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Google's stab at making a smartphone
LG Google Nexus 4
Member Name: jipp05
LG Google Nexus 4
Advantages: Top quality specs for half the price of others
Disadvantages: The battery is a bit suspect
########## 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.
Summary: A fantastic phone that is let down a bit by the bugs in the new version of android
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