November 11, 2012

Is the Nexus 4 Worth your Money?

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Written by: Recultured Team
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The Nexus 4’s hardware is made by LG, and is closely related to the Optimus G, which was released a bit earlier. The phone features a Snapdragon S4 processor running at 1.5GHz with ‘Krait’ technology, 2GB of RAM and 8 or 16 GB of built-in storage. The phone features a buttonless front, with a volume rocker on the left as well as a microSIM tray and a power button on the right. The bottom of the device contains two Torx screws and a microUSB charging port, and the top of the phone features a 3.5mm headphone jack. Furthermore, the rear of the device contains the speaker, 8-megapixel camera and LED flash and a sealed 2100 mAH battery.

Is it worth it?

The Nexus brand has always tried to keep the software open while keeping carrier interference at a minimum. The recent debacle with the Galaxy Nexus and Verizon and constant conflicts with Google’s mindset hindered what was supposed to be an open phone. This time around, Google’s making a statement by not offering a CDMA version (which is the spectrum Verizon and Sprint are on), and instead offering a GSM world-phone. For the specifications that the phone has, the price ($309 for the 8GB and $359 for the 16GB) is ridiculously low, especially since the phone is unlocked from the factory and will work on all the carriers here in Canada. This type of pricing is a proverbial slap in the face to carriers, who offer superphones such as the Galaxy SIII for $199, except it comes with a jarring 3-year contract, usually on a minimum $50/month plan.

Without a slot for one of these, the Nexus 4 may be a hard buy for those with large media collections

Some important considerations

Even with a stellar array of hardware and a price that’s almost hard to believe, there are still some omissions that might break the deal for some. The biggest one is the lack of an LTE (long-term evolution) radio. Considering this is meant to be a world phone, it’s understandable since much of the world has not been putting these towers up. But here in North America, LTE is being deployed rapidly, and it could result in the Nexus 4 not being future proof. However, if you’re fine with your current 3G/HSPA+ data speeds, this might not be an issue. The other significant omission is the lack of a microSD card slot, which is arguably one of the biggest advantages Android phones have over their close competitor, the iPhone. Google’s reasoning for this is that Android makes it confusing for the end-user to organize files between the SD and internal storage, but considering this is meant to be a ‘developer phone,’ that excuse rings a bit hollow. So if you have a large collection of uncompressed music or are a digital media hoarder, you might be relying on cloud storage quite a bit more (which might be Google’s aim). The battery is also non-removable, but with battery technology constantly improving, this most likely won’t be an issue for most (unless you’re using it like laptop at full brightness, etc.).

Closing thoughts

The Nexus 4 is an interesting piece of hardware. With Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 (hopefully soon) and the iPhone 5 being serious competitors, it was integral for Google to release something
revolutionary rather than evolutionary. Overall, the phone is a significant upgrade from the Galaxy Nexus’ hardware, both internally and in terms of build quality. It remains to be seen whether or not it will take off in sales as the Galaxy S III has, especially since many non-techies may not be aware of it, but the price is very hard to beat. If you can deal with the lack of LTE and expandable storage,
this might be the phone for you. I know it’s definitely going to be my next smartphone for sure. Hopefully I’ll be able to write a review once I get my hands on it which will cover more of the software.

It’s a great time to be buying a smartphone with so many options available. There really is something for everyone.

About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

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