07
Nov
truelyoutrageous
Last Updated: November 16th, 2012

The most important phone of the year has arrived. We not only get a new version of Android, but a new approach to hardware design, too. This isn't just any new piece of hardware; this is (hopefully) the start of a revolution in design and materials for Android phones. This Nexus 4 hardware is so good, so well-built, and made with such attention to detail, that it is the new high bar for any hardware - not just Android hardware. The standard cheap plastic slabs aren't going to cut it anymore after this.

Besides the killer hardware, it's also the first phone with Android 4.2, which isn't hugely different from 4.1; in fact, it's still known as "Jelly Bean." There are a few new goodies, most notably lock screen widgets, an overhauled camera app, and a beautifully designed clock app that no doubt indicates the future design direction of Android.

The other interesting thing about this phone is that Google is bringing back the Nexus One sales model. This phone will primarily be sold unlocked on the Play Store. For the staggeringly low price of $350 ($300 for the 8GB version), you get a phone that is yours. No contracts, no ETFs, no carriers getting in the way of your apps or your updates. (Masochists will be glad to know that T-Mobile will be offering it for $200 on a 2 year contract with no Wi-Fi Calling.)

Now, on to the specs!

Update: This review has been updated to reflect the changes made in the final version of the software. If you've previously read this article, check out the Nexus 4 Review Addendum, which covers everything that has been changed.

Specifications

  • 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8GB or 16GB (13GB free) Storage (no SD slot)
  • 4.7 inch, 1280x768 full-matrix IPS Plus display
  • 2100 mAh Battery (non-removable)
  • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
  • WiFi B/G/N (dual band) with Miracast
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC, Slimport
  • Wireless charging
  • Dimensions: 133.9 mm x 68.7 mm x 9.1 mm
  • Weight: 139g
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


The Good

  • The most premium-feeling Android phone in existence. It's so rigid that it feels like one solid block of glass. It's not slippery, either; the rubbery sides give a great grip. Other phones feel like Happy Meal toys in comparison.
  • The design is stunning. The front keeps the Galaxy Nexus' pure-black good looks, without a single logo to screw up the minimal design. The back occasionally flashes an attractive, subtle hologram design when the light hits it just right, and everything has been rounded to nicely fit into your hand. Again, it completely outclasses other Android phones.
  • It's really fast. Everything from complicated website scrolling to Google Earth runs effortlessly. Some software hasn't quite caught up to it, but this is the fastest phone you can buy. With its super-fast internals and 2 gigs of RAM, plus direct updates from Google, it should age very well.
  • Stock Android. Not only is it clean and functional, it's quickly becoming one of the most beautiful computing platforms anywhere.
  • It's an unlocked Nexus device. You don't have to deal with a half-baked skin, you'll be the first with updates, you can get a cheap prepaid plan, you're allowed to root it, and you won't have to deal with monopolistic carriers blocking certain apps because they plan on competing with those apps in the future.


The Bad

  • Limited storage options. 16GB and with no SD card means you'll be keeping a lean supply of offline media.
  • No LTE.
  • The camera is serviceable, but can't compete with the sensor in other high-end phones, like the GSIII.
  • They could have done a better job with the buttons and the chrome rim, both feel pretty cheap and plasticy.
  • The battery life is decent, but the non-removable battery is a bummer.

Hardware

Design & Materials

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Real thought, care, and love was put into the exterior of this phone. From the design to the materials chosen, it's obvious LG and Google wanted to shake the "cheap-feeling Android phone" stigma, and they've knocked it out of the park. This phone is beautiful. The design, construction, and attention to detail are just stunning.

The front and back are Gorilla Glass 2. The two glass slabs give the phone supremely rigid and "hard" feel, if that makes any sense. Plastic phones have a bit of a give to them, but this feels like a solid glass block. It's wonderful.

The sides are a rubbery plastic, and everything has been lovingly rounded to fit into your hand. As a result, the grip is great. Fingers stick to the back surprising well, and the rubbery sides ensure the phone won't go anywhere while you're holding it.

This is, without a doubt, the most premium-feeling Android phone ever made. I always rail against the cheap-feeling, glossy plastic manufacturers insist on wrapping around their phones, and this is just such a breath of fresh air.

front

Pictured above: A Verizon executive's worst nightmare.

The front is a dead ringer for the Galaxy Nexus, which is a good thing. I loved the Galaxy Nexus' minimal, pure-black face. The Nexus 4 takes the minimalism a step further and moves the only blemish, the earpiece, all the way to the top of the glass. It's just so beautiful. Hopefully next time they upgrade to speakerless bone-induction.

And yes, even with an LCD, it keeps the pure-black look of the Galaxy Nexus. When the LCD is off, it is just as black as an AMOLED screen ("on" is a different story). You still get the beautiful "hidden screen" effect of the Galaxy Nexus in most lighting conditions.

They managed to shrink the bezel down slightly from the Galaxy Nexus, but I would have liked to see them push the envelope more in regards to the top and bottom bezel size.

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The back is a single sheet of glass that is only interrupted by a speaker cutout and a plastic ring around the camera flash (to prevent light bleed). The glass sits on top of everything else on the back - the camera, logos, legal info, and reflective pattern are all under the glass. You never feel anything other than a smooth, hard surface.

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The standout design feature of the Nexus 4 is a very attractive reflective pattern etched under the back glass. The pattern is not a glittery, light-up disco ball, like you've seen in some pictures. It's just a subtle, tasteful light reflection. The little silver circles reflect when the light hits them just right. The whole effect has a bit of a digital "Matrix" vibe to it. It's very appealing.

I took great care to make the images in this review accurately represent what it looks like in person. The above picture on the left is as bright as it gets - cameras really like to blow the effect out of proportion.

90% of the time, the reflection effect isn't visible and the back appears to be a plain, glossy black slab. The silver dots are only visible when light hits them at a 90 degree angle.

If you're wondering how all this works, check out the circle on the right. The dots have a few ridges carved into them that reflect light, and each dot is in a different orientation, which is what creates the staggered pattern. It also means the pattern constantly changes depending on the direction of the light.

The amount of work that went into this is really refreshing. I wish more OEMs would put as much thought into their phone's outward appearance. This kind of beautiful, classy design is something all manufacturers should strive for.

flush

The glass back is completely flush with the outside rim of the phone. So when you put it down, the whole glass sheet is in full contact with the table. I moved it around on a glass table top, and you could hear little bits of dust grind in-between the table and the phone. Scratches will probably happen, but luckily, the back pattern should do a good job of hiding any imperfections. The full glass contact also means the camera lens, which is just the part of the back glass that covers the camera, is not protected in any way, so, uh, don't scratch that part.

bottomtop

The bottom of the phone features a unique design decision - exposed screw heads. It's kind weird that these are on the bottom and nowhere else, but hopefully this leads to easy reparability. The bottom also features a microphone hole and a legacy charging port, which you will hopefully never have to use, thanks to the inductive charging coil embedded in the back.

The headset jack has moved to the top of the phone, across from the secondary microphone for noise canceling.

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Anyone who's held a Galaxy Nexus will be familiar with the button layout on the Nexus 4. The left side houses the volume rocker and SIM tray, and the right side has the power button.

The only part of the design I'd prefer to do without is the chrome ring around the edge - it's your standard glossy plastic faux-chrome surround. Something a little more minimal, like a continuation of the rubbery sides, would have been nicer. The plastic buttons also feel a little cheap. These are all minor complaints though.

earpiece

Here's a clear shot of the earpiece. Rather than embed the grill in the glass, like the Galaxy Nexus, LG and Google moved the earpiece all the way to the top, and left a notch at the top of the glass for it. Also at the top of the phone are the usual sensor cluster and a 1.3MP camera.

speaker

The back speaker cutout is another beautiful, minimalist touch. The speaker is nice and clear, but loudness is going to depend on how the phone is oriented. In a pocket or face down, it's much louder than a Galaxy Nexus, but due to the perfectly flush, flat nature of the back, on a flat surface the speaker will be muffled down to Galaxy Nexus levels. It's never inaudible, but a less obstructed sound path would have been nice.

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LG and Google saw fit to give the Nexus 4 a full color notification LED, so with a copy of LightFlow, you can unlock the whole rainbow of colors. The LED appears to be slightly smaller than the one on the Galaxy Nexus, but still larger than the traditional microscopic LED on most phones. light-texture

A close up of the LED reveals even more attention to detail. Painted over top of the light is a diffusion pattern. This gives the LED a soft, fuzzy appearance around the edges. Giving it a long pulse rate in LightFlow looks particularly good.

And you will definitely want to change the pulse rate, because the default is way too slow. That, coupled with the glossy rim on the front, leads to a lot of "phantom blinks" which is when you don't actually have a notification, but light glinting off the phone and the way-too-subtle blink-rate makes you think you do. Notification lights should be primarily ON when you have a notification, shouldn't they? The default pulse speed is about every 2 seconds, which seems inadequate.

Screen

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The screen is nothing special - it's a pretty standard 1280x768 IPS LCD. It might be a tad washed out, but I think I partially feel that way because of the blazing AMOLED colors my eyes are used to. The screen is definitely an upgrade over the Galaxy Nexus, because that is Pentile, and this isn't!

macroscreen

The Nexus 4 returns to a normal, full-matrix LCD. This has 50% more sub-pixels than a Pentile screen, and you can definitely see the difference with the naked eye.

Blacks are not as black as an AMOLED, however, which means you can tell where the black status and system bars end and the bezel begins. I would have preferred a full-matrix AMOLED just for the nice blacks. That doesn't mean the screen is brighter than an AMOLED, either. Just like every other screen, it doesn't work in the sun.

Performance

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The 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro, Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GBs of RAM make this one of the most powerful phones available, but that isn't always reflected in the benchmarks. But who cares? Benchmarks are dumb. The reality is that this phone flies. It powers through the most complicated parts of Google Earth with a smooth frame rate, and it can scroll through a heavy web page (like this one) with ease. During the initial sync, when it downloads and installs about 15 applications simultaneously in the background, I didn't even notice. This is the fastest available phone and you have nothing to worry about in the performance department.

I suspect the lackluster benchmark scores are because nothing is capable of tapping into all the power the quad core processor is putting out. It sometimes scores evenly with dual core Snapdragons, which suggests the benchmarks aren't using cores 3 and 4. I've heard theories that the poor benchmark scores are due to overheating/thermal throttling, so I threw the phone in the freezer for a half hour, and ran the benchmarks again (while still in the freezer), and the scores still weren't any different.

GPS performance is snappy, too. Outside, with Wi-Fi off, I'll get a lock in about 4 seconds.

Camera Sensor

This isn't the absolute greatest camera sensor in the world, but it's more than capable.

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The camera starts up in about 1.5 seconds, and, while there isn't a burst mode, you can take about 2 snaps a second after the initial focus. Low light is grainy, but nowhere near as bad as the Galaxy Nexus.

The camera app got a complete overhaul in Android 4.2. For a look at that, check out the "Camera App" section further down.

Vs. The Galaxy Nexus

Do you have a Galaxy Nexus? Wondering if you should upgrade? Then this is the section for you.

You should upgrade.

vsback

No really, everything is better. For starters, the all-glass phone completely outclasses the plasticy finish on the Gnex. The old Nexus looks and feels like complete garbage next to the Nexus 4 - most phones do. That is probably the biggest, most important jump from a Galaxy Nexus to a Nexus 4 - your phone doesn't feel like a plastic happy meal toy anymore.

vs-bottom

Everyone hates the Galaxy Nexus' battery. It lasts about 6-8 hours on a charge - usually 6. While writing this, I asked my friend, another Galaxy Nexus owner, for an estimate of his battery life. His response: "Hard to tell, it's always plugged in." That has been the life of the Galaxy Nexus user. The Nexus 4 has been lasting me much longer. About twice as long, actually: 12-14 hours.

The Galaxy Nexus has not aged well in the speed department. Jelly Bean helped a great deal, but it still seems to struggle with multitasking and other day to day activities - it's just slow. The Nexus 4 will breeze through anything you throw at it. It should hold up much better than the Galaxy Nexus has, too. The Gnex was released with a dual-core A9 processor shortly before the Tegra 3 ushered in the era of quad-core A9 processors; it was obsolete in a month. The Nexus 4 is one of the first phones with a quad core 28nm processor that is far closer to the new A15 spec. That, along with its new GPU and 2GB of RAM means it should age a lot better than the Galaxy Nexus has.

vs-screen

The screen is a lot better. The quoted resolutions are similar, but the Galaxy Nexus has two sub-pixels per "pixel" and the Nexus 4 has three. 50% more sub-pixels makes a big difference. You will lose (and miss) the super-black blacks of the GN's AMOLED screen, however.

You're also getting a much louder speaker, a better camera (see above), and a more stable modem.

A Word About LTE And Glass Backs

I want to address a few of the common complaints out there that, really, don't make much sense to me at all. The first is the lack of LTE. What exactly are people saying when they complain about this? Are they asking for a Verizon version?

Keep in mind this is an AT&T/T-Mobile phone. T-Mobile doesn't do LTE at all, and AT&T has just started their build out. On their website, they still measure it in cities; that should tell you how limited the coverage is. If the build out is anything like Verizon's, which I have been witness to for the past year, trust me, you aren't missing anything. It will take a lot longer than a year or two for AT&T's LTE coverage to get to most people, skipping it for this generation isn't the end of the world. Not to mention an under-construction LTE network is a mess. The constant brokenness I've experienced while Verizon messes with a nearby tower is really annoying. LTE will be great when it is finished, but right now I feel like I have the least reliable cell carrier in existence.

And as for an actual Verizon version: It's not going to happen because Verizon won't allow it. And honestly, if you aren't going to allow me to purchase an unlocked phone to use how I want, while delaying software updates and blocking apps that you don't like, I don't want to do business with you anyway. As we've seen with the Galaxy Nexus, there is no such thing as an "open" phone on Verizon.

The other complaint I've heard is that this phone has a glass back, and it will break if you drop it. This is true, but guess what? Every phone will break if you drop it. Electronics aren't made to be dropped. Since this whole smartphone thing started, every phone has had a glass front - a glass front that is easily breakable. So unless you are clamoring for a plastic touchscreen, I don't see how you can say it's ok for the front to be glass, but not the back. If you drop phones a lot, maybe something like the Casio G'zOne is more your style.

Android 4.2

The Nexus 4 is the first phone with the next version of Android: 4.2, Jelly Bean. Yes, Google pulled an Éclair on us and decided to still call this one "Jelly Bean." That should tell you how much has changed over 4.1: Not much. The majority of the work for this release probably went into making multiple users work, but that isn't available on phones.

That said, stock Android is easily the best version of Android out there. It's well thought out, intuitive, beautiful, and fast.

Quick Settings

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The notification panel has seen a few changes, the most notable of which is the addition of a Quick Settings panel. You can open this by either tapping the new icon in the top right of the notification panel, or by swiping down with two fingers. The double swipe down that was demoed in our leaked Android 4.2 build was cut from the final version. It's a shame, because the two finger gesture isn't possible with 1 hand, and a double swipe down would have been easier than swiping down and hitting the button. It also would have made sense to make this interface tabbed, so that a horizontal swipe could switch panels, but nothing works.

These are not toggles like you see on TouchWiz and custom roms, they are just settings shortcuts. So tapping on the WiFi icon doesn't turn off WiFi, it just takes you to the WiFi settings. This is much less useful than the way most custom ROMs work. Most implementations use a tap toggle between on and off, and long press takes you to the settings - that would have been much better. It's also important to note that these aren't customizable, so if you prefer having quick access to something like auto-rotate, this interface won't help. On the plus side, if you compare the right and center pictures, you'll see the buttons are also status indicators! That's handy.

Actually, calling everything a settings shortcut isn't quite true. This panel is really inconsistent. Each icon has it's own rules: Settings, WiFi, Cell Connection, Battery, Bluetooth, and Wireless Display are settings shortcuts. Airplane Mode is a straight-up power toggle. It works exactly how you would want a power toggle to work - tapping it will instantly enable airplan

Lock Screen Widgets

Lock Screen widgets are... weird, and pretty lame.

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Here's a good example of what you can do with the lock screen. The calendar is a widget. The lock screen has multiple pages, just like a home screen. The main screen opens with what you see in the first picture. The unlock method is exposed, and the widget is shrunk down to the top quarter of the screen. If you pull the widget area down (like the notification panel), the unlock area will shrink down to a button, and the widget will expand.

This brings me to the two big problems I have with this lock screen widget method: 1) You get 1 widget per screen. In the picture on the right, you can't resize that calendar widget; it will always be that big. 2) Every unlock method takes up 3/4 of the screen. All the available unlock methods were designed in a pre-lock screen widget era, so none of them ever bothered being compact. As a result, if you have the lock method up, you can only see a tiny sliver of widget. Most of the stock Android widgets were designed for 10-inch tablets, so this isn't a useful amount of space.

The primary lock screen always opens with the unlock method open and a small widget, like you see in the first picture. Every other screen opens with the unlock method minimized and a full screen widget, like the third pic.

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Sliding to the right screen will always bring up the camera. You can't change this. The really annoying thing is that, once you're in the camera, you cannot slide to the left to go back to your home screens. You're stuck there unless you hit the back button.

All additional lock screens go to the left. When you hit a blank page, you'll see a plus symbol, and hitting it will take you to the list of available widgets. Lock screen widgets are different than home screen widgets, so right now there are only 5. Calendar, Clock, Gmail, Messaging, and Sound Search. For the record, my home screen has access to about 80 widgets. Developers have some updating to do. Lock screen widgets have to deal with more security issues than home screen widgets (more on that later), which is probably why developers have to tweak some things in order for them to work.

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Here's the full lineup of full expanded widgets. Even though some widgets like Clock and Sound Search are clearly small enough to both fit on a screen, you are only allowed 1 per screen.

Widgets work just like they do on the home screen. Calendar, Messaging, and Gmail are all scrollable, and other than that, just about any button will launch the full application.

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If you've been wondering what the little dotted circle is in the system bar, that's inviting you to launch Google Now, which is accessible from any screen.

Security

The more security-conscious among you may be saying "What's the point of a lock screen when lots of personal info can now be accessed from the lock screen?" but Google actually did a good job with locking everything down.

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If you use a secure unlock method (Pattern, PIN, or Face) and someone steals your phone, they'll see any information available in the widgets you've already set up. That means, potentially, the first 2 lines of your Gmail, your texts, and your entire calendar. Any time they tap on anything, though, they'll have the lock screen pop up in their face and demand authentication. The Notification panel can't be opened from a secure lock screen, and widgets can't be added without authenticating. Swiping over to the camera will allow them to take pictures, but they can't look at old photos.

If you're hardcore about security, you probably don't want any lock screen widgets, because of what they give others access to. Thankfully, you can't add widgets without authenticating, so, as long as you don't add any, you're just as secure as you've always been.

Clock

One of the biggest changes in Android 4.2 is the new Clock app. I can sense your eyes glaze over now. "Who cares about a clock app?" you say, but what if I told you it was a really beautiful, stunningly-designed clock app?

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The main interface is a 3 tabbed affair: the left one is a timer, the center is the clock/alarm, and the right is a stopwatch! Finally, Android has a native stopwatch and timer.

Timer

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We'll start with the timer. The initial time-input screen is the most shocking. In past Android versions, this would have been a kinetic wheel, and you would have to spin your way to the number you want. Here, it's just a giant dial pad. This is so much faster than the spinning wheels that were introduced in ICS. Want a 3 minute 30 second timer? Just type "330" and hit start. You're done.

The old spinning wheels had all sorts of problems. If your minute wheel went past 0, it would change the hour wheel up or down one. If you entered the hour first, this was infuriating. Not to mention the simple things, like setting the minutes to 30, meant scrolling past 29 other numbers. This is always 3 or 4 button presses. It's a million times faster. They should change over every wheel input to just use a flat dial pad. This is one of those great design ideas that is only blindingly obvious after you see it.

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Once you hit the "start" button, your timer pops up. The time starts ticking down in the center of a giant circle. The circle represents completion percentage. A red diamond works its way around the circumference as the countdown ticks away, replacing the white line with a red one.

To the left of the circle is a +1 minute button, and to the right is a delete button. In the right picture, the timer is paused, which turns the +1 minute button into a reset button.

You've also probably noticed you aren't limited to one timer, just tap the plus button at the bottom to add another one. You can scroll up and down to view all your timers. I don't know if there's a limit; I stopped at 21.

If keeping track of 21 simultaneous countdowns sounds daunting, you'll be glad to know there is also a label button above the countdown. In the second picture, I have creatively named it "A Label."

The best part of this app is that, in motion, it is stunningly beautiful.

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If, for some reason, you decide to leave this interface, a notification spawns. It sucks.

It doesn't count down seconds. It only says "x minutes remaining" or "Less than a minute remaining." If you have more than one timer, it only lists the next timer. There also isn't an expanded version of the notification that could do things like list all your timers, or give you buttons for dealing with them. You only get this 2 line notification.

When the timer goes off, you get this full screen popup. The phone starts beeping, the circle flashes, and it starts counting "up" into negative numbers, which is really handy.

If you accidentally skip this screen without dismissing the alarm, there's no notification that says "your timer has expired, tap here to stop the beeping," and there really needs to be. If you switch apps without dismissing the timer, your phone is beeping and you have no idea why. I had headphones in, couldn't hear the alarm, and left this screen. A few minutes later when I did notice the beeping, it took me way too long to figure out what was causing it.

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This isn't the timer's fault, but Voice Actions really needs to get with the program. There's a timer app now, but "Set timer for x minutes" still sets an alarm. It's not only the wrong function; Alarms are only accurate to the minute. My two minute "timer" here could be 1 minute, 59 seconds or 1 minute, one second.

Clock/Alarm

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Here's the Clock/Alarm portion of the app. It comes in digital and analog flavors. While not particularly useful, the analog version is just jaw droppingly gorgeous. I wish there was a widget version (the clock widget lacks a second hand).

The buttons at the bottom are Alarms, World Clocks, and Settings/Help. First up, Alarms:

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How amazing is that alarm entry keypad? Just like the timer entry, it's dead simple and much faster than those flingable time wheels. The really neat touch is that buttons on the keypad auto-disable, so you can only enter a valid time. In the second picture, we're choosing the minutes. Minutes can never start with 6-9, so those buttons are disabled.

Once you've typed in your time, the AM and PM buttons light up, and the "Cancel" and "OK" buttons won't light up until you pick one. You will never accidentally set PM instead of AM again - you have to pick one. It's brilliant. All things that require a time input need to use this interface. Google should kill the kinetic wheels and make this the default time picker.

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Once you stop ogling the time picker, you'll find an alarm layout that is equally well thought out. There's an ON/OFF slider to the right, a label, ringtone selection, and vibrate and repeat checkboxes. Hitting repeat will bring up a nice day of the week picker. When you're done with all the settings, hit the up caret to shrink everything down into a read-only format that still displays all the information.

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In a surprising bit of consistency, they've rubbed some Gmail 4.2 magic into the clock app. Just like emails, you can swipe away alarms to delete them, and, when you delete something, you get a handy Gmail-style popup that allows you to undo.

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When your alarm does go off, you get this full screen popup that works just like the unlock screen. I love that the options are designed in the simplest possible fashion, in the hopes that your sleep-addled brain will be able to comprehend them.

If you somehow happen to screw this up and hit the home button, this screen will spawn a notification to let you know where the beeping is coming from.

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Back to the main screen of the clock app: The map marker button in the center will bring up the option to add world clocks. You are shown a list of all the major cities in the world, sorted alphabetically, without a search button. It's really painful to scroll though. If you're lucky, you'll figure out that the scroll bar is grabbable, which brings up the current letter. That's better than nothing, but really, I just want a search button.

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The world clocks are plopped right under your local time at about half the size. If you want to be really stupid about things, you can add a million time zones, and then things start to look messy.

Hitting the ellipsis will bring up an option for the settings, which will now let you set the snooze length down to the minute (4.1 would only do 5 minute increments). The sudden injection of ICS blue into this grey, red and white app is jarring, isn't it? You can also set the volume buttons to dismiss or snooze the alarm, and have the alarm stop beeping after a set period.

So, uh, Google, what's the deal with the new Up buttons? The Android design guidelines say they should be the app icon, but these are red capital letters. Is this a new design direction?

Stopwatch

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The stopwatch is pretty straight-forward. Tap the center circle to start. To the left of the circle is a "lap" button. Tapping it will save the first lap time below the circle, and start the red diamond progress marker. The first lap determines the speed of the red diamond, and on when starting the 3rd lap or higher, a white marker indicates the previous lap time. The laps list is scrollable and you're capped at 99 laps. I checked.

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When you hit stop, two new buttons pop up. The left one will clear the stopwatch, and the right one will share your lap times to any app that can handle text - very handy.

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In stark contrast to the timer app, the stopwatch has awesome notifications. While the stopwatch is running, you get a notification that counts up with a small lap counter underneath it. There's also a lap and stop button. When stopped, they switch to reset and start. Something like this for the timer would be nice.

Camera App

wm_2012-11-04 00.33.28wm_2012-11-04 00.35.20wm_2012-11-04 00.35.31

The Camera app got an overhaul in Android 4.2. Most of the UI has been swept under the rug so that you can see as much image as possible. Holding your finger down anywhere on the screen will reveal the new settings interface, which you should be familiar with if you've ever used the "quick controls" in the old Android browser.hand

The settings always appear centered under your thumb. To select something, just slide your finger over to an option, and release over what you want.

This new method of accessing the camera controls is kind-of... bad. The inspiration for it is obviously quick controls from the old stock browser, but those were a half-circle, and that's an important distinction that the people designing this UI didn't consider.

Pop Quiz: In the picture to the right, there are 6 options in this circle, which 2 are my thumb obscuring? The browser's half-circle layout gave your finger a place to be - the other, empty half of the circle. The camera controls are a full circle though, which means your finger is always obscuring 1 or more options. I guess once you memorize every option, you'll be able to fly though the camera settings, but every time I try to use it I find myself tilting the phone so I can look around my finger.

Thankfully, Google has provided a way to skip the quick control scheme. Just tap the circle in the lower right corner and the circle UI will open in "tap" mode - you can use it like any other piece of UI. Problem solved.

wm_2012-11-04 15.32.33wm_2012-11-04 00.47.01Screenshot_2012-11-04-01-09-11

If you noticed digital zoom isn't included in the circle menu, good for you! Use pinch zoom.

The button in the lower left switches camera modes. There's the usual camera, camcorder, and panorama, and a new entry, "Photo Sphere." I'll talk about that later.

The lower right circle, besides bringing up the UI in "tap mode," is also a settings status indicator. In the second picture, you can see I've got flash enabled and +2 exposure (not recommended settings). The circle is where the thumbnail used to be in older versions of the camera app, so now that it's gone, how do you get into the Gallery? Easy! Just swipe to the left and you're there. The camera viewfinder is just another picture in your filmstrip. This was introduced in 4.1, but in 4.2, the thumbnail is gone, so now it's mandatory.

I'm disappointed that the decided to change the camera UI without fixing the biggest problem I have with all camera UIs: It is often really hard to hit the camera button. Try taking a self-shot with the rear sensor, or take a one-handed horizontal picture. It's really awkward. I wish they would let me double tap, or long press anywhere on the screen to take a picture. Having the camera settings always be under your thumb is a nice idea, but I don't need to change the camera settings that often, what I need to do is hit the shutter button. Make that easier.

The crazy new party piece in Android 4.2 is "Photo Sphere." Google has managed to condense a Street View Car down to the size of your phone! Just imagine taking a panorama with several pictures, but in a giant circle. It's not a fast process; taking a full 360 shot will require about 10 pictures, and if you want to add some vertical height, expect to take about 20.

wm_2012-11-04 00.54.41wm_2012-11-04 00.54.56wm_2012-11-04 00.55.08

The interface for this is fantastic. The phone shows you a 3D "room" that is responsive to the accelerometers in your phone. Take a picture and move the camera in any direction you want to extend the picture in. A blue dot will appear to tell you how much overlap is needed. Center on it and the phone will automatically take another picture. Just repeat this process until you're satisfied with the scope of your photo, hit stop, and pray Google's magic algorithm doesn't mangle your picture.

How well does it work? Well... it's new. I've yet to get an indoor shot that didn't have a flaw in it somewhere. Lamps get cut in half, door frames don't line up, and if there is something moving in your picture, forget about it. Even though the pictures to have a few flaws in them, they're still seriously impressive.

Google says the spheres are just plain JPGs with some 'wrapping' metadata. You can even pull the JPGs off your phone and view a crazy, flat version of your sphere. It's really trippy looking. They did a fantastic job with portability. All the data is contained in the JPG, so you can download the file or email it to someone and it will still be a sphere. Google+ supports them, too. The only problem is that there's no way to stick them in a web page. Your best bet is to check out #photosphere on G+.

Photoshop is currently out of the question. Trying to edit your flat photo will break the metadata and it will be flat forever. It's a shame too; Photoshop would be nice for cleaning up the bad merges.

Keyboard

wm_2012-11-04 12.03.24

Remember Swype - that crazy, perpetually-in-beta keyboard that let you slide your fingers across it to spell things? Google's got their own version now, and I like it better for one big reason: The autocorrect is a lot better. I've always felt like you needed to be a perfect speller to use Swype, which is understandable - your swoopy finger trail is already ambiguous enough, add in an incorrect swoopy finger trail and everything gets a lot muddier. Somehow, though, this keyboard just manages to deal with it. I can skip letters, or accidentally add letters and try to "correct" it with my finger trail, and it all just kind-of works. It's great.

This keyboard is great at everything, so feel free to mix it up. Swipe one word, tap out another, add another with your voice, it's good at whatever you feel like doing.

wm_2012-11-04 12.17.02

Here's a scary concept: the swiping part of the keyboard is multi-touch aware, which means, if you are some kind of typing phenom, you could potentially swipe with 2 fingers at once. Good luck with that.

Battery Life

wm_2012-11-16 00.56.34_thumbwm_2012-11-16 00.56.39_thumbwm_2012-11-15 23.51.51_thumb

The old Nexus had an absolutely atrocious battery life. Upgraders will be glad to know the Nexus 4 lasts a lot longer. I usually get about 16-18 hours out of the battery with medium use. The battery charges from dead to full in about 2-3 hours. forgot to take a screenshot of the full graph at the end of the day, so the picture on the right is from earlier the same day, about 1 and a half hours before it died.

For this run, I had auto brightness on all day, streamed Pandora over bluetooth for about an hour while driving to and from work, took a phone call and some texts, and had about a 50/50 split between Wi-Fi and cell data time. GPS, Sync, and Bluetooth were on the whole time, as were all my normal apps like Facebook and Lightflow. I just used my phone like normal.

The other important power consideration for this phone is that, with an accessory (Price TBD, although it is compatible with the Qi charging standard), it is capable of wireless charging. The phone has an induction coil embedded in the back of it, so all you have to so it place it on its little charging orb and you're done. When charging is this easy, you'll probably charge it a lot more often.

Conclusion

There are so many important things going on here. This phone will be sold primarily online and unlocked, out of reach of the monopolistic, innovation-stifling carriers. You're free to switch providers as you please, get your updates as soon as they're out, and you can install any apps you want. It's a Nexus, so root will be easily attained, too.

This is also the first phone to combine a real passion for design and materials with high-end components. This is a premium, high quality device in every category. In my opinion, Android's biggest weakness right now is that all the phones just feel so cheap. I really hope other manufacturers take note of the premium feel of the Nexus 4 and step up.

The real mind-blower is that this is unlocked for $350. It feels more expensive than every other high-end phone at half the price. That is completely insane. I think I should just give up reviewing phones now, because I don't see how I will ever be able to hold anything up to this and say "yes, this other phone is competitive." The bar has been raised, everyone. Please don't send me anymore $600 plastic bricks. Compete with this or go home.

Normally a Nexus device is worthy of your consideration just for the software, but this is the first Nexus where the hardware is also a huge selling point. It so thoroughly, completely outclasses every other phone design, it's kind of embarrassing.

The best-looking, best-feeling, most powerful Android phone is a Nexus. How can anyone say no to that? I'm not giving this review unit back until my personal one arrives.

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexander-Drizzy-Rojas/100000186636833 Alexander Drizzy Rojas

    Awesome reviews so far (with the exception of apple biased cites), getting it day one.

    • http://project3825.blogspot.com/ 3825

      Did you mean apple biased sites?

      • Robert Ferrier

        Ohh here we go.

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

        Any site that disagrees with his opinion.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    Ok, so, here's the deal: Everything in this review (lock screen widgets, battery life, benchmarks, complaints, etc) is subject to change pending the OTA that's due out on the 11th. I'll update the whole thing then, and copy everything new into a separate "Review addendum" article for people that have already read this version of the review. So look for that.

    Also, feel free to ask questions.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micah-Madru/100001151887665 Micah Madru

      I really hope they change the quick settings or what ever it's called. I want toggles and customization!

      • shaurz

        I would really like to see a quick toggle for mobile wifi AP.

      • Faust

        Agreed, however with that said I would not at all be surprised if someone on XDA makes a mod allowing such to happen (toggles and customization). It does not look like it needs much work since its already half way there. Then again time will tell!

        • fellabusta

          the whole point of this nexus is to avoid mods and have all the awesome tricks without having to hunt down mods constantly

          • Josh Nichols

            No it isn't.. The Nexus is a developer device. It always has been.

    • Glenn

      You make me wish I didn't sign up to my own 2-year contract for my Galaxy Nexus last December. I desperately needed it because my Desire was frustrating the hell out of me as a daily driver, but the grey back, the battery life and the stuttering multi-tasking are all things you pointed out as gone from the Nexus 4. Damn you, Ron.

      Have you dropped it yet? I read another review somewhere that said they'd already dropped it once and broken the glass back. I'm pretty careful with my phones (My GN has never been dropped on anything but carpet) so I don't think I'd have a problem with it if I ever bought it.

      • wilks

        My thoughts precisely... thinking about getting rid of my One X and getting one of these.

        • bluevoodo

          can I haz your One X?

      • D

        That's the beauty of it being so cheap off-contract: just buy it and swap the SIM card from your GNex to your N4. Your contract isn't attached to your device. (Assuming you didn't make the mistake of going with Verizon.)

        • Glenn

          Actually I'm from Australia, so our contracts work a little differently. We don't have an upfront cost, instead we pay the phone off monthly. My Galaxy Nexus is $10 per month and to sell it now to try and make up the cost, it's worth almost nothing because it was so cheap in the last few weeks and now the Nexus 4 is so cheap already.

      • shaurz

        I guess you could just buy this anyway if you have the cash, sell the Galaxy Nexus and then cancel the contract when it ends. I still have an SGS2 on contract for another 6 months but I'm buying the Nexus 4 as soon as it's available (although I don't have the SGS2 any more since I lost it).

      • MindFever

        I dropped it twice on a hard surface (ceramic tiles and once on wooden floor),not one scratch or crack...I probably have the good batch :) the height was about 1.3 metres

    • Guest

      I think it is probably great that they sent out review units with on finished software. They got a small group of people who all gave their thoughts on the software. Now they can release an update fixing all the problems reviewers had with it and it can only improve the phones many reviews.

      Also having a contact on quick settings makes it very easy to share with NFC. Or that would be my thought.

      • Ketan Gandhi

        ^^^ This is what I have been thinking too. Some of the reviewers/commenters on other sites have been complaining as to why Google would let review units out with unfinished s/w or at least non-final s/w. But I believe they did it intentionally so as to collect the feedback and fix it when they push out the final version...
        And I am hoping some of these fixes/optimizations would help improve battery life further and also help with performance of Chrome...

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

          That's beyond stupid. Why would buy a phone after reading reviews that say it sucks but there's a patch coming, lol. Until Google fixes the throttling issues this phone should be on sale and if you buy the phone knowing it screwed your just the worlds dumbest fanboy.

    • Mark Thompson

      I see that you had 14 hours up time in one screen shot. How much of that was screen on?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

        2 hours, 40ish minutes for both graphs, coincidentally. I updated the article.

        • heat361

          Great review Ron

        • Eran

          Did you use mobile data all this time (when not using WIFI)? and what about BT?

    • http://twitter.com/alexeiw123 Alexei Watson

      Hey, your whole LTE argument; try to remember there's other countries who can buy phones outright and connect to LTE. For us, the ommission sucks.

      • ddpacino

        There are very few of you, I believe. That is in conparison to the ones covered by HSPA+. Maybe next year, and hopefully has it deployed in my area within the year. Until then... HSPA+ is just as fast as my Verizon LTE.... w/ this pos, crippled gnex, smh.

        • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

          Oh no it isn't. HSPA+, where you can get coverage, is typically half the speed of Verizon LTE.

          • ddpacino

            And you know this all across America.... how?!

          • Droidzilla

            In my town, there are spots where Verizon LTE is 20+Mbps and spots where it's 3Mbps. There are spots where T-Mo's HSPA+ is 20+Mbps and spots where it's 3Mbps. This whole "LTE is the real 4G" bit is nonsense. I'm on Verizon LTE, by the way.

      • QwietStorm

        Who is us?

        • http://twitter.com/alexeiw123 Alexei Watson

          specifically: Australia. By 'us' I also meant, any country with LTE, which would be a few I imagine.

        • Anon

          The biggest carriers here have LTE in Canada, if your phone supports the band you can use it at will.
          Still, I don't mind not having it one bit.

    • http://twitter.com/koenvbeek Koen van Beek

      Could you please make a photo in complete darkness with the GNex and Nex4 next to each other showing the homescreen while both are on autobrightness? I would like to see how black the blacks are in the dark.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      Is there anything we consumers can do to get Google to change this approach to noon removable batteries?

      • Robert Ferrier

        Get a battery pack or charger pack and stop moaning. The tech is out there.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

          Exactly. Holy hell all that noise about removable batteries. It compromises build quality. Look at the makeshift-shelter-like GS3! I have one here that replaced by battery-poor One X, and it feels like crap. The One X felt 100 times better. I only replaced it because I couldn't find a good battery case for it in time.

        • http://twitter.com/ericcamil Eric Camil Jr

          I too am a fan of swapping batteries and extended batteries but the phone looks to have such a great design that I can see why with a glass back - taking the battery in and out is an issue. Tons of portable chargers that are lightweight you can pick up. Ron's got the right idea, there's plenty of other options. Sure I'd love to just buy a few batteries from oversea's for a few bucks a pop and not have to do anything else but really, this is not a deal breaking issue.

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

        Don't buy the phone and let them know that's why your not buying it, vote with your dollars.

      • MindFever

        Then buy a GNexus and make sad faces when you see people with an awesome Nexus 4. But you'll be happy you can swap batteries,yaay /s

    • Scott

      Thanks Ron for the well executed review.

    • hot_spare

      You missed the most glaring issue for N4:

      Won't be available to world's 90% of customers. It's not because of carrier or LTE. But simply because google won't sell the phone outside 7 (or is it 9) countries.

      At the end of the day, N4 will be limited to discussion in XDA and other forums. Common man will only know there is iPhone and Galaxy S brand.

      Google was never good in marketing, and I don't see them getting better either. Like it or not, at the end, it only matters that how much you see and how much profit you make. Don't tell me that google is not interested in Nexus sales. Why else would they keep the price so low?

      • http://www.facebook.com/gaurav12931 Gaurav Kishore

        no thats not the case,lg said that it really wants to make an impact in the asian countries so its going to release the nexus 4 to most asian countries so this phone will be have pretty decent sales figures!

        • hot_spare

          Really? Why would LG give preference to N4 instead of Optimus G? Nexus is not a brand name associated with LG, whereas many people recognize the Optimus brand. They can control Optimus G just as they want, can't do that for N4. So, please tell me why would LG market the N4 more than Optimus G?

          Check LG's youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/LGMobileHQ/

          They started marketing Optimus G long back. How many N4 commercials do you see there?

          Be logical. If they wanted to market N4, why would they make Optimus G in first place? Optimus G is their flagship, not N4 -- this is pure corporate fact.

          • Ryuuie

            True, it's not LG's place to push the N4 over their own brand and no one's saying they will. But it's common sense that they WILL want to push it considering it's their phone.

            Use common sense...your logic has holes.

          • hot_spare

            Let's analyze:

            1] it's not LG's place to push the N4 over their own brand and no one's saying they will..
            2] it's common sense that they WILL want to push it..

            wow! you are really something :)

          • Ryuuie

            Wow. :v I guess you're right. :(

            LG doesn't want money from the Nexus line.

            They probably won't service it if it breaks, they probably won't even try to sell it to other countries (despite the price being ungodly high).

            You know, by your half-ass logic, Samsung and ASUS don't care either. Considering Samsung made three Nexus devices (two in a row and one being the Nexus 10) and ASUS reworked a tablet they planned to sell before Google stepped in, I'd say they don't give much of a shit, huh? :v

            Don't be retarded.

            Of course LG isn't going to consider the Nexus 4 their flagship, but to say that they wouldn't market the N4 is just really dumb.

            There's no reason to continue this conversation. =/

          • letsplaaay

            I'll just add one more remark if you guys will excuse me. You guys know LG is a South Korean company right? Well, guess what: there will be no Nexus 4 in South Korea.

          • http://www.facebook.com/james.stones.9 James Stones

            Lg does want money from n4 because they are doubling the price that google is selling at!

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

            Yo, he didn't say anything about the Nexus 4 being given preference, all he said was it was going to be released. And the fact that the Nexus 4 is indeed a Nexus makes it very appealing to a certain niche, which LG would almost certainly want to exploit.

      • Ryuuie

        You know that none of this is true, right?

        Google can't sell to those countries due to regulations and other crap from those countries governments. They need certifications and the okays of a lot of places and people in power.

        Google wants the phone to be on all carriers (including Sprint and Verizon), but if they don't want to play ball, why screw with the launch of the phone just to make them happy? Release it unlocked in the countries you CAN release it in and hope for the best.

        As for those countries, LG is doing their best to sell the Nexus 4 to them. Granted, it's a high price, but that's because, it'll hurt THEIR profits to sell it as low as the Play Store is selling it. The need to make money somewhere, thus the incredibly steep prices.

        Want to blame someone? Blame the governments where the Play Store is not allowed, blame the red tape from that. Hell, I guess you could blame LG for wanting money if you want to go that route (they're an business, of course they want money). You could even blame the carriers who have pulled out like Spain's Phone House. But you seriously can't be upset with Google.

        Google can't control LG and they don't really like red tape. If they liked red tape and hassles, we'd see a CDMA/LTE Nexus 4 by now.

        • http://twitter.com/Erroneus Erroneus

          Play Store is allowed in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Belgium and many many more. There is already a Play Store, but just withou Google Hardware support for no reason at all. And not it has nothing to do with laws in those countries, if Google wants to sell the phone via their store, they can.

          But they have chosen not to and has left customers in those countries out in the dark and has to pay more then double the price, when buying via LG.

          It's great that Nexus 4 has a great price in US, UK, Germany and so on, but it's hardly fair that other countries are getting robbed, and are funding the low prices in "play hardware stores" by paying more then premium.

          • Ryuuie

            Okay so you basically say that what I said is happening is actually happening but for absolutely no reason?

            ...Really? :v

            You know that everything has a reason, right? It didn't happen for "no reason at all", it happened due to the crazy issues with other governments, carriers, and laws.

            I mean I *guess* you could claim that Google just hates other countries and it's a big conspiracy theory that people are making up because we're all on Google's payroll but that's just silly.

            If you can prove that it really is "no reason", I'd love to hear it and I'm sure everyone else would too. Granted, I didn't post any sources either but what I said is more plausible than "no reason at all".

            Sent from the mobile Gmail app on Android.

          • http://twitter.com/Erroneus Erroneus

            What possible law could ever exist, so that Google Inc. can't sell phones in those countries when EVERYBODY else can? Do you think these governments make laws forbidding Google selling phones in their countries?

            NOBODY else has these problems....

            Apple, Microsoft, Logitech, Dell, Nokia, HTC, Steelseries, _EVERYBODY_ has ZERO/NADA/NO problems selling their OWN hardware in their OWN shops.

            There isn't any law forbidding Google, it's only because they are NOT up to the task of doing a global launch properly, so people are left getting hustled by LG, who are trying to cash in.

          • Ryuuie

            You must be new here. Or a major troll. :v

            Everybody? Really? So you just think that Google wants to screw over consumers and carriers to only sell it in a FEW countries? ....Okay then.

            You do know that not all governments trust Google, right? You do know that the EU is the whole reason the FTC is looking into suing Google, right?

            Things are different in other countries. Please stop thinking like a typical American and think for a moment. Not all laws are the same and not all governments are the same.

            Again, if YOU can prove by law that what you say is true, then we'll talk.

            Me? All you have to do is Googleup "Google Music outside of USA" you get tons of articles of how consumers in other countries are being screwed due to how things are run in other countries.

          • http://twitter.com/Erroneus Erroneus

            If I can prove by law? How about YOU find me the law that would deny Google to sell hardware in those countries. How about that? Oh that's right, you can't because their aren't any.

            How about YOU answer me, why Apple, Microsoft, Dell, HTC, Nokia and so on has NO problems selling hardware in those countries.

            And your comparison with Google Music is baffling stupid. *FACEPALM* Google has to get the rights in countries to sell music from the different labels. Tell me please, who Google have to get rights from, to sell a Phone? ... please tell me, because I'm very very excited to hear the answer for that question.

            And don't you start calling me new or a troll, because I actually defend my self and come up with valid points. Where are your valid points, other then "LOLZ EXPLAIN ME THE ENTIRE LAW"... really.

            Why you are so keen on defending Google, I'm not sure, but I see a pattern here on Androidpolice, where the negative side of Google are often swept away, But I guess people don't like the fact that Google is far from perfect and treats some of their customers quite bad.

          • anonymous192837

            I don't know about any other countries, but I live in Brazil and I can say Google can't sell any hardware here, it is not because they don't want to, they do. In fact, no phone called nexus can be sold in Brazil, that is why we get a diferent version of Galaxy Nexus called Galaxy X here, and it is sold by Samsung through carriers only. It sucks.

            There is a huge market for these products in Brazil and Google would like to sell here, but regulator agency for telecomunication will not allow them to enter the market. This is the simple truth about selling in Brazil.

            I believe Google would like to sell in as many countries as they can, but unfortunately they ran into bureaucracy that prevents them to do it.

          • Praveen

            Totally agree to this. Google is just too lazy to launch it properly in Asia. No bullshit like law or whatever.....what law my ass! Is not an illegal product....all other similar products are being launched.

          • hot_spare

            Okay so you basically say that what I said is happening is actually happening but for absolutely no reason?

            My brain...

          • Ryuuie

            Sorry I hurt you. :P

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

            You're the worst type of fanboy. Spreading this fud about governments not let Google sell phones.This phone has all kinds of problems, from performance to distribution. This phone went from a must buy to a wait and see.

          • abhisahara

            You seriously need to read mate. Selling physical items through playstore is banned in most countries at that comes under the FDI and other laws and regulations including duties. Playstore is allowed and softwares can be purchased but not physical items like phones tablets. Hence people have to wait for either LG to get to them or some ebay amazon channels ship them with duties paid.

          • Anoyed

            It's legal in Sweden and many other EU-countries to sell hardware unlocked. Why wouldn't it be? Please, you sound lika a huge american douche who can't even find austria on a map.

          • abhisahara

            Well i guess u just dont know that there are other countries outside europe and US.....and i have never been to america nor a fan...so better keep shtum before calling somebody something u dont know! So go find a map or fire google earth on your android phone and see the countries!

          • MindFever

            In Europe it is illegal to sell carrier-locked phones.

          • neodoru

            One of the main reasons is the impossibility to assure proper warranty. You would need to send the phone back to US.

        • hot_spare

          I am not even talking about US, LTE or CDMA. Why would you bring those arguments? They are totally irrelevant.
          Play store not allowed? Do you really know what you saying? Why would a govt block play store? It seems you have never been outside US. If you have no idea how telecom policies work outside US, I don't think you can contribute much to this discussion.
          FYI, US is just a fraction of the total smartphone market. It's not even the largest. China has already crossed US. So, bringing CDMA/Verizon/Sprint/LTE to every discussion shows a very narrow-minded approach.

          • Ryuuie

            It's more narrow-minded to claim that it's Google's fault when you didnt' take into account WHY the Play Store can't sell and WHY LG is selling it at a higher price.

            In fact, it's just kind of stupid.

          • hot_spare

            It's obvious that you have no clue about mobile market outside US. If you have something constructive to add to the discussion, good. Else, please don't get the discussion off-topic.

          • Ryuuie

            Oh really? Care to enlighten people or do you just want to throw around hyperbole and idiocy like others in this comment tree we've got going on?

          • hot_spare

            Let's see -- who started with CDMA/Sprint/Verizon/LTE? You should know that these doesn't matter anywhere except your (yes, I am not US national) lovely US.
            Normal people don't bother about contract prices. When we say about price of phone we don't mention contract prices - we talk about the normal price. People don't pay same rates for contract/non-contract phones. Plans are different. Many people (including myself) have multiple SIM cards as call/data rates are very cheap.
            What do you want to add? Do you think you know more about EU/Asian market more than me (admittedly I don't know much about UK)?

          • Ryuuie

            Oh wait, I thought we were talking about why Google Play can't sell in other countries.

            When'd we move to CDMA/Sprint/Verizon/LTE? Considering that the Nexus 4 is CDMA only, it doesn't make a bit of difference in this conversation.

            I don't care about the US, to be 100% honest. :v Really, these are the people who almost put Romney in the White House and spewed racism on Twitter when he lost.

            Yes, I know all of this already, I'm not like most idiotic "mericans" who only know about their contracts and what phone is free with the contract. HOWEVER, we are talking about WHY Google can't sell to all countries in the world and WHY LG is boosting the MSRP.

            So, you know about as much as I do, congrats. Would you like a medal?

          • LordGenki

            I can't speak to specifics, because I don't work for google, nor do I work for a hardware manufacturer. However, I used to work on the legal team of one of the large Silicon Valley software companies and I can say from experience that software exports and sales can be a huge pain, and often take months of paperwork and review to get approved.

            First, we would need to make export filings to the US government with detailed reports explaining what was in the software. The US government is looking for things like data encryption technology that it wants to prevent getting into the hands of parties in embargoed countries (Syria, Iran, etc.). This was an incredibly tedious process that we usually sent to outside counsel to take care of, which makes the process expensive as well. If the government regulators thought there was any element of the software that was a potential security threat, we faced the possibility of a software audit (which is about as fun as it sounds). That was just to get the permission to ship the product outside of the US.

            There were similar hoops we had to jump through to for each country that we wanted to export to. My company had physical offices in the EU and in China because the laws made it incredibly difficult to offer service in some situations without there being a physical presence in the country. One of the major reasons that other countries want you to have a physical presence in a country is to make it easier for citizens of their country to seek legal retribution. So by selling your products in another country, you are automatically opening yourself up to additional liability and legal risks. It took us years just to do the research and figure out the business model and contract modifications needed to offer our services in some countries.

            I don't which, if any, of these issues are preventing Google from selling their products overseas - it could simply be a limited supply chain/logistics issue since Google is still fairly new to the hardware and physical product world - but I would imagine that issues like encryption, data privacy, and mobile communication technologies, which are highly regulated in most countries, are at least one element of difficulty. Google isn't non selling in certain
            countries because they don't want to. Google does like make money after
            all.

      • Robert Ferrier

        Well people will be in the know and get it and it will be more exclusive. But people aren't that stupid they know a good thing when they see or hear it. Have faith this is googles year

      • Anoyed

        True that! We in Sweden are *****' because Google doesn't want to sell it here. Instead we have only 16GB version available at ~$650. Yeah that's right. Some stores have it up at double the prics in the US or UK (which also is in Europe/EU). This is bull****.

        • MindFever

          Slovenia ,Europe ...all our major carriers sell Nexus 4 :D

    • hot_spare

      Disappointed with the battery life numbers. Expected much better. Screen-on time of 2:40 is poor. That's like half of other smartphones. GNex battery life comparison is not relevant as we are talking about today's smartphones. You should compare against GS3/iPhone5/Note2 battery etc.,

      • Matthew

        I'm confused with this battery talk. I suppose this author had everything syncing and maybe never had his Galaxy Nexus rooted and installed with different kernels and roms. But my Galaxy Nexus does easy 17hrs with 3hrs on screen, this is with maybe 5hrs wifi connected. I expect to hit 4hrs easy and more with this, don't fear battery life, it's all about how you manage the data properly.

        • neodoru

          Add an exchange mail account and check again! ;)

      • MindFever

        I get 22h average battery life with 3h30m to 4h of screen on time. WiFi / 3G data ON and Sync ON,Auto brightness ON,Location services ON,no root ,stock android stock kernel...the battery is excellent,it surprised me. First week it was disappointing but after a week or so it got a lot better. It takes about 7-10 charging cycles for the battery to "settle in".

    • Jav11 .

      does nexus 4 has face lock?

      • GreenyO

        Android has Face Unlock (I assume you wanted to say that)

      • MindFever

        Lmao

    • anon

      can you test playing a 10 bit video (preferably subbed anime)? I want to know if it can play it smoothly or not

    • b52

      What was the used brightness value while you recorded the battery consumption?

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

      Can you see if it has USB audio capability like for a External DAC? Also if it works as a usb hub so I can plug in a flash drive? Thanks and great work!

    • neodoru

      Very nice review man, congrats!
      One question that has never been answered so far... does the nexus 4 have switchable users like the tablet? I keep seeing the profile in the notification drawer (The user's pic) and I hope there's a way to add a "kid's playground" account, like the one in wp8.
      An answer would be greatly appreciated!

      • TK

        Everyone says there is not. LG supposedly owns a patent and there is no demand?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1643323040 Hamadi Dawkins Rose

      does the 42+ hspa make Google Now more responsive, compared to the gNex? how about browsing? Also, did you notice if the 42+ cellular data affects how fast pages load (can you discern whether it's that or the processor?). I'm currently on T-Mobile, and wonder how much better the Nexus 4 performs on TMo. thanks

      • MindFever

        HSPA+ in our country,with this phone, I got like 50-62ms ping during speed tests. Pretty awesome ,very low latency

    • Stephen Kopenkoskey

      In your section, A Word Abot LTE, I think you meant complaints instead of "complains".

    • tom

      Any news on today´s OTA update? :-) I can´t wait it.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

        The OTA got delayed until the 13th. =/

        When it does come out, it will take me a few days to test the battery and write my update.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.vainshtein Alex Vainshtein

      Did you received to OTA update?

    • nir galon

      Ron Amadeo, there is a OTA update?

    • HellG

      Ron can you re do the benchmarks to see if the update reflected those?

      • MindFever

        My N4 averages at 17k on AnTuTu...no over clocking ,stock android

    • PhilNelwyn

      Hi Mr. Amadeo.
      I'm a little late, but did you notice that when you set an alarm, a shortcut to alarms is added to the quick settings panel?

  • Kenny O

    With every review my anticipation for this phone grows and grows. I cannot wait to get it.

  • http://twitter.com/tmwsiy Parker

    Great review- curious- have all the Nexus devices had non removable batteries?

    • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

      this is the first

      • numpty

        And how the Android diehards scoffed back when Apple started putting non-removable batteries in all *their* devices...

        • jmquez

          I dont understand the fascination with removable batteries.. having to carry the extra batteries AND chargers around, switching phone off, removing cover.. too much room for disaster IMO its just plain bad design to have a removable battery, not to mention internal batteries makes the phone much more compact and small (and cheap).

          If I travel I take a USB power juice pack, cheap, works to charge my other gadgets and I can charge it anywhere.

        • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

          Well seeing how the original iPhone did not have a removable battery, I don't understand how "Android die-hards" scoffed when apple *started* putting non-removable batteries in their devices...

        • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

          Their were no Android "die-hards" when apple started to put non-removable batteries in their iPhones...

    • Tim

      Nope, until the Nexus 7 they have all been removeable.

      • Bariman43

        I thought the Nexus One's battery couldn't be removed?

        • kkqwe

          it was removable

        • jmquez

          It was, but it didnt feel cheap thanks to unibody design. It was a great phone! (I still have mine)

  • http://twitter.com/tuxnet tuxnet

    It uses microSIM? The battery is removable?

    • http://www.facebook.com/dustin.lu Dustin Lu

      you didn't read the review?

    • kkqwe

      I don't think micro sim is used, it's an apple gimmick for now, battery is not removable either (to be honest I never had to swap one in all my nexus phones but was just removing them for resetting phone)

      • GreenyO

        More and more phone today use micro sim (GS3, N4, One X etc...), so it's not an Apple gimmick at all considering the fact that the iphone 5 use a NANO sim...

        And yes, as if I wasn't clear enough the N4 DO use a micro sim

      • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

        I think you confused microSIM with nanoSIM..

        • kkqwe

          could be :) thanks

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        Heh, right, anything not in an Android phone must be a gimmick. Here's a clue..Apple isn't the only one using nano sims.

  • thomas

    Is it known if preorder or shipping starts on November, 13th?

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      Shipping I think, but don't quote me on that.

    • Alex Fiorani

      I also would like to know that. I'm arriving in the US November 12th, and leaving December 10th. I'm curious to know if the phone would arrive in my hotel before I leave.

    • Kenny O

      Everything I've read points to shipping on November 13th. What I'm most curious about is exactly what time I will be able to put in the order.

    • Scott

      At this point I have to assume that preorders start on the 13th because there is currently no way to order the device, and the 13th is less than a week away.

  • wolfkabal

    From a hardware standpoint - how does this compare to the LG Optimus G? I'm curious if build quality was stepped up for Google, or if they're essentially the same devices (with the exception of LTE)

  • http://www.midnightepiphanies.com Asitha de Silva

    The no LTE is a deal breaker for me. I was looking forward to getting this phone but now I don't know...

  • Scott

    I really wish you reviewers would stop complaining about those of us who like to complain that there is no CDMA/LTE version of this phone. Simply put, I'm on Verizon and have unlimited LTE data, and I don't want to leave. Why would I want to leave Verizon, which has the best coverage, for AT&T or T-Mobile - that would be a downgrade.

    And finally, I get a Verizon discount through my employer so my monthly bill, including unlimited LTE, is only $62. I'm not willing to leave right now to go to a worse carrier just for a phone. We'll see what happens with next year's Nexus as my contract ends next summer. I may end up going pre-paid but I'm sincerely hoping Google will figure out the whole LTE thing before then so I don't have to downgrade my network.

    Edit: Also the battery life, at least with the extended battery, isn't that bad. I typically get 10-12 hours of life with 1.5-2 hours of screen on time using LTE. I'm probably helped by the fact that I'm using a custom ROM and kernel (even though the kernel is overclocked), but for an LTE device with a huge screen, it isn't terrible.

    • http://www.midnightepiphanies.com Asitha de Silva

      I'm in the exact same situation as you. I have all the benefits you say and really do not want to go to another provider either. Not having LTE is just not good enough - those who say 3G is good enough probably have not really paid enough attention to how fast having a LTE connection helps.

      • Scott

        I would be fine with HSPA+ if the coverage was better. Verizon's coverage is just too good to leave.

        • http://profiles.google.com/masterjodorowsky Fabian Vilches

          Verizons coverage is good if you live in the wilderness even in metro areas my Tmobile beats it. -In the LA area where i live TMobile is faster.

          • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

            Bull puckey.

      • ddpacino

        Most people can pull down LTE speeds of 30+ on the 42Mbps HSPA+ network. What exactly are they missing with LTE? Hell, even with an LTE model, most people STILL don't have it in their area, let alone the scarcity of it around the world. So what exactly would be the point of having Google waste money to pay licensing fees for an extra radio MOST people won't be using?! If you want LTE, you have other options. I've had enough with the bytching already....

    • Bariman43

      Well of course you would have no problem with it. But the majority of us aren't so lucky. I have to pay $80 a month for the lowest tier plan (that's 450 minutes, 2 gig data and no free texting) on my VZW Galaxy Nexus. That, honestly, is not worth the battery guzzling, money-gouging monstrosity that LTE has ultimately become. LTE can burn for all I care.

      • Scott

        I agree I'm in a better situation than most but still, why would I want to leave my carrier just for a phone? It may happen next year, but we'll have to wait and see what happens. I do plan to stick with Nexus if I can.

        • http://twitter.com/Gnabergasher Gabernasher

          I'm leaving my carrier (Verizon) because I hate them. This phone seems amazing. There's my logic for dumping Verizon for a phone.

          • TK

            Exactly what he said. I needed a reason. The N4 is a very good reason.

        • Ketan Gandhi

          Not for a phone, but for the freedom of getting updates without VZ delaying it, freedom from crapware, freedom of swapping SIM when abroad etc.

      • ddpacino

        Same here dude. $30 for Unlimited data & texting and 100mins (I barely use that on my 450min Vz plan) is too much of a WIN!

        • jim

          $790.00 in calls, unlimited calls to anyone on same network as me and unlimted texts. 16.99 amonth...

          I love in Australia, using the Optus network.

          No contract either!

          • ddpacino

            We all envy you. 3G or 4G? What are your data speeds like?

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        LTE is fast as hell on my iPhone 5 and since I paid cash for the phone ($599) I still have unlimited. Battery life is fine. Thats because Apple waited for the 2nd gen LTE chips instead of the first battery burning monstrosities.

    • Dan

      Did you just say $62 a month? Is that a good deal in America? I pay £10 (~$15) a month in the UK for unlimited texts, internet and 250 minutes. I could pay £15 for the same with 600 minutes. No idea about LTE because it barely exists here and costs a fortune where it does, but I certainly wouldn't be paying 4-5 times as much money a month for it!

      • carlisimo

        It is a good deal here in the US, especially for Verizon which is generally more expensive than any other carrier (its coverage does tend to be the best).

        Scott, I suspect the reason Verizon doesn't get it is not because of LTE, but because they didn't let Google control the Verizon Galaxy Nexus as much as Google wanted.

        • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

          Exactly. Verizon said no and google complied. Like all Android phone manufacturers. Too bad none of them have Apples willingness to tell the carriers to take it or leave it. Since the carriers need to carry the iPhone they comply.

          • Ketan Gandhi

            Yes and I hope this sets a precedent by encouraging other OEM's to force VZ to treat them as they do Apple.

        • Dan

          I had no idea American contracts cost that kind of money. Is that just with LTE or are most contracts that kind of price? I'm surprised mainly because the vast majority of things are cheaper in the US than over here, so surprised to see such expensive contracts.

          • bdfull3r

            Most on contract plans in the states are actually closer to $80-100 if it is a single line plan. Prepaid plans will run anywhere from $35-100 usually with different minute/data options

          • carlisimo

            Most contracts are that at least that expensive. $100/mo for a single smartphone is not uncommon (I think that's what you'd pay on Verizon with 2GB/mo of data, whether you're within range of their LTE towers or not - you don't pay differently for LTE). You can find cheaper plans, though, on other carriers. Are phones unsubsidized in the UK, for prices to be kept that low? I know our low population density contributes, that's a huge difference.

            Phones are one thing that have always been more expensive in the US than anywhere else (and prior to the iPhone, less advanced as well).

          • Anoyed

            I pay $6 a month for free sms/mms too all carriers, free calls to my carrier + regular telephones and get 1 GB/month free (afterwards they cap the speed to 64 kb/s - but still "free"). No subsidizing here and my country is also very low on population density.

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        Your point is what..that you live in a different country with different prices? Bully for you.

        • Dan

          Wow you must find it easy to make friends.

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

      Very true. However, people didn't freak out about, say, the One X not coming out on Verizon. So just think about this as a phone that's only coming out for AT&T and Sprint. And it's like impossible to sell a universal LTE phone, so, for Google's model, you gotta go with HSPA. It's priced as a budget phone (it's cheaper than even the iPhone 4!). When you think of it in those terms, value is off the charts. Find me another $350, unlocked phone for $350. It doesn't exist.

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        This phone isn't LTE and Google is selling all their Nexus devices at cost. That's nice but some companies need to make a profit. Samsung is the only android manufacturer making a profit and theirs isn't very high.

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

          That's what I was saying. This phone isn't LTE because it keeps the cost down and because it's basically impossible to sell an unlocked universal LTE phone. I was commenting on how LTE wasn't feasible for this phone. And I was also saying how this isn't too different from other phones having carrier exclusivity (which this phone indirectly has), so the fact that you can't use it on Verizon isn't really a new situation for many users.

        • anoyed

          Not true. Sony is also making a profit, and other manufacturers.

        • cynicist

          Not very high? They made 2/3 of their total profit on smartphones this quarter. Considering their total profit was 7.3 billion, I wouldn't exactly consider that small. I'm pretty sure you are wrong on your second claim as well but I'm too lazy to look that up. All in all I think many manufacturers are making a good profit, which is why there is so much competition right now. Google may end up lowering the margins of their competitors with this move, or then again people may just stick with their contracts and nothing will change. It will be interesting to see if the interest in prepaid plans grows for the average person.

          http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/us-samsung-earnings-idUSBRE8931IM20121005

    • Matt

      You're happy with Verizon? Great. Get a Verizon approved phone. Verizon is incompatible with the mission of the Nexus devices.

      • lmuguy222

        Perhaps the advantage of Nexus devices is much broader than is being represented here in this article? I have a Verizon GNex, and I decided that I want to keep buying Nexus phones because of ROM developer support. This is completely independent of Verizon. Once I'm rooted, I rely on ROM developers to feed me whatever Google spits out. Google releases 4.1.2, and immediately I have the ROM within 24 hours, which is how quickly GNex ROM developers have been working. This whole "Verizon doesn't support open source" doesn't really matter when you're rooted. And if you've got a Nexus phone but aren't rooting, you're barely scratching the surface.

    • Robert Ferrier

      Moaning ain't gonna change a thing. What about the positives

  • numpty

    Could be the best phone ever produced, but it's still no use to me until there's a 32Gb version.

    • jmquez

      Less but better my friend. Downgrading my laptop from 1TB to 120GB was the best decision I ever made. Digital hoarding is bad, 16GB is plenty for me.

      • heysup

        I agree and think a lot of people need to take a step back and think about the situation. I've noticed that when people have what seems like unlimited storage space, they tend to download any and everything they can think of to justify having that much space. They end up with gigs upon gigs of just crap.

        • Boluskaart

          Is it so strange to want all your music on your phone? 64GB storage is a must then.

          • shaurz

            How many hours of music do you have? How are you encoding it?

            Are they 320 Kbps MP3? FLAC? 128 Kbps Vorbis is good enough for the kind of sound quality a phone can produce. Or even 96 Kbps Opus when that format is more widely supported.

            If you demand better quality than that, you'd best use a dedicated music player with a superior DAC.

          • TK

            I have no idea what you just said but can you tell me where/how to convert my mp3s? I have storage problems...

    • http://twitter.com/ericcamil Eric Camil Jr

      The cloud and a flash drive and USB OTG cable can solve the majority of that problem unless you really carry around a lot of large files, though since you aren't aiming for a 64gb model I'd bet it's just media files.

  • fixxmyhead

    id never thought id say this but hurry up with this phone. my s2's power button has been failing the last couple of days and randomly reboots alot. ive been keeping a flip phone as a backup, its freaking embarassing. honestly im getting it cuz the price is cheap and i guess the timely updates dont hurt either. the phone i wanted was the note2 but the off contract price tag scared the shit out of me. i guess its time for me to give up the galaxy line and go the nexus way since there so cheap

  • Justin

    GPS locks should be much better now, especially for people in northern regions. Nexus 4 has support for both GPS and GLONASS, thus doubling the number of satellites available!

    • TK

      Very informational, thanks!

  • Andy

    wow, swiping with multiple fingers?
    way to go google! now i have no need for that keymonk keyboard, stock is so much etter now

    • ddpacino

      I always wondered that, but never tried it. I am about to try that now to see how effective I am...

  • Bariman43

    The only deciding factor of this for me is the glass back. In the year I've had my GNex, I dropped the phone 3 times. The last two times was on carpet, but the first time, it collided with my wooden bed frame and ever since I've had a nice little scuff in the corner. If I accidentally did that with this phone, that pretty glass back will have a nice, permanent blemish. I mean, the GNex didn't really look that good on the back to begin with so I wasn't too chuffed about it, but on a phone like this? I'd be furious. Okay, so I could get a case, thus ultimately defeating the purpose of the glass back. It should've just been metal.

    • ddpacino

      Protect your investment. Buy a case or live with the consequences of being unprotected.

      • jmquez

        I love the feeling of glass on my iphone 4, one of the reasons why i didnt upgrade to iphone 5 was because the metal back felt weak, easy to scratch and would need a cover, I hate covers..

        This phone is 300$, if it falls and the back breaks getting a spare should be straight forwards. 300$.. thats just crazy.

        • ddpacino

          Yea, that's how I feel. I'd get a spare glass backplate off eBay and replace it myself. Hopefully it won't cost an arm and a leg -- not sure what they ran for iPhones to guess. But you have me thinking about situations such as losing it.

          Does anyone know of an insurance service I could use being unlocked and off contract, or does T-Mobile offer a service with their prepaid plans? Curious... Thanks.

      • Bariman43

        Again, a case will defeat the purpose of the glass back in the first place. Might as well not have had it to begin with.

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

    This review is SO much better than EVERYTHING else out there, I almost laughed. THANK YOU for not overreacting about LTE, and putting it in perspective. I mean, it's not like it's any different than your other reviews (all awesome), but for some reason, all other Nexus 4 reviews have been ridiculously bad. THANKS SO MUCH!

  • Claudio Nicolás Sepúlveda Huer

    Great Review!. The question is: This display its gonna have the same burn issue just like the Samsung AMOLED?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      It shouldn't. The burn in is an AMOLED problem.

  • Stijn

    Dont know what happend to your Galaxy nexus but mine is fast! And for battery life. I can make te end of the day without a problem!

    • ddpacino

      NOT on this LTE model, you can't.

      • Journ

        I can, with the extended battery that cost a whopping $20 at Verizon.

        • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

          ahahahahaha, yeah

      • Stijn

        But the N4 doesn't have LTE so you have to compare with the 3G version.
        I'm sure the N4 is better, but I had the flagships of HTC, Sony and Samsung, GN tops them all!

    • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

      Then you haven't seen a fast phone.

      • Stijn

        I've worked with the S3 and he wasn't faster in daily use.
        Sure the loading times of games ware shorter, but that's it.

  • http://twitter.com/frankyvalentino Franky V

    this is a great review. android police is becoming my main reliable, rational,and detailed blog for Android news. can't wait to see what the update changes.

  • http://twitter.com/MrPendulum Mr Pendulum

    I must leave my feedback on this, parts of this review were terrible to read. Around half of it was dedicated to Android 4.2 which frankly should be a seperate article altogether: that's going to be AOSP soon enough, and on previous version phones which renders the context completely moot.

    Also, criticising the Galaxy Nexus when until recent months it was praised? Forgive my rudeness, but that seems like quite an "Apple" mindset - that when something new comes out the previous device is suddenly "slow and old". I have never read any criticism of the performance of the Galaxy Nexus until now, and the only criticisms of the screen were those (quite foolishly) crticising Pentile displays.

    This wasn't up to the normal quality I have come to expect from this site.

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

      It has to do with the "aging" Ron talked about. Apps aren't static: they're constantly advancing, and that all requires more processing power. The Galaxy Nexus is getting left behind. So, up until fairly recently, it probably was considered pretty fast. But it's getting "slower and slower," so to speak, as time progresses.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      I always talk about the device software, it ships with software, I'm not going to not talk about it because it will be on other phones.

      I'm not sure where you get the idea that *I* suddenly turned on the Gnex, I've been pretty consistent with my views on it. It's a great phone, but it's plasticy, getting old and the battery life gets worse and worse with updates.

    • crankyd00d

      I do not think it foolish to criticize the screen, Pentile IS inferior, that's the truth, whether you like it or not, I'm saying this as a current owner of the GNex, also used to own the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II (S2 screen wasn't Pentile), and also a bunch of HTC phones, I have seen the difference with my own eyes, and Pentile sucks

      • Ajnxp

        Yeah, but the NOTE 2 employed traditional RGB Matrix so it's screen turned out pretty well. But still The N4 Screen is pretty awesome with 318 PPI. And also the viewing angles seem decent. And as LG has manufactured the phone, the screen is LG's IPS+ True HD screen which is used even on their LCD TV's. So it is brilliant.

  • kkqwe

    shame the design it still not unified, the quick settings are nice but it's all kind of messy there and picture stands out sore. Much better if quick setting panel would be accessible to apps, creating customer quick settings shortcuts/widgets would be a killer.

    apart of that really bad space (16 GB with games reaching up to 5 GB recently is way too little) and I like to keep my music on the phone and watch videos on the way :(

    still, for that price it would be kinda stupid not to upgrade for two extra cores and double the tam

  • http://twitter.com/trsohmers Thomas Sohmers

    Could you please run a Linpack (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.greenecomputing.linpack&hl=en) multi threaded benchmark? You may need to run it 2 or 3 times (Don't worry, it is pretty fast) to get a percise benchmark. If you also have a Nexus 10 that you can run Linpack on, I would be very appreciative. Thanks.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      I ran it a couple times. Got this.

      • http://twitter.com/trsohmers Thomas Sohmers

        Thank you very much! I'm waiting on a S4 Pro development board, but this should give a good idea of raw processing power. If you (or whoever is reviewing the Nexus 10) can also run this benchmark, it would be great way to compare the CPUs, as it is the only bench marking tool that uses a standard (MFLOPs) to compare.

  • Johnathan Higginson

    I have an Epic 4g (that I keep up to date with CM10) from sprint and my contract is up in a month, I have merged my number with my google voice account. Can I then buy an N4 keep my number get off sprint and switch to something else, or should I just upgrade to an LTE phone which I never get to use LTE anyway?

  • matz

    How is the chrome scrolling, pinch zoom smoothness ?
    On galaxy nexus this is really bad.

    • Humberto Hernandez

      Chrome sucks on Android. And that has no sense.. =S

      • jmquez

        This worries me, works great on the iphone (much better than safari) look forward to getting my hands on the N4!

    • PhineasJW

      Chrome locks up the Nexus 7. When a page is loading scrolling is almost impossible. I don't expect it to be any better on a different quad core processor.

      Google needs to fix it.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Super fast, but Chrome's performance is really inconsistent from phone to phone, and I don't mean model to model, I mean phone to phone. They need to fix it.

  • Ace

    Best..... review.......ever!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/KickingLettuce Kicking Lettuce

    I've had LTE on Verizon with unlimited data. I don't use the data, and LTE signals constantly drop on my GNexus and the battery drains like no other. Leaving Verizon behind doesn't scare me, nor getting this phone. It's the pre-paid plans I'm about to try that have me on edge. T-Mobile and Straight Talk sim's coming in the mail. I live in a medium sized city with not much else around. Hope coverage works...

  • willsours

    meh. I'm a big Android & Nexus fan. But this is the most Meh one yet. Copying what IMO were the worst design decisions of the iFone 4 (glass back, non-removable battery), is a step backword, not forward. I have dropped my Galaxy nexus more than a few times, and that back would have been broken LOOONG ago. It always seems to land on the back or the side for me. and that etched glass probably isn't as cheap to replace as the peice of junk plastic back on my sammy nexus that doesn't break. Yes the sammy nexus feels like a playschool phone, but anodized metal on the back would have made a lot more sense and felt just as good. And the non-removeable battery is just a deal breaker for me. Even if the battery life is better, its still shit compared to my old blackberry, so i NEED to be able to swap it out with the spare(s) I have on chargers in my car and elsewhere, and I dont want to have to plug in and carry an external battery pack when i'm on the move. 12 hours is NOT acceptable. And to me, there's simply no excuse for making a phone with a non-removable battery. The sammy nexus has probably the worst battery door design possible, but its functional. Why not make that stupid glass back slide down into those cheap plastic sides of the phone frame with a little groove in the glass? Or snap on or something. how hard is that?? The camera is still crap, the screen is a step down from the Gnex as every side by side pic I've seen the Gnex looks better. More vibrant colors and better blacks trump microscopic examination of the subpixels any day.

    Why do these manufacturers have such a hard time coming up with new designs? Its like their designers sit and design in caves with no internet access, and just keep pumping out the same ol junk and occasionally they get some inspiration from Apple and copy their year+ old designs a little. They do the same crap with PC's & laptops. Out-Do them! Make the skin frickin titanium! or some composite alloy thats as light as aluminum but doesn't scratch so easily. Just not glass. Comon, apple already realized that was a bad idea and so did the MANY consumers that broke the thinner glass on the back of their iFones very easily. Apple is beating their pants off in profits because they all make WAY too many models, and in doing so they increase their R&D costs, support costs, maintenance costs, parts costs, everything, and yet are still using inferior materials in most cases at a higher cost. Electronics manufacturers seem just plain stupid.

    I really wanted a new phone just because I can get a free one right now from work, but, I guess I'm going to have to wait for the next Nexus. This one just isn't gonna cut it, as I'm already going to get the new software features. Nice to see its cheap though, thats an improvement for their direct to consumer model. /disappointedrant

    • FrillArtist

      If you drop your phone that many times, you might want to visit your doctor and get some medication for those shaky hands. Also, eat more protein and vegetables.

    • David Kertesz

      You have good points, I agree and disagree. I'll be getting this, removable battery and glass isnt a big deal to me. Im not a child, I dont drop phones. Plus it has a soft touch rubber outside that will prevent slips. But you are right. There is a reason Apple moved away from the glass back. I've had every Nexus and always talk about getting another battery but never end up doing it, I guess I wont have a chance this time around lol

  • Andrew Orrison

    I think it is probably great that they sent out review units with on finished software. They got a small group of people who all gave their thoughts on the software. Now they can release an update fixing all the problems reviewers had with it and it can only improve the phones many reviews.

    Also having a contact on quick settings makes it very easy to share with NFC to other phones, or that would be my reasoning.

  • marcusmaximus04

    "Masochists will be glad to know that T-Mobile will be offering it for $200 on a 2 year contract with no Wi-Fi Calling."

    A bit misleading. The T-Mobile one has "no Wi-Fi Calling" in exactly the same way the one from google has "no Wi-Fi Calling". It doesn't have T-mo's app for their implementation. You can still make calls over wifi if you have a SIP account, just like on the one from google.

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

      I was under the impression that he threw that in there cause people would've asked later if it had t-mobile's wifi calling natively.

  • Droid Burgundy

    great review, the only one I have ever read that almost persuaded me to want this phone over my Verizon Galaxy Nexus! You made a lot of good points, and if it was not for my unlimited data that I am desperately clinging to, I would probably try to sell my Gnex on Craig's List and get the N4 on Tmobile!

  • David Kertesz

    Best review I've read, wow. Amazing Job.

  • http://twitter.com/TruthRainsAgain Ritin M S

    "... the swiping part of the keyboard is multi-touch aware, which means, if you are some kind of typing phenom, you could potentially swipe with 2 fingers at once..." - KeyMonk( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.keymonk.latin ) does this..

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

      That's some like Ninja typing stuff there.

  • Eric Jones

    Damn you Sprint and your ETF! I won't be tricked into a contract ever again! I so wish it wouldn't cost me a grand to end my current contract (wife on it too) and buy this phone.

  • Tim Harper

    To address the complaint about all glass...I drop my phone all the time, but somehow manage to flip it on its back when it falls..I have never broken a phone from dropping it..being all glass, one drop is all it will take to be ugly.

  • CJ Walker

    "If you noticed digital zoom isn't included in the circle menu, good for you! Use pinch zoom."

    So glad I came into this post. I still kept my Camera JB+ app bc I thought there was no zoom feature!! Nifty nifty.

  • ffh2303

    How's the sound quality of though a pair of decent earphones/headphones?

    One last thing,why does this review feel like it's slamming the Galaxy Nexus too much? From what I've experienced the Galaxy Nexus isn't slow at all. It feels just as fast or as smooth as a global Galaxy S3 / HTC One X . It also doesn't feel too bad in the hands,especially compared to the Galaxy S3.

    • Justin Swanson

      I think it might be a comparison, after he used the N4 the GNex felt slow. However I agree, the GNex will carry me through at least another year. I am looking forward to next year and what Google will do to drive us even further forward!

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

        The next Nexus will only be $200 unlocked!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      I still like the Galaxy Nexus, but I'm unhappy with the reception and battery life. I know there will be a lot of upgraders, so I did a lot of comparisons.

      Try Google Earth on your Gnex and tell me it's fast.

      As for audio: Qualcomm supplies the audio chip along with the SoC, so if you've heard a recent Qualcomm phone, it will be similar. I'm not an audiophile or anything, but it's good. There's no hissing, and it's powerful enough that I didn't want to max the volume.

      I've heard the Qualcomm DAC isn't as good as a Wolfsen, but like i said, I lack the ability to really judge "tonal warmness" and all that stuff.

      • Zak Taccardi

        My gnex doesn't run super smoothly - could it be because I only have 1-2gb of free space on it? Running CM10 - idk if CM10 slows things down.

        I get better sound with DSP Manager on CM10 than anywhere else, so I have no complaints there.

    • Sootie

      Ron has answered both those questions further down the comments mate ;)

  • Caldera

    Nice review only marred by the word "orientated," which does not exist in the English language.

    • san2beez

      I don't what kind of dictionary u r using, but mine has it defined as "to orient."

      oriented: adjusted or located in relation to surroundings or circumstances; sometimes used in combination; "the house had its large windows oriented toward the ocean view"; "helping freshmen become oriented to college life"; "the book is value-oriented throughout"http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=orientated

      • http://twitter.com/Gnabergasher Gabernasher

        oriented yes, orientated no.

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

      Haha, I think marred might be a little harsh, but you're right :P

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      That's what I meant. =P

      fixed.

  • FrillArtist

    Thanks for the "Galaxy Nexus upgrade section". I was wondering if I should buy the new Nexus or just wait for the 4.2 OTA to my GNex. I think I'll be buying it now.

  • Jaywrayson

    +Ron...Do you think T-Mobile will sell this phone off contract for the same $349 for the 16gb version?

  • Jonathan Wong

    I love the design style of the timer/stopwatch app built in.

  • http://twitter.com/tmadd8 Tyler Maddocks

    First off, this was a great review.

    In my opinion, people are emphasizing the aesthetics of the hardware WAY too much. If you are smart, you will wrap this baby in a case immediately to avoid damaging it. There goes your premium feeling of a solid glass block. There goes the shimmer effect most likely. I understand that it is a /beautiful/ phone but that should not be a selling factor unless it is damage-proof.

    • Danny Lewis

      What cases? I cannot locate a case for this phone aside from pouches that are intended for a variety of phones.

    • Shaun

      I plan on covering the back and front with a Zagg shield. Done! :)

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

      Get a case that's clear Gorilla Glass 2! Problem solved! ;)

  • K

    Is it worth to wait for a 32GB version, will Google do the same thing like Nexus 7? Same price for bigger storage? Any insider know about this?

  • Dookie

    I still don't understand why everyone is so obsessed about having LTE support. LTE is a waste of battery life. On top of that most carriers don't have very limited LTE coverage. Even if they do the have coverage the difference between HSPA+ and LTE on a mobile phone is only noticeable when downloading large files/apps. On T-Mobile I hits speeds of 15+ Mbps which has been way more than enough even for larger files.

  • MrJigolo

    Just to be clear, Ron. Is that November 11th OTA also bringing Android 4.2 to the Galaxy Nexus or is it just for the Nexus 4?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      That's for the N4 and N10. We don't know anything about the Gnex update.

      • MrJigolo

        Cool. Thanks

  • Alex

    Hands down BEST review. And i love that AP doesn't do BS points system. There's no point to that.

  • JCopernicus

    "So, on phones, it pretty much does nothing. Tapping on it will bring up your own contact card, which is useless."

    It's for easy sharing of you vcard with other people through nfc.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

      Exact;y what I thought. And Bump for sharing with non-NFC phones.

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

      Hey baby lemme get your number. What kind of smartphone do you use?

      and don't say what if she doesn't have a phone with NFC, cause if she doesn't you don't wanna date her anyways.

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

    Yo, you sure you couldn't work, like, part-time for Google? I'm good with you writing awesome article here and everything, but...how far along is that whole cloning process again?

  • Bayardo Lopezpineda

    I'm noticing that the sample photos you took have a slight blue/green hue on the right half of the image. I can notice it on the go karts and the 2nd go kart pic where left side the clouds look grey, right they look bluish.

  • Hagelk

    "It's not horrible or anything. On a good day with light usage I'm getting 10-12 hours of battery life" Galaxy Nexus' battery life in your last review. Now your estimating 10-12 hours again. Let me spoiler you smth: The Nexus 4's battery life will be exactly the same.

    I really trust your reviews, the verge did some real mistakes with this one, but you should admit that the battery is not any better than the previous ones

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Hmm, those are both true. The battery life on my GN has really gone downhill.

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

        More reason to not complain about no LTE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.centeno2 Michael Centeno

    Would have gladly payed the premium extra for larger battery and optional sd card option, or atleast 32g or an even better 64gb non removable storage. this is a monster, but those 2 things mentioned is a no go for me. how sad.

  • Jens Knutson

    Where is the NFC area on a Nexus 4? Is it near the bottom like a Galaxy Nexus, or near the top like a Nexus 7?

    Great review by the way - definitely up to the high standards I've come to expect from AP.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      As a general rule, the NFC chips are usually near the top under a logo. The N4's chip is under the "NEXUS" logo, and the GN's is under the "Verizon 4G" logo.

  • master94

    Waiting for the day we can switch LTE phone to any network we want, like we do on GSm networks.

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

      Grab a Verizon Mifi and BOOM! All set!

  • Bryan Cantos

    Man I really really wish this phone would come to Sprint. I'm on a family plan and cannot switch carriers, but I would if I could.

  • http://twitter.com/Just_Reboot It Sometimes Works

    Ron, I kind of hate you right now. Your review made me lament my dependance on Verizon so hard that I want to headbutt a sidewalk until my brains leak out. (Only viable carrier I have)

  • http://twitter.com/A2Eric Eric S

    Nice review! Can't wait to order mine.

  • Dinkelberg

    Do I want a Verizon version? Yes, that's exactly what I want. My family has a family plan with Verizon and I'd love to upgrade to this from my Droid X this month, but I can't. I was holding out for it instead of immediately going with the SIII or Note 2, but now it looks like I'll have no choice but to go with one of those two.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Hawj/714501567 Chris Hawj

    hardware: if its glass like the iphone 4/4s, it will suffer through the same problems as those phones did. gorilla glass will shatter regardless. i wish they wouldve gone with a metal casing.

    • Sara Sinclair Brody

      Wouldn't metal casing preclude inductive charging?

  • Michael Zanette

    You had me at "The"

  • h

    iphone 5 does LTE on several bands, for use on every cell provider

    • max renn

      There are three different models of the iPhone 5. The three models include: GSM model A1428 that supports LTE Bands 4 and 17; GSM model A1429 that supports LTE Bands 1, 3, and 5; and CDMA model A1429 that supports LTE Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, and 25.

  • http://resaberz.blogspot.com/ Rebornyama

    But but but I drop my infuse4g all the time... and the plastic back ain't even broken yet. Well you do get what you pay for though, glass back is nice but its not something for all. Well, at least not for me.

  • Sootie

    Ron,

    With the quick settings/ notification shade on 4.2 if you access it from the lock screen does the phone still lock after around 30 seconds even if you are actively using it (touching screen etc)?

    Great review as usual, you took long enough though I have been hanging for this review since you said you had the phone last week!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Thanks.
      On the lock screen the phone says on while you use it, was that a 4.1 bug or something? I never really use a lock screen.

      • Sootie

        I'm not sure if its a 4.1 bug or cm10 or something with my phone, I have an s2 (international) and it has happened on every OS I have had on it including the factory rom (a long time ago).

        I don't use an actual lock screen or anything either but just use the standard slide to unlock so I don't pocket dial. My issue is I hit the power or home button and the screen comes on then I see I have some notifications (generally emails) and by the time I pull down the notification shade (straight from the lock screen) then expand the notifications (yay 4.1.1) and read half the first one the screen goes off again. At this point you can hit the power button and drag the notification shade down again and read for another 30 seconds or unlock it and then pull down the shade and have as long as you want. Just seems to me like dragging the shade down should unlock it or at least not time out while you are using it. I might be the only one that thinks this way though everyone else might just unlock it first.

        Reply is much appreciated too! When the actual people who write the posts reply to the people in the comments it takes the comments from being a repetitive argument (see almost every other web blog) to being almost as interesting as the articles themselves.

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    Hey, you say all phones Android smartphones feel cheap compared to the Nexus 4, are you including the HTC ONE X in that list? Do you really think it feels better in the hand?

  • http://twitter.com/ing_caifan Ubaldo Flores

    Is the t-mobile lg nexus 4 carrier unlocked? can it be used outside the US.

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

      Since it doesn't have wifi calling I'm leaning toward it being the same one from the Play Store. I think they only made two kinds of this phone, 8GB and 16GB with the same radios throughout both.

  • Harjifangki

    Dammit. I just bought Galaxy Nexus last month, and now this.
    Brb, i'm gonna cry in the corner.

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

      That's entirely your fault. This particular phone was leaked over a month ago, and long before that we knew that a new Nexus was coming out in the mid-November timeframe. This isn't a shocking release, it was known about for months in advance.

      • Abhinav Sonkar

        Hence the crying ;-)

  • Kirk

    If the N4 battery isn't removable, how would you replace it when the battery no longer holds a charge? But a new unit?

    • Sootie

      When was the last time you had a phone long enough to worry about the battery life deteriorating enough that you would consider a new battery before a new phone, though I'm sure they will be available on ebay within months of release.

      • jordanjay29

        My HTC Vision battery started losing charge at 18 months, and swelled at 19 months. I'm now at 20 months with the phone (got a replacement battery). I'll be replacing it with the N4 in a week.

  • http://twitter.com/THEJUICEMAN236 THEJUICEMAN236

    Best review I have seen of the Nexus 4 so far! Great job. It was extremely thorough and well written. I will pass it along.

  • nyName

    Just 2 hours and 40 minutes with only 12-14 hours since last charge is just total rubbish. No way near the Galaxy Nexus. I'm getting 4-5 hours screen on with ~24h since last charge on the GNex.

    • Ali Abidrahmani

      Woah,

      How could you achieve that?My Galaxy Nexus which operates in 2.75G network(Yeah,and I do not use Mobile Data at all),is not even near your galaxy nexus in terms of battery life.

      It's actually much comparable to what this article says about GNex battery life,its terrible.(Running Android 4.1.2,takju)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312291338 Tim Miller

      0% brightness, airplane mode, and an extended battery?...

      • Anoyed

        My phone can easily do 8-9 hours of screen on time. WiFi and Data activated all the time with full facebook/Google Reader/Gmail/Calendar sync.

  • Kevin Simon

    By far the best review of the phone so far. Also, loved the comments about the VZW Gnex. I feel the same exact way. My LTE is unreliable, constantly switching even when in a LTE area and the loss of connectivity between the switch gets longer and longer. This has been the case in multiple full bar locations, NJ, NY, CT, devices and SIMs. I have had enough especially since HSPA+ speeds are comparable on tmo and i wouldn't have to deal with the constant loss of connectivity when switching.

    • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

      it is your phone not the LTE network.

      • Kevin Simon

        multiple phones and multiple pantech uml290's used at work with the same issue. Not saying the devices have nothing to do with it but switching from 3g to 4g is apart of dealing with there network as of this moment.

  • ltredbeard

    Ron,

    How much space was available on the review unit out of the box? I'm just curious how much REAL space you'll have on the phone to actually use.

    On a side note, I still feel uncomfortable with a glass back. I've seen so many iphones with a cracked back and when you build an entire phone out of glass you have almost no hope when you drop it. I've dropped my phone many times and the only result was the back popping off. I have windows in my house, but I wouldn't want to build the whole thing out of glass. You inherit more risk with this design.

    Don't get me wrong, I bet this makes the phone feel so much better and I'd imagine gorilla glass will help, it's just a small concern.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      12.92GB

    • Sootie

      I have always thought the issue with the iphone wasnt the glass itself but the way the glass came out past the bezel so if it was ever dropped on even a slight angle glass would be hitting the ground first, this looks like it has a bezel all the way around covering the glass edges so I would expect it to do a little better (though the verge broke their one).

      • ltredbeard

        That's a good point and I hope it holds true.

        I didn't know the verge broke theirs, but I wonder how many other review phones have been broken in the first few weeks.

        • http://www.facebook.com/bella.pease.75 Bella Pease

          The Verge have slippery fingers from all the vaseline they use.

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

        The Verge had a small crack on the back near the camera, but not quite in the realm of "broke".

  • http://twitter.com/psych2L Joseph Lee

    Goodbye Doubletwist Alarm, Hello Android 4.2 Alarm Clock!

  • Mark Taylor

    Wonderfully buyest review, this what a review on a nexus device should look like from an Android site, you haven't omitted the flaws but you haven't blown them out of proportion

    • http://project3825.blogspot.com/ 3825

      Did you mean biased?

      • Coleburns

        Unbiased?

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

      I agree it's buyest, cause it makes me wanna buy it even more.

  • Sven79

    Great Review - the 13th can't come soon enough for me. I'd like to know how the phone works with a MHL adapter for video; I understand the Galaxy SIII requires an 11 to 5 pin USB adapter, but that it works very well sending video to the big screen. Also, I think I can get away with 16GB most of the time, but I thought using that using USB on the go might work for those times where additional storage is needed. IF you could test USB OTG for audio and video and give your feedback on how well it works, I'd surely appreciate that.

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

      I haven't seen anyone mention that it has MHL. I hope it does but my hopes aren't up.

  • Jav11 .

    hi there does this nexus 4 has face lock?

  • Googler from India

    They released the phone in India for 501 dollars! Local taxes aside thats too high considering its from google! Btw excellent review detailed :)

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

      No they haven't. You're just picking it up from an eBay retailer who put his own pre-order prices for imported devices.

  • Vallhalen

    could you kindly give us some informations about n4 box measurements and weight ?

    Really need it, to import N4 :)

  • G_Ret

    Well aside from the Nexus 4 being amazing, this has got to be one of the best and most thorough reviews I've ever read.

  • Vic Hristov

    Finally, a review that really understands that this phone is twice cheaper than the rest and still on par at worst and better overall. Others just don't seem to get that price thing at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vladimir.gritsenko Vladimir Gritsenko

    Shitty LCD instead of AMOLED? Are you kidding? How come it's better? LOL

    • AmiRite?

      Non Pentile.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

      How come you're so ignorant? LOL

    • MindFever

      As other said LCD has 50% more subpixels,consumes LESS POWER and you can't distinguish pixels by naked eye.

  • AmiRite?

    Isn't the camera settings issue only there when you hold the camera wrong (pun intended). In most cases you hold the camera horizontally which will orient the icon layout and then you would use your left thumb to access settings. This will make your finger come from "left center" towards center, and you would be able to see all the controls, correct? And yeah for those rare other occasions you can use the 'lame and slow' menu.

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

      That's what I was thinking.

  • http://twitter.com/HyvelTjuven Andrée Rehnberg

    I was pretty much certain I wasn't going to upgrade from my GNex but this review has got me thinking... However, It's not going to happen until it gets available for me here in Sweden through the play store.

    • SuperAndroid

      Agree'd! or until the price goes down to the same~~ as Play Store :-)

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    http://www.xda-developers.com/android/nexus-4-battery-shot-reveals-potential-quality-issues/
    It's $350 however, so I don't complain. If your phone will end it's life getting dropped into the water, stolen, or lost, the build quality will not matter, so I would rather like it cheaper. And if you'll be selling it, you'll have hard time explaining, how this outdated scratched slab with dying battery could cost $$$ back in the day.
    Hey AP, could you please make your next poll "What happened to your last smartphone?"

  • Boluskaart

    Great review (as always) but I don't agree with the part about the glass back. Of course a phone is not meant to be dropped, but it's a fact that it can and does happen, so making it more vulnerable is a downside. Saying "just don't drop it" is not a solution, it's not like that something you do on purpose or even risk on purpose. It still happens though.

    • Scott

      Funny. I've never dropped any of my phones. Drops don't just happen out of thin air.

      • TK

        They do.

  • Rahul

    There are lots of 'words' going on the net about the 'flaws' in Nexus. The origin of these are the poor benchmarks results on AnandTech (http://www.anandtech.com/show/6425/google-nexus-4-and-nexus-10-review). Any comments on these??

  • Robert Ferrier

    It's a google revolution. Down with greed

  • Bruno Saraiva

    I hope AP is not comparing gnex vzw vs international gsm nexus4 battery life; you used to get 2h40 screen on? i usually beat 3h45m screen on (maguro), running on battery for 1d and a few hours. also, battery life depends on the usage.
    and you like glassy stuff best, that doesn't mean it's better than titanium plastic look.

  • Lars Aussems

    So what do you mean with 2 charge cycles, does this mean you will actually get about 4/5 hours screen on time with the Nexus 4? I get max. 3 hours of screen time on my gnex.. on a good day.

  • http://twitter.com/TasInThomas Thomas

    Very well written review! I think I'm sold on this one.

  • pamoroso

    Not all customers will be pleased with the Nexus 4 price. In Italy, where Google Play doesn’t currently sell devices, the 16 GB Nexus 4 will be sold at 549€ or 599€ (it's still not clear) by the local LG branch. In Spain, where retailers will face competision from the Google Play device store, a major retailer announced it won’t carry the product at the expensive LG is setting:

    “Spanish retailer suspends plans to sell LG Nexus 4 on grounds of pricing”
    http://www.androidcentral.com/spanish-retailer-suspends-plans-sell-nexus-4-grounds-pricing

    The official page of LG Italy on Facebook is being flooded by outraged comments and insults from customers. The only official reaction of LG Italy, an employee of which confirmed a high price in a video interview published elsewhere, consists in deleting many comments and banning users from the Facebook page.

    • Andrea Rossi

      http://jacksdeliveries.co.uk/

      That's what I'll do, my friend. With something like 50 euros more, you get a Nexus 4 from the english Play Store directly to your front door. That's my answer to the damn LG Italy.

      • sillmacka

        Interested in knowing how you are going to pay the english playstore, AFAIK they only accept creditcards with an english adress ?

        • http://twitter.com/ericcamil Eric Camil Jr

          Make a friend of someone who has an "english" address and then pay them to buy it? The phones unlocked I don't see why it's the end all be all to pick it up. Yes there is a few extra steps to go through since you can't just get online and click order or in the case of Italy you don't want to pretty much double for the device. Also EBAY.

        • Andrea Rossi

          You have just to contact Jack (the owner of that site). He buys the Nexus 4 for you on the Play Store, after having payed him with a bank transfer, and then he sends it to you. He's a really nice guy, very reliable and fast (I've bought the Nexus 7 from the UK thanks to him). :D

  • http://twitter.com/JohnDoes99 John

    Best review ever! Keep going the good work! I miss only one thing, comparison videos between the N4 and other top devices (S3,Lumia920, iPhone5, OneX+ ..). That would be very interesting, because benchmarks do not tell a lot.

  • 27yearold

    budget low tech phone for poor people, no sd card, no lte, not verizon, no qwerty, non removable battery. basically worse than droid 1, a kids phone or a phone just for texting and angry birds. pass.

    • RomanosN

      Stop trolling...

      • 27yearold

        I give you valid points important to every educated person, and you give me name calling. how exactly are you different from a troll or an iphone fanboy?

        • RomanosN

          How can you call a phone with the latest Qualcomm CPU, IPS HD+ display, Android 4.2 and the rest as a "budget low tech phone for poor people".

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

      TrollBot alert...

  • shaurz

    Could you test how the mobile wifi AP mode affects the battery usage?

  • coversnails

    Strange the way we use phones for so many different things these days that it is possible to have a detailed review of a new phone that doesn't actually review how good the device is at being...a phone! Any word on reception, sound quality of calls received and being made?

  • sejin

    The battery life you listed in the review is currently what I get with my rooted gnex. Hopefully we'll see some better results with a rooted N4.

  • Pyrrhichus

    What a stunning review! Thank you very much!

  • http://twitter.com/SvenDaWhoop Sky Sailor

    Why didn't you write about Tiny Planet? If you take a picture with Photo Spehre with as much pictures as you can take, there is ja small icon in the right hand corner of the Gallery. It looks really cool, check out this picture! :)

    http://instagram.com/p/RxGOrJATHg/

  • Aku

    I have a Nexus S now and my complaint always always always has been the 16GB non expandable memory which causes me a headache often. So this is a big no-go for me and a deal breaker with 16GB!

  • blowntoaster

    the review was going well until the reviewer complained about the blinking light being inadequate...seriously...I mean seriously. that's worth moaning about on a review of a device as significant as this...After that I just got bored...

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

      Its called "detail".. SMH

    • David Kerkes

      I was actually very curious about this. I love my LED notification and sad to say, it's a major factor for me when buying a phone. They got me once on the Nexus S, but I'll never make that mistake again.

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

      I'd rather hear more of these details than not. That's why I read this review and not a few other ones where they skip the details. Some of them didn't even mention the notification light.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Towerr Christian Wagner Jr

    Yeah I am going to stick with my GNex... After having LTE for this long, its hard to imagine going back to 3g, And sure the battery life sucks, having the ability to swap it out for a fully charged one is a must have for me also. Still is a good looking phone though..just gotta wait abit for 4.2 roms to start surfacing for the GNex :D

  • Bruno Saraiva

    and for the burn-in of amoled that some are talking about, IPS displays tend to have nasty lightbleed.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

      Only if there's a sealing defect. I've never experienced bleed with any of the LCD devices I've owned over the years.

  • http://twitter.com/MysteryMannnnn Mystery Man

    Whats this I hear about the phone throttling really bad and resulting in awful performance?

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

      Haven't heard that yet. Anyone?

  • ouoo

    Still no chance against the iphone 5.

    • Samuel Daoust-Ratelle

      Consider the price difference, and you might reach a less idiotic conclusion.

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        Consider the build quality, service and support, iOS apps, coverage, and the fact that most people buy subsidized and whose the idiot.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

          ScuffPhone5 has great build quality, sure!
          Service and support? Never had a problem with that on 4 different Android OEMs in 3 years.
          iOS apps? We don't need iOS apps on Android. Android has its own apps. /s
          Coverage? What?
          Most people buy subsidised? There's a whole world outside the US where people pay full price for phones in case you didn't know. For subsidised - the S3 just crapped on iPhone sales a couple days ago.

  • louis kurian

    Google again comes with good news to carriers with introduction of Nexus 4. Google also gains by renting its cloud. This handset is a nonsense to people use removable memory card in their handsets.. but that is a truth. Who wants to depend on cloud storage for their personal information that needs to be much secure? Probably there may be people in US or UK seems not affected by this Google's plan. Clearly, majority is not going to use the cloud. Millions bought Nexus 7 even on identifying Google forces to use its cloud, seeing its amazing hardware specs etc.. not only that they know its a computer rather than a handset with small screen (small screen affects productivity).

    As a handset is also used by people for quick entertainment, Google should not have adopted the style used to design Nexus 7. I strongly doubt this product's success. Actually its not the tempting hardware configuration.. its the benefits in usage tempts one to buy things like Nexus 7 (Frankly, I really don't use my nexus 7 for any entertainment but for document creation, viewing and gaming!).

  • http://twitter.com/Gehim Rehan Ahmed

    The Nexus 4: Google doesn't get better than this...

    • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

      No Google doesn't

  • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

    This is probably the best Nexus 4 review yet (I've already read Phil's and JRR's). But, its still missing something I've been looking for. Could someone please plug in a pair of cans like the Senn HD380, play a FLAC/WAV file and tell us about the quality of the DAC? I'm yet to find another smartphone that sounds as good as the original Galaxy S (I know the iPhone 4/4S sound just as good too).

    Ron, could you do that please?

  • Shuyin86

    I have a question (this might be covered and i missed it, if so sorry) what is the speaker on the back like for volume and quality? I WILL be upgrading from a HTC sensation (the standard one) and that thing is SO quiet I regularly miss calls and text even with it sat next to me! Please tell me the Nexus has a lot better volume! other than that cant wait to get this phone, THANK YOU GOOGLE/LG!

  • John Goering

    Wow, you REALLY like that clock app, don't you?

  • storm14k

    Love the review except for one thing. Sick of hearing "platicky". There's nothing wrong with plastic. I have a Gnex and it does not feel weak in any way. I also have a Lenovo T530 and dare you to challenge its sturdiness. I think metal and glass while nice are a bit overblown.

    • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

      I like the complaints about plasticky because they are true. The Galaxy S III for example. ugh.

      • storm14k

        Yea but from what I remembered its actually cheap feeling shiny plastic.

  • Gustavo Gomez

    dude. you have to stop recommending glass on the back of the phone. I prefer plastic. With glass, I have to cover the phone with Otterbox. Glass is nicer but not practical.

  • http://twitter.com/carmlm59 Deividas Eringis

    Is Nexus 4 capable of USB OTG (on-the-go) ? N7 does it without any sweat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOqn62m49S0

    Thanks

  • Yoni

    Ron,
    Regarding your justification for the "glass back", people don't like it because it is more likely to break when you have a "glass back". You simply can not avoid this! The chances for breaking your phone are much higher now.
    It took me 2 year to crack the screen of my Galaxy S, and it would have been earlier if it was entirely glass.
    You should really add it to the list of bad things.

    After reading your review I just got more confused about my next phone, the Nexus 4 looks so amazing, and the price is great. It will be hard decide...

  • sdfs

    what a piece of shit.

  • Ash

    Awesome review Ron!!!! Am gonna get this beast by december!!!

  • jimmysmalia

    I will buy the nexus phone every year when it comes out. I did this since the first nexus. I don't buy a phone anymore. I was to see it like this I would have stayed with my first HTC or Expedia. I am buying technology and a gadget I am over the moon that with this nexus my hobby got a lot cheaper. Well done. ps: will be tought to see my gnexus going into the box.

  • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

    Glass back
    No sd card slot
    No removable battery
    No LTE
    Aren't these all the complaints Android users had about the iPhone 4 and 4s?
    All the Android sites are glossing over no LTE on this phone. AT&T is deprecating their HSPA network as fast as they can as they build out LTE. Which leaves T-Mobile with their terrible coverage.
    The Verizon iPhone 5 is unlocked and works with most networks including LTE. Why can't the Google Nexus do this? Because the carriers told them no.
    Android makes minimal use of quad core as do Android apps. The quad core proc is also much slower than the A6 in the iPhone.
    I also find the characterization of Verizon LTW as odd if not another rationalization. I have been using it all over the country for some time and while it isn't perfect it beats the snot out of AT&T and T-Mobiles HSPA networks.

    • Billy

      I'm not sure, but it might be because the Nexus 4 is $300 less than the iPhone and is universal (1 hardware configuration) :)

      I don't care about the non-removable battery or lack of LTE, but I am one of those that always complained about the iPhone 4's glass back, although it seems slightly more protected than the iPhone's. I prefer my phone bare and, as careful as I try to be, drop my phone a few times a year. I don't plan to start using a case anytime soon and will try to be more careful, but hopefully the replacement glass can be had for a reasonable price...just in case :)

      And to bottleneck the launch without a 32GB option? Ridiculous. You know they will release a 32GB version within a few months, so why not now?

  • Joe

    I love it... non-removable battery, less plastic, etc. copying Apple much? I bet you guys were all bemoaning the iPhone with the non-removable battery. And now your flagship phone is the same. No LTE? Yea - you don't need it... because you haven't experienced it. Once you catch up to the iPhone 5 I'm sure you'll rave about how fantastic it is.

    • Scott

      Oh shut up. It's not that we don't need LTE, we don't need the BS that goes along with LTE...namely carrier involvement, ie: f***king with our phone.

      • EDNYLaw

        To be fair, no LTE is BS. All of us Android people laughed at the fact that the iPhone 5 touted LTE as did the iPad 3. Now we're pulling an iSheep move saying it's not that great, it's just a luxury. It's hypocritical. I am no Apple fan, believe me, I own an iPod because it interfaces with my nav system in my car, that's it. I stear people away from Apple as much as I can and think they are the epitome of what is wrong with tech consumers. But with Google taking a step back to 2011 on the eve of 2013, it's just stupid and I won't support it. I hope this Nexus flops big time and they reconsider what makes Android devices great, large storage, removable batteries and LTE. Moving towards iPhone designs isn't going to win popularity contests, Android is already winning by being the anti-iPhone.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

          None of the GSM models of any flagship phone have LTE. You guys need to realise that this is a world GSM phone. This was not supposed to have LTE. You could argue about a future LTE variant (multiple in fact, as one wouldn't be sufficient for the random mess that is LTE), but calling out a GSM world phone for not having LTE is like calling out an American car for not having the steering wheel on the right hand side.

          • EDNYLaw

            Apple "magically" did it, and regardless of whether it's a GSM world phone, it doesn't have something that is basically standard now. Apple is one of the slowest companies to adopt things, if they've incorporated LTE, it's a standard. Google could have used the chip that has LTE/GSM on one chip and given people the option. There are very few places in NY I don't have 4G. Give users choice, is that what Android is supposed to be about?

            You must admit, this is quite a fanboy argument, if this was Apple we'd all be laughing at iSheep and calling Apple the dumbest tech company on the market, but since it's Google you're defending tooth and nail? Silly.

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

            I think they defend it somewhat because of how Verizon screwed over the Nexus program. If that hadn't happened I think the tone would change.

          • EDNYLaw

            I agree, VZW really screwed up the Nexus program, but (a) Google can't compete with VZW in the US (even Apple on ATT didn't setup VZW from being the nation's largest carrier); and (b) It really disenfranchises VZW subscribers. I'm certainly not going to dump my unlimited plan on the nation's best network for slower speeds and shotty coverage. Plus the move rewards more iPhone like devices isn't winning any fans. Give people want they want, LTE, removable battery and 32/64 GB of storage. I will pay more. If want a cheap phone I'll buy one, at least offer models with those features.

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

            I definitely would prefer that it came with CDMA and GSM and HSPA+ and LTE for all used frequencies but I think they want to try the Nexus program as just one device and it's not possible to make something that works that way from what I've read. Hopefully something happens to cause Verizon to give Google the same deal they give Apple, which is allowing them to have 100% control of a device on their carrier, but it seems they're being kinda grumpy about that. I'd blame Verizon more than Google.

            Also keep in mind that a Verizon model could happen in the future, they might just "need a break" :)

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psycho_maniac_ Jerry Lange

    The only thing that is a deal breaker for me is the 16gb storage

  • fleem

    You should have put "No LTE" and the top of the page and I wouldn't have had to waste so much time.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

      You didn't know that before coming to this review? Where were you for the last 10 days, under a rock?

  • Zak Taccardi

    Two things I would like to note:

    On 4.2 Quick Settings: "It also would have made sense to make this interface tabbed, so that a horizontal swipe could switch panels, but nothing works."
    ---You can't swipe left or right, because that's how you dismiss notifications.

    As for the keyboard, I would prefer it over swype, but it has one fatal flaw - no trace-accessible apostrophe. So words like "we'll" and "well" have the exact same trace pattern. I correct people's grammar all the time, so I don't want to accidentally embarass myself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikhilkaduskar Nikhil Kaduskar

    Check out one thing: In the new Clock app, if your system time format is set to 24-hour, then it gives you options to add ":00" and ":30" instead of AM/PM. This is really handy and speeds up time setting!

    About Camera settings: I guess you can use your muscle memory after you get used to it; I simply loved the new settings option. But you are correct about shutter button - at least they should allow using the volume rocker like other apps do.

    Great review Ron - I am surely upgrading from NS to N4 now! :)

  • howard

    Great article. BUT I've gotten 60 hours out of my Nexus Galaxy.

  • Samik Parekh

    Did any one know when AT&T will have HTC ONE X+....

  • techgeeky

    This is the most detailed review I have read for the Nexus 4.

    Thank you Ron. You really did a great job.

    Guys I have some questions if anyone could answer them:

    1. Is the front camera 720p?

    2. Does it have Bluetooth 3 or 4?

    3. What widgets can you use on the lock screen? and can you use them when you have pattern/password lock?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      The front cam will do 720p.

      It's got Bluetooth 4.

      Lock screen widgets aren't out yet, so I have no idea. We'll have an article on them when the OTA hits.

      • Guest

        Thanks.

        Waiting for it

  • Samvith V Rao

    "Every phone will break if you drop it. Electronics aren't made to be dropped." - Who are you, Steve Jobs putting out a mandate ? However hard you try, you will drop it once in a while. Putting your head under the sand won't help. Manufacturers should take care of this fact too. There is a reason that plastic is used. Supporting the manufacturer even when they make stupid decisions like putting up a glass back should be left to fanboys. Seasoned reviewers should know better.

    • Mohit Gianai

      Thank you! That was the only flaw I found on this otherwise brilliant review.

    • GraveUypo

      well said.

    • Anoyed

      I've never dropped any of my phones since 1996.

    • dobbsy

      Agreed. I've had about 8 smartphones and most have hit the ground at some point, whether falling off a table or out of my hand. Not one of my phones has ever broken. The reviewer writing "Every phone will break if you drop it" makes me doubt everything else in the review as it absolutely is not true and makes me question whether the rest of the review is equally fanboy hype.

      • TK

        Everything he said except the last part. The reviewer is biased against plastic but he makes that abundantly clear. That's not really any reason to doubt the rest of the review.

    • Stylus_XL

      A touchscreen smartphone will need a glass front - that's non-negotiable. If you're gonna drop a thin, pretty flagship smartphone with a glass front it will have a high chance of breaking - regardless of how you design the back of the device. That's the dude's point - in for a penny, in for a pound.

      I've owned four iPhones (two of those being the glass front and backed iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S which sold by the truckload) and I currently own an S3. I've managed to not smash the glass on any of those devices, because they're expensive and delicate and I treat them as such. If you want your smartphone to be ultra durable because you're a clutz, either place them in a resistant case to compensate for your butter fingers or buy a rugged hard-wearing phone like a Galaxy Rugby.

      People expect their high end smartphones to:

      1. feature high specifications that represent the latest cutting edge technology

      2. be light, thin and otherwise aesthetically breathtaking

      3. be highly resistant to breaking, or visible wear and tear

      4. have a long battery life

      5. not be outrageously expensive

      It's extremely difficult for any manufacturer to produce a touchscreen smartphone or tablet that can balance all of those expectations successfully. To those who think it's simple, you really should start your own consumer electronics company - because you're clearly in possession of a level of genius that the rest of us mere mortals could only dream of attaining.

  • Matthew King

    @ronamadeo:disqus

    Great review as always Ron!! Just a couple of questions: does the
    alarm allow you to use any music file as it's ringtone? And does the
    gmail app currently on the N4 support pinch-to-zoom?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      The alarm brings up the same list of designated "alarm" noises it has always brought up, there's no easy way to set an mp3.

      Yep, the N4's Gmail does pinch zoom, it's just like the 4.2 version we leaked.

      • Matthew King

        The mp3 alarm noise isn't a huge problem. Glad to hear that Gmail's finally been fixed on the real software. Can't wait to see some GTKAs soon, i hear some changes have been made to the call log too?

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

      You should be able to do that yourself with third party apps or cutting a file yourself and putting it into the right folder for notifications/ringtones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stuart-Anderson/1003157262 Stuart Anderson

    Nice review, I agree with most of it and will be grabbing one on launch day.
    (but in the third to last paragraph you want a space between 'any' and 'more'.)

    Oh, and is there a way to disable the quick settings notification page in favor of power toggles or should I just be using both?

  • Niall Mullins

    I'd be much more interested in how the N4 compares with a GNex running Franco kernel - faster, smoother, and I often go to bed with ~50% battery left and up to 4 hours screen on time! I stuck with my N1 when the Nexus S launched; I'll probably keep my GNex until the next Nexus

  • SuperAndroid

    How will the clock look/work for people who dosen't have AM/PM?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Good question! Everything works, AM and PM just turn into "00" and "30" buttons.

  • Ben Lewis

    "primary" - you mean "primarily" right? (dunno if it's different in US English...)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      whoops, fixed, thanks.

  • Kam J

    Why is everyone raving on about Photo Sphere? t's nothing new, iPhone has had this for ages now and Windows phone now have this, in the form of PhotoSynth which is designed by Microsoft. It's such a brilliant app, why they never released for Android I have no idea!!! Btw, I am an Android user, hopefully this will be just as good!

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

      Cause it's neato. I didn't know they had it on other ecosystems cause I'm not on other ecosystems.

  • Ryan Young

    At the end of April, my phone will be officially 2 years old.
    In January I am eligible for an upgrade. (and possible attempt at forcing me to have shared data)
    And next week my custom skin for my HTC Thunderbolt should arrive in the mail.

    Now your review on the hardware alone makes me want to jump ship early.

  • Lex

    So, uh.
    Where's the SD-card slot? and for that matter, how does one easily equip this phone with a beefier battery?

    • http://twitter.com/anasqtiesh Anas Qtiesh

      There isn't, and you don't.

  • Raghavendra Sarva

    Very Good detailed review, keep it up Ron. :)

  • S K

    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the major voice-to-text upgrade! Here's a quote from the What's new page: "With improved text-to-speech capabilities, voice typing on Android is even better. It works even when you don't have a data connection, so you can type with your voice everywhere you go."

    Voice to text works without data connection! What black magic is this? Ron, can you check this out and verify it please?

    • manlisten

      This was actually implemented in version 4.1

  • onpoint G

    For everyone planning on getting the Nexus 4 please feel free to let me borrow it for a couple of months so I can try it lol jp...maybe not oh well CALL ME!

  • DavidMeckes

    I got to the part where he said "The standard cheap plastic slabs aren't going to cut it anymore after this" and stopped reading. That mentality came from Apple. Thanks for the wonderful review.

  • Josh

    Has any reviewer tried the Miracast capability? I'd like to know how well it works with something like the Netgear PTV3000.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      I don't have any Miracast devices.

  • Arcest

    How's the camera performing compared to Samsung Galaxy S2? When a exclusive camera comparison?

  • drtz

    That was undoubtedly the most thorough review of a clock app I'll ever see by a long shot. Bravo

  • GraveUypo

    so, i'll have to say what i used to say about iphones, and that's not changed because of the new nexus: glass on the back of a phone is retarded and totally unpractical, and phones are not (supposed to be) fashion accessories. this is a beautiful phone, but i'd rather have a rubberized back instead of glass.

    And "phones are not meant to be dropped", yes, but they should be able to handle a fall or two. my old defy fell back first on a hard and sharp metal rail (from my truck's seat) more times than i would ever like it to, and if it was glass im 100% sure it would have broken in all of those instances.

    the screen is all scratched just from falling on the rubber mat of that very same truck, just because there was a bit of sand and dust on it. one awfully fragile surface is plenty for me, thanks.

    my gs3 fell a couple of times from my pocket when i was driving too (damn useless shallow pocket fashion thingy that's going on now that i can't avoid because i can't find jeans with regular pockets anymore, god i HATE fashion people) and from a table 1, (3 feet) high more than once, and thanks to the "cheap plastic body", it's intact.

    • anonymous192837

      I agree with you, I would take a plastic cover on the back any day, I never used a protective case for any of my phones, but now I am afraid that this one will shatter at the first fall, what is the advantage of having a beautifull thing if you are gonna wrap it up with silicon anyways. So I agree it is retarded.

      I have all sorts of things made with plastic and they are all fine, from TV sets to refrigerators, I am sitting at my desk right now and I can see a TV and PC monitor, modem and router, mouse and keyboard, printer, an AV receiver and the speakers (including subwoofer) and many other things, all have plastic on them, some are cheap some are expensive, but they work as intended. I never got this "cheap plastic" argument, it is a perfectly fine material for electronics, way better than glass if you ask me.

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

      I've always had plastic and that's served me well, but I'm willing to give this a try. I haven't dropped my phones all that many times (knocking on wood here) so hopefully I can keep my streak alive lol.

      • GraveUypo

        thing is the more you like your phone, the more you'll drop it.
        i never dropped my dumbphones in eight years (mostly because i didn't even carry them on me most of the time lol). but as soon as i got an android suddenly i started dropping it (not a lot, but still happened).

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

          I've loved every device I've had though and can never put them down, including my 3GS back on launch day, my two Evos and my Galaxy Note. I'll constantly be on any device that I buy really lol. /nerd

  • letsplaaay

    Thanks for the great Review of Nexus 4!

    One question: Ron mentioned "old Android browser" when talking about the quick controls. Is he implying there is a "new" Android browser?

    • manlisten

      Chrome is pretty much the new stock browser.

      • letsplaaay

        Am I the only one who prefers the stock browser because of the quick controls?

        • manlisten

          Not only that, the stock browser (or the *old* stock browser) is still way more stable than Chrome. At least in my usage.

  • oh well

    4.7 inch screen? are they out of their mind? god, i want to replace my galaxy S (samsung sucks, really. will never buy their stuff again) but google is making it hard? any screen bigger than 4 inches is just stupid. how big are your hands? damn. another non-starter.
    is there any 4 inch screen android phone? i mean, one with stock android of course.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

      The Nexus S.
      Btw, over 100 million people have voted with their wallets for screens bigger than 4"

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

      I wish they gave people more options but I prefer a bigger screen so I can't really complain.

  • Pete

    How many alarms can you set? I work different times so would like to set at least 8-10 alarms

  • letsplaaay

    Reading this review made me spend some time researching and calculating....

    I've got 14 months of Verizon 2-year contract left... so I found that will be $250 termination fee. I also found galaxy nexus in used status is currently about $250 worth so it should roughly cover my termination fee. Maybe time to finally say goodbye to the big red rapist.

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

      GTFO of there dude. Use your options!

  • Mike

    Nice review, but what sim does it take?

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

      Micro-SIM from what I've read.

  • Scott

    I like! BUT...
    No (micro) SD slot, no removable battery... No sale! I feel like I really would have swapped my GS III for this and made it my first Nexus. So close, guys... You had a chance but made some poor choices.

  • Phil

    Multi-swiping keyboard. Sounds like Keymonk. Is Google going to just duplicate an app in the store like they did the floating movie app & claim it as their own?

  • ruperto17

    Hey Ron,
    Can you confirm whether the mail app has a sync scheduler? I currently use Sense, and it lets me set a schedule of when to do push vs manual sync. Invaluable if you have a 9a-5p job and don't want to get work email while you're at work in front of your computer. It's the only thing stopping me from going Vanilla Android. thanks.

  • Tbird

    Such a good in-depth review. Thank you for thoroughly covering the device i will be getting :D

  • Carlos

    The BEST review I have read about this phone. Android Police have made a reputation in my mind. I'll come here more often!

  • AVClubhouse

    Good article but it falls short on someone who wants to use an LTE phone. ATT is just terrible with data plans. I have been a Sprint customer for a decade. I have unlimited data on my GNEX LTE. Chicago LTE just got lit up and I am getting 25 mbps down and 10 up with a strong signal. WHY NO SPRINT LTE PHONE? Sprint is not like Verizon. I got my 4.1.1 update less than 2 months from release.

    • aiden9

      Costs and control. This GSM version can work and so many places that they are able to scale their manufacturing pretty well, a CDMA/LTE Sprint version would only work on Sprint. To make it worth while Sprint would probably have to buy ahead of time which then starts the power struggle between Google and Sprint. Yes Sprint is better than Verizon about their power struggle but still no where near as good as good ol' GSM standard.

      • AVClubhouse

        Actually, I do not care about GSM and it being a standard around the world. The standard will be LTE in the USA. Bottom line is in the Chicago area I am getting great LTE. I do not travel around the world for business so it is a moot point. LTE will prevail here. ATT is building it out now. Verizon is almost done and Sprint is halfway through the process.

        • aiden9

          Key points: *will be* and USA.
          At the moment none of the LTE networks in the US are compatible. Meaning Google would have to make multiple versions of the phone=higher costs=higher prices for the device when they obviously want to make it at a certain price point. Even without the compatibility problems we still aren't to the point where we can use VOLTE meaning we still have to have either CDMA or GSM radio for voice(CDMA being a pain to deal with for Google as the carries use it for control).

          LTE is still relatively non existant outside the US(and even inside the US no one besides Verizon really has a big LTE network in place). So you'd still be faced with a phone that can't be scaled very well as the market for it on a global scale is still small. A full LTE roll out and subsequent VOLTE roll out is still years away.

          PS: Thats great that you don't travel around the world for business but that wasn't the point being made. The point being made is Google can make 1 version with GSM that works in the US, the UK, etc and that is all they have to make. That is fantastic from a manufacturing standpoint as it keeps costs down as opposed to having to make 20 different versions.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

          Sorry you're not Google's majority target demographic for the Nexus 4. :SMH:

          • AVClubhouse

            They better rethink this since Sprint's LTE network will be the best in 1 year's time.

  • Anton Gl

    Hah. Don't know how about you, but my LG OB regulary drops and feels good enought. Of course, there are only matt plastic back and gorilla glass at the front.
    I have seen what's happened if iPhone 4/4s drops and it no acceptable for me.