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I owned the Google Nexus 4 before I upgraded to the Google Nexus 5. I must say that the 5 is definitely a lot faster and just simply a lot more advanced but I still loved this phone. It has a snapdragon processor and allows you to perform all of the same functions that an Iphone would. With access to Google Play, you have endless opportunities to download apps and games of your choice. My main recommendation would be to buy this phone with as much memory as possible. Once you buy the phone you cant go back and add more memory. Therefore, definitely buy as much as you can afford in the beginning so that you have no problems in the end. The resolution of this phone is beautiful and honestly I think it looks the same as my Nexus 5. Also, the speaker have very clear quality to them as well. The entire Google Nexus series is fantastic and most definitely worth the buy. Although, if you have the money for the newer 5 or even the 6 that will be coming out then I would probably just wait and shoot for making a purchase of one of those. The nexus 5 has an improved camera and an even faster processor. Plus, it has its very own kit kat operating system made especially to fit the phone. Therefore, I give this phone a 4 out of 5 for the product itself but if you are trying to buy a phone that will stay up to date with this forever technologically changing world then I would go with the Nexus 5 or wait for the 6.
The Google Nexus 4 is a beautiful phone. It's sleek, nicely designed with a 4.7" screen, and has all the usual smartphone stuff (8 MP camera, front camera for video calls, micro-USB and headphone jack, wireless charging). It uses the Android operating system, so there's plenty of opportunity to upgrade the software. Unlike some of the previous models of Google-affiliated phones, this feels very solid. The screen is Gorilla glass, and it also has a glass back which gives it a much nicer, more solid feel than some of the plastic-backed models. It has a Snapdragon S4 processor, so can handle most software quickly, even if you're running multiple apps.
The screen is a very good size - fine for typing documents (with an on-screen keyboard, Google's own swipe keyboard is excellent) and watching videos. The colour and quality of the display are very good and it's tolerable in bright sunlight. Audio quality is also good, particularly through headphones.
The only negative is the fact that it's a closed unit (hence one star knocked off). With previous models you could open the back and insert a larger memory card, carry a spare battery and replace it, or even replace the whole back to enable use of a larger battery. With this one you're stuck with the memory card provided (8GB or 16GB) which limits the usage if you like to have a lot of data or movies with you. For most people the storage probably won't be an issue, particularly as this is a Google device - integration with Google's Drive cloud storage is seamless. Not being able to replace the battery is a mild pain. I go walking a lot and it's nice to have a spare battery to power the sat nav with downloaded maps; I can't rely on this to last a full day while running nav software but can't switch the battery out.
One of the biggest advantages is the integration with Google's software. Their free software is often the best available and it all works seamlessly. You have photo editing and storage, Google maps, a portable office - all of the software that you use on the web is accessible via your phone. If you use Chrome on another machine it'll pick up your history and settings when you switch to your phone. Your contacts are all stored in the cloud, so if you have a phone disaster and need to reset or switch, it takes seconds to download them all again.
I usually upgrade my phone as soon as a new model is available and switch brands frequently, but I'll be sticking with this one for a while. The price, compared to phones with similar functionality, is very low. I'd recommend paying up front for this (or the newer Nexus 5) and getting a SIM only contract. Because it's relatively cheap to buy, you can save yourself a lot of money doing this (e.g. £200 for the phone and a £15 unlimited call and data SIM only contract).
A great buy, highly recommended.
This 4.7 inch Smartphone is easy to use and has a sleek design. It comes installed with the full vanilla Android operating system, allowing me to use the Google Play Store which has more than enough apps covering games, Sat Nav, news stream feeds, workout assistance tools and so on.
With a Snapdragon processor and Google's engineers closely designing the phone around Android, the performance is excellent - one of the zippiest phones I've ever used. LG does skimp on the memory, however; you may find that 16GB isn't enough for a large music collection, photos and apps.
The battery life is pretty good, depending on how intensively you use the device, typically I charge it once a day (I use it relatively intensively). The screen quality is outstanding, and produces a clear bright display with an impressive colour depth quality.
As a fairly intensive jogger I use it to track my running, no matter what the weather, using one of its many apps. My one gripe is that it has a very slippy surface; my screen did crack after after it slipped off a table. However, I got the phone fixed and bought a decent cover for it, which gave it more grip and it has been fine since. This Android phone is extremely easy to use with almost everything I need to do being 'taught on-the-go', as its pretty intuitive.
Overall I would highly recommend this phone and do not intend to stop using it for quite some time - just make sure that you invest in a high quality, non-slip case for it.
I have being using this phone in the last couple of months now and it is the best budget android phone that i have purchased.
It will always receive the latest Google updates. Battery life is about average, I could go a day without it needing to be charged. It is super responsive able to keep up with daily tasks, easy to use, easy to understand.
At first I wasn't to sure whether the space would be enough, so I purchased the 16GB model and so far it is more than enough. From all the apps that i have installed, as well as the music and videos, I have around 6GB which is more than enough.
I would recommend buying a cover for this just to protect the the back casing as it is glass, when holding it it can be a bit slippery, there have been a few occasions where i have dropped the device but with my spigen case it helped to reduce the impact.
The display on the phone is great, the image quality is sharp and precise. You are abale to take 360 degrees picture which is great. the camera is impressive and the video quality is great.
The device does not at all feel cheap, great piece of technology. I would definitely recommended this to my friends and my fellow internet users.
Several months ago I started hunting for a new mobile phone. My previous phone was a Blackberry Curve 8250 which I received for Christmas a couple of years ago, but now Blackberry phones are no longer as popular, plus the Curve 8520 just felt slow and clunky whenever I used it. I looked towards getting a Samsung or HTC mid-range phone to browse the internet efficiently and access games and apps from the Google Play Store.
The LG Google Nexus 4 was not one of the phones I was looking to consider as I felt it was way beyond my budget. However, when Google put their 8GB Nexus 4 phones on sale for £159.99 at the end of August I decided to bite the bullet and buy it. After all, the Nexus 4 is a high spec phone that rivals the iPhone 4S (or is it just 4? I'm not sure) and Samsung Galaxy S2, so the price ought to be worth it!
The Google Nexus 4 arrived in a surprisingly small box. All the packaging consisted of was the phone itself, a quick start manual, a tool to help you put in/take out a micro sim card, the phone charger/adapter and the USB cable. To be honest, that is all you really needed- there are no random leaflets or irrelevant manuals. I imagine if there was a problem that the quick start manual couldn't fix then you would have the sense to go onto Google and search for a solution anyway.
For those who care about the technical points, here are some basic specifications I've found for the phone (please just scroll down if you aren't interested!):
OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and up
System Processor: 1500 MHz (quad-core)
System Memory: 2GB RAM
Built-in Storage Space: 8GB (no external storage capabilities)
Camera: 8 megapixels (front-facing camera has 1.1)
Battery: 15 hours talktime
(A word of warning: the Google Nexus 4 takes micro-sim cards instead of normal sized ones. If like me, you don't wish to buy a new mobile micro-sim, you can purchase a micro sim cutter that will cut your normal sim down to micro size and allow it to fit into the slot and work as normal.)
==---Using the Phone---==
Holding the phone in my hand, the Nexus 4 is pretty heavy. However, I'm not somebody who likes really slim, lightweight phones because they are easy to drop, break, or simply forget about, so I don't see this as a disadvantage. Despite the large screen, it is still small enough to just about fit into a trouser pocket, albeit conspicuously.
The power button is on the top right hand side of the phone and the volume +/- is on the top left. Pressing the power button will simply lock the phone, turning the screen off and preventing any accidental button-pressing.
After charging the phone, I immediately started playing with my phone and downloading several apps from Google Play that were also on my tablet. The first thing I noticed was how crisp the display is. My phone displays a lot of my camera pictures without a noticeable compromise on the resolution quality. My current phone wallpaper is a photo of the Golden Pavilion which I took during my holiday Japan, and on my phone it looks exactly as it does on my computer screen!
Even by my little technical know-how, I can tell this phone has great specifications as a smartphone. The 2GB of system memory means that I can browse the internet really fast on Wi-Fi or a data package; pages open in seconds and using the built-in Google Chrome web browser app is a breeze. Most of the first apps I downloaded were completed in a matter of seconds. Also unlike my tablet that easily freezes when updating apps when I boot it up, my Google Nexus 4 copes perfectly with multi-tasking. If I'm browsing the internet while listening to music, there is no slowdown on this phone. Watching videos, whether through a media player on the YouTube app, is not a problem either. I listen to music on my phone sometimes during my commute to work and I find that the sound quality is pretty good through my headphones.
The only instance my phone has crashed was when I quit a game and the phone froze and turned itself off completely. It turned back on when I held the power and volume down buttons, so thankfully nothing was lost.
The phone does come with some built-in apps such as Gmail, Google, Google Maps and...erm... Google Now. These apps cannot be deleted. I only use a couple of these apps occasionally at best, but as I said before they don't really slow down the phone. If you're really concerned about these built-in apps, then downloaded a Task Killer app to make sure they don't run in the background and drain your battery or data.
Of course, making calls and texting is easy as well. I was able to easily transfer my contacts over from my sim card. These are all alphabetically sorted in the contacts app and you can easily check your call history to find a number quickly. One of my main worries in getting a touch phone was accidentally ending a call should my cheek touch the screen. Thankfully, during a phone call the screen turns off unless you touch it precisely, and even then the 'end call' button is located at the bottom of the screen. For texting, the QWERTY Android keyboard is responsive and has a variety of shortcut buttons to access the more common symbols. There is also an auto-correct feature if, like me, you tend to easily make mistakes typing words on the touchscreen. If you dislike auto-correct this feature can be easily turned off in 'Settings'.
The Google Nexus has both a back and front-facing camera. The back camera is 8 megapixels, which is pretty good by mobile phone camera standards. It controls fairly well, you can easily zoom and edit the lighting and the shutter button is easy to locate and touch. I wouldn't say the camera picture quality is top-class, but the camera is easy to use and holds up among other smartphones. There is a video camera feature, but I have not had opportunity to use this yet and cannot comment.
Many smartphones do not have a great battery life and the Google Nexus 4 is no exception. I tend to go on the internet often (no more than an hour a day), play games, check my emails and listen to music on my phone, and I've found that the battery lasts about 2.5 days before it needs a full charge. If you like to watch a lot of YouTube videos and browse the internet on your mobile a lot, you might need to charge it every day. Of course, this is caused more by the internet than anything else I do with this phone. If you want your phone battery to last longer, turn off the Wi-Fi or data when you don't intend to use it
Charging the phone completely takes about two hours, which I find quite slow (my Blackberry took about 40 minutes). I think it usually charges faster if the phone is turned off though.
The Google Nexus 4 is superb. Other than the typical smartphone battery life and a lack of external storage space, the phone has minimal problems. It's extremely fast and efficient in its internet functionalities, pretty easy to get used to the screen resolution is superb. I have had it for a couple of months now and I use it regularly for more than just calls and texts simply because it works much faster than my stone-age tablet. Google claims that the screen is made of "Gorilla Glass", thus preventing minor scratches. Nevertheless I do have some faint scratches on my phone already, but I don't have a screen protector on and can treat my electronic goods quite badly, so this is more my fault than Google's!
I know the Google Nexus 5 has come out now and Google are no longer selling the Nexus 4. But if you come across this new or second hand and are looking for a powerful phone then definitely consider this phone.
Amazing phone with the blazingly fast and software(thanks to project butter). Best thing is it is affordable without a contract. The device comes unlocked giving you the option for a SIM only contract or using it as a pay as you go device lowing your cocks you would pay for a equivalent device and allowing you to shop around for a contract that suits you.
The camera is average however and doesn't stand up against some of the more expensive android devices. Its not terrible but its not ground breaking. However it does have interesting features such as photo sphere. The storage options are silly i think they should have offered a 32gb device seeing as they don't offer external storage with micro SD cards like other manufactures such as Samsung. It however really cheap for a premium feeling device with the glass back an ice shape and doesn't feel cheap and plasticity like the galaxy s phones. Some of the good points are that it gets updates straight away from Google and you don't have to wait for it to be ported to the phone like you do with other manufactures. I believe it is one of the best value for money phones on the market especially now with the dropped price due to the nexus 5 coming out in the next few weeks.
I thinks its the best phone you can buy for under £200 pound and nothing else in the same price range comes even close to the nexus 4.
After being the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note for 12 months, I decided it was time for a change. Being something of an Open Source "geek", another Android was the only choice - and based on it's specs and feature set the Nexus 4 was the obvious choice within my budget.
I plumped for the 16GB model, and ordered it directly from Google via their online store. Here beginneth my problems. Having been an android user for many years, I already had a Play Store account all set up, so went ahead and placed my order using a debit card. Within an hour, I'd received my order confirmation and the payment had been debited from my bank account - all good so far.
Fast forward 7 weeks, and I was still waiting for delivery of my new handset! Despite almost daily calls to Google, continual emails and online messages and a never ending trail of customer service failings (promised calls from supervisors, guaranteed order cancellations and consequential refunds etc.), it appears that a technical failure had resulted in my order being stuck in "limbo" for the best part of 2 months! I eventually managed to recover the monies through by bank, after which Google cancelled the order as I had been asking them to do for weeks, and I was free to pick up my handset from a reseller over the counter - no waiting 2 months for delivery this time.
Enough about the abysmal service from Google however, and on to the phone itself. I can't offer an in-depth review I'm afraid as I was only able to use it for a couple of days, but have to say I was most impressed during that short time.
The handset itself is stunningly beautiful, with a crystal clear display and unbelievable feature set considering the price. It sits comfortably in the hand, is small enough to slip unobtrusively into a pocket and yet still large enough to be functional and comfortable for use over prolonged periods of time.
Unfortunately, it's an incredibly delicate phone. During only the second day of use, I managed to knock it off my desk onto the floor - a drop of no more than 3 foot - at which both the screen and rear glass panel shattered, rendering the phone unusable. My old Note had survived the very same treatment countless times, without so much as a scratch.
So it's difficult for me to review the functions of the phone, unfortunately, therefore I'll have to sum up by saying that it's a beautiful but delicate handset, and if you do decide to treat yourself then make sure you take good care of it - a decent case is a must! And, take my advice, pick one up on the high street - it's much less hassle than dealing with Google.
When it came to choosing a new handset to upgrade to, I went straight to my fiancé who is the "tech guy" as a hobby and in his career. Before this phone I had had the Samsung Galaxy SII and the Motorola Razr, I liked both of these handsets, however what I didn't like about both was the amount of "bloat ware" that was on them and I didn't really want to "root" my phone to get rid of this factor. This was one of the main reasons I point blank refused to go to the Galaxy S3. It was then down to the HTC 1 and the Nexus 4. I'm 100% thankful that I chose this phone.
The processor is nippy and I've never had a problem with swiping through apps or pages, it is handled with ease. I was worried about the lack of Micro SD slot on this phone but I've has this handset since January this year and still I'm only using a fraction of the space. I get the latest updates with ease for the firmware and I've had no problems of any kind with freezing or slowing down system as I've had on previous handsets. Battery life is pretty good, I can text, check emails, browse social media and receive calls and still be left with around 25% battery at the end of the day. The sounds quality is really crisp, even when loud speaker is on. The resolution is beautiful and all the colours are sharp and crisp without being too excessive. The camera quality is good and adapts well to many different scenes.
Top tip would be to get a case for this, you can get them on Amazon for around £3.50 as the handset can slip off certain surfaces easily.
This is a top handset and I don't think i'd go back to anything else after having this handset.
The Nexus 4 is designed by Google and manufactured by LG, it is Google's fourth Android smartphone and the successor of the Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus 4 was launched at 13 November 2013 and after two months 1 million Nexus 4 units were sold.
Design and screen:
The design of the Nexus 4 is not so different from its predecessor; the dimensions of this smartphone are 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm which is also very similar to the Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus 4 weights 139g, which is slightly heavier compared to other smartphones, but you shouldn't be worried about this.
The smartphone looks very beautiful when you hold it in your hands, and you sure won't be disappointed when you turn the screen on. The screen has a 4.7 inch WXGA IPS display with a resolution of 1280x768 pixels and a pixel destiny of 320 PPI, this provides a nice looking and sharp display.
The Nexus 4 has a powerful 1.5 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB of RAM, which makes this smartphone incredibly fast. You shouldn't have any problems with using multiple apps. It also has a Adreno 320 GPU, which is good for playing high resolution games on your smartphone.
This smartphone has a 8 MP rear camera and a 1.3 MP front camera which is not anything special, but it has some nice features for making 360 degrees or panorama photo´s. Other nice features are: auto focus, HDR, face detection, LED flash and some photo editing tools.
The Nexus 4 is only available in a 8GB or a 16GB and a few GB will be used for your Nexus 4, I have the 16GB version but there is only 12,92GB available for me to use. There is also no microSD slot for external storage, so this can be disappointing for some people. But if you don't use a lot of space, then you shouldn't be worried about this.
The battery of the Nexus 4 is improved after the update. (The battery life was bad before the update). On light use the Nexus 4 is the best, the battery can go for a long time. On medium and heavy use it's alright, nothing special.
WiFi and 3G work alright, there is no problem with that. But unofficial 4G LTE support is disabled after the Android 4.2.2 update for the Nexus 4. So if you wanted to use 4G, you might be disappointed with this.
The Nexus 4 comes with pure stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, there is no extra layer of software installed on it. Because of this, the Nexus 4 always gets the updates for Android earlier than other smartphones. This is a very nice advantage if you are an Android who always wants the newest Android on his/her smartphone.
The best thing about the Nexus 4 is its price, the 8GB is available for only £239 in the Google Play store and the 16GB version is only £279. This price is much lower than other smartphones of the same level.
If you want a high end smartphone with the newest pure stock Android for a low price, then I do really recommend you to buy this smartphone. You will simply enjoy it!
- Pure stock Android
- Very nice design
- Great performance
- Low price
- Not much storage space
- 4G LTE is disabled.
- No microSD slot
I am not afraid to say that I am in love with this phone. Compared to others on the market, it is more than affordable. In fact, I'm not sure why it doesn't cost more as from where I am it is on par with the Samsung and iPhone products which everyone seems to rave about. You can even buy it direct from Google online and get a cheap rolling contract from any of the mainstream providers.
It is a big move up from my last phone, the HTC Desire HD. It boasts a much better battery life (I usually use it for around 24 hours with a mixture of browsing the web, calling, texting, playing a few games etc) and a crystal clear (and beautifully HUGE) screen. The only way I can describe it is 'smooth'. From turning it on, to navigating apps, to browsing the web, it is all smooth.
One thing that I would point out is that removable storage is not available for this phone. Personally, it is not an issue but I know people who have not bought the phone for this very reason. I also think the camera facility on the phone could be improved - don't get me wrong, it is good, I just feel that it could be better. Sometimes pictures come out a bit blurry (which I admit, is sometimes my fault) and I just feel the picture quality is not as good as the iPhone 5.
At first, I was very skeptical about getting a Nexus one of the stock android phones, and to add to my fear it was built by my least favourite company LG, and as an iPhone user, all these factors didn't give me the best first impression, but at that price I couldn't refuse, and when it arrived I was almost shocked at the immaculate build quality, perfect size and looks, and the very light yet solid feel.
It arrives, neatly packed with a USB Charger and Adapter, a few booklets, and of course the phone itself. After taking off the plastic cover, back and front, I managed to observe its sleek design, edge to edge glass on the front, and a black, shimmering back. I turned on the phone, as it had arrived fully charged, and the first thing I noticed was the incredibly crisp and crystal clear display. There was a quick setup, and I was greeted to the Home Screen.
I have been using iPhones up to this point, and so I was used to a certain level of speed and performance. With the Nexus 4, it was almost instantly surpassed, with its buttery smooth transitions and animations, surfing the web quickly and beautifully, large apps and games downloading at an incredibly fast speed, All simultaneously with no lag whatsoever. Watching films on this device is perfect, especially with its 4.7" screen size, and 720p HD screen.
To wrap up, everything about this phone just seems to work. I bought the 8GB version knowing I would be able to take advantage of Google's cloud storage, Play Music, and Play Movies. It is, fast, fluid, sleek, and all with a superb price tag, a must-by for any Smartphone user, whether you are looking for a budget phone, or high performer.
It was a tough choice choosing a new smartphone. The market has certainly moved on from the days when the HTC Desire was king. After almost three years of service, the USB port failed and the repair bill made it uneconomic to do anything with it. A couple of days of research and I selected the Nexus 4. I was tempted by the Samsung but I really didn't want one after reading negative reviews of the S3.
So, for the price of £279 (plus £10 postage), what do you get for your money? You get the phone of course along with the USB cable, power adapter and quick start guide. The phone itself is very unassuming in appearance - it won't catch people's attention until they see it's a Nexus. The volume controls are located on the left hand side of the phone. Headphone socket is along the top. Power button on the right hand side of the phone and the USB port is obviously located at the bottom. First thing you need to do is to ensure you have a micro SIM card. If you have the normally standard sized SIM you'll need to cut the card down to size. Templates are available on the internet where you can stick down the card and cut it from the template. Alternatively, take it down to a mobile phone market stall and get to do if for you for a few quid.
Firing up the phone is pretty quick. The first thing you'll notice is the clarity of the display. It's set to auto brightness but even at 40%, the screen looks amazing. Fonts, pictures and movies are crystal clear. Browsing the web with Chrome is fantastic. No need to squint anymore! But I did find that some web site appeared as desktop web site thinking that the phone I was using was actually something bigger!
Navigation is straightforward using the touch screen controls. I was very pleased to see that there was no "bloatware" installed - just the standard apps that Google think you may need. Just type in your google e-mail account details (or create one if you haven't got one) and all your apps will sync with the handset. I've always used Google calendar and contacts and it was a relief to see everything transfer over. However, I did encounter problems with Facebook syncing with my contacts - downloading UberSync for Facebook takes the pain away.
The operation of the phone is quick and slick. Considering you have a powerful processor backed up 2GB of RAM, I didn't notice a slow down until I used the Movie Studio app. This is actually the first application that caused the phone to crash so I assume buggy software. Other applications appear to have no issues unless they are poorly written. Some users have reported that the back of the phone gets hot after use - well, that does happen when playing games. A word of warning though - if you're not using a case, don't place your phone onto a marble/granite surface - there's a high probability the back cover will crack if it's hot and comes into contact with a cold surface.
You can create a multitude of notifications so you're made aware of texts, FB, Twitter updates etc. The connectivity the Nexus offers is astounding and frightening at the same time when you consider that if you're signed up to Google+ you can arrange for photos and videos you take to be uploaded into a private album on Google's servers. There's 5GB of cloud space which I know doesn't sound much but in most cases I move photos and videos onto an external drive.
The virtual keyboard that comes with the Nexus is big enough to accommodate my large fingers and the predictive texting and gesture typing is fabulous. Sending texts is no longer a chore although I get carried away and write a small essay at times.
The camera is one of the features that most potential buyers enquire about. It's performance during daylight hours is fantastic. The focusing is a bit hit and miss at times but it's not a dedicated camera. When you press the ring which appears on screen, a number of features appear around it so you can adjust the exposure, flash settings etc. The zoom function is basically using a pinch motion so you expand your fingers to zoom in and vice versa to zoom out. The results are natural and the editing facilities are very good enabling you to crop images, adjust brightness, applying a host of filtering effects. Videos are recorded in full HD even though the screen isn't. The quality of videos is superb. Remember that there is no stabilisation option so a steady hand is required.
The 16GB storage is just under 13GB in practice - a good chunk of it is dedicated to the in-built apps and Android operation system. I must admit if I wanted to carry my whole music collection around with me I would use a dedicated mp3 player. The speaker isn't great but then the phone does come with Bluetooth, Wi-fi so you can stream music. One word about the Wi-fi though - it switches off the mobile data connection so it doesn't impact your data quota which is a nice touch.
Now here's the million dollar question - battery life and changing the battery. The phone is a sealed unit but you'll need to unscrew the case to get to it. You'll also need to unscrew a connection plate between the battery and the phone but getting an aftermarket cheap batter isn't an option - you need to get the LG battery. Battery life is pretty average for a smartphone. I kept my auto brightness feature on and did everything that I normally do - I managed to get 15 hours out of the phone before I got down to 10%.
As the Google Nexus is plagued by bloatware (such as Touchwiz, HTC Sense and other manufacturer applications that are built into the phone), any updates to Android will be available to you first - makes a nice change to getting updates so future proofing is very welcome.
So, is it a smartphone worth getting? If was purely on price, absolutely! No other phone comes close to the power and functionality of the Nexus for £279. Why spend that money on a used phone when the Google Nexus is new for the same price? Get one now if you can!
After using the Sony Experia Arc for over 18 months, I was due an upgrade on my Orange phone contract just over a month ago. Knowing I was due this, I started checking reviews out for the latest phones, and popped into the nearest phone shops. As I would be keeping the phone for an 18 month-2 year period, I wanted to know that what I chose would be something practical, stylish, and technologically advanced enough to last for this period. I'm not a huge fan of Apple, so narrowed my choices down to a Samsung Galaxy 3, the Windows phone, and the Nexus 4.
So I headed out to have an actual feel of them in the local stores, and fell in love with the Nexus 4 as soon as I touched it! The phone itself was quite hard to get hold of- the Orange store didn't stock it, neither did the two Phones 4 U in my city centre. This left Carphone Warehouse, and of the three stores locally, there was one phone left. It was mine!
I signed up for the phone, and opened it up as soon as I possibly could. The phone was in a very small box, containing only a micro sim, charger, instructions and phone. I put the micro sim in straight away, but had to wait around 24 hours for it to be activated, so had to continue using my old phone until Orange worked their magic. My first impressions on opening the phone were great. It's a very shiny looking phone- the black gas back has slight glitter in it, which sparkles slightly under certain lights. The glass on the front goes right to the edges, where it curves slightly, meaning it's very sleek to touch. There are no physical buttons on the front or back, only the power button and volume keys on the sides. There is also the power socket on the bottom, and a headphone jack on the top. Overall, the appearance is very minimalistic, the only decoration is a nexus and an LG label on the back, with a small amount of production information underneath.
Upon turning it on, the nexus sign flashes up multicoloured on the screen, then boots straight up. The phone is very simple to use- the touchscreen at the bottom flags up with a home screen button, a back key and a most recently viewed button. Apps can be added to the home screen for easy access, and options for phone, messaging, camera and Google chrome stay on the bottom. Pressing the home button brings up further screens with all apps and widgets shown alphabetically. Pulling up from the bottom of the home screen brings up a Google screen with most commonly used cards- weather, time to home from where you are. These are updated the more you use it. Pulling down from the top of the home screen brings up any updates, missed calls, text messages received, and also a button to change settings. The phone is very intuitive to use.
After using the phone for a month, I have mainly only positive things to say about it. The Android version is the best available on the market, 4.2 Jellybean. The apps available on the Google Play market are a lot wider range than previously available, almost as good a range as the iPhone has. The battery life has so far been good- I use the phone for a couple of phone calls a day, numerous text messages, checking on facebook a couple of times, using other apps but not games, checking email, and around half to one hours internet browsing on Google Chrome. The battery lasts all day without a problem, usually leaving me with around 30% left. When plugged it, the phone takes around an hour to an hour and a half to charge. The phone is generally very quick and responsive to use, and apps and widgets load first time. The 16gb storage is more than enough, I have used just over 1gb after downloading a decent number of apps.
The only downside I have so far is that the camera isn't as good as my previous phone. The specs state it is a 8 megapixel with a 1.3 megapixel on the front for video calls, but I don't find it as user friendly as my old phone. The screen needs to be pressed on the point that wants focusing on, and the options, such as flash are changed by pressing on a point on the screen and dragging round to what you wish to change. I would have preferred a small button with a list, as it can be a bit hard to do this one handed, and so I often need to rest it on a worktop to set options before taking photos.
Overall I would most definitely recommend this phone. The downside of the camera does not outweigh the benefits at all. When showing my purchase to friends and family, all have been impressed with it. I have not included the techy parts of the phone in this review, but tried to concentrate on the points I would be most interested in knowing. But if you did want to know more, the Google site http://www.google.co.uk/nexus/4/ has lots more information, including how to buy. The current price for the 16gb is £279, and I believe it's worth every penny.
Thank you for reading my review.
I previously had a Nokia Lumia 800 which although I loved the look of I absolutely detested the operating system and found it to be fiddly with a severe lack of apps. While looking for a new phone I searched high and low and I wanted one that was going to be top of the range (well for as long as possible as phone specs change on an almost weekly basis) and most importantly it had to be an android phone. I originally decided that I was going to get myself a Samsung Galaxy S3 but then the LG Google Nexus 4 came out and I thought the price was unbelievable for a top of the line smart phone and all the accompanying reviews were saying it was a bargain. I wanted the phone to be SIM free and the only way to get it was through the Google Play store.
########## Ordering the phone ##########
The biggest problem that I have had with this phone so far was with actually getting my hands on one as it was a struggle in itself. The phone sold out the day of release and it took weeks before they had any more in stock. The second time the store managed to get some stock in I was pre warned and sat waiting until 5:00pm when I knew the store would have stock availability again. 5:00pm came and I was online straight away putting one in my basket and attempting to pay for it. This is where I had the first problem as I tried 5 times before they finally accepted my order and in the short space of time it took me to accomplish this the stock levels had went from phones available for delivery within 48 to a 2 week wait for it to be delivered.
Other than the wait the while process of buying was easy enough as the Google Play store was linked to my email address and my Google account along with my card details. I was a bit miffed that I was still made to pay nearly £10 for 2 day delivery when the phone wouldn't be delivered for 2 weeks but this was the only option available. The phone is currently available again on the Google Play site but if you want one I would get your order in quick before they completely sell out again and you have to wait another couple of months before they come back into stock.
Google say that they won't actually charge you for the phone until it has shipped but I was charged straight away which was a bit annoying. Delivery was good however when it did finally ship and I was emailed when it left the dispatch centre and I got tracking information up I signed for it at the door so I knew where it was all along its journey.
########## Looks are subjective ##########
The phone came with minimal packaging and inside the small box was a plug and a USB cable. There was no headphones but I didn't mind this as I already had several pairs lying around that I could use. The phone itself is one of those that people either like the look of or else they don't. It has a glass back and a 4.7 inch front screen. On the back there is a slight glitter effect which sounds awful but it is so subtle that to be honest I hardly notice it and I actually quite like it as it makes the phone stand out a little more than it would have done if it had just been a black slab. The glass is lovely to feel and hold but I recommend getting some kind of case on it straight away so that you don't scratch it or even worse smash the glass as it is very slippy and would be easy to drop it from your hands.
########## Operating System ##########
The phone works with the Android operating system and because this is a Nexus phone it means that it will be the first to get all the new updates. It is currently running the latest version of Android with all the latest features that brings. For me it was so nice to be back on Android after having been on the Windows operating system as Android is so much more user friendly and easy to use and organize all your aps etc. I have a Nexus tablet so everything from my Google account could easily be synced with my new phone and I was up and running in a matter of minutes.
########## Phone features ##########
The phone has all the features you would expect from a top of the range smart phone and a few more besides.
There are the usual media capabilities and no awful software which has to be used to play music and video. The phone connects as a mass storage device on my laptop and I can just drag and drop things on to my phone as I see fit. Dragging files across takes no time at all and I can load up my phone with some TV shows and music in the morning and it only takes a few minutes. The screen is absolutely amazing and everything on it looks so vivid and bright and TV shows have never looked so good this small. Music playback is also excellent and the sound is surprisingly rich considering that it is coming from a phone.
The phone has two cameras on it, one 8MP camera on the back and a 2MP one on the front for video calls. The camera takes pretty decent shots for a camera phone and 9 times out of 10 they are clear and in focus. It doesn't have a great variety of features on the camera other than point and shoot but one pretty cool feature is the sphere feature which lets you take a panoramic photo and then meld it all together to get a pretty cool shot. There are loads of photo editing apps on the Play store for people who want to be able to put more effects on their pictures and to be honest I think most of them are pretty useless so I'm not bothered about the phone not having all that many editing functions.
The video camera on the phone can shoot videos in full 1080p high definition and this is really noticeable when you decide to watch them back on a big screen TV as they look amazing. Unfortunately 1080p takes up a lot of room on the phone but it can also shoot in 720p which although still large is a lot smaller and in my opinion still looks fantastic.
The screen on the phone is 4.7 inches and is True HD IPS Plus and I think it is amazing and one of my favourite things about the phone. Media and games look especially good on it. The colour is lovely and bright without being over saturated and it can play back HD movies and TV shows which look spectacular on the inbuilt media player.
The PPI (which is pixel count for the uninitiated) is 318 and for anyone coming from an older phone you will be able to tell the difference straight away. Basically it means that it is almost impossible to see a pixel onscreen and text looks super smooth and sharp and it just means reading things on the phone is a lot easier and there is less need for zooming in on things to be able to make them out clearly.
Inside the phone there is quad core processor and 2GB of RAM which means everything runs speedily and there is very little if ever any lag. The phone can handle the most graphically intensive games with ease and even high definition video is played smoothly without any sort of hint of lag or slowdown. Browsing the internet is another thing which the phone does with ease and you can have several tabs open without having to worry that the phone is going to struggle.
Obviously even though it is a media powerhouse at the end of the day it is still a phone and its primary function is to make calls. Luckily it isn't let down in this department and the call quality is really clear and sharp and there is no hint of hissing in the background and it also doesn't drop calls in the middle of them. Texting is also easier than on some touch screens thanks to the larger screen and it also comes with a swipe function. The swipe function is something that I have used before and couldn't get on with it as it was always making mistakes but it seems to have been perfected here and texting is now so much quicker using this swipe function as it is really accurate and you don't even need to take your finger off the screen for the space as the phone gets this right 99% of the time.
########## Do I have any complaints? ##########
Yes unfortunately I do. Although I love the phone there are a couple of issues with it that are really annoying me. The first one is that the wireless sharing function just will not work. I have looked online to see if anyone else is having this problem and a lot of other people are reporting the same problem but as far as I can tell this is a problem that the latest version of Android is causing and is not actually a fault with the phone. I hope so and if so I hope they get it fixed as I want to be able to share my phones 3G signal with my laptop and tablet when I am out of the house. I can tether the phone to my laptop with USB tethering but this is no good for my tablet.
The second thing which I find a bit perplexing is the battery life. All the reviews I read on the phone before buying it praised the battery and said how long lasting it was but so far in my experience this hasn't been the case. I know that modern phones are really intensive on the batteries and with the level of power that is being used they can't be expected to last a week on one charge like my old Nokia used to do but I still expected better from Google than what I've got.
I do tend to use my phone quite a bit when I am out but the level of battery drain goes beyond what I would normally expect. I can leave the house in the morning fully charged and listen to maybe an hour of music, browse the internet for perhaps half an hour to an hour, whatsapp several times and my battery will be dead by about 5 or 6 o'clock. This isn't intensive use and I know people with Samsung Galaxy 3's who use their phones a lot more than me that get much better longevity from their phones.
The weird thing about the battery too is that when it gets low it starts to drain even quicker. For example it can be on about 15% battery and I will send a couple of whatsapps and within a few minutes the battery level is saying it is at 4% and this is with the screen brightness on low. Again I have read that this is perhaps a bug on the newest version of Android and I hope so as I may have to consider replacing the phone with something else otherwise as I cannot live with one that dies so quickly.
It also takes forever to charge even when using the official charger and takes much longer than other phones that I have had. One cool thing about charging the phone however is that it actually supports wireless charging and I definitely plan on buying a wireless charging mat and using this feature so that I no longer have to plug it in every night and can have it right next to me.
My phone has 16GB of internal memory and this is the highest that the phone is available in. There is also an 8GB version. There is no way to expand this memory but for me personally I have found over the years that 16GB is usually enough for me to have as many apps as I want and to be able to load up the phone with music and a few TV shows if I am travelling anywhere but people with huge media collections might want to consider this before purchasing the phone.
########## Recommendation ###########
I absolutely love my nexus 4 and think it is an amazing mobile especially when it matches all the specs of much more expensive phones. Google Play have finally got their act together when it comes to apps so there is now no need to be jealous of Iphone owners who have all the latest games that Android doesn't. If not for the battery issues I would say this is an almost perfect phone and I am just hoping that at the next update due soon that the issues with the battery drain will be rectified.
Other than the battery (and the wireless sharing feature) there is nothing that I can really criticise with this phone as it does everything else almost flawlessly and it looks great into the bargain. I wouldn't let the battery issues put you off too much as I am sure it is an issue with the operating system and not the phone and Google are usually quick to roll out new versions and as it is a Nexus phone it will receive them before any other.
Display: 4,7" 1280 x 768 Pixel / CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro / Cameras: 8 MP + 1.3 MP Storage: 16GB / OS: Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)