Google finally launching an LTE-enabled Nexus 4?


Nexus 4 back phandrizzle

Don’t get me started on a lack of LTE in the Nexus 4. While there is no use crying over milk that has spilled and gone sour, it’s no secret that I thought a lack of LTE at launch was a major blow for the handset. Sure, some folks found workarounds that took advantage of certain LTE-capable components installed in the Nexus 4, but there was never a true 4G option beyond that. Will that soon change?

A Bluetooth SIG filing suggests Google and LG might finally bring forth an LTE-ready Nexus 4. The interesting part is that the filing is for a handset with the same model number as the original, the LG E960. The identical model number would suggest nothing has changed hardware-wise, which in turn means the new version of the phone might simply be the old version with its vestigial LTE chip activated. If the hardware was already there, not including LTE was not a cost-saving measure. It was instead a user experience decision, making it even more ludicrous that Google didn’t include it to begin with…but I digress.

Is there a chance the LTE-enabled Nexus 4 will be announced alongside the upcoming Nexus 5? That sure seems likely at this point. That doesn’t change the fact that if the new version does debut, it was the device we should have seen a year ago.

[via Engadget]

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  1. An ultra cheap Nexus 4 could be interesting. Currently you can get one at 0$ on a 2-year term. So maybe they could have a 199$ LTE-Nexus 4. That would be amazing.

  2. Can’t really see the value of them launching a Nexus 4 LTE this late in the game unless it’s priced super cheap. Otherwise, just get a Nexus 5.

    1. I’m wondering if perhaps the two might not be intended for the same markets, with some countries getting the N5, and others getting the N4. Otherwise the price points would be close enough that side-by-side, the N4 might not make much sense.

  3. I’m sure it’s just certification to activate vestigial LTE in the n4.

  4. “If the hardware was already there, not including LTE was not a cost-saving measure.”

    You don’t know that – that’s pure speculation – let me offer you some of my own: There may be licensing issues involved that brought about reduced cost. Google may have very well approached Qualcomm about a chipset without LTE. The cost to develop and validate a new chipset could have been cost prohibitive, eventually leading to a licensing agreement where Google would not enable the Qualcomm IP that they weren’t paying for.

  5. What would make this even better if they some how fixed it to work on the same rumored carriers as the Nexus 5.

  6. The original nexus 4 didn’t support all the tmobile LTE bands. Sure, it worked but it wasn’t as fast as it should have been. Atleast that’s how I understood it.

    Also it still would have been cost saving to not include LTE. Less quality control would be needed so even if LTE didn’t work on one chip, the chip could still be deemed acceptable.

    1. LTE performed perfectly on the N4. It just didn’t support most bands in the US. In Canada, it supported all 3 major carriers.

  7. OR……. Kit Kat will enable the LTE chip in all out Nexus 4 devices….. huh? Now that would be nice!

    1. I’ve been thinking the same, we’ll all find out soon.

    2. Now this would be a real treat for all us loyal Nexus 4 owners. (Sing-a-long) Gimmie a break. Gimmie a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!

    3. Right, makes more sense. Especially with how leaky Google has been with the Nexus 5.

      If there is/was going to be a new hardware version of the Nexus 4 I think we would have seen more info leaked by now.

    4. I really think it’s just documentation mistakes, sorry to burst your bubble.

      1. In what form? Should it have said Nexus 5, or is it just the wrong date…what do you mean?

    5. It would be nice, but it’s not gonna happen :)

    6. Pretty sure the N4 doesn’t have a LTE amplifier, or something else is missing along the lines of LTE. I can’t remember exactly. It’s been a year since I’ve looked.

      1. I had LTE enabled on my stock N4 until they updated the firmware to disable it. The signal was perfect and just as good as the HSPA+ signal. Battery life wasnt any worse either, so I’m not convinced there is any critical hardware missing to make this happen.

  8. I really wouldn’t read too much into this. Every time a new major Android version hits, devices have to get re-certified. Look at the Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 7. They show up at BT Sig multiple times.

    The real interesting part is why it’s mentioned as LTE when we know for a fact that the LTE amplifier is missing from the phone.

    1. I don’t know anything about an LTE amplifier but I’m on LTE right now on my N4.

      1. That you are and your battery and signal strength aren’t as good as they could be.

        1. My battery actually last longer on LTE then hspa+ with my nexus 4. It’s crazy but true. I have been so happy since I enabled LTE

          1. I concur with this man. my battery lasts longer and the speeds are just insane.

        2. I also have great battery life. And my N4 gets better LTE signal than my old Galaxy S4.

  9. If I think that a Nexus 4 LTE will get updates for as long as the Nexus 5 does I may get that instead of the 5. Especially if it’s at a good price. Wife is using my Nexus 4 now, need a replacement.

  10. “That doesn’t change the fact that if the new version does debut, it was the device we should have seen a year ago.”

    Why? Does LG/Google owe you or something? The N4 was, and is a fine phone. It’d be nice to have LTE certainly, but it’s still a tremendous bargain even without it.

    1. i agree, i have loved my nexus 4 and havent had a problem with HSPA+ in my area. when the Nexus 5 does get announced and i upgrade, im sure ill enjoy the LTE but i dont require it.

  11. Just sell me the Nexus 5.




    1. What Nexus 5?

      October 25th and still dead silence from Google. It’s maddening seeing all these new Apple products flow out.

      1. Yeah im going nuts waiting. My Evo3D is a POS right now. I can barely do anything on it anymore – C’mon Google! I need a new phone!

        1. Exactly. I die a little bit every day it’s not out. Oh wait, I guess I do that naturally.

  12. i could see this being a possibility with google offering dual solution like apple’s 5c and 5s. N4 LTE 16GB at $249, N5 16GB at $349, N5 32GB at $399

  13. What I wouldn’t give for a LTE Nexus on Verizon, especially with a smaller 4.7″ screen. 4.3-4.7″ with minimal bezel is ideal for one hand i don’t care what anyone says.

    And before everyone tells me to switch, I’d love to, by my company pays for my phone and they use Verizon. Free service is better than switching.

    1. The Galaxy Nexus is a Verizon Nexus device with LTE and a 4.65″ screen. Mine was an excellent phone, but after a year and a half of abuse it started having radio issues and poor battery life. I’m sure if you were to find a brand new one on ebay it would still be able to serve you well.

      1. It is not a Nexus at all. It is still on 4.2.2 and likely will be after KitKat ships.

        1. It is a Nexus, but I see your point, and know that it is not supported in the same way as other Nexus devices are. It is still a device running stock Android with an unlockable bootloader.

          1. It is not a Nexus.
            It is not supported anymore at all as far as I can tell. VZW will not even confirm an update is ever coming.

            It is running stock Android with verizon bloatware.

            It is enough that I am done with VZW. Once my contract is up they are losing a customer of over a decade for this.

          2. As a tinkerer who enjoyed installing roms my galaxy nexus gave me the part of the nexus experience I was looking for, which was the unlocked bootloader.

          3. I wanted fast updates.
            I simply do not buy phones without unlocked bootloaders so to me that is just part of it being a phone.

    2. I hope they never get one again.
      Their galaxy nexus is still on 4.2.2 and I can’t wait until my plan ends. See if your company will give you the money instead, that is what mine does.

      1. Who cares, CyanogenMod has Android 4.3 builds for it and they’ll have 4.4 builds as well. I’d gladly take another VZW Nexus even with limited garbage verizon support.

        1. Me, that’s who.
          I paid for a damn Nexus and did not get it. I would pay extra if it ensured VZW never got another Nexus phone.

  14. If you remember, Google skipped LTE with the Nexus 4, because the US carriers wanted to make changes to it. So Google shut them out.
    Now that the N4 was quite a big thing and the N5 is making an insane hype, the carriers surely will agree to Googles Terms, as long as they can officially offer it.

    That would mean N5 Launches with LTE and KitKat unlocks all N4 for LTE.

    1. Oh yes, I’m sure the FCC will love that, considering it was never certified for LTE.

      1. They put the N4 with the same model number through for approval including LTE for BT sig, so i dont see why they couldn’t re-submit to the fcc.

  15. Isn’t the announcement on the 28th? Keep your fingers crossed, maybe everyone will get what they want. I wouldn’t mind white N4 (LTE) as a back to my Nexus 5 (hopefully white) so my girlfriend can’t tell that I have 2 phones..Lol

    1. Is the announcement on the 28th???? LOL there have been so many guesses that just about any day within the next two weeks has been pegged a possible announcement day.

  16. A battle between the regular priced Nexus 5 ($300-$400ish range) and the LTE-enabled Nexus 4 (still around $200 that it was before out of stock?) would be interesting to watch. But wouldn’t that just split sales?

    1. Up vote for your insights and, more so, the C&H pic(favorite comic for past 20yrs)! Very likely it would increase sales, since so many want a smaller screen, more premium feel, and cheaper price for very relevant hardware. Additionally, those who want the Nexus experience, but are torn on paying $100-200 more than a contract phone, or who aren’t able to get the N5 due to shortages and are impatient, will have an option.

      The way I see it, unless it’s less breakable, forget the N4 LTE; not doing what so many have done. I’ve not broken glass on a phone yet, as I use a TPU case every time, and definitely don’t want the added risk.

    2. I think Apple’s model has shown that it can work really well. If the N5 is priced at $350 for the base version and the N4 gets dropped to ~$250, splitting sales wouldn’t be an issue as they’d be targeted at different demographics.

  17. A year too late.

  18. Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of Google NYC event yesterday?

    1. There was. Some pics were posted on twitter, and transferred to the PSA last night.

  19. Well if its the same model number but resubmitted to the government for legal reasons maybe there’s a chance all the old Nexus 4’s will have LTE activated via software.

    1. That would be awesome to update existing Nexus 4s to have LTE! I have enabled mine and it is blazingly fast. The Nexus 4 is still a great phone and I’m thinking that an update to the OS for performance will breathe new life into it, keeping it relevant. Increase battery life by say 10-15% and I’ll be doing a full day without worrying about charging it.

    2. That would be AWESOME! I just got the Nexus 4 and very impressed with it thus far! It’s just a shame that as the Nexus devices keep getting better Google STILL CAN’T launch these devices without major headaches. Yes I know that launches aren’t easy and no company does them perfectly but there’s no comparison when you compare Google versus Samsung or Apple. Those 2 get it right much much better.

      1. Those two also had brick and mortar stores to sell their phones. While I agree that I was blown away by how difficult it was to buy my Nexus 4 at launch, it was understandable, as it meant that the Nexus brand was becoming more popular. Hopefully this time around Google will have a better partnership with T-Mobile and have a proper physical launch to coincide with the Google Play launch.

    3. That’s what I’m hoping for, I don’t plan on getting the Nexus 5 since the hardware on the Nexus 4 is still more than fast enough for me and I love the way it looks. The 4G HSPA+ speeds I get are nothing to sneeze at, but I wouldn’t complain about getting LTE.

    4. U can activate you LTE just call *#*#4636#*#* then Phone information and scroll down u can change network type.

  20. I’d still buy the 5 for the camera upgrade alone……and I’m the cheapest mofo I know!

  21. I was planning on upgrading to the N5 ASAP, but after doing the LTE radio hack on my N4, and T-Mobile launching LTE here, I feel like this phone still has quite some life left in it.

  22. I just renewed my Verizon contract to get the note 3, but i would still love to see Google include native wifi calling and texting that is directly linked to your phone number through your carrier. It would work like tmo’s current offering but natively. It would obviously have to be supported by your carrier to work but it would open up a lot more options for people like me who live in the sticks and Verizon is their only choice based on coverage.

    1. The WiFi calling not working with the Nexus 4 was a bummer, but it was T-Mobile’s call because T-Mo viewed it as a pre-paid phone that you brought to the network instead of them selling it you (even though they did -_-).

      1. If the nexus 4 had wifi calling or the nexus 5 had been rumored to have it on t mobile I would probably not have upgraded to the note 2 on Verizon. My contract would have ended in December and I would have given t mobile a try.

        1. Wi-fi calling will be a moot point when you can use google voice over VOIP like you can on the iPhone Google Hangout app. Update for android will likely come with KitKat.

          1. Does that allow you to receive calls and texts that are sent to your carrier assigned phone number? If not it defeats The purpose of wanting wifi calling for me personally.

          2. Only If you ported it to Google Voice.

  23. Nothing about the 5 in a few days. I think we are on our way to YET ANOTHER HORRIBLE Nexus Launch by Google. Please don’t get me started on the ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIC touch screen response on the 2013 Nexus 7.

    1. I just bought my wife the 2013 nexus 7 and have no issues with the touch screen.

      1. Congrats! It’s an issue that has been discussed so it’s a known problem for some people. The power button has to be pressed and held or pressed numerous times in order to get it to power up. Once it is up and running it’s a great tablet.

        1. Try going into a gmail email for example and try copying text. For mine I need to press and hold numerous times to get it to register. I don’t have any screen protector on it so there is nothing interfering with my attempting to CC&P.


          1. so return it and stop bitching

          2. HA! Burn

  24. well…imo…the iPhone5c is a device from a year ago (iphone 5) so the nexus 4 would make sense to be re-released as a cheaper option alongside the flagship Nexus 5…if i wanted to get as many nexus devices in peoples hands, i would keep the nexus 4 around for a while maybe cater towards emerging markets.

  25. Wow, I tipped you all off to this over a week ago. Yahoo and tech blogs already know the N4 will launch along side the N5 and that the N4 will finally have LTE. Pricing was also mentioned at that time. Better late than never I guess.

  26. I don’t believe it. It makes absolutely no sense.

    1. makes perfect sense…its called Market share

      1. No, it’s called cannibalizing your own market. This isn’t the situation that Apple has with it’s $700 flagship; the Nexus 5 looks like it will be priced at $350. You don’t need to reissue last year’s model when this year’s model is already the cheapest flagship. There is a huge Nexus 4 third-party market, and it will skyrocket when the Nexus 5 is released. What customer base is sizable enough to warrant an LTE-enabled Nexus 4 being released simultaneously with the $350 superior-in-every-way Nexus 5?

        1. A consumer base that doesn’t want to pay the $350 superior-in-every-way Nexus 5 asking price. These are all just rumors, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google offer up the Nexus 4 for roughly $250 since manufacturing costs have gone down. If Apple and Samsung can do it with their phones, why can’t Google?

          1. 8GB N4 with LTE at $250, 16GB N4 LTE for $300, 16GB N5 for $350 or a 32GB N5 for $400? I would imagine the majority of the sales will be the 16GB N5N5 but it certainly will not hurt them to cover all of the price points. I would also not rule out a slight bump go the N4 specs, possibly to give it a bit more battery powe or a more affordable/readily-available SoC.

        2. the fact that it is cheap!!!!! regular consumers are going to look at the cheapest Nexus 5, at 350 16gb. okay now next to it there will be a 250 Nexus 4 with same radios. so, if i need to buy a phone for my nephew..why? because it has the same capabilities just in a different form, and it is cheaper. so instead of one person getting an LG nexus, now you got two because of the enticing price for the N4 therefore…..INCREASING MARKET SHARE…. in order to do this the N4 has to have the LTE radios to make it that much more enticing….

      2. You’re comment makes no sense. Year old phones at the end of their production cycle don’t attract market share when the new model is about to be released. Market share comes from sales. This false rumour has would generate no new sales.

        1. u seriously need a degree in business….more sales equals more units out i thea market….hense more people to use services and poduct..more people to buy Android apps, use google maps, use google chrome browser, use google Now, etc….everytime a new iphone came out, the previous generation stayed in production for a while and offered at lower price…Now Apple has (with all product lines) 40% U.S. market share… makes sense of that!.. but dont hurt yourself

  27. Well T-Mobile only just rolled out their LTE network. THAT’S what El Goog was waiting on

  28. what happened to the google play event that was supposed to happen yesterday? I didn’t see any coverage about it.

    1. Ok, so I wasn’t going crazy

  29. Wouldn’t this just be the necessary deed to allow a firmware update to come down from Google that enables LTE, say with Android 4.4?

  30. Stupid Stupid Stupid Stupid Stupid !!!! Why now?

    1. Why not?

    2. Why would anyone believe this. The N4 is at the end of it’s production life. Someone ticked the wrong box somewhere. C’mon people, think a little.

  31. Why “likely”? It couldn’t cost much less than a Nexus 5 to make, so would have to be sold for almost as much. Maybe the battery life was too short with LTE enabled?

    1. battery life was too short with it disabled too.

    2. What exactly did you do with your phone? My friend’s Nexus 4 would last him 2 days, but all he did was talk and text, which did nothing to the battery life.

      Me? My HTC One last me about 18-24 hours, but I use social networks, play games and text on my phone all the time. So of course I won’t be getting anywhere near 2 days on my phone. However, the battery life is still good. To be getting 2-5 hours of screen time, depending on what I’m doing? That’s great to me.

  32. Just checked it one more time: the filing at Bluetooth SIG has been changed. https://www.bluetooth.org/tpg/QLI_viewQDL.cfm?qid=21721 If you check out the current filing on bluetooth.org, you’ll see they changed it to ‘LG 3G Mobile Phone’. No mention of LTE anymore. Combined with the fact that we haven’t seen it surface at the FCC, I wouldn’t count on seeing a Nexus 4 with LTE.

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