but it’s on standby that the S4 Pro really shines. If I don’t mess with it (leaving it unplugged overnight, or at work), the Nexus 4′s standby time is astounding. And that’s with virtually no signal in my home. The same was said of the LG Optimus G, so I can safely say this is all due to the S4 Pro. Of course, there are many factors that affect battery life and your millage may, and most likely will, vary.

Camera

HTC One X (left), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (middle), Nexus 4 (right)

If you’re coming from a Galaxy Nexus, I know you’re worried about the camera. But, well… don’t be. Like age, I know that MP’s ain’t nothing but a number, but the camera on the Nexus 4 is vastly improved over its predecessor. I took some shots in daylight, as well as indoor low lighting and they speak for themselves. For good measure, I even placed a low light comparison shot with some other Android devices for you to stew over. The pinnacle of Android camera tech is easily the HTC One line and while the Nexus couldn’t quite match it, you can see it did fairly well against Samsung’s great camera tech on the Note 2. Color me impressed. Video quality at 1080p was equally nice, and here’s a couple of videos — one in daylight and one in low light — along with some more sample pics to show off the Nexus 4′s nice camera.

 

LTE (or lack thereof)

Google also made a controversial move in forgoing LTE radios in the Nexus 4. Well, a recent teardown revealed they’re partly there and you can enable them through software tweaks (Canada only). While lack of LTE might sour the experience for some users (where HSPA+ is unacceptable) the Nexus does include support for T-Mobile and AT&T’s HSPA+ networks, and even T-Mo’s ridiculous 42Mbps near-LTE speeds. Google has yet to announce plans for a CDMA version of the Nexus on Verizon or Sprint and given that they’re passing on LTE altogether for this iteration of the Nexus, 3G speeds on those networks would only have Nexus users pulling out their hair. Again, another make-or-break issue for many and yet another reason many will most likely pass on this device unless they drop the contract and go pre-paid on T-Mobile or AT&T (a move Google supports and one of the reason they’re created Android and the OHA).

Others

NFC is pretty much a standard these days and worked without a hitch with Android beam and Google Wallet. Unfortunately without purchasing extra hardware, I was unable to test out the Nexus 4′s micro USB SlimPort feature. While I’m all for planning ahead for tomorrow’s tech, it’s rather annoying that LG/Google didn’t opt for the more universal MHL or a micro HDMI port. Also, lack of USB host functionality is a major shortcoming of the N4, something that works perfectly in devices like the GS3. It’s possible this could be fixed in a future software update, but until then — major negative marks against the Nexus 4.

Software

Of course the biggest draw with owning a Nexus device is always having the latest version of Android at your disposal (and before anyone else). Because this is Google’s labor of love that means direct updates from Google HQ straight to your Nexus device, without the troublesome middleman (carriers). But sometimes bleeding edge comes at a cost. For instance, Android 4.2 is buggy. Buggy as all hell. This has a lot to do with the OS itself, and a little to do with apps that just aren’t compatible (although new updates are rolling out every day). When it comes to just the regular ‘ol OS, I’ve experienced times when the screen wouldn’t turn on (although the device was awake), freezes, and the infamous random reboot. Not good, but since this is a Google phone, you can expect a speedy update to address and squash these bugs in the near future.

Android 4.2 introduced a handful of new features, and while we’ve covered most of these in posts in the past, let’s see how functional they work in real life.

Quick Settings

Took ‘em long enough, but Google has finally introduced a feature into the stock Android OS that many have been enjoying in custom UI’s for years now — notification toggle settings. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, just some settings that can be quickly accessed and toggled in your notification pulldown. While I don’t have much by way of complaints with the new quick settings, I do wish they were configurable like on LG’s custom UI. Well, that and accessible by doing a double pull down gesture, not with a screen tap.

Photo Sphere

Photo Sphere was the one new feature I was most excited with. The idea of transforming you world around you into virtual areas your friends can explore piqued my interests. Similar to the Street View from Google Maps, Photo Sphere lets you take full 360 panoramas in every angle, creating a sort of snow globe of whatever you like. These Photo Sphere’s can be shared with friends and family on Google+ or on Google Maps but there-in lies the problem. These can only be viewed on your browser, or with another Android 4.2 device (Nexus 4, 7, or 10 for now). And, just to view them from another device means downloading the picture to your own phone, then opening up the Photo Sphere’d image in your gallery. Lame and not worth the trouble. Until Google can figure out how to get this working with the standard Street View app found on just about every Android device since Cupcake, this feature is limited in functionality (but still very fun).

Lock Screen Widgets

Lock screen widgets are all new to Android 4.2 and I was dying to try ‘em out. The idea is simple. Why not use your lockscreen to display widgets without having to go through the trouble of fully unlocking your device? Sounds great in theory, but unless you lock your phone with a pin, pattern or password, it’s almost completely useless. There’s 6 total lock screens that can hold a total of 6 widgets. Not every widget can be displayed on these lock screens and even when they’re tiny, you can only display 1. Dumb, right? What’s more is the UI is confusing and you have to fumble around with it for a few seconds to figure out exactly what’s going on.

I wish Google would have tweaked the 4.0/4.1 lockscreen to allow for customized unlock shortcuts similar to Sense, TouchWiz, etc.. I mean, why would a user swipe to the left for quick access to the camera app when you could have an unlock app icon to take you to the app? The only real benefit comes when you have your phone locked with a pin. Then you can have quick access to app info and camera without having to enter a password every time. Other than that, you probably wont use ‘em. In fact, lockscreen an opportunistic developer even introduced an app in the Play Store to completely disable this functionality altogether. Good move for those that don’t use PINs.

Gesture Type Keyboard

This is another feature we’ve covered in depth in the past, and even loaded it up on a few non-Nexus devices. While it’s nice that Google is taking the effort to improve their virtual keyboard by introducing Swype-like functionality, it falls short of the same experience. Other than that, Google added enhanced next word prediction which is similar to SwiftKey, but once again, falls short in execution. Nothing to see here, folks.

Multiple User Accounts (Nexus 7, 10 only)

Daydream

Daydream is Android’s new interactive screensaver. You can set it up in the display settings to start when the device is docked, charging, or both. Stock, there’s only a handful of Daydreams available that range from interactive photo galleries, to digital (or analog) clocks, Google Currents, or a nifty colorful nightlight. The best part about Daydreams are that Android developers can take advantage of them for their own apps in the Play Store (a Twitter Daydream immediately comes to mind).

Miracast Wireless Display

While at first I was excited at the prospect of having Airplay-like wireless display, Miracast is a bit more than that. It also requires additional hardware in most cases to display onto your television. Concocted by the minds at the WiFi Alliance, Miracast can wirelessly mirror the display on your device, to your television. The best part about Miracast is developers can take advantage of it to work with their own apps, displaying only specific information they deam fit. For instance, a presentation app can only display the specific image being presented, while the user sees the full gallery. Neat, huh? The only downside to Miracast is you’ll need to have a compatible television, or run out and buy some extra hardware.

Verdict

So there’s definitely a lot to love when it comes to the Nexus 4 — there’s also a lot of areas where the Google phone manages to fall short. Make no mistake, the Nexus 4 isn’t the “end-all, be-all” of smartphones. That part we know. The bottom line is the Nexus 4 is a great device, made even sweeter by its more than reasonable price tag. As far as whether or not this device is for you, I feel like this phone caters to a specific group of people:

  1. Those who demand getting Android firmware updates the moment they’re released.
  2. Those with 2 generation old, single-core or Snapdragon S3 hardware ( Nexus S, EVO 3D, G2X, etc).
  3. Those who are looking for an affordable replacement device.
  4. Those looking to break free from contracts and move to pre-paid GSM.

But for many who recently upgraded or are happy with their current Android device, this will be nothing more than a “pass” iteration. Even those with the Galaxy Nexus might be able to happily squeeze a few more months out of their device, and maybe even a year if they’re lucky. Other than an insane processor, there really isn’t too much here we haven’t seen already, and in some cases, other manufacturers are doing better (removable battery, better camera quality, micro SD card, USB host, MHL). When it comes to the Nexus 4, it is still very much a phone only for the die-hard Android enthusiast crowd.

Continue reading on the Nexus 4 forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • Kevin

    Can you do a small video to show the refresh rates and that ghost effect? I’m still waiting to hear from Google about my backorder, but I’m not sure if it I should pass on this or not. Currently have an SGS II on Tmobile.

    • http://twitter.com/badsubby subyz

      I concur with Kevin. The only reason I sold my GN was the poor pixelated screen beside having 720p, purple tint and yellowish whites. This whole ghosting effect is definitely a no go for me. I would appreciate if you also put up a video. Thanks.

      • Guest

        IT DOESN’T EXIST. I’ve had the phone since Tuesday and have never once had this “problem.”

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          It’s just an “issue” with all LCD panels. SAMOLED doesn’t have this issue at all on the Galaxy Note 2. Like I said, I have special eyes. They see things. Everythings.

          • http://www.facebook.com/vanhouse David VanHouse

            The way you describe your issue with the N4 is as if this effect is completely ridiculous over the top bad compared to any other screen (even other LCD’s as you mention). Obviously if it was that incredibly horrendous this issue would be plastered all over the place. I have been constantly reading forums for peoples initial impression of the N4 and the complains about the screen are lack of color and some yellow tinting issues for some…never have i seen anything like the problem you describe.

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            It’s not a “problem” in terms of defect. It’s just an issue with some LCD displays. Even those on televisions and monitors.

          • nick olaguez

            Look, look with your special eyes!

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            MY BRAND

          • Unorthodox

            “I see dead peaxle”

          • jian9007

            Speaking of the Note 2, if you set the price difference aside, and assume that 5.5″ screen is not bothersome (it’s fine with me), how do you feel the two compare? I’m debating between these two quad-core beasts (I’m on T-Mobile so it’s the only 2 quad-cores they have) and just wanted your opinion as you’ve used both. Thanks, and good review (also, you feel the way about LCD’s as I do about pentile displays).

          • Nico Anton

            I See this ghosting effect on my note on craigslist…

          • JRomeo

            Chris. if this is an issue with all LCD panels (by the way, i did not know that it was). to the casual reader of this article it would appear that the “issue” you mention pertains to the Nexus4 and NOT all LCD panels………. Why would it appear that you’re referring to the Nexus4 and not all LCD Panels? Because you wrote a review specifically about the Nexus4, that’s why…. could you clarify that in your article please? pretty please with a cherry on top?

    • WhoaManWtF

      He would be unable to show this on video, this thing (unless it has a different panel than my Optimus G) Has the most impressive screen on any Android Device to date. (I came from an SGS3 btw.)

      • http://twitter.com/pvwashington Patrick Washington

        Wow if that isn’t the biggest untrue statement

        • WhoaManWtF

          You have obviously never seen the phone in person, and you say it is not pushing boundaries you are obviously ignorant to current tech. This phone has Dual channel memory where as the Tegra 3 has single. The Memory benchmarks of this phone are around 5x the speed of the Tegra 3 HTC One X and this processor is based on A15 Architecture with a 28nm build the Tegra 3 is 40nm and A9. So if you actually take the time to look at the hardware you will realize you are wrong in many aspects of your outlook on this phone.

          • Emad Zia

            I must admit, the optimus g is the nicest screen i’ve ever seen on any mobile device, which just yesterday i replaced with the Droid DNA’s screen oh my god that thing is beautiful

    • Cory Miller

      He wouldn’t be able to show it because it doesn’t exist.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500019603 Nathan Bell

        This.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          Is.

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            SPARTA.

          • supremekizzle

            You totally stole that from me…

          • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

            Chris were you using this phone on Tmo or Att. I saw you got about 14 hrs of battery life and Ive heard that the N4′s running on Tmo have been getting better battery life.

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            T-Mobile. I also have pretty bad reception where I live (the foothills).

          • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

            Thanks man. I also just saw that you got your bumper. I hate you now lol

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            *teehee*

            You have no idea how quick I was at ordering these things. I was literally shaking during checkout. Lol

          • mercado79

            You and me both man.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamille-Browne/1184321457 Jamille Browne

            This is not sparta.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500019603 Nathan Bell

            Bahaha, brilliant

          • Nadeem Memon

            Is Nexus 4 screen wider then Glaxy S3 and optimus G, i need wider screen in 4.7 inch space

    • adi19956

      Google responded within half an hour to me, on a Friday, at night. Try again

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      I’ll shoot a video showing this. It’ll be tough to show off unless I shoot at 60fps and since YouTube max’s out at 30, I’m gonna have to upload to Vimeo (which can display 60).

      • Kevin

        Thanks Chris, you are my favorite of the Phandroid Writers and you’re hair is pretty damn cool, almost as cool as Shawn Spencer. Just saying

    • MttFrog13

      I don’t think a video would help or at least it would be very difficult to see. Anyone who has used an iphone for an extended period of time might know what Chris is talking about. While I do believe that Android as an OS has become just as “buttery” as iphone, they still will never be as buttery because the refresh rates on the iphone screens are more smooth or buttery. Comparing the two is like looking at typical 24fps video on a 60hz video and then comparing that to a 240hz television (minus any artifacting because in the case of a phone, the video feed would match the screen’s output). If you look at an iPhone it is basically as if the phone doesn’t have a fps, because everything is perfectly smooth (at least past the point of your eye’s ability to tell). If you watch a typical android phone scroll, you can tell that the fps is limited and although it may be very minor, your eyes should be able to see that the phone has a fps limit and is not perfectly smooth video.

      • MttFrog13

        Here’s an easy way to spot ghosting on your android phone. Go to craigslist in your browser and zoom in a bit (one double tap should do it). Then slowly scroll up and down, varying speeds. Eventually you should notice that the blue text is lagging behind a bit and creating a “ghost” effect. I’m doing this on my galaxy nexus right now and it’s pretty obvious. All of this said, I feel like it isn’t a big deal. Unless the nexus 4′s ghosting is sufficiently worse than what’s on the gnex, I don’t think it’s a deal breaker.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          Good example and yes, I do think it’s a lot more noticeable than on my old Galaxy Nexus =/

          Some people might not be able to tell the difference at all.

          • Imparus

            To be fair galaxy nexus is using oled which is a far superior than IPS screen, especially when it comes to refresh rate and blacks, so it isn’t really surprising, but then again OLED still have quite a few new technology problems, that still need to be iron out.

            TL;DR nexus 4 screen isn’t bad it is the same as all the other IPS scren(one x, iphone and so on).

          • John Wentworth

            I see it but only if I really really look for it and scroll up and down several times staring at one line of text, I admit it’s their, but I don’t think it’s anything that would bother most users, or even a good percentage of tech enthusiast’s as to me you have to really look for it and believe me, I normally notice any lag. The very slight lag that Android 4.2 has introduced to my gnex has me contemplating an upgrade to the nexus 4. I use the GSM Gnex on t-mobile, so I’m not losing LTE or anything and honestly as a former Verizon customer with LTE, HSPA+ on T-mobile is better than Verizon LTE for three reasons.
            1. Battery life
            2. Verizon phones really suck when it comes to updates, GSM phones even if they aren’t nexus devices tend to get updates faster than CDMA devices.
            3. In day to day usage I don’t notice a big difference between HSPA+ on T-mobile and Verizon LTE, only in speedtests does Verizon get an advantage I average 8mbps on T-mobile.

        • spicymeatball

          Thanks! Now i see it on my gnex. More obvious with larger text. It will now begin to annoy me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vanhouse David VanHouse

    Wow… First time i have seen someone complain about the ‘refresh rate’…. the scrolling is not bad at all.I seriously think you have a defective screen

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Chinito/16313960 Rich Chinito

      whatd u expect from trolls?

      • malcmilli

        yup anyone who doesn’t find a nexus device to be flawless in every single way is a troll.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Chinito/16313960 Rich Chinito

          either a troll or an iphone user

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      If you can’t see this on the Nexus 7 or other IPS/LCD tablets, then you’re not going to see this on Nexus 4, in which case — you’re lucky.

      • http://www.facebook.com/vanhouse David VanHouse

        When i scroll this page or my facebook feed on my N4 I have nearly the exact same ‘blurriness’ to the text as I do on my wifes GNEX. Never in a million years would I have ever thought this was a problem. Im the type to notice issues like this immediately. I would love to see a video of the issues you see on your N4

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          GNex has similar ghosting. Can’t do a comparison since I no longer have my GNex, but I do know the Note 2 doesn’t suffer from ghosting AT ALL. It’s really nice.

  • Tarun

    Hey Chris, I think the review had a very dismissive tone. 4.2 does seem rushed, but the keyboard is definitely a saving grace. I was a little surprised when you dismissed that too. Honestly, I hated it in the beginning, but soon enough, I began to like it.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Thanks for the comment. Yeah, the keyboard was definitely much improved, but I think most people will still opt for their favorite replacement (SwiftKey or Swype).

      • BLADESMAN1889

        I’ve actually stayed with the new keyboard since I dl the 4.2 gaaps package that was posted on here. Yes, it does take some getting used too but I expected this as I have been using Swype for 2yrs – Although I have to admit that my main reason for sticking with it was that it is 2 less things to load up after flashing :–) 1~Swype 2~ Installer.

      • Tarun

        Thanks for the response too :) I try and avoid those alternatives because in my opinion –
        1) Stock look is better
        2) Having a non-stock keyboard affects performance, not sure if that’s true though

        • John Wentworth

          I tend to agree, the stock keyboard is always a little smoother, and more importantly less buggy, though I normally opted for a third party keyboard anyway, but with the new 4.2 keyboard I don’t really feel a need for a third party keyboard.

    • alfonzso

      The keyboard is improved but still several horse lengths behind SwiftKey.

      • Tarun

        I personally need to have some sort of gesture typing – so I’m waiting for the SwiftKey beta when it comes. Until then it’s the android keyboard for me.

    • MttFrog13

      I agree, the keyboard isn’t that bad. My only major problem with it is that sometimes it doesn’t show word predictions at times when swype would. For example, from the instant messaging app or google talk, both swype and the android keyboard will show word predictions so that you can easily correct any words that the keyboard guessed incorrectly. But in google chrome’s url bar for example, the android keyboard won’t present any word predictions, but swype will. Also, the android keyboard won’t pick up “.com” for me

      • Tarun

        Yeah, I know what you are saying. Though it doesn’t bother me that much.

  • bmg314

    Yeah, along with the lack of storage space, now the refresh rate and the reports of the extreme fragility of the N4, it all has me kind of being scared off.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500019603 Nathan Bell

      The refresh rate “ghost” crap doesn’t exist. Fragility: Buy the bumper or DON’T DROP THE PHONE. Lack of storage space? I don’t know why everyone feels the need to cram their entire life onto their phone. I have the 8 GB model and still have plenty of free space.

      • bmg314

        So he imagined the refresh trailing? I know it’s just one review, but come on. Perhaps you just don’t notice it, or maybe it’s just his unit. Something to keep an eye on, but you can’t just dismiss it because you don’t see it.

        I very rarely drop my phone. When I have, it’s not like I’ve done it on purpose (I treat my devices like freaking family members) and its never been more than a foot or two. And bumper or not, the double glass design was something that worried me from the start. The fact that there are more reports of it trickling in (already) just reinforces my fears. The bumper is not a perfect defense against fragility.

        As for the storage space, Ive said this again and again…just because you (or anyone) are comfortable with absurdly low internal storage, be due to your use of the cloud (which is nowhere near good enough yet) or simply the fact that you don’t consume as much music, games, and movies as the next guy (in this case, me), does not mean that it works for everyone. My Galaxy Nexus is always filled to the brim and I’m constantly having to delete and reload stuff.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          @facebook-500019603:disqus @bmg314:disqus

          They said I was crazy back when I noticed PenTile on the Nexus One. In fact, I was ridiculed over it. I have really good eyes, and displays are a buying factor for me in tablets, televisions, and smartphones. I’m not “making stuff up.”

          I have an LG Intuition with IPS display: same issue.
          LG Optimus G with IPS display: same issue.
          Nexus 7 with IPS display: same issue.

          Galaxy S3 with SAMOLED: no issue.
          Galaxy Note 2 with SAMOLED: no issue.

          • bmg314

            Right, that’s why, even tho yours is only one review,I tend to take what you have to say seriously.

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            Thank you, sir. :)

          • Guest

            You claimed this about the LG Optimus G display – “The 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display offered unrivaled clarity and true-to-life colors”. Now the N4 with the exact same display is somehow worlds apart?

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            No, both are clear. Even clearer than the Galaxy S3 (because of the S3′s PenTile)

            It’s just when SCROLLING that things turn all blurry. Most people wont notice it. Just like I can’t show my parents the difference in picture quality in 120Hz and 240Hz televisions.

          • scoter man1

            You can see a difference between 120 and 240? 0.o

          • http://twitter.com/ste1164 Steven Bell

            Yes but the horrible colours/issues with AMOLED (black mura, image retention, burn in other issues on the GNex & note). Also the pentile which is crap.

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            The Note 2 doesn’t have the traditional PenTile arrangement and is one of the best displays I’ve ever seen. GNex was nice, but not as good as the GS3′s.

          • http://twitter.com/ste1164 Steven Bell

            Yea true but the GNex had the horrible banding issues at low brightness & bot h the GNex & SGS3 & Note 2 have black spots, because of the way the display is made. Personally I prefer LCD as I like more real colours and not the funky greens/blues/pinks AMOLED gives.

          • Ali Abidrahmani

            My GNex’s display is BAD.

            I don’t know if this issue is wide spread,but one part of my GNex’s screen is much more red than the other side,lower the brightness,and you will understand how much terrible the screen is.(Landscape demonstrates it better)I had the same issue with my first Galaxy S II unit.the second Galaxy S II unit I bought had a different issue,when I opened a completely black picture in a very dark room,screen would look weird,I could see whiter spots and completely black spots.

            the first Galaxy S II(and possibly the second one as well) also suffered the infamous yellow tint issue.(which to be honest was easy to ignore)

            Galaxy Note II doesn’t suffer the issues I saw with my GNex and former Galaxy S IIs but to be honest,as I had not-so-ideal experience with AMOLED in the past,I decided I will never buy a device with AMOLED screen,Even if the devices were faulty,then there is definitely something wrong in AMOLED production line,3 out of 3 devices I bought were faulty in some way.

            I am wondering if I’ll have the same bad experience with IPS,if that’s the case I probably wont be able to buy a device with an enjoyable screen at all :(
            P.S.:Something that might be interesting to add:the second Galaxy s II’s screen was much colder compared to the original Galaxy S II unit.
            What’s your take on this?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500019603 Nathan Bell

            I misunderstood what you were talking about with the “ghost trailing”, I thought you meant it showed a trail as you dragged a finger across the screen (from your finger. Haha). Mine does have a very slight ghosting of stuff as I swipe the home screens back and forth, but I don’t notice things like that

      • jbo1018

        I don’t keep my whole life on my phone but I have 4 games on my GS3 that would take up all 6 or so GB available on the 8GB version of the Nexus 4. To me the storage is a huge deal breaker. 16GB really is becoming too little and I definitely wouldn’t buy a new phone with anything less than 32GB. (especially considering no more apps 2 ext SD.)

  • Tarik Husejinovic

    Hey Chris, I’ll take it off your hands.
    Also, nice feet. ;)

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      :p

  • Cory Miller

    The “refresh rate” problem and “ghosting” portrayed in this article is ridiculous. I own the Nexus 4 and there’s no such thing. To date I haven’t seen a screen that looks like good, performance wise, and I came from an S3. If anybody is thinking that the “refresh rate” is going to be a deal-breaker, seriously, once you get it in your hands you’ll have no idea why it was even brought up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/vanhouse David VanHouse

      Exactly. The refresh rate is NOT an issue

      • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

        Not an issue for some. Maybe not even an issue for most. But definitely an issue for me. Just like I wouldn’t buy a 120Hz television, I wouldn’t get a phone with an IPS display :/

        • Michael Lee

          Re-word the article then to tell people that it’s only an issue for you and a few others. :P

    • WhoaManWtF

      I have an LG Optimus G and I have not noticed anything with the refresh rate and I have played a lot of games and what not on it… But then at the same time this thing feels amazingly solid in my hand much more so than any other Android phone I have held to date… The only complaint I would have is the camera is mediocre. This article seems a bit biased. This is the fastest smoothest operating Android device I have used to date, and I have used all of the top tier phones…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500019603 Nathan Bell

        The Nexus 4 and Optimus G have different sensors I believe.

        • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

          Att’s version of the Optimus G supposedly has the exact same 8mp sensor as was used in the Nexus 4.

    • scoter man1

      I was crapping my pants when I saw that. I’m glad you all agree.

  • http://twitter.com/ThaBIGCHORIZO Luis Herrera

    where is the video dammit!!

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Soooooooon…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Chinito/16313960 Rich Chinito

    u couldve taken a pic of something other than ur pale feet :(
    but nice review.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      They were the whitest thing in the room! :3

  • CryptoNoel

    i just played with one at T-Mobile store earlier today…amazing phone!!

  • Albert

    i wonder if the LCD effect when pushing on the screen has to do with the zero gap glass/lcd utilized on the phone? I have the Nexus 4 and I’m so far very happy with it it pretty much all aspects (barring no sdcard) cloud storage is fine but when and where there might be no signal it’ll become an issue.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Chinito/16313960 Rich Chinito

      phone companies, and in the larger scheme of things the government, want cloud storage to be able to herd people near wifi sources..sources which will be traceable and recordable onto the govts cloud storage…

    • DonMcCall

      Exactly. Because of the zero air gap he essentially was pressing on the display, not just the digitizer like the GS3. This has nothing at all to do with build quality. SMH

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      All I know is it doesn’t happen on the SGS3. That display is solid as rock (which may even make it more prone to shatter?).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Chinito/16313960 Rich Chinito

    i think the s3 is better if it has JB

    • phinn

      I agree. I won’t buy the GS3 because it’s so large, but with CM10, it blows this away.

      • http://www.facebook.com/vanhouse David VanHouse

        blows it away in terms of performance? how?

  • Sonny Grasso

    I think u got a defective device cuz when I push on my screen hard I don’t get that ripple effect also no ghost trails hope u can try out another N4 and compare

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      But I have 2 Nexus 4′s and they both have that.

  • BoSamps

    hey are you guys gonna review the nexus 10? I’ve been considering buying it but I want to hear from you first

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Yeah, we should have one coming soon.

  • phinn

    No LTE. No CDMA. No headphones. Headphone jack on top. Terrible black levels. Mediocre battery life. Mediocre camera. Too big. too heavy. too wide.

    It’s no competitor to Apple. It doesn’t even support over half the US population. This “Nexus” isn’t worthy of the name. Android 4.2 – lovely, wake me up when it’s on a good phone.

    • alfonzso

      Have you used it? I can only agree to one thing and it’s the mediocre camera. Other than that, the battery life is better than any other recent smartphone I’ve had, the screen is gorgeous and the size is perfect.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      I guess you’d prefer that disaster that was the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon?

      I have one and I love it. Coming from a Galaxy Note I’d like a bigger screen and obviously more storage, but I knew that coming in. It’s a great device. Chris exaggerates a bit here I think.

      • John Wentworth

        People have extremely short memories, and I’m sure a large percentage of the people screaming about no CDMA support are the same ones who where screaming about Verizon and Sprint’s update delays, that google cannot control.
        As a GSM GNex owner and a former Verizon customer I can say that only GSM nexus devices offer the true Nexus experience and google is simply trying to stay true to what a nexus device is supposed to be.
        CDMA devices in general = Slow updates.

    • Crimsonshadow774

      Its a decent phone but when compared to devices like the Galaxy S3, LG really dropped the ball.

  • Tommy Thompson
  • RitishOemraw

    “Why would a user swipe to the left for quick access to the camera app when you could have an unlock app icon to take you to the app? ”

    Because some people use an actual lock for the lockscreen?
    Unless I am missing something, swiping to the left is much faster than entering my pin-code and opening the camera app. It also helps that now other people can take pictures with my phone without being able to access the rest of it.

    Or am I missing some cool android features? It could be as I only discovered the weird faces setting in the stock camera app (when recording) days before it got removed with 4.2 :(

    • Victor Ng

      Same here same here! I always wanted to be able to access the camera straight from the lock screen and 4.2 makes it possible. If i am not mistaken, you are also unable to enter into the gallery through that lock screen also, so it seems that what you say is true, that it could be meant to allow other people to use your device to take pictures without access to the entire device

      Still remember the last time when i was on holiday, i had to disable the lock screen just so that i had quicker access to the camera… but boy.. was i worried that someone would steal my phone and have access to everything

      • BLADESMAN1889

        So is it only the custom ROMS that can allow access to the camera from LS ?

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          There’s apps like WidgetLocker that will give functionality for custom shortcuts.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Clarified. The new lockscreen is only handy if you lock you phone with a PIN, password, pattern, etc..

      • RitishOemraw

        “Well, that and accessible by doing a double pull down gesture, not with a screen tap.”

        Not sure whether you are aware of the two-finger pull-down method to get to the quick settings right away.

        Very handy when you use two hands, undoable when using only one hand. Its no double swipe, but handy for me nonetheless

        edit:
        Also you know mention PINS with the locksreen widget does that exclude the pattern unlock? Seems unlikely but I am to lazy to test it myself. Then again I do not get paid for writing about it.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          I’ve been using the 2-finger gestore to access quick settings and it’s simply not registering. Not sure if it’s a bug, but I know it’s SUPPOSED to work.

          And pattern unlock also works with the lockscreen widgets. Face unlock too.

          • RitishOemraw

            Two finger swipe works fine on my Gnex, might be a N4 specific issue Or maybe you have a faulty device.

            Also, you dish on the swipe to camera feature, while it is actually really handy for everyone, unless they don’t use the PIN or Pattern Or Face unlock?

            Also I never had an issue with ghosting on my Gnex. Im sure you are not lying and you just notice these kind of things easier given that it is your job to do so. But for your next review, could you do more comparisons? Because when I read about the ghosting I was horrified, then I read it was similar to the Gnex and my fears vanished as ghosting on my Gnex never bothered me.
            So if you do more comparisons in the text, we, the readers will get a better understanding of the severity of what you are describing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500019603 Nathan Bell

    FYI: You can pull down the notification toggles without a “tap”. Use two fingers at the same time.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Almost forgot about that one but yeah, it’s not working on my Nexus 4 for some reason. =/

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500019603 Nathan Bell

        Mine didn’t work when I first got the phone, but once it installed the OTA it’s worked like a charm

  • alfonzso

    Thanks for your review. I wouldn’t give the camera as much credit as you do. Coming from great cameras on the Galaxy SII and Lumia 920, I’ve had very mixed experiences with the Nexus 4. Pics in bright daylight are very disappointing and the panorama and sphere features are not up to par. Another disappointing thing is that the wireless charging is very unreliable. One thing I haven’t noticed is the “screen give” and “ripples” that you are talking about. I’m not able to replicate that.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I love the phone due to the speed and stock Android.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Yup. Those are THE 2 reasons to own the phone.

  • BLADESMAN1889

    “When I first received the Nexus 4 from UPS, I didn’t even open it right away. I just placed it on my desk… and stared at the box. This isn’t the type of thing you rush into.”

    I’m glad it’s not just me that does this – I watched a YouTube of some dude who just ripped the tape off that seals the box & I was cringing at it. “use a Stanley knife so the box doesn’t get ruined” I shouted at the screen. I’ll be like a surgeon, unboxing bit by bit taking ages.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Haha! I’m not alone! :D

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      I didn’t have the patience for this lol, I dove right in.

  • modman

    Wanna know what sucks. Maybe Nexus 7 can view photosphere pics but can`t create them when I try to go in phosphere mode it says nexus 7 isn’t supported yet.

  • http://twitter.com/ste1164 Steven Bell

    AMOLED cant ripple try it on any AMOLED device it wont happen. It happens on LCD because of the (liquid crystal display) I can get my One X & iPhone 5 to do it, thats just the type of screen.

  • ilh

    There’s nothing wrong about the screen resolution at all if your numbers are correct. The extra pixels are in height, not width like you suggest and it’s for the navigation buttons. It actually gives you more screen real estate than the S3 rather than taking it away as some apps hide the buttons in certain circumstances, like YouTube videos, the rest of the time they’ll be the same.

    • BLADESMAN1889

      I was going to ask about the ‘real estate’ comment regarding a 4:3″ screen ? I was like WTF ? so you do actually get the full screen – or can you opt to turn off the Nav bar ?

      • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

        Nav bar can’t be turned off, although sometimes it shrinks a into “dots” instead of icons or vanishes when watching video. 90% of the time, the nav bar is there and taking up space =/

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      But the extra pixels are width, not height. So if you don’t count the navigation bar, it’s technically 1196×768.

      • ilh

        Woops, my bad. I must have been in monitor mode and forgot the numbers are the opposite way round. That is quite odd then.

    • setspeed

      Wrong. 1280 vertical pixels and 768 horizontal pixels (instead of 720) means this screen is wider than most others, not longer.

  • BLADESMAN1889

    Don’t forget guys that this is a journo’s review, not that of the average consumer whom gets 1 phone every 2 yrs on contract. I would also be surprised if he actually pays for his phones (he writes for a living on a major android site) What I’m trying to point out is go read 2 sets of reviews of some of fave shows on IMDB – read the ‘User’ reviews and compare to the ‘Critics’ reviews and there is usually a BIG difference.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      I see what you’re saying but I’m not a journalist. I’m just a regular Android/tech enthusiast like most people on here who paid for BOTH Nexus 4′s I received from Google Play. Woke up early like everyone else. Nothing was handed to me.

      Not too many people know this, but anything we receive “free” from anyone is immediately given away on this site. It’s not our property (keeps the writers unbiased).

      But yeah, I notice a lot of things most people don’t. I don’t think it’s a bad phone at all. In fact, I was debating on giving up my Note 2 for one. Unfortunately, the shortcomings I happened to notice on the Nexus 4 are making me pass until next year.

      • BLADESMAN1889

        and I’m not havin a dig, just pointing out that the average reader doesn’t have himself a Note2, SGS 3, N4 and a One X, Optimus G, Tuition….. – you are packing the top 4 phones on the Market and no doubt will soon have the DNA. This is why you have the Critics eye, you are able to get whatever phone comes out where as I and others have 1 phone for 2yrs !

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          Yup. And sometimes, most stuff can’t even be noticed unless you hold 2 devices side-by-side. Most people wont notice half this stuff. :p

          • BLADESMAN1889

            I will certainly take this review into account, and with respect. I will have to go and test it in-store also before I decide on my final decision. The benefit of this phone for me is that my SGS [the original :--)] is out of contract in begining of Jan and I just don’t want to get tied into another 2yr contract. The N4 means I can get a decent upgrade until the next Nexus – in 1yr and I won’t be looking on thinking another yr before I can even think about a new phone.

  • BigCiX

    Put the guts of the Nexus 4 in a One X body and u have a winner!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Amen, brother. A transplant would be perfect.

    • sid_m

      true. But on a slightly different note I’m guessing the One X successor which will be revealed during CES 2013 – first week of Jan is something worth waiting for. It will mostly have all the good things of the Droid DNA/DLX- build quality, screen etc and will hopefully resolve all the shortcomings- storage capacity- 32 gigs, battery capacity – more than 3000mah.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

        I’m hoping they do the One X sequel as closer to 4 inches for people who don’t want a huge phone and then continue doing the DNA as the large option so people can have a top of the line device in both form factors.

  • Dan Aimetti

    My screen doesn’t ripple or ghost. I’m honestly confused at this review. Usually I don’t mind reading reviews but this one is a bit odd.

    • moopuna

      agreed… obviously its opinion and I was excited to see this review but I am rather shocked as well…I have had the phone for the past 3 days and Im pretty sure I disagree with everything that was said…

      love the keyboard(use to be a long time swift key/swype user), love the quick access camera on the lock screen, love two finger notification pull down(although I agree with the quick settings needing to be customizable), have had no problem with screen “ghosting”, the display is great although not as “popping” as the gnex(not a bad thing, much more natural looking), performance is astounding!

      And just like this review, that is my opinion of course.

    • scoter man1

      I also agree. I wonder if they were paid off by Apple or something?
      /trolling

  • KOLIO

    @CHRIS CHAVEZ:

    Great job on the review. A fair & balanced report, w/o overselling the good points or underselling the bad.

    If one were sitting on the fence as to whether they’ll get this phone, this review would be helpful in making the final decision.

    Keep up the great work!

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Thanks! Seems most people seem intent on defending their purchase no matter what. I don’t hate the phone at all. I think it has its strengths and weaknesses and if you do get it, I hope you love it :)

  • JoeyKhache

    Hey Chris, I wanted to ask you! How long till after you received the phone did you start to get fairly decent battery life? I’ve had it for 2 days now and my battery is just being eaten so bad! I can’t go on a day without recharging this phone. Should I just wait a bit and see how it goes after a few battery cycles?

    • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

      Same here man. When I read he was getting 14 hours I wanted to know his secret. My battery seems to be getting a little better, or maybe Im just not using it as much at times. Ive had mine since Monday, Ive hear conflicting stories on 4.2 being the cause of poor battery life in all of the Nexus devices.

      • JoeyKhache

        Awhhh man, I just wish this gets better. The software seems to be working perfectly for me but battery life is just so vital. I’m just hoping that it gets better after a few cycles. -_-.

        • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

          Me too

        • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

          Just curious, what network are you on. I just asked Chris what network he tested this on, but ive heard the ones running on Tmo have been getting better battery life. Im running on Att

          • JoeyKhache

            I’m also on Tmo…

          • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

            Damn there goes that theory

          • JoeyKhache

            Haha. Well I guess im gonna just have to wait and see what this upcoming week brings for me. Lol

          • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

            I’m on AT&T and am experiencing decent battery life. Nothing to write home about but you won’t find me complaining about it, especially in standby, it barely ever loses any battery.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Well, battery is usually the best after a good 2 charges. But like I said in my review, when you actually use the phone, battery gets eaten up quick. My 14 or so hours is just with moderate to mild use. I’m not watching movies or really playing games on it. I do keep brightness on max.

      Oh, and to help keep a charge longer, try charging with an iPod charger (5V) or you computer USB (also 5V) when you’re not pressed for time (or over night). Slow charges make for slow depletion and better battery health.

  • Wesley

    I’ll pass on this one…Dear Santa I want a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 :)

  • Alec Smith

    I sort of wanted this phone because of how inexpensive it is but after reading so many reviews I don’t seem to want it anymore :/

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      I wouldn’t take the reviewers’ word for it really, because I love mine and have prettymuch no issues with it.

  • Larry Garfield

    The forum discussion so far seems to be a bit more positive than this review. Take that for whatever it’s worth, of course: http://androidforums.com/nexus-4/648487-my-impressions-nexus-4-ask-anything.html

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      I don’t think I’ve a single bad review on the Nexus 4. Not saying mine is a bad review by any means, there’s just some things with the phone I found lacking. For some it’s the storage, others with LTE, for me it’s the display.

      • Larry Garfield

        As another poster said, your perspective is somewhat different than the usual forum denizen. :-) I’m just cross linking because I’m currently torn between an N4 and GS3 and looking for all the information I can get.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          Bump! :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

        It’s funny that you dislike the display when I think it’s one of my favorite things about the device. I came from a SAMOLED on the Galaxy Note though, so take from that what you’d like.

  • Unorthodox

    Chris, I’m begging you to do the Nexus 10 review, your opinion seems to be the closest to my own considerations when it comes to Android, and is not spoiled by too much techy fanboyism.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Unfortunately, I didn’t get the Nexus 10 for review (I didn’t wanna hog all the devices). I only got the 4 =/

  • mattsevits

    I’ve had my Nexus 4 for a week, and I have yet to experience any of the hardware or software issues that Chris mentions. I’ve even dropped it without the glass cracking. So don’t be afraid to buy this phenomenal phone, guys.

    I’ve bought every single Nexus except the Galaxy Nexus (ew), and this is by far the best phone I’ve ever had.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      I liked the Galaxy Nexus. I just wish it had a more capable processor :c

      You really haven’t experienced any software issues on the Nexus 4? Android 4.2 is buggin’ out on me. So frustrating.

      • mattsevits

        Nope! I really, really haven’t. That sucks that you have, though :( Sounds like what I went through when I first got my Nexus S. That thing was buggy as hell for sure.

        • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

          I’m with you as well, as mine has been almost perfect. I had a couple force closes, from Google apps oddly enough, but they were very rare. This device is just a pleasure to use in every way.

  • VinMessina

    Great job Chris.

  • supremekizzle

    You rich bro?

  • Erik

    I just got my Nexus 4 2 hours ago from TMobile. And have been going through through the device. This ghost affect or trailing is non existent on my phone. Maybe this guy got a defective unit. Still to early to tell but this device is fast, it feels more solid then the samsung g3 which was in the running. The camera is good and the macro close up shots i was very impressed. Took a close up of my wifes face. She was horrified at the detail of her pores lol Anyways….Upgrading from a HTC G2, this was well worth it. Just need to get more familiar with the gui.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      Oooo I forgot it has macro mode. Anyone know how to use it? I don’t remember seeing it in the settings.

  • yousuckasareviewer@gmail.com

    Horrible review… apparently the reviewer has no idea what the core of a nexus device means. Bezel too big? Chrome accent? Nitpick much? First time ever that I heard someone complain about an IPS display….seriously? Who the hell looks at their phone from the corner?

    • Michael

      Forget about all that. Sadly, at heart this phone is still a big swing and a miss.

  • Nadeem Memon

    Hi, I m from (karachi) Pakistan,I have a question from you Is Nexus 4 display is wider then Galaxy S3 and Optimus G ? currently i am using Htc One X its display is taller not wider, i need wider screen in just 4.7 inch space, plz suggest me which one has wider screen, because i have to make order via online thats why i cant check the screen size of Nexus 4 and Optimsu G and they are not available in Pakistan except Galaxy S3, Thankx

  • Anthony Ortega

    Can one connect this device with MetroPcs?

  • Nedeljko Kovačević

    Great read Chris! Any chance you could investigate issues regarding the throtling of the Quad-Core Krait processor due to overheating during the full load!

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/nexus-4-two-thirds-of-a-great-phone/2/

  • wickets

    great review….I’m so glad this doesnt have lte for otherwise i would be sitting with another mediocre phone

  • ColbyHollabaugh

    The problem with this phone isn’t just lack of LTE or smaller than average storage options. Why most of us true Android users seem to have a negative opinion of this phone is simple. It is last years iOS device, processor and ram aside non remove able glass back and battery without LTE support. Android phones have always moved forward and quickly at that. A lot of us are drawn to the OS because of that. However seeing this step backwards is horrific. Remember apples lame excuse for no LTE in 2011, that was Googles excuse for 2012. This is simply an open and shut case of a large company telling people what to buy as opposed to giving them what they want. Low memory options are not a huge cost save in design so it also seems like Google is pushing cloud services to much. (Services are spotty even with great coverage my music still stops and buffers). One final note is that companies that wanna sell a lot of phones know that have to do two things to do it. Make the phone for the majority of people and launch on all major U.S. carriers. Launching exclusively on T-Mobile is unacceptable.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      My Google Music on the Nexus 4 on AT&T hasn’t stuttered even once, and I use it exclusively every day every time I drive somewhere. I’d definitely prefer to have a lot of storage so I see your point, but cloud solutions do work, much better than I expected to be honest.

    • Guest

      I like how you say “processor and ram aside”, everything else is iOS last year.
      By the time iOS gets 2 gb of RAM, we’ll be blazing 4gb. By the time they get Apple Maps right, we’ll be finding dining spots on Google Moon (if we ever colonize the moon)

  • ClayRogers

    Surprised you don’t talk more about the back. I know it’s stupid, but after seeing the back of this device in person I had to have it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      I could probably guess what kind of women you’re into given this comment ;)

  • erni74

    When will this Smartphone be available again?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperElvisfreshlyATT Freshly_Snipes

    Damn Chris…Could you be even more biased and subjective next time? Sheesh! If you put as much emphasis on the POSITIVES as you do the NEGATIVES in everything you review you might be credible again my brother. I like you A LOT (pause)..But I feel you’ve grown a tad “over expectant”of a devices shortcomings and what YOU feel it should do. People who are a first time reader would be terrified to purchase the Nexus 4 after reading your VERY negative review. Yous aid positives as well. But your negatives were so profound that they stood out WAAAAAY more. Try reading from a neutral place next time and not an Subjective-EMO one my Androidian brother.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      While I agree with you I wouldn’t have said it in that way. He did put a lot of emphasis on the negatives, which bothered me as a Nexus 4 owner/user mainly because most of the things he mentioned aren’t nearly as bad as he makes them out to be, or they just aren’t noticeable at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cristi.istrate Cristi Istrate

    So a shity phone in your experience ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    I think this is a bit harsh. I love my Nexus 4, and while there are issues because it doesn’t have much storage and some people want LTE those are the only negatives I can see about it other than audio quality. It feels like a luxury device to me, and sure there’s some risk there because of the glass just know that if you’re the type who doesn’t act extra careful with your smartphone then yeah you might want to lean towards another device or just get a case, as most people do anyways.

    I think I may end up getting a Note 2 next year with my tax return only because the audio from this device is very significantly quieter and even with PowerAmp I can’t quite get it to sound as good as my Galaxy Note i717 did. Plus I do like to have a bunch of music stored on my device so I could end up having 2 devices with me at all times, regardless of how nerdy that is lol. We’ll see though.

  • smithj33

    So many of you sound like droids. For a new, google flagship, it’s a swing and a miss. If you can’t accept that, then well, you are a droid. Great review.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      I must be a droid then, cause I love mine.

    • ratnok

      A “Droid” is a phone brand sponsored in-house by Verizon. I didn’t realize that phones can join comment sections- but I am aware that jealous iTrolls love to join, and you know… troll.

      • smithj33

        A Droid is the equivalent of an iSheep. No matter what your preferred brand releases, you mindlessly think it’s the best device. I carry a 4S and a Nexus 7 with me during the day, and use a Touchpad with CM9 at home, so I am no troll my friend.

        Droɪd
        n.
        a robot-like person;

    • John Wentworth

      Completely disagree, people value different things.

      First of all google’s nexus devices have always had a few compromises in order to make the phone more affordable.

      The Nexus 4 processor and ram are top notch, pretty much the fastest you can currently get, and that’s much better than previous nexus devices like the Gnex with debuted with slightly obsolete processor and ram specs.

      The lack of CDMA was decided because of the disaster that the galaxy nexus on Verizon was, due to slow updates. Immediate updates are what define a nexus device.
      The greater Memory and LTE support of the Sprint and Verizon galaxy device where because Verizon and Sprint subsidized them, but they showed they could not support nexus devices the way they should be, if you want someone to blame, blame Verizon and Sprint.

      People have such a short memory. A lot of the hate from CDMA users is just sour grapes. I used to be a Verizon customer and I left for these reasons and many others.

      Storage – they’ve never had SD cards, and 16GB was the max size for the GSM galaxy nexus, because with the GSM nexus google always strives to keep the price down, I hope they will offer a more expensive 32 GB option one day, but this isn’t a departure from the traditional GSM nexus line in any way.

      LTE – a mixture of cost savings and the fact that the only US carrier to support the Nexus line the way it should be, is T-mobile which does not have LTE yet.

      Nexus devices are about the latest and greatest Android software in an affordable package. It’s somewhat unreasonable to compare a $299 – $349 phone to a $600 phone. Buy a phone that retails for $600 if you want the absolute best in every hardware component.

      In every way compared to the GSM galaxy nexus, this phone is not a step backwards and in many ways a step forwards.

      Is the phone perfect and does it have the highest specs in every way,

      No – google nexus devices normally don’t, but in many ways it’s a much more up to date nexus than google has released in previous years.

      Is it still a fantastic deal for a GSM user who values what the nexus line has traditionally been about.

      YES.

  • abc

    I only skimmed the review, but didn’t see anything about call quality. Some people are reporting a buzzing/static sound from the earpiece. Considering this is a phone, did you review the call quality?

    What about GPS performance…lock times and accuracy?

  • Nick_Lopez_Loya

    so now we’re judging phones on their refresh rates and viewing angles? That’s a first

    • smithj33

      Is it not important? I don’t want a phone that has motion trails or washes out at angles. I assume it was mentioned in the review because it was more noticeable than other phones.

  • mike

    Very critical, but fair, review. Just what I’ve been wanting to see tbh. Means that I’ll have to look at the device before I buy one come April. Mind you, I’m hoping there’ll be another Nexus device by then…

  • Durandal_1707

    So in summary, the software (Google) is great, and the hardware (LG) is not so much. IOW, pretty much what was expected…

  • ratnok

    Here are the selling points for me.

    1. HSPA+42 is the fastest HSPA speeds around, and in my area it’s 8 times faster than 3G. Nexus 4 taps those speeds, which are fast enough to play HD Netflix/Youtube without a single stutter or freeze.

    2. Next year, T-Mobile will be using the band 4 for their LTE rollout. The Nexus 4 can access band 4 for full LTE. Once T-Mobile deploys LTE, this phone (on T-Mobile) will have LTE.

    3. T-Mobile has true unlimited data, and the Nexus 4 has a free WIFI hotspot. This means I can cut off my cable internet and save $70 a month, or $1,680 over 2 years- paying for the phone and putting another $1,300 back in my pocket, which I’ll probably use to buy a new TV.

    4. If T-Mobile bellies up or changes their pre-paid contract for the worse, I can take the Nexus to AT&T, since it is pentaband and unlocked. If I have to divorce T-Mobile, there is no alimony.

    5. I can laugh at everyone complaining that their skinned phones still haven’t updated to Jelly Bean when my phone is updating from Key Lime Pie to Licorice.

    • John Wentworth

      I agree with everything except #3
      T-mobile does not offer unlimited wifi hotspot service, only unlimited smartphone 4G data. if you want hot spot service you are limited to 5GB, the phone may allow you to do it, and for occasional light usage I don’t even think it’s a huge problem but it’s still against their terms of service.

      Using it as a replacement for Home Internet is a problem, it degrades everyone’s service and it’s not what the service is designed for, It’s users like you who kill unlimited mobile service for everyone.

  • a.d.AM

    After having the phone for about five days all I have to say is this thing screams. The build quality is amazing, better than any android phone I’ve touched. Get one! You wont be sorry!

  • John Wentworth

    It’s nice to read a review that doesn’t simply gush over the nexus 4, minus the LTE debate.
    a number of the points are quite valid and have given me some things to think about.
    But I disagree with a few points, given my experience on the galaxy nexus with 4.2

    The onscreen buttons, I’ve used a galaxy nexus for a year now with on screen buttons and they are fantastic, having big easily noticeable onscreen buttons makes using the buttons so much easier than small capacities buttons that are easier to miss both by sight and touch. The loss of screen real estate is worth it, and they aren’t a criticism of the nexus 4 itself as many Android devices use google’s suggested onscreen buttons now.
    At first when coming from a phone with capactive buttons, I wasn’t sure about them myself, but once you get used to them you’ll never want to go back to capacitive buttons

    Android 4.2 – it’s not as buggy as you make it seem, I’ve encountered a few bugs but it’s not as bad as you make it sound. also I think the swype functionality is pretty damn good myself.

    I have to wonder about the LCD review, I’ll have to check it out at a t-mobile store, every other review I’ve read has nothing but good things to say about the display. But if your right and the display is sub-par, I may just hold on to my galaxy nexus, so I thank you for bringing up the potential issue.

  • DoubleClutch

    Phandroid has finally jumped the shark. Chavez’s ever growing head just exploded. I like how the Pantech flex review was featured over this.

  • Dan Barkley

    I colour you impressed.