John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Nexus 4 review

A friend Brett offered me an opportunity to play with this device (as well as a Nexus 10) and I jumped at it! Thanks so much Brett! My close friends know I love to play and indulge me. Oddly there are more devices to play with than money in my bank account. What’s up with dat? 🙂

Let’s start with the physicals. This is a simple elegant design. There’s volume up and down, and power and that’s it for buttons. I wish they would bring back the camera button. The phone follows along the lines of so many right now. The battery is not removable, and there’s no uSD slot. The phone does not support LTE although there’s posts to say you can get it going. Lacking a uSD slot it means the 16G is the max storage. I have a 32G uSD card that’s often full with music and video and I’ve been considering grabbing a 64G. So the idea of a 16G limit is troubling. The LG Optimus G 2600 (I hate these long names) is available in a 32G model by the way.

The SIM slot is on a push out tray that is removed by pushing a pin in a hole. Similar to the Motorola Razr HD LTE and an iPhone. The SIM is a micro SIM, again same as the Motorola. Seems to be the newest trend.

The phone has a nice back with piano black finish. As with most it’s a slippery phone but the outside edges are slightly less slippery. The outside edge has a chrome like look that looks like it will be a scratch magnet.

The phone is made for Google by LG. Looks awfully similar to an Optimus G 2600.

The screen is 4.7″, same size as my Motorola Razr HD LTE. 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi) with Gorilla glass up front. Sadly my colleague managed to scratch it on the screen itself. Odd given how tough Gorilla glass is suppose to be. The battery is 2100 MaH compared to 2530 for the Moto. The processor is a quad core 1.5G. Battery life is good but like anything with a honking processor like this if you push the processor you can decimate the battery in short order and. Given the size of the battery once dead you will be waiting a while for it to get recharged (Don’t forget the battery isn’t replaceable).

Being a Nexus it is running Jelly Bean and will get the latest updates soonest right up to the point they stop supporting the device. It’s stripped of any skinning so it’s bare Android.

This phone like the Motorola has onscreen soft buttons (back, home and options). A trend I like so that the buttons follow the screens rotation such as when connected to a monitor.

I tried my Samsung MHL HDMI cable but no joy. According to the Google web site it needs a SlimPort HDMI adapter that is readily available on ebay. The standard USB OTG cable also does not work. This would have been an option to make up for the lack of an SD slot. Sadly not possible.

Streaming Bluetooth worked ok but on my Ford Syn it would not read text messages out and didn’t show that a message had been received. The Motorola did both. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse work well, although the mouse only did one button, no right mouse button. Bluetooth tethering is back and is solid. I love this feature.

The Nexus 4 has a small notification light below the screen but I personally find it too small to be useful. Even at the loudest volume I also found the notification volume too low. The vibrate is fairly good. I found myself on more than one occasion missing notifications. I got around both of these issues using NoLED.

Performance on this device is stellar. Absolutely everything outside of installing/uninstalling happens instantly. No lag whatsoever. This is probably one of the best performing devices I’ve touched.

The device seems to have removed any support for DLNA and WIFI direct too. I don’t get this trend to remove interconnectivity that was being so welcomed (by me anyway).

This supports Mirrorcast a way of having a remote display wirelessly shadow your display but I was unable to play with it as I have nothing that supports it. And oddly there seems to be no way to do this with Windows.

All in all I like this device within it’s limitations (non removable battery, no SD slot, non standard HDMI cable, no USB OTG support, no LTE support). Would I buy one? Nope … The stellar performance don’t outweigh the limiations …

Update: I followed this article on how to enable LTE and sure enough it worked. Oddly the connection on the status bar still doesn’t show LTE but it does show in the status screen and the speeds are definitely LTE. Sadly it reverts back after each and every reboot. Maybe the Fido version when it comes out will have this enabled in the ROM. Clearly it works!



January 31, 2013 - Posted by | Android

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