29
Oct
Nexus4_Range shot[20121030003943491]

If you haven't heard by now, the Nexus 4 doesn't have LTE. It probably won't ever have it, either, based on what Andy Rubin told The Verge regarding the latest Nexus handset's network situation in an interview. 

He talks a lot about "tactics" and "user experience" (read: battery life), but it really boils down to one issue: money. The fact that the unlocked 8GB version of the Nexus 4 is just $300 is absolutely crazy. Looking at the hardware, this is easily a $600 phone. Having used an Optimus G (the platform this phone is based on), I already know this is a truly premium device. The processor is the fastest one in any Android phone on the market, and the display is brilliant.

So, how can Google afford to sell it for $300? Honestly, I don't think they can - I'm pretty sure they'll lose money on each and every one of these. If, by some miracle, they're being sold through at cost of production, they're still going to lose money on things like advertising and R&D. Anyway, why is this relevant to the Nexus 4 lacking LTE?

Like I said, the interview with Andy Rubin comes back to two issues: the user experience, and the network compatibility ("tactics"). The user experience part is explained as being an issue of battery life, but really, Andy Rubin somewhat unintentionally lays bare a big issue with LTE: two radios. This adds to cost of production in two ways.

First, you have to pay the piper (eg, Qualcomm) for an LTE baseband chip, which involves lots of patents and licensing arrangements that probably make it fairly expensive. Second, you have to then make sure that LTE chip doesn't decimate the battery life, or in some other way make the user experience worse (connectivity issues, for example). Making sure that stuff works (on multiple networks) takes time. If you want a Sprint or Verizon version, you need a CDMA radio. Qualcomm does make "all-in-one" radio chips that work on pretty much every network out there, but as I said, these are probably significantly more expensive than the 3G-only models. You'd then need different software versions for each carrier's radio configuration, too. That means more work to support the hardware post-sale.

As for CDMA, then you have to deal with carriers that won't allow you to bring just any device onto their networks. Verizon has to certify and approve any phone on its network - 700MHz block C "open access" provisions be damned, because Verizon's CDMA network basically nullifies those requirements. Sprint is the same. That then means these carriers don't want you selling the hardware strings-free. They want to sell it with a contractual commitment. Then there's the cost of carrier certification, and going through the carrier software update approval regime. And that's if Verizon even wants a Nexus phone after its numerous PR boondoggles with the poor-selling Galaxy Nexus.

So, with CDMA out of the picture, bringing an unlocked, GSM LTE Nexus that's really only fully compatible with AT&T's 77-market LTE network to market probably wouldn't be worth the money, especially when you consider how historically poorly Nexus phones have sold. This is where Rubin's logic about UX and "tactics" does fall apart a bit, though - why not just have an LTE mode toggle switched to "off" by default, so 3G-only network subscribers could use it as a normal GSM device? And that's why I think cost is the larger issue.

Rather than play ball with the carriers (and pay the cost of that game), Google has thrown up its arms and said "forget it - we'll do it our way." Which means they're going back to the model they originally dreamed up with the Nexus One. Which seems kind of silly, in a way. But I like that idea, especially when the hardware costs half of what it did when they tried it the first time. Who knows - this might actually work.

But the fact that even the iPhone 5 now has LTE, whereas the latest and greatest from Google's Nexus line does not, is certainly a bit of a slap in the face for the Android-faithful. Then again - it is $300.

via The Verge

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CanAli28 Can Ali Temür

    Who the f** needs LTE ? :)
    Actually i don't even use WiFi-Direct .....

    • Dreamcasting

      A LOT of people.

      • fixxmyhead

        FUCK LTE and FUCK VERIZON

    • http://www.facebook.com/dave.ciepluch Dave Ciepluch

      Exactly, all you need is WiFi. Considering the cost of data plans and the limits on bandwidth, and the fact that 'unlimited' plans throttle it anyways. You are better off with WiFi. Besides, LTE is still far from polished and the constant switching of radios will drain even the largest of batteries.

    • Larizard

      i always have 3G on my phone, admittedly, but i tether my phone to my laptop almost everyday when out. LTE is so much faster than wifi in public places. It's one thing I don't regret jumping into the GNex bandwagon.

  • Clint Pedersen

    Honestly, I don't care much for LTE anyway. It's more of a convenience than anything else. I can count on one hand how many times LTE actually was necessary for something I was doing. Even then, it was probably only to download a large game. On top of that, wifi is almost always nearby.

    • Todd

      For me, the lack of LTE isn't really a big deal. The bigger deal is the no CDMA versions that blocks more than 1/2 of all US subscribers from purchasing the device (e.g. Sprint and VZW).

      • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

        For that, you can blame your CDMA carriers.

        • Todd

          So very true, I wish that I was still on a single plan so I could switch out, but Sprint's family plans are just so affordable.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wrg25 Will Gonzalez

      LTE on Verizon drops way too much.... my wife make fun of it all the time. $300 and $450 are amazing prices for the Nexus4. so that's where i'm going.... I already got the Nexus7 16gb which will be my daughter's toy now.... Nexus10 and Nexus4 my money is waiting lets gooooooo

      • Stian French

        ahem. $299 for the 8GB and $349 for the 16GB...

        • Robert Alex Kibler

          I'm guessing he meant $300 and $350 and hit '4' accidentally.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.rahn.71 Joshua Rahn

      I have my 4G turned off 95% of the time. I don't much have a need, I use wifi at work/home. Plus there is a huge trade in for battery life.

    • itznfb

      Really? I'm not a fan of sitting around for minutes at a time waiting for web pages to load or even tapatalk to refresh. Mobile data slower than LTE is useless.

      • Alex

        What on earth are you even talking about? I could load a desktop site like the BBC News site on HSPA+ in basically the same amount of time as I could on my broadband connection at home. The differences are negligible. I can watch Netflix without any buffering and listen to a completely uninterrupted streaming playlist of Google Music on my journey home.

        LTE is an overpriced egg. It may have its value in time when it becomes the de facto cheap standard - but for now, the benefits are minimal over the current technology and the price is far, far too steep (not to mention ridiculous data limits compared to completely unlimited options on 3G).

        • Sean Livingston

          I have the Galaxy Nexus from VZW. And LTE has been phenomenal, but I don't plan on restarting my service with them. I'm going to actually cancel. I was wondering how the HSPA+ speeds were, are they decent? Is there a noticeable difference between 3G and HSPA+? I never used a HSPA+ phone.

          • itznfb

            Depends on where you live. In Pittsburgh HSPA+ and 3G are both incredibly slow. Only a couple areas where LTE is lacking are there decent HSPA+ infrastructures. Which is why you see some people say that LTE sucks and HSPA+ is great. The only people that say that haven't experienced decent LTE.

        • itznfb

          The only people that say this are people that don't have LTE.

      • squiddy20

        Really? Minutes at a time? Even on Sprint's slow 3G speeds (no less than 100 kbps and no more than 500 kbps, in my area) it takes only 5 seconds or so to do a Google search. Far cry from the "minutes" you cite.

        • itznfb

          Here in Pittsburgh and pretty much all surrounding cities 3G and HSPA+ are unusable. Before LTE there was basically no mobile data.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-James-Cheskiewicz/1700171671 Travis James Cheskiewicz

            The lack of data in the burg is due to the network being overwhelmed. Happens in most major cities. That's a big reason your carrier strongly pushes wifi use.

      • Eric

        My S2 on TMobile averages 15 to 20 down and I have seen high 20's several times in the suburbs of north Atlanta. My sons Razr Maxx won't even get LTE at our house and the 3G speeds are -133dbm which is pitiful and Verizons map shows us well inside LTE where I have hit 27 on TMobile. One mile from home he can get mid twenties on a good day. It very rare when I have signal issues on TMobile.

      • pizzabeef

        It's $300, what did you expect? There's always the S3, Note II, and the iPhone if you want your LTE.

    • asianrage

      WIFI access is forbidden at my work. It's good to have mobile data with somewhat comparable speed to the potential WIFI speed.

    • Ray

      Don't care about LTE. 3G is fast enough for everything I need anyway. That and the 4G coverage in Australia is rather pathetic at the moment.

      • Larizard

        youre right. i think us US consumers are the ones bothered by the lack of LTE, when in fact, this phone looks to be primed for international markets where LTE is non-existent.

        • selonmoi

          Specifically Verizon customers. And to them I say:

          Sorry that you chose to lock yourself in with a company that made the wrong technology choice years ago, that abuses its customers, and that has demonstrated a total inability to be a good Nexus partner. Next time, make better choices! Google has wasted enough time and effort on one stupid carrier.

          • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

            I love you.

          • Josh Dye

            Well, I don't have much of a choice. To get ATT or T-Mobile to work in my neighborhood you have to stand on one leg in the middle of the street

    • Robert Alex Kibler

      I don't really mind the lack of LTE either. I have an LTE Galaxy Nexus, and it's honestly not that great. At my university (in the greater Pittsburgh area), I get four bars of LTE, but I usually only get about 3 to 4 Mbps down. At that point, HSPA+ (also available in the area) is just as fast, so I would rather have an HSPA+ phone (and the battery life advantages) at this point. If Verizon bumps up the speed of their network, I might consider LTE again, but I think my next phone is going to be with a different carrier.

      • Mike Litoris

        I've got the Gnexus on Verizon and I get minimum 10-15mbps down and usually get 20-30 down and 20+ up. It has been fantastic for me, and I am in Cleveland, OH. I am disappointed with no LTE on this bad boy, I was going to upgrade for sure, now I can not. T-Mobile is just Ok in my area. I guess I will just get a Nexus 10 and wait for the new bad ass HTC One XXL on Verizon or whatever it will be called. Either way at least Android gives us choice and lots of variety!

  • Dreamcasting

    Hey AP - I guess I feel stupid here, but I'm curious how the GNex was a "poor selling" phone. I always heard of it as being a solid phone and selling reasonably well. Did you mean just under Verizon or all variants of GNex?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      The Galaxy Nexus (all variants) accounted for less than 1% of all smartphone sales in the US in 2011. That's pretty poor for a phone that's supposed to be Google's flagship device.

      • Dreamcasting

        Wow, I never knew that. Thanks for clearing that up!

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Correction, "at most, 0.5%" according to Samsung's lawyers.

      • http://twitter.com/dynomike666 Mike

        And this will improve with it being even more limited in availability in the US? I'm sorry, while I understand all the reasons for not wanting to work with carriers etc, just make another SKU that has CDMA/LTE, charge another 100 bucks but make it available as to as many ppl as possible. This universal availability is why the brands such as GS3 and iPhone have such strong market shares.

        • http://profiles.google.com/ted.boone Ted Boone

          This. I'll pay more for LTE. Just give me the option to do so.

    • Todd

      The GNex doesn't sell anywhere as many units as the other top of the line phones out there like the SGS2, etc.

    • http://twitter.com/JaeClassic Jae-su

      I'm fairly certain that stating that the GNex was a "poor selling" device was exclusive to Verizon.

      • http://twitter.com/tyrellaagard Tyrell Aagard

        Nope, it's all variants. Up until this year, the Nexus line has been marketed to, and almost exclusively purchased by geeks. It's us nerds who know what rooting a phone is, or how to flash a ROM that get all excited about Nexus phones. Most people have no idea what they are, and instead go with the "popular" phones that they see advertisements for everywhere (iPhone, GSII/GSIII, One X).

        Google looks to be trying to change that though, with the release (and aggressive advertisement of) the Nexus 7 - and now the Nexus 10 and the super-cheap Nexus 4.

    • Huton Gergö

      And what is the solutio for this; make it available in play store wordwide than i guarenti that you will have minimum 5% marketshare, why is this not possible?

  • TechGuy21

    i have S3 and i dont use LTE. im on simple mobile. dont care about LTE

  • Sasuke

    theres a difference between releasing a phone without LTE and not releasing an LTE version altogether. they didnt want to compromise on experience. its not like they are withholding it so you can buy the lte nexus 5 next year. makes sense. im not happy about it but it makes sense.

  • http://twitter.com/SportsAndTV Brian Pearcy

    Remember when the Google Q was going to come out that they talked about how it was made in America, like they cared about America. Well they are only giving half of us access to their phone.

    • Jameslepable

      blame the carrier's

    • http://twitter.com/robinashe Robin Ashe

      Blame Verizon and Sprint, not Google.

    • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

      uh, no. You can buy the phone and get on a plan as soon as the device is released. There's nothing holding you to CDMA networks except yourself.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    Am I being dense, or did you mean 'pay the piper' not 'pay the pauper'?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Indeed I did.

    • http://twitter.com/robinashe Robin Ashe

      Pay the pauper is a funny mistake though.

  • http://twitter.com/adsamcik Adam Novák

    Seriously, why you need LTE on mobile phones. I agree its way faster, but I think that now 3G is enough. When Phones will have 64-128Gb as basic gear then I agree that LTE is trully needed but don't tell me you need faster downloading than 1gb in something like 15 minutes

    • Adam Bickley

      3G is not enough when you are on Sprint.

    • asianrage

      Because VZW has the the best coverage overall, for me anyway, even if their 3G speed is sub 1Mbps. My brother, who is with AT&T, doesn't really like his AT&T connection either, even though it is better where he live/work.

  • Chuckroid

    I must have LTE!! I don't need a Nexus device!

  • Bariman43

    I bet an LTE version will show up later, like how the Sprint GNex came out really late. Honestly, the way Google has been doing things lately, trying to predict them is nearly impossible. Who expected a 32gig Nexus 7?

  • Jon

    7" tablets sell for less than 200, surely they can make some profit for 300. I've always wondered why tablets 4x the size of a phone are way cheaper. Well, I know, supply and demand...

    • http://twitter.com/robinashe Robin Ashe

      A 720P screen at 7" is a lot cheaper and easier to manufacture than a 720P screen at 4.5". Plus, no cellular radio. The Nexus 4 comes in just around the price you'd expect compared to a 7" tablet given that the smaller size makes it more expensive (tablets with greater than 720P resolution end up around the same price) as well as the cellular radio. Supply is a factor, but more between the parts supplier and the manufacturer. It's nothing really to do with consumer demand.

      • Bradley BoyEs

        Ah, you're right. I was thinking the same tech in the screen, but even the screens in phones these days are more the same thing in a smaller package.

    • Bradley BoyEs

      The screen might cost more on a tablet, but the components will generally cost less due to size. Getting similar performance in a smaller package requires fancier parts.

    • bevardimusg

      and radio chips... Most $200 tablets don't have any mobile data whatsoever (re: Nexus 7), thus saving cost to produce and, in the end, price.

    • aiden9

      It is the radios inside that cost a *bleep* ton. Look at wireless USB adapters, Verizon sells an LTE one for $250 off contract,T-mobile sells one for $174, Sprint $250, AT&T $230. They're just wireless radios smacked on to a USB and they cost that much.

  • Kris

    They will probably release an LTE version at a later date. The Nexus is a world device, there are people outside of the USA who will be more than happy with the Nexus 4 how it is... If you want to pay the extra $300 for an LTE device then go ahead haha. I think HSPA+ has served me well so far and I don't really have many complaints other than shoddy coverage which has more to do with cell towers than data speeds.

  • Stian French

    21 Mbps is pretty good. No LTE does kinda suck, but then I remember that it's only $300 and I don't care!

    • http://twitter.com/robinashe Robin Ashe

      Exactly, if LTE adds $300 to the cost of the device, fuck LTE!

    • Jameslepable

      Nexus 4 supporst 42 MBPS aswell

      • Mark

        I think it only supports 21. I wish it did have a 42mbps HSPA+ chip, at least that'd be a plus. But for $300 unlocked no carrier no agreement, can't beat it. I've seen $500 phones sell for $200-$300 on ebay months later. I can only imagine what this phone will sell for on craigslist and ebay in 3-5 months and put in a straight talk sim, either network, and you're good to go. Can't lose.

        • nonextstop

          The Google Play Nexus 4 only supports HSPA+ 21, but the T-Mobile version has HSPA+ 42

          • Dirraan

            Google update the spec pages. All confirmed for having 42

        • PINJ

          It'll Be The Same Price For Atleast The Next 5.5 Months.

    • DrewNusser

      Problem is that AT&T never gets even close to that. I've been on HSPA+ for a couple of years and have rarely topped 4 Mbps. T-Mobile is different though. They can get up to the teens at least, which would be plenty fast.

      • Robert Alex Kibler

        I just speed tested my LTE Galaxy Nexus with full signal LTE, and I only got 4Mbps, So HSPA+ isn't much of a trade-off.

        • TheSmegHead

          I just tested my LTE on my VZW Galaxy Nexus and I got 58 Mbps down and 38 up. No LTE, then its a no for me. Plus, 8gigs. Really? My Nexus 7 with 16 gigs is way to little. My GNex with 32 is good. I will never buy another device with less than 32 gigs.

          • http://twitter.com/afallucco Grand Prix

            I highly doubt you went that high, without a screenshot I call bs.

        • Th£Gr33k

          I know its the UK but HSPA+ on some networks can get 10Mbps and EE get 6Mbps... So if LTE is actually worse somehow then I really am not worries. Hell anything over 2Mbps is fast enough 99% of the time!

  • http://www.facebook.com/eatonjb Eaton J. Blumenstein

    LTE is nice, not required for anything that I really do other then , hey look how much faster this is then my cable mode. *gurr*. but in defence, other then the speed, it seems more reliable then 3G/H/H+ when I am in a 4G LTE area, I always get good responce of data, never slow , etc. etc.. If 3G was more reliable, I would have stuck to my Sammy SII i9100 unlocked.. but, my S3 from AT&T works a lot better now.

  • http://twitter.com/robinashe Robin Ashe

    I don't care about LTE, because I'm one of the hundreds of millions of cell phone users (actually, probably billions) who is on a network that doesn't have LTE. I might just end up buying a Nexus 4 if the first BlackBerry 10 device turns out to be too expensive.

  • Sodan Tok

    LTE? Oh please.. with 150MB FUP for 5USD/month I dont need neither 3G, nor LTE (which isnt in my country yet)

    • http://twitter.com/kekkojoker90 Parisi Francesco

      150 mb for 5 usb? WTF! i have 150 mb daily plan for free ever. 120 min and 60 sms/month vs other operator and unlimited call/sms with the same operator all for free ever :D

  • HayabusaJames

    I'm calling BS. The screens on tablets are larger and more costly, and sell for far less than "this is easily a $600 phone" and "So, how can Google afford to sell it for $300? Honestly, I don't think
    they can - I'm pretty sure they'll lose money on each and every one of
    these." Pretty sure? When they can sell tablets without subsidizing for $200-300, I think this is bs about phones retailing for $600-800.

    • Freak4Dell

      A huge part of the cost of phones is the licensing for the radios and chipsets and whatnot. A lot of that doesn't apply to a WiFi tablet.

      However, I do think $600 is ridiculous, and there's a possibility that Google/LG is making a profit even at $300. After all, the iPhone costs less than $200 to make, so this is probably around the same level. Throw in $50-$100 for the licenses and junk, and we're still only barely touching $300.

  • Isopropyl Alcohol

    LTE is joke. Once LTE radios are as efficient as HSPA+ radios then it would be nice to have. Right now LTE is a waste of battery life.

  • zizzybaloobah

    My experience with ICS on the Bionic says that you can indeed make LTE and CDMA work satisfactorily (and without eating up the battery). However it did take Motorola over a year to make that happen. I don't think Google can afford to shrug off VZW customers who want a Nexus, hopefully we'll see a new Nexus for VZW as well, but it might be awhile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.zinewicz Joshua Zinewicz

    The hell with LTE I am on Sprint which doesnt have it in my market and probably never will. I will be ordering this phone on November 13th and will be happy to wash my hands of Sprint and the other carriers once and for all. I for one am pleased by this decision but thats only my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/aosmitty andy smith

    $300 off contract for a sweet phone that will run just as fast on your home wifi connection as an LTE device would ... that's VERY nice. And to have better battery life for not having LTE? I would be okay with that.

  • JustinUnderscore

    I don't see what the big deal is myself. I've never used LTE personally, but from what I've heard, it's a great way to burn through your monthly data while killing your battery. Google's argument makes sense -- this isn't even just about the U.S., where there are actually a couple of LTE-capable networks based on different proprietary technologies. The Nexus 4 is designed to be globally relevant. The fact that it's cheaper than any decent new unlocked phone I've ever seen before doesn't hurt either.

    With that in mind, I'd be extremely surprised if they aren't turning a modest profit on the Nexus 4. I doubt the phone costs more than about $250 to make... few phones do. Sure, Google's and LG's profit margins are likely less than 100% here for a change, but that's good for us.

  • Alex

    LTE/4G's a mess and a joke here in the UK anyway. £36 a month for 500MB data. Get stuffed.

    HSPA+ is fast enough for decent quality media streaming either way - especially since we're only on a small resolution device anyway. No point wasting time and money on what's basically becoming more and more of a Golden Goose. To be spared hundreds of pounds by not bothering with something we could never really use (or want to use in competition with a cheaper, completely unlimited 3G plan) is a damned good thing.

    In fact, frankly, the thing this phone has going for it -most- is the price. £240 without the need for a new contract. I could sell my S3 and make a PROFIT by getting this phone (ok, a fiver, but still - profit).

    The more Google starts avoiding the networks and starts selling their devices at cost like this, the better it will be for everyone - especially them. This is how you really compete with Apple. The more at-cost Nexus devices, the better.

  • exa

    If your provider give you real 3G you don't need LTE with good 3g I can stream hd videos on youtube and listen to music on streaming why would I want LTE ? Even for eventual tethering 3G is good enough for everything I get a 3Megs to 4-5 with speedtest
    3G=enough=better battery life than LTE= 300$ phone o/

  • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

    LTE is a luxury I am sure a lot of people will be fine giving up seeing it as part of the cost saving for a $300 device that is top of the line. I have a HSPA+ dongle for mobile internet on my laptop and it is faster than my wifi broadband and more than fast enough to download huge files in minutes and stream HD video seamlessly. No one #needs# LTE on a phone.

  • Quryous

    Sounds like it was an even trade!

  • Mooki

    4G is overrated anyway, with 3G HSPA+ supposedly managing somewhere
    around 21MBps I honestly can't see any reason why it's not fast enough
    for current demands. Especially when here in the UK most mobile tariffs
    are limited to 1-3GB per month which effectively kills the possibility
    of streaming music or movies for any real length of time.

    At best 4G would mean you could download webpages faster but who honestly needs a webpage to load a half second faster?

  • Thorn

    Frankly, if LTE is going to cost so much from carriers because of heavy video streaming and lack of actual LTE room for everyone... I'd be perfectly fine with sticking on a 3G phone. It still plays ESPN and Netflix well enough to use those apps as needed. Good luck with Cspire ever getting the Nexus 4 though...another one of those CDMA carriers that hate to give their customers any sort of freedom...and it's only getting worse.

  • Ivellios

    Of course the Nexus brand sells terribly. They have no advertisement and the carriers have no incentive to push it. When my wife got her new phone from Sprint several months ago the sales guy talked her out of the GNex and into the S3. While it's a better phone, who wouldn't want to have vanilla Android with no bloatware and skinning to muck up the phone as well as timely updates.

    I'm really aggravated they are going back to the initial rollouts and am sure they would sell a crap ton more with the Nexus name getting out there with the Nexus7. I see this as only looking bad for Google as I'm sure I'm not the only one who refuses to jump from carrier to carrier just to have the latest nexus phone. I was really looking forward to owning a Nexus, too.

    • Alex

      The key is to start selling it in the same shops that have been selling the Nexus 7. Not phone shops. At this price, most people could easily just use the sim from and existing contract and sell off whatever they've got from that contract to make up the cost. It'd be the easiest (and cheapest) phone upgrade ever.

      It's about time that the hardware started to be divorced from the networks - especially over in America (it's less of a problem here in the UK, but all the same, all the network shops are interested in is selling contracts, not phones). It'd be good if Google could deal with the entire network problem as a whole, too, but even Apple haven't been able to manage that one.

      Also, maybe if enough Nexus devices start selling at other venues, Google will be able to play a tougher game with the networks the same way Apple does.

  • DaveNull

    May I again remind that America is not the world. :P

    iPhone's LTE is actually a bit of joke in Europe since it doesn't work in most countries and with frequencies that are used here.

    • JT

      LTE doesn't work in Brazil for example. Ok, 3g doesn't work here too!

    • TheSmegHead

      America dictates what happens everywhere. I lived in the UK for 10 years, and it still is true. If it doesn't do well in the USA, things usually fail everywhere. And its mostly because if it fails in the USA, companies don't take a risk elsewhere...

  • MeCampbell30

    "The processor is the fastest one in any Android phone on the market..."

    Correction: Any phone, android or otherwise.

  • Freak4Dell

    I'm glad to see that most of the commenters here realize that LTE isn't all that necessary, but if Google wants to crack into the mass public market, they'll have to overcome the marketing hype of LTE. The carriers are convincing consumers that LTE is a must have, even if consumers never really see a true benefit from LTE.

    Then again, I guess the only people that buy Nexus devices are Android nerds anyway, and we all know LTE isn't needed.

    • http://twitter.com/salpairodice SalParadise

      You can thank Verizon for the hype behind LTE. While other carriers could scale out their HSPA+ to near-LTE speeds, Verizon was locked into the limits of EVDO-A & they had nowhere to go except LTE.

      The main reason AT&T is jumping on it is that they have plenty of money to play keep-up, plus they get some long-term gains from the efficiency of LTE. HSPA+ will be around for a while & is easy on the wallet for consumers. Plus, with so many people jumping on LTE devices now, in my market, I'm seeing maybe 10mbps down in populated areas on LTE anyway, which is maybe 2mbps more than my HSPA+ speeds (at the most).

      As everyone else is saying - for $300 retail, this is a small sacrifice to make.

  • mrsbelpit

    Considering the only carrier in the US worth using is T-Mo or an MVNO, not a fuck is given by me. Screw the big 2 carriers.

  • Nastybutler

    I'd be willing to sacrifice having LTE if it had either a 64GB option or a microSD slot. Having only 32GB is unacceptable. I undertand Google is trying to force everything into the cloud, but when you expect customers to be always connected (and that alone is a small percentage of the market) then give them an older, slower wireless radio, you've screwed the pooch. Not to mention all this data they want us to stream (Play Movies, Music, Books, Magazines) will send most people over their caps or throttled in a hurry. I realize they didn't create the caps, but they need to understand what constraints their consumers have to deal with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1849765376 Jordan Rushing

    BECAUSE IT'S LG.

  • Doan

    Deal-breaker for us in LTE markets with unlimited data.

    • horse

      Yes, all four of you.

      • Doan

        horse, don't be a jelly hater just because you lost out on unlimited LTE.

      • TheSmegHead

        Yep, all 4 of us on the west coast. In Southern California (you know, all 20+ million of us) have kick ass 4g. I never get slower than 25Mbps down. Now, I understand the country bumpkins and those who can't afford anything but boost or cricket (or Tmo) but most of the civilized (and shitastic LA too) have excellent 4g...

  • MeCampbell30

    I guess it's an Optimus G for me then. Hello, cyanogen mod. Goodbye extra $300.

  • grellanl

    Unlocked GSM devices, with the ability to roam freely between carriers: that's core to the Nexus mission. That's in the interest of consumers, and empowers us rather than the carriers.

    LTE is just a nice-to-have feature so far, and as the market (and the chipsets) improve, it will doubtless make it into next year's Nexus handset. LTE is a GSMA standard, after all - so it's going to fit into that picture down the line.

  • KidJ

    Can I use the unlocked Nexus 4 on Verizon or no?

    • Jared Fulgham

      No. The unlocked Nexus 4 is a GSM phone. Verizon 3G is CDMA. They are very different technologies. Sorry.

      • KidJ

        I'm aware they are different. I thought I read it had a CDMA radio too... I read wrong. Shit.

        • Jared Fulgham

          Gotcha, sorry if I sounded condescending. Dang Mondays. But yeah, no CDMA version.

          • KidJ

            haha, it's quite alright, no offense taken - I'm in the middle of a hurricane in South Jersey and not thinking clearly.

          • Jared Fulgham

            Well good luck to you, and stay safe and dry.

    • Dubb

      No. VZW is a CDMA network and the N4 is GSM only. You can use it mon cheap prepaid carriers as long as they're GSM only, no CDMA.

  • Sean

    Serious question: Does LTE offer a significantly better experience over HSPA+42 on something like a phone (eg. speed, coverage, power requirements, etc)? I do not use cellular radios in my devices, and am curious.

  • DuncanPerkins

    Being a sprint subscriber who just signed a two year contract in september, this saddens me. My GS3 sickens me, and I really wish that carriers in the US weren't such buttfaces, because then i'd have a sexy, shiny new Nexus 4. Also, LTE isn't a dealbreaker for me at all. HSPA+ is plenty fast for 99.9998 percent of what you want to do with your phone. I just wish Sprint wasn't CDMA :(

  • Goldenpins

    I think there main reason is spending extra by paying the piper like you stated.(CDMA, Qualcom for the chipset etc). The 2nd one is jumping threw hurtles on a Nexus device on CDMA devices. (slow updates etc). Im aware Sprint was the first for Jellybean months later, but in the long run this hurts the Nexus brand. Yes.. there great devices hardware and software wise but most that buy a Nexus do so because of stock Android and there rapid software releases.

    I had to explain to a few the differences between a Nexus device and regular Android ie Samsung, Moto etc to a few on vacation. A Nexus stands out to those truly interested in Android and wanting the best stock experience and quick updates. Average users would think a Nexus is just another Android. When I hear people complain about clunkyness and slowness of Android I point them in the direction of a Nexus before writing Android off there radar.

  • http://nikolaovcharski.com/ Nikola Ovcharski

    I don't need LTE

  • vlachos

    It seem nexus phones cause a lot of stir even though they make up such a small percentage of android market. Seriously 8gb? No external storage ? No LTE? Id rather fork out the extra for a galaxy phone with lesser updates tyvm

  • TonyArcher

    Just as long as you all realize that in the next year, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint will have LTE across almost their entire networks, and AT&T won't be far behind.

    I think most of you will change your tune on LTE when you are part of the select few who don't have LTE capable phones.

    At least you are enthusiasts and will probably upgrade your phones to the next great Android phones, and this one is quite cheap, so not a lot lost.

  • Peter Fox

    I'm in the UK, i'd rather have a nexus handset finally straight from Google unlocked then mess around with over priced contracts... LTE, in the UK it doesn't work pretty much and it's a con when you consider it drains your battery AND your data allowance, god bless Google for thinking with there head, I'd much rather be able to wirelessly charge and connect devices over being able to stream a video while i'm out of range of wifi

  • http://www.facebook.com/duckofdeath Hans Pedersen

    I live in Ireland, so... We don't even know what this LTE is that everybody speaks about. I was planning to go for a WP8 device, but this price tag is actually ridiculously low.

  • LiamBryant

    Regardless of the price points and facts and figures, the majority of people cannot suddenly up and leave their Verizon/Sprint networks just to be able to purchase this device. I think it is unbelievably stupid and foolish of Google to create such a hard limit on this device, especially since other competitors (iPhone/Windows Phone 8) are consistently spreading to newer networks. Fortunately I rooted my Verizon Galaxy Nexus when I first got it so I will get the 4.2 update before my other Verizon GNex friends do (which will probably be next November, at the rate that Verizon pushes updates), but a user should not have to jump through hoops to circumvent limitations placed on their device, whether by the carrier or by the manufacturer. If Google continues this and releases their next Nexus again on T-Mobile, I will probably never own another Nexus device again, simply because I can't leave a contract early and the coverage of Verizon cannot be beaten in my area. This is sad, Google, this is extremely sad.

  • Crazydog

    Why do I need LTE? Because the 3G where I live is so slow, Google Maps timed out while trying to search for an address. Not even pulling up the map - just parsing the address and getting a Longitude/Latitude location back to my phone.

  • Stewart Higgins

    I have 14.4 hspa, and in all honesty, I don't know of any time it was too slow. So HSPA+ 42 is more than adequate.

  • itznfb

    I would gladly pay an additional $300 for an LTE variant. I use LTE all day every day. I stream Pandora, iHeartRadio, YouTube and Netflix while at work for 10+ hours straight. Not possible without LTE so this is a definite deal breaker for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=570733388 Jonathan Gil

    It's not even just lte. There's no CDMA version at all, and I'm with sprint and not leaving. Unlimited data kicks ass and network vision is transforming their network. ATT prepaid is way too expensive for the limited amount of data they give you and T-Mobile has horrible coverage around here. Sorry Google, but this tactic is not going to get you many sales. I was waiting all year for the nexus 4 but it looks like I'll be going ith the Optimus G off contract.

  • ercliou

    Need some clarifications.
    I've never used LTE. And I don't understand why people need it..
    Our phones are limited by memory throughput and processor's page rendering. I don't think that 10MB and 40MB (or w/e LTE capacity is) are different for mobile browser.

    Or are people tethering with this plan? TIA!

  • Owen Finn

    ... or they will sell an LTE version 6 months from now for $429.

  • TylerChappell

    Oh so last year they somehow felt that LTE on the GNex wasn't enough of a problem for Verizon and Sprint despite the most atrocious battery life of any phone and here we are a year later with newer generations of LTE chips and more efficient processors and somehow LTE has to be abandoned? Not buying it. The Nexus 4 might as well be an iPhone, no LTE, non-removable battery etc, except even the iPhone 5, as shitty of a device as it is, has LTE with acceptable battery life despite being in a much smaller housing. Hmmmm, yeah, doesn't make sense.

  • asianrage

    I'm glad I have my Rooted GNex on Unlimited Verizon 4GLTE data. JB4.2 can't come quick enough.

  • http://twitter.com/sven_schwegat Sven

    Where I live there is almost none LTE coverage, so I'm fine with the 16GB 3G version.

  • funkyblue

    He did not explain WHY it does not have DC-HSPA+ though. That could have been put in. Latest iPhone has it. He also never spoke about WHY they released 32gb in Nexus 7 and 10 BUT NOT THE NEXUS 4. SO FRUSTRATED. I want 32gb in my phone!

  • Andrew

    We don't have LTE here in the UK, probably won't for quite a while, and it's going to be VERY expensive from what I hear anyway, so I'm not that bothered. I'd have bought it if it had a removable battery and sd slot.

  • Blake Forehand

    Excuse my ignorance, but this means that the device won't work on CDMA (Verizon) networks even without 4G doesn't it?

  • Christopher Robert

    This has got to be an issue with T mobile. T Mobile does not offer LTE and since the phone will launch exclusively with them, at least at first, I am POSITIVE, they did not want the phone to have LTE. Either way this was a major let down for me. LTE matters anyone who tells you differently hasn't used it on a regular basis, Also it provides for a larger amount of data usage before capping starts on AT&T (5Gig>3Gig) I am extremely disappoint in EL GOOG and I am thinking they should have let Motorola Launch the Nexus not LG. It this Nexus was Basically a Motorola Razar HD MAXX with the S4 chip inside and vanilla Android (nexus standard) This phone would wipe the floor with the rest. Instead just another big let down!!!! :-(

  • ATB

    I don't know why everyone thinks it costs so much money to produce the phone. With all the labour and parts it probably costs less then $200 for the phone. If we add research, development, advertising, etc google will probably be making a few dollars or break even.

  • JirafaBo

    Bet the carriers still charge an extra $10 premium data fee. Wonder what bull$hit they'll spew now for a reason.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phillip-Martin/100000077199240 Phillip Martin

    Faux g is fast in the bay area so I'm ok with no LTE

  • Hihello

    I'm not an apple fan nor android. I own something from each platform. Haven't said that, I think it is ridiculous how android fans brag about 4G lte and how the iPhone didn't have it blah blah blah but now that a nexus phone doesn't come with it, it is acceptable and there is an explanation to are and everything makes sense blah blah bullshit.

  • Knlegend1

    I don't give to squirts of piss about LTE. I rarely use it why? Battery life Google is taking charge and I like it.

  • Jack

    I don't care for LTE, but why is there a 32GB model? It would have been such a nice device. I will pass on this one.

  • Samuel

    i don't have LTE on my Sprint Galaxy Nexus anyway

  • NicholasMicallef

    We dont' have LTE yet and there are no plans for LTE any time soon. Plus prices are too high for most people to afford using 3G/hspa+ to it's full potential let alone LTE :(.

  • lappy

    Also, Nexus isn't a flagship device it's a developers device. So it should not be compared to an I5

    • Bleakvision

      You really should listen to what Duarte and the other Google guys have to say about it in the Verge video.

  • LazarusDark

    I think we all just need to accept facts. We wanted the Nexus line to be the premiere, the elite, the best of the best. Google doesn't see it that way. I think it should be apparent to us all at this point, the Nexus line is about showing the manufacturers how the mainstream-midlevel device should be. As much current tech as you can cram in, but with keeping costs down to the affordable level for the average user. Toss out the "budget" device category entirely and replace it with a Nexus4 level device. I think that would really help Androids name (it gets such a bad name because of poor experiences on "budget" devices)

    Given this, I'm actually hoping Google turns Motorola into their "premium" brand. Really, all thats required is to unlock Moto's top end devices, give em stock android like in the good ole days of my OG Droid and toss in the Google forward-thinking tech like NFC and wireless charging. Viola, high end Nexus devices from Google aka Googarola.

  • DarkStar

    I went from a GNote and One X with LTE to a Gnex. While the speed test results where nice (15-45mbs in Kansas City, MO.) On the LTE devices, in real world use I don't see the difference on ATT network.

  • Adam Byrd

    If I were on AT&T and I didn't just buy a GS3, I'd be perfectly ok with HSPA+. I like having the latest and greatest as much as the next guy, but for the vast majority of use cases HSPA+ would be plenty fast enough for me. My gf has a GS2 on AT&T and when I grab her phone for something, I can't see any appreciable difference. Most smartphone use is essentially browsing or equivalent (non) taxing stuff. The only time I'd ever see the difference is when downloading, which would still have to be files large then a couple MBs and at that point I would be using WiFi rather than wasting my data plan.

    Just for giggles I did a speed test with both devices right next to one another in Baton Rouge, LA

    AT&T HSPA+: 80ms ping 6275 mbps down 1117 mbps up
    VZW LTE: 144ms ping 12875 mbps down 2192 mbps up

  • Palmer Nyako

    sooo no articles about the people on cdma carriers?
    verizon and sprint?
    also, with google's latest attempt at getting a main stream consumer, you would think this would be more important.

    • Justin Swanson

      Also, most of the other countries use GSM instead of CDMA. However I don't know why LTE uses different bands across the globe (see why Apple released 3 different iPhone 5s). If the same bands were used internationally you might be able to get reduce production costs.

  • Usama Ahmad

    I love that they did this. I just wish the Galaxy Nexus was on the Play Store sooner, because I paid closer to $550 for it, and then I was an early adopter of the Nexus 7, so I don't have the funds to get the Nexus 4. But it's a great deal, unexpected, but very happy for it.

    Edit: And yes I don't need LTE.

  • Arcest

    LTE is so fast that you can spend all your MB limit in a split second, so what is the reason for having LTE? Anyone having a flat rate of 10 GB? Why LTE then?

  • firethorn

    For me, HSPA+ is generally fast enough as far as bandwidth is concerned. The reason I would have welcomed LTE anyway is because whenever I ride the train between towns my reception basically drops down to one bar of EDGE (i.e. useless) and long-wave LTE would actually be awesome to cover those remaining white spots of the mobile data map,

  • GazaIan

    Honestly I' happy there isn't LTE. No LTE means no Verizon, and no Verizon means no bullshit.

    • selonmoi

      This.

  • Faust

    LTE is not built up to its fullest potential to be considered a "need" right now. Most LTE towers are spread in small areas in only a handful of states. While over time it can be considered a use in the near future where it can be accessible as easily as any 3G Signal is, right now its still too new of a technology that is being pushed out by (mainly Verizon) carriers promising better speeds but absolutely no guarantee that you will get it in your area. That is the horrible truth behind the magic of LTE as of right now.

    Hell T-Mobile does not even have LTE yet and that is where this phone is being offered on. I neer had a problem with HSPA+ before with my G2 and I will not now with the NX4. Maybe after a year or two it will become useful enough to have LTE, but right now its almost a useless feature that does more harm than good.

  • JG

    I suppose the same logic would be applied to the question of "Why did the Nexus 7 only get 3G & not LTE" as well...

    Any rational as to why there is no 3G enabled Nexus 10? Or like the N7 will we be seeing one in a few months?

  • Matt

    Im not a huge lte vguy, tmobiles hspa+ network is already very fast and gives verizons lte a run or its money without the insane battery loss. The problem with the iphone not having lte until now is the two carriers that sold it (verizon and att)had nowhere as good 3G coverage as tmobile does

  • rony

    no lte- no for me. i use s3 now and i have real speed around 40-50 mbps down. no h+ can be as fast. maybe on paper but no in real life. so i'm sorry but after every nexus i've had there is no new nexus for me. i think data future is lte and this nexus is step back for me.

  • dsass600

    Guys help me out.

    1: Cancel Macbook Pro for $1856, buy cheaper and worse PC/Mac, get out of Verizon contract, go to AT&T, lose 4GLTE but still have HSPA+, buy new Nexus.

    2. Keep Macbook Pro for $1856

    Notes: Keep in mind that a Mac already does everything I need it to do, and Android is much easier to operate from a Mac. Plus Windows 8 is very different.

    • TBolt

      No one knows why you need that computer - if it is critical for work, that changes your choices. However, I bought a very strong Toshiba Qosmio laptop over 1 year ago, added 8gb of RAM, and it still handles Adobe CS6 beautifully for less than that Mac. Save some $ on the computer brand name; then, see what you need in mobile. My 2 cents.

  • Luke

    As much as I'd like to see an LTE radio, I don't personally have a need for it. I've recently switched to Straight Talk and at 2 months in I'm loving the decision. On topic, LTE is unavailable on Straight Talk. It's nice to be on the winning side of this combo.

  • AJ

    I'm from India and I'm going to get two of these!

  • BrainOfSweden

    Personally, 300$ is a better selling point for me than LTE. Especially when I have 100mb/s fiber at home, and I'm not in the need of streaming instant HD video whenever I leave the house. I think 3G is fine for mobile devices, especially nowadays when we have free Wi-Fi pretty much anywhere we go. That's the same reason I don't really care for mobile internet in a tablet.

  • iKRAM Abid

    Go nexus go, become the world's best super phone.

  • TBolt

    What about the Nexus 7? Same reasoning behind it being only HSPA+?

    I am still disappointed.

  • http://twitter.com/afallucco Grand Prix

    HSPA+ has had faster speeds consistently in my area than verizon lte. LTE is a gimmick I'm slowly not falling for anymore.

  • John Mayson

    I'm with Clint on this one. I don't care about LTE at all. I have the Google Galaxy Nexus and a Simple Mobile SIM. I get download speeds in the 7 to 8 Mbps range which is good enough for me. Depending on time of day this is better that my home WiFi (although admittedly I usually clock north of 10, even as high as 16 Mbps on WiFi).

    If this means a $300 versus $600 phone and $50/month service, I can live without LTE.

  • Matthew

    I am just happy that this phone is $350 not $600 and i can buy it and be contract free. Also the Carriers can't screw up the future updates on this phone either.

  • Valentin Paliyski

    I believe that is the way as well, under $300 no contract that is my kind of a deal and for quite a premium device, you do the math. compared to iphone 5 - 2x performance , twice cheaper and it is only missing LTE which has only 5% of the earth coverage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harrison.king.566790 Harrison King

    I have to come back and read this for therapy, because EVERY SINGLE REVIEW dismisses the entire effort of Google and LG because of the lack of LTE.

  • KSubedi

    I dont even think LTE is a big deal because when i did speed test, in lte att i got 12 mbps where i live and on tmobile's 42mbps hspa+ (4g), i got 36mbps down. I know that not all areas have the fast hspa connection but same goes with lte. So for me, if the nexus had lte i would probably not even use it.

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    Google's Nexus (ten points to anyone who can tell us if Nexus smartphones have always set the standard when it comes to a pure Google experience. A great handset for those who want Android in its purest form, but the hardware can't quite best the Samsung Galaxy S3

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