According to the guys over at German site MobiFlip, Google and LG may have pulled a fast one on us by very subtly updating the Nexus 4's design. The changes appear to be quite minor (yet useful), with the addition of small "nipples" on the bottom of the phone's backside being the most notable. Why would Google add such a small difference, you ask? Because as it stands, the N4's back is completely flat, which essentially mutes (or drastically muffles) the speaker when the phone is laid down. It's incredibly frustrating, and as a result I've missed several texts and phone calls since getting the N4. This new design tweak looks to remedy that.


Note: The Nexus 4 on the left is the "original" model with a custom skin (likely from dbrand) covering the back.

Aside from this small bump (get it, get it?!), the camera lens' outer ring is now smaller. There is apparently no rhyme or reason behind this change, though MobiFlip attributes the change to aesthetics. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but at the same time, I can think of no other reason why Google/LG would make this change. So, call it what you will.


Again, the photo on the right show the N4 with a custom skin, likely from dbrand.

Of course, while this all looks legit – and it likely is – we should probably take it with a grain of salt until we A) get official word from Google (which is not probable), or B) get eyes on these changes from other sources.

Update: We're getting numerous confirmations that this is indeed the real deal. 

MobiFlip (German); Thanks, Anon!

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • efan

    i have one of the early batches. got mine in december. second round. and i have a small camera opening but no nubs on the back.

    • Jay W.

      I got mine last month: small camera opening, no nubs.

      • jonathan3579

        I have the small camera opening (centered) with no nubs as well. I got mine in February.

    • moelsen8

      yeah i was just looking at mine too from the original batch (well, i was included in the first delayed email, but ordered in the original batch). i don't have the nubs, but i swear my camera looks to be the smaller one.

      edit: then again the screenshot up above makes it look worse than it is - the skin makes it look a little wider because of the shadows. hrm.

    • healthy

      yup. I also have a smaller camera "opening" but no nubs. got mine at the beginning of Feb.

  • RitishOemraw

    Maybe also some changes to prevent it from sliding off the wireless charging orb?

    • Smitty

      This! I hate waking up in the morning to have my phone only half charged and lying on the floor.

  • Zoosh

    I just got my nexus 4 yesterday, and it has the little 'nipples' on the bottom.

    • Adam Miah

      Lucky shit.

    • jonathan3579

      I've been following the thread on XDA for RMA'd Nexus having it. It's good that this update is making it out... Sadly, I don't have the updated version.

    • ddpacino

      Is the back still the same??? The newer one in the pic looks as if the back is completely black...

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.danna.733 Jonathan Danna

        The nexus 4's back only shows the dot pattern in certain lighting conditions / angles.

        • ddpacino

          I know this, and at the same angles? Look at the closeups of the cameras. You can see a textured back and plain black back....

          • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.orlov.35175 Alexander Orlov

            That's beacuase one of them has dbrand's carbon sticker on it's back.


          • ddpacino

            Thank you, that explains it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/killer49 Hendrick Vidal

      You should of waited for the s4

      • Abhijeet Mishra

        Why's that? for the joy of TouchWiz, the slow and bloated awesomeness of Samsung's? :-P

        • donttrollmepeople

          ur kidding right?

          • Baris Bicer

            He might be joking around, but he's not wrong.

          • donttrollmepeople

            i remember one of the biggest 'let downs' of buying a nexus 4 was watching you tube videos of touchwiz devices and seeing them move faster click for click than the nexus 4. it was that young black guy that does reviews. showing what apps he runs on his gs3. he was running through the pages and loading apps and such and it noticeably faster than my brand new n4.

          • Ian Santopietro

            So slow down the animations?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Mcintier/1146574107 Sean Mcintier

            I think the GS3 is faster than the N4 anyways. Also the N4 is half the price a GS3 was, and is still cheaper than a GS3

          • Tomi Golob

            But it is not. It is just a plain fact :) stop trying

          • Tomi Golob

            Bullshit...I own the quad core sgs3 and it is not as smooth as N4. Beside that the amount of free ram the S3 has is not good...this causes frequent background services to restart or just stop working . The launcher also restarts frequently . And try launching the dialer...5 buttfucking seconds it takes!! You are either lying or your memory has Samsung vision enabled

        • http://www.facebook.com/killer49 Hendrick Vidal

          Nah maybe because it crushes any phone out right now with it's processor, camera, storage capacity, high quality screen and one of the biggest battery with a brand new 4.2.2 jelly bean, need to say more? Numbers don't lliedude don't hate on Samsung, appreciate!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Mcintier/1146574107 Sean Mcintier

            the storage capacity isn't anything special on the GS4, it's pretty standard with any other high end phone out there. I personally wouldn't get it, but it is a great phone.

          • Tomi Golob

            Yeah right...did u see how much free ram was on S4? 200megs,which is pathetic. Octacore or not,the launcher shall restart and all of you shall be crying... Or you'll suffer the Stockholm syndrome and defend your expensive purchase . I wish you well! Such deseases are tough to cure

        • mark

          The in-fighting among Android users is sad, and you're as bad as each other. He deserves to be voted down for trolling when the Nexus 4 is a great phone available now, and will still be an unmatched phone as its price. But you deserve to be voted down for writing crap about the perfectly decent Samsung phones. (I have a Galaxy Nexus myself- there's nothing special about vanilla Android.)

          • tylerbrainerd

            lol, yeah nothing at all. no reason that people buy nexus, ever

      • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

        There's no point for me, as I'm just going flash a custom ROM on it. The S4 is mostly just software enhancements.

        • Anshul Vishwakarma

          There will be very few custom ROMs for S4. CyanogenMod team has already confirmed that they won't be making a rom for S4 because Samsung refuses to release documentation on it, even though it goes against GPL.

          • Mike Reid

            1 - GT-I9505 version different: Qualcomm.

            2 - You can't predict the future.

            3 - No GPL violation or it would be huge news and a court case. Only kernel is GPL. Documents GPL ? No.

          • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

            First of all, I said I was going with the Nexus 4. Secondly the US variant, which I would get if I was getting the S4, doesn't have those issues. Third, CM hasn't sworn off any devices. They issued a statement saying they don't announce that kind of stuff before hand and those developers did not represent CM (but I think that they probably won't support it).

        • http://www.facebook.com/killer49 Hendrick Vidal

          Software engagement? You missed three part where it's quad processor, 13mp camera, 2600mah battery, bigger 1080p screen? Are you reading the articles before you come to conclusion?

          • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

            The N4 is $350. I'm going to use it for a couple of months and then get the next one. There's no way in hell I'm signing a 2 year contract for the S4 - all those specs aren't worth it.

          • Tomi Golob

            Also N4 looks gorgeous... And it has on average like 1.1gb of FREE RAM and that's with heavy app switching. That is impressive. I saw a clip of S4 where they showed how much ram was available...like 200 or 275megs of ram ,lol...Touchwiz is a RAM stuffed pig

        • Tomi Golob

          Haha custom ROMs... But why then you wish to get the S4? Trust me the N4 is perfect for one hand use. I had to switch my grip frequently with my S3 to reach the notif bar...also it doesn't feel as good in hands compared to N4

          • navjot

            I never said I was getting the S4, I'm getting the N4 :)

          • Tomi Golob

            Oooh okay then! I got my N4 two days ago!!!! Such an amazing phone. Lightning fast. I mean ,it launches everything in an instant. So much RAM free (on average 1.5gb of ram is always free ). You will not regret the purchase. I also suggest the app light flow because Google in all its wisdom /s didn't putt any led notification for missed calls and calendar events. That is pretty stupid of them wtf... Also G+ doesn't use led... Google should make it mandatory that every of their apps has an option for LED settings

      • mikeym0p

        He wanted an N4, he bought an N4. It wont magically get better when the S4 comes out. Unless you're trolling or implying a price drop.

        • Elias

          Prince drop for a $350 quad-core phone with 2gb of RAM? They're already impossibly cheap.

          • mikeym0p

            It'll will come eventually

      • Tomi Golob


    • Jake Axenroth

      Just got my replacement yesterday and it has the bumps. Also vibrator feels stronger.

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

        For her pleasure? (Or his, I'm an equal opportunity sex toy joke-maker).

        • Vishnu Vadlamudi

          I'm guessing its meant to lift the he new of the surface its placed on so that the glass back does not touch and thus prevent scratches.

        • DC

          How dare you make a comment like that! Someone should take your picture, post it on twitter, get you fired and then get themselves fired! That's the only way anyone will learn a valuable lesson about something or other!

          • http://www.facebook.com/nick.leblanc7 Nick LeBlanc


          • ViggsPR

            He was just making a reference to the Adria Richards story: http://vrge.co/16M9diF

        • exa

          I had a replacement too (because I felt that sound satured with earphone) and I had both phones on next to each other on bootloader and the new one seemed have slightly better colors (crisp and stronger) and the new model has the bumps.

      • DrewNusser

        That's been one of my big gripes! Maybe I should act like mine sucks so I can get a replacement.

    • http://openskymedia.com Jason

      I can confirm this as well. I got mine yesterday and it has them, too.

    • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

      my wife also came with nipples

      • FrillArtist

        Too bad she didn't come with a brain.

        • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

          To cover for my needs no brain is needed

          • Tomi Golob

            Funny,she told me the same thing about you

  • http://www.facebook.com/ndnesh Dinesh Nalluri

    Nice! I actually like this.. i like the design of the nexus 4, and the size of it is ideal at 4.7 inches and the build quality is amazing. whats to stop Google from just refining this design instead of a new design each year? IMHO, builds recognition and then becomes instantly recognizable as a NEXUS! :) This also may be one of the reasons why the design of the phone(atleast from the front) looks so much similar to the last year's Galaxy Nexus! i think Google is onto something here! Standardize a build, change only what is needed, and keep beefing up the internals as and when required! who is with me??!

    • cc_star

      OEMs pitch the design don't they? I know Google can tweak like they famously did with the N7 & N10 rear casing, but would this design not be LG's?

      • Kandiboyyy

        The nexus devices are designed by both Google and the OEM.

    • arf01

      Nexus 5 needs:
      *SD Card Slot
      *LTE (AT&T + T-Mobile type perhaps)
      *Removable Battery!
      *5.5" screen (like the Note 2 - just my preference of course!)
      *13 MP Camera
      That's all! :-)

      • xnifex

        you won't get the sd card slot. Google will probably never build another Nexus device with one. The other options maybe.

      • Joshua

        Two of the requirements to be a Nexus device are that there be no microSD slot and that the battery not be removable. In other words, you're asking to see the Nexus brand changed entirely from what it is now. Unfortunately, I agree with you, and so I won't be buying a Nexus any time soon.

        • arf01

          The batteries lose their charging ability over time, so what is one to do, if the battery goes bad? Can it be unsoldered, and resoldered in? Not a good design to have a non-removable battery, if you want to keep the phone for a while. HEY - maybe that is Google's way of getting us to buy new phones! NOTE: I do have a Nexus 4, and LOVE it. But I'd love it MORE if it had all of things on the list I wrote.....

          • RealTNT

            The N4 is my first non-removable battery phone and I used to be one of those who was teasing the iSheeps, etc... I had bought an extra battery for the original Galaxy, which I only used a small number of times and then it was forgotten in some drawer somewhere. I didn't need it nearly as much as I thought and when I did... sadly I didn't have it with me. So, the non-removable battery doesn't bother me at all. Also, by the time the battery craps out, I will have bought the N5, so I don't worry about it!!

            The microSD Card Slot would certainly be a welcome addition, but I can't see it happening. I would be grateful though if instead we could at least get 16/32gb and even 64gb versions. With 720p/1080p video and 2-3mb photo files, 8/16gb is sadly a joke (esp. when you have small kids and ideally, you'd like to have more than a few months' worth of photos/vids - newish parents will understand! :-) )

            LTE I guess it will come, but right now in the UK the prices are ridiculous and I don't do so much downloading that HSDPA speeds are not sufficient. Having good signal is important, so perhaps better radios to squeeze as much from low signal areas would be good.

            5.5" is too large for me. I find even the N4 with the bumper to be slightly too large for my liking. Without the bumper I think it's just right!

            Regarding the camera, 8-10MP from such a tiny sensor is more than fine. I just wish that they could sort out the noise, color balance, and make it work more like a real camera. If they want to go to 13MP without sacrificing any of the above, fine... but there's always a compromise. I'd rather have a 6-8MP with an f/1.8-2.0 lens, decent ISO1600 and a flash that doesn't blast everything within 1m to oblivion, rather than have a crappy 13MP sensor, that can't take decent daytime pictures indoors.

            Finally, an extra addition that I'd like to see is Bluetooth Low Energy. Unless it has been resolved since the last time I looked, I think the issue is that there isn't an Android API for the devs to use to support BLE devices (like Fitbit, various HRMs, etc). Apparently the N4 has the hardware (and other manufacturers have provided their solutions) but the software needs to catch up. Hopefully, in the next update.

          • efan

            actually the sd card slot isnt a big deal but the need to bump the storage to 16, 32, and maybe even 64 GB. the least they can do. the battery isnt a very big deal for me either.

      • Tomi Golob

        5.5" screen? Fuck you ! I switched to N4 because it has just the right size...anything more is ttoo big and I need to switch my grip to reach the notification bar wwith my thumb. Hence why I will sell my S3,because my N4 is just perfect

  • cc_star

    Does it still get really hot in a way the Optimus G doesn't?

    • silaslenz

      It does still get hot, but not in a way that worries or annoys me.

    • deltatux

      Time to use a custom kernel and undervolt the device

  • miffstic

    There's a thread on xda about this.

  • Danny Holyoake

    My Nexus 4 will sometimes crash and reboot if I take a picture in the dark - the camera will make a bunch of clicking noises.

    This news makes me want to send it in for an RMA, the speaker mute issue is irritating.

  • http://twitter.com/USSENTERNCC1701 USSENTERNCC1701E

    Wonder how those nips affect the fit of the official bumper.

  • Russ

    I received mine this week and it does include the "nipples", to be honest I thought it was more to do with raising the glass off a hard surface to avoid scratches but freeing up the speaker a little makes sense too

    • HotInEER

      I was thinking about the glass also.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684646603 Eric Mendes

    I got my Nexus 4 in the first batches this year and no nips. I'm jealous. Just yesterday I placed my phone down to listen to music while cooking..and its very frustrating that I have to lay the phone the screen. Good change.

    • Kernschatten

      I've been using the Ringke Fusion case. Has a clear polycarbonate back and rubber nipples to raise it off of flat surfaces.

    • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

      HTC One to the rescue! ;)

    • ElfirBFG

      Why is it frustrating? I lay my RAZR screen-side down all the time. Unless you're setting it on concrete, I can see no issues.

  • Justin Jones

    I can confirm the N4 I got on Monday has these updates. I was wondering if the "nipples" were normal or a defect because I couldn't find any pictures of them. I actually do not like them because you can feel them, and it makes the otherwise great feel in the hand worse.

  • Cory Spencer

    I recently got my N4 a week ago and it has the changes mentioned. The smaller camera outer ring looks better IMO.

  • brkshr

    I can do with out the nipples. I have a case that covers them anyways.

  • geoffking74

    i got mine 3 weeks ago and it has the nipple and does not get hot

  • Henry

    Notice that the flash is also more centred and not rotated at an odd angle in the new version, like many 'old' one's I've seen have.

  • Chris Webster

    Just got a replacement that arrived on Wednesday and I can confirm that it has a pair of nipples

    • Scott

      This made me giggle.

      • Dan Turano

        i wonder if they will change the Bumper to Bra?

        • Tomi Golob

          Haha good one

  • Shane Milton

    This happened at least weeks ago.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Well, hopefully this is the version Google brings to India if they're planning to launch the phone here. The Nexus 7 they launched is the old stock that runs 4.1, so I don't have much hope, but in case of N4 I'm sure the old stock isn't left anyway, haha.

  • Jose Santos

    Interesting...This is going to be my next phone...

    • donttrollmepeople

      you dont want it.

      • Jose Santos

        Why not?

        • donttrollmepeople

          because its cheap. low bidder. bottom of the barrel parts list. people think google takes a loss on it. but they dont. they offer it at 299 because after the google and lg mark-ups... that is what it is worth. my two year old gs2 is a much better device. it sounds better. it takes better pics. it has a better quality screen (for its age). it doesnt have to be thrown in a freezer to get a proper benchmark etc. but it doesnt look as good as the nexus. i had a nexus for three weeks. sold it and went back to my gs2 for these reasons.

          • Jose Santos

            Yea the device looking nice is a big plus... I just got dine talking to a friend of mine who got ine last week and she said its good but it already has a crack in the back of the device..fragile is the word she used... to me that's a no go. Thanks for the info.

          • FrillArtist

            Lol. If you listen to that troll, you're just as stupid as he is.

          • Jose Santos

            Troll or not what happened to my freind with their nexus 4 was true if the phone is fragile then no I wouldn't want the phone. Unfortunately I didn't have money to throw away like that.

          • FrillArtist

            Well, gee. Shocker. If you drop your phone, it will probably break. Anyway, don't get it. Doesn't sound like you have the money for it anyway. I'm enjoying mine. Oh, and it's yet to "break". Lol.

          • Jose Santos

            Good for you did you want a cookie for that. Glad yiu like yours.

          • FrillArtist

            Don't get mad. Get Glad.

          • Jose Santos

            Lol..good one. Classic response.

          • donttrollmepeople

            there is a difference in trolling and stating facts. every single word i wrote in my comment was 100% true. its a 'grade a' vs ' grade d' type thing. you get a grade a s4 pro in a flagship. you get a grade d s4 pro in the nexus. you get grade a shielding in a flagship. you get grade d shielding in the nexus. you get a grade a camera, speaker, earpiece etc in a flagship. you get grade d in the nexus.

            it is what it is. the nexus does everything you need it to do, but it does nothing as good as it could if a little more money was sunk into it. as for me... i prefer for my purchases to 'out do' the previous. when it doesnt....i speak the truth about it so others will not have to go through the same learning curve on what a nexus actually is.

          • FrillArtist

            Yes, you're a troll. You're not stating facts. You're stating LIES. You can't be taken seriously for saying something like a two year old S2 is better than an N4. If you say something like the S2 is still more than enough for you, fine. But don't say something that is utter rubbish. For even the dumbest fool, all it takes is a simple Google search of both phone specs to see which is obviously the better device.

  • Jose Santos

    👉..Is going to be my next phone...

  • Jose Santos

    The device already had a beautiful design...Now that they added "nipples" to the phone the design upgrades automatically to sexy.

  • http://twitter.com/phonecount StalkyTheFish

    The smaller camera opening might be useful. I've had trouble with optical artifacting from the glass while taking pictures outside with the sun at very oblique angles (my shot nearly perpendicular to the sunlight). It manifests as a series of concentric brighter arcs in the image. All I can figure is that this is the sun coming through the surface glass near the lens at a strong angle.

  • donttrollmepeople

    they should have done this at the get go. at the very least it should have been done a long time ago.

    i wonder if the new bumpers are designed with the humps in mind? if not... they gonna be dust catchers.

  • x

    it's for the sound , with the flat back the sound is muted

  • Angel Penabad

    By the way, Mobiflip says that devices with those bumps are from hardware rev 1.1 and that's not related at all. Mine is rev 1.1 (purchased few days ago) and doesn't have those bumps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Hey LG, can you alter the design with 32GB or more of internal storage? I am desperate here!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shannon-Primeaux/742418459 Shannon Primeaux

    My new Nexus has the nubs. Still slippery, though. I use a case, though, so it's not a concern. If you're going bareback, be careful!

    • troph

      Also be careful going bareback. Especially when she's so slippery... on the table :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/nschiwy Nick Schiwy

    My phone has the small opening for the camera and no bumps and my friend's phone has the big opening with no bumps so I'm thinking this might just be manufacturing mystery/Margin of Error that people are getting all crazy about.

  • http://twitter.com/tfqkhn Taufiq Khan

    Skin on the right is Skinomi and is fantastic

  • http://twitter.com/thetoolz Tom

    My Nexus 4 has nipples, can you milk it!?

  • TWeaK

    One other reason for this could be the fact that the back of the phone is so damn slippery. I've had the phone on flat wooden desks that have barely any slope to them whatsoever, and watched it ever so slowly (like 1mm ever couple seconds) work its way down. On anything with a proper angle to it it just falls off

  • adriduan zolkarnain

    The lens camera too exposed and easily to get scratch, it using glass on the back to cover the camera but when the glass get scratch or crack it effect the camera. Well even Google and LG not said that glass made from gorilla glass and most probably it just ordinary glass.

  • Mike Siedlecki

    I long ago put a 2" diameter piece of duct tape in the center of the back of the phone. I did it to keep the damned thing from sliding off of wherever I set it and onto the floor. As a side benefit, that probably helped with the speaker issue as well.

  • old fart

    Get a bumper. No need for goose bumps. Protects your device. Looks good.

    C'mon people. They are bumps. Get a life.

  • RaphaelH1427

    I guess it's because of REV11 ?

  • Bloodflame87

    I just got my Nexus 4 yesterday and it doesn't have these new nipples. Then again, I bought it from my carrier rather than through Google Play, so it's most definitely older stock. It was only $7 more which was worth the convenience of not waiting for shipping - now I'm considering taking it back and ordering from the Play Store instead! I'm sure this might also alleviate some of the slippyness issues when placed on a smooth unlevel surface. Can anyone confirm?

  • Fernando

    Is it REV 12? If it is, they updated the wireless charging coil to work correctly with the Nokia charging plates.

  • Dan Turano

    I got a nexus 4 from t-mobile and had antena/signal issues from day one, my home is in according to tmobile an excellent service area. tmobile sent three different "service calls" never offered a signal boost but never advised me of service issues, one customer service rep said they heard of weird signal issues with some phones. I used a att straight talk sim and then gophone receiving the best results. Keep in mind this was used this way for weeks with no root or unlock. I wanted to keep the phone untouched. After tmobile gave up and let me port my number and waive the fee I rooted and still had same results. I chalk it up to the antenna in the device and tmobile signal - if i walk in most buildings i lose signal instantly. The gophone sim gave better results which backed it up. I was still disappointed with the results and ordered a new one from google and sent the old one to LG, still no word. The new one came and my gophone sim works perfectly, no signal issues. I put in a new tmobile prepaid sim and had poor service in my home,

    Sticking with gophone sim and the new phone acheiving best results. Funny the first thing i noticed when the phone arrived was the odd dimples on the back, i first thought it was some defect while making the rubber rim on the phone. I do wish they would have silently upgraded the speaker....

    • Dan Turano

      also forgot to add, as the photo above shows the packing stickers on the device are different form the tmobile one received which was the same except for that. I wondered if the tmobile one was different from google play version, first thing as the dimples jumped out was the battery surround sticker.

  • DoobyDroid

    Nips seem pointless as most have a bumper or case of some sort on there nexus 4 anyway same thing!! sounds are crap anyway and camera sucks all though expected on a budget smartphone Hope the nexus 5 is better and not made by LG
    Still love my nex 4 but room for improvement .
    Sent from my Nexus 4
    ParanoidAndroid 3+ 3.15

  • sabre


  • br0t

    I think this model gets a different Vibration Motor. Not the Oscillating Version, discovered by iFixiT. Just an "normal" Vibration Motor. Thats why Vibrations felt stronger.