Dec 26, 2012

Posted by in Featured, Mobile, Reviews | 42 Comments

LG Nexus 4 Review

The LG Nexus 4 or Google Nexus 4 is the 4th reincarnation of the Nexus smartphone and this time, it’s LG’s turn to show the world what they cooked up with Google, and it’s beautiful I tell you.

LG Nexus 4 1

What makes this an interesting piece of device is that it’s the first Android phone that supports wireless charging and is also the first Nexus phone that’s priced really low for its specs ($349 for the 16GB)… for Google Play countries only that is.

Here in our country, this handset retails for about $150 more so it becomes less attractive… or does it? Read on for our review to find out.

Design

The first time I took out this phone from its box and peel off its plastic covering, I immediately fell in love with its design. The Gorilla Glass panel covering its entire front has that curved edge on both sides which looked really classy.

LG Nexus 4 01

Following the Nexus design, there are no physical buttons at the front and the capacitive touch panels for Back, Home, and Task Switcher are part of the 4.7-inch screen display utilizing a dedicated space at the bottom. Dead center at the bottom of the screen (not visible) is a notification LED indicator.

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The sides have that edgy, smooth, matte hard plastic finish which is probably the boring part of this phone. On the left we got the volume rocker and the microSIM slot that requires you to push with a pin to eject. On the right is where the Power/Sleep button is situated making it natural for your thumb to do the waking.

LG Nexus 4 04 LG Nexus 4 05

On top is the 3.5mm audio jack and a microphone. At the bottom is the microUSB port that doubles as HDMI via SlimPort, a port standard similar to MHL. In fact, it’s the first handset to use SlimPort and the sad thing is, no SlimPort cable/adapter is included in the package.

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I find the back as gorgeous as the front. There are little Matrix-like hologram squares that blinks randomly when viewed in different angles. The back is also covered with a Gorilla Glass 2 panel making this phone tough even without a case on. It’s not removable though and inside is a 2100mAh battery.

For a 4.7-inch phone, I like how the Google Nexus 4 feels in my hand. It’s thin but still adequate to grip without feeling fragile. It’s light but still has that heft that makes it feel like you’re holding a quality phone.

Display and UI

The Nexus 4 uses a 4.7″ True HD IPS Plus screen with a WXGA resolution (768 x 1280) resulting to a high 318 pixel density. That makes for a 15:9 aspect ratio but with the space dedicated to the Android buttons at the bottom, it further shrinks to a 14:9 aspect ratio. It does allow the buttons to rotate based on the orientation of the screen.

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The display is quite sharp thanks to its full RGB stripe which gives you more subpixels per pixel than PenTile ones. Contrast is really good for an LCD screen and viewing angle is simply amazing on this phone. Brightness is quite high as well although due to the highly reflective glass, sunlight readability is not that good. Because of the curvature of the glass, it gives the illusion that the display is closer to the surface which is nice.

Using Google’s stock Android Jelly Bean OS, the UI on the Nexus 4 is as simple as it gets. Lockscreen icons are now gone but you can add widgets into it such as calendar and messages. Swipe to the right will launch the camera for you.

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Everything else is quite basic (Home Screen, App Drawer, even the keyboard) so there’s not much to write about. I do like the effect when you put this phone to sleep which is like turning off an old TV.

Performance

The Nexus 4 is powered by Qualcomm’s APQ 8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, which uses the new generation Krait CPU cores and the new generation Adreno 320 GPU.

Syntethic benchmark using Quadrant gives the Nexus 4 a high score (4947) but still not high enough to distant itself from the NVIDIA Tegra 3.

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However, because of the latest Android 4.2 Jellyb Bean, everything performs smoothly as it should. From launching apps, web browsing, browsing through a huge list of contacts, everything is “buttery” smooth.

I was impressed when I was streaming a 720p MKV movie from my NAS drive via the MX Player app. Software processing took a very short time and I was able to scan through the whole movie without any lag or stuttering at all. Not the case with previous Android phones I tried.

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Audio coming from the speakers are clear even at loud volumes so that’s a good thing.

Tried Beach Buggy Blitz as my game and I was able to run through a bunch of laps without any lags or frame skips at all.

What’s missing on the Google Nexus 4 is LTE support. Network connection is listed as up to HSPA+ speeds only. It does, however, have NFC and wireless charging capability although both aren’t widely used yet.

Camera

The Nexus 4 is equipped with an 8-megapixel camera with back-side illuminated sensor. The Camera menu is quite simple, intuitive and is fully loaded. You can use touch to focus which is quick by the way.

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You’ll get the usual Scenes, White Balance, flash settings, exposure compensation, and HDR. It can do panoramic shots and also a thing called Photo Sphere, which allows you to easily take a full spherical 360 panning photo. It’s not perfect but it’s easy and fun to use and show off.

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Below is a sample Photo Sphere image laid as flat JPG. You can pan the photo in all angles when viewed from the phone or from Google Plus.

Google Nexus 4 Photo Sphere

Meanwhile, here are a few shots taken with the Google Nexus 4:

[nggallery id=51]

As you can see, colors are quite accurate but often times, a lot of noise can be found on the image. Photos look actually good by themselves especially if you can keep your hands steady.

This phone can also shoot full HD videos at 30 fps. There’s also a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats.

Battery life

The battery on the Nexus 4 is rated at 2100mAh which is the same on the Samsung Galaxy S III. On regular usage: WiFi always on but not connected, data usage every now and then, minimal calls and text, a few games, a few photos — the phone’s battery lasted for about 14 hours which should be good for a day and half of average use.

Verdict

The Google Nexus 4’s selling factor is its affordable price in the US. Locally, it’s priced at Php24,490 which puts it near the other quad-core phones such as the HTC One X/X+ and the Samsung Galaxy S III. However, those phones debuted at a 30k+ price tag so the SRP of the Nexus 4 is considerably low for a quad-core phone, and it might even drop some more in a couple of months.

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Another good thing the Nexus 4 has going is that you don’t have to wait ages once an OS update is released. Being a Google phone, you’re guaranteed that you’ll always get the latest version. Aside from that, it’s a really nice-looking piece of device with a very capable overall performance for those not needing too much storage on their handset.

LG Nexus 4 E960 Specs:
4.7” True HD IPS+ display 1280 x 768 @318ppi
Gorilla Glass 2 (front and back)
Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait, Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon
Adreno 320 GPU
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
16 GB storage, 2GB RAM, no microSD
8 MP (3,264×2,448) back-side illuminated sensor with LED flash
HDR, Panoramic shot, Photo Sphere
1080p @ 30fps video recording
1.3 MP front-facing camera
microUSB v2.0 / SlimPort for HDMI
DC-HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
Li-Po 2100mAh battery
microSIM
133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
139 g
SRP: Php24,490


  1. John Zarate says:

    I’ve been waiting for this phone..
    Pero saan po ba available to.
    Ang mahal naman ng phone na to dito sa Pilipinas, pero ayos na..
    Kaya, I recommend this phone to all of you

  2. John Zarate says:

    Dat phone.

  3. I will wait for a couple of months till the price goes down.

  4. i think meron sa kimstore

  5. Anti_kimchi says:

    Here’s The thing. At $299 it’s a great price! What’s the salary of the average worker here? Is it higher than in the States? No? So why should it cost $150 more? Taxes? Shipping? All excuses! Stand up and complain about higher prices! Just mho.

    • Then don’t buy it. This phone is not for everyone and certainly does not target the average worker. If you don’t wanna buy it or if you can’t then shut up. Even if you complain all day, it won’t change a thing.

      Just so you know, I’m enjoying my Nexus 4. :)

  6. Anti_kimchi says:

    If you read (not if u will read) other reviews you will discover it IS LTE capable. The chip is in side. It just has to be activated. Other reviewers in the USA and the uk say the camera is lack luster. What got me interested was the price AND it runs Jelly Bean without the “bloat ware” of Sammy, HTC and the carriers. What do they call it, Vanilla? Twenty-five thousand Peso?? No friggin’ way Jose!

    • Chill ka lang bro! Kung tama ang nabasa ko kaya lang naman siya mura sa Play Store ay dahil subsidized siya ng Google. Kung LG mismo ang magbebenta ay mahal talaga. Kung gusto mo ng Vanilla Android eh di mag Galaxy Nexus ka na lang. May mga makikita ka sa sulit or sa tipidpc ng 2nd hand na 12-15k o kaya sa kimstore may brand new pa ata or widgetcity.

    • Anti-kimchi, if Google will use the LTE capabilities of Nexus 4, they would have to pay license fees, which would add to the total cost of the phone. Remember that the Google wanted to provide a bang-for-the-buck phone.

      Dun sa reklamo mo regarding the price, Google is subsidizing/providing discount for this phone. That is why this is 299$ in Play store. On other retailers, this is 450$.

      To sum it up, Google wanted this phone to be cheap. It is cheap when bought on Google Play store. Not cheap when bought at other sources.

      • anti_Kimchi says:

        If Google uses, not will use.. present tense.. secondly, I said the LTE exists. If you’d read the feeds from the States you’d know what I am referring to. It can be turned on..

        Anyways, forget abt LTE.

        That’s right. Sit on your hands and do nothing. That’s why 3rd world countries never get out of that status. It all starts with ONE PERSON making a change, but hey, if you too lazy..

  7. 16 GB with no microSD expansion? no LTE? for 25T? crazy! i’ll wait for the 32 GB version

  8. calvin here’s my dilemma.. should i buy a new smartphone today preferably galaxy note 2? or should i wait for the new guys next year? im eyeing for sony yuga and galaxy s4.. considering theres a big bump in specs.. what do you think|?

  9. The only problem I see here is that the back cover of this phone can easily crack. Not that the back is at risk but having a phone with a crack on it’s back is kinda not my thing. :D

  10. Anti_kimchi says:

    Sure. I’ll chill. Great attitude. That’s why nothing ever gets done in a timely fashion.

    • right.. like telling people to shut up and calling them an idiot is a great attitude.. (remember your westernized japanese?)get off your high horse.. yours is just an opinion just like everyone else’s.. and oh yeah.. taxes and customs are a fact of economics between countries.. so are subsidized hardware in the US.. so yeah.. you can mouth off all you want.. doesn’t change a thing.. its just your opinion.. it’s not fact.

  11. Alam mo anti-kimchi, 23k lang to 2 years accidental warranty na. May makikita ka pa ba ng quad core krait, 2gb ram na ganun na may official warranty? Wala. Kaya kahit overpriced to dito, kung icompare mo sa samsung galaxy s3 na 1gb ram lang na 29k ang benta na 1 year warranty lang, sobrang sulit pa din. Cnocompare niyo lang kasi dun sa google eh nakita niyo nga laging sold out dun. Kung hndi nilabas ng google ng mura, wala kayo dapat icomplain dahil ito pinakamataas na specs ng android dito na 22k lang if cash. Ung galaxy note 32k na may official warranty. Kaya please lang, kung magbibigay ka ng opinion mo, sana hndi ung ganyan kabitter. Mukhang tanga eh.

  12. 22k lang to sa LG stores… Im planning to swap my super laggy L7 to this.. hahahah,

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hehe..base s mga reviews..camera lng ang sub par..overall..bang for buck..

  14. kaya nag-aalangan ako bumili nito kc may
    nabasa din ako na review na pag naempty mo
    ung battery hnd sya magchacharge, need pa
    dalhin sa lg para lang macharge.. hahaha, kawawa
    nga yung owner ng nexus 4 na un… anyways,
    mas ok pa din ba ang galaxy nexus dito?

    • galaxy nexus na alin? galaxy nexus 4 din ito.

      • Magkaiba un.. ung galaxy nexus db ung sa samsung, eto nexus 4 tawag dito.. uhm, anyways, ayun… di pa ko makapagdecide. hahah, 4 phones kc pinagpipilian ko.

        • ay oo nga pala… bobo ko. google nexus nasa isip ko. hehe google nexus s, google galaxy nexus, google nexus 4.

          • Bought& received my Nexus4 few weeks. Wala namang isyu tungkol sa baterya at ang kamera ay ayos naman. With 2GB of RAM paired with a quad core processing, this is pretty fast on internet browsing. Included in the box is the micro USB, power adapter, and a small pin to pop up the micro simcard.It is also LTE capable, the only catch is you have to know how to fool around with the settings to activate it. I read that LTE will be lost if upgraded or changed from factory default OS of “Jelly bean version 4.2.1 Ang di ko lang gusto ay ang battery. Not removable and access is not easy. You need the required tool (allen key) to remove the 2 tiny screws that hold the back.

  15. included n po ba ung wireless charger kpg bumili k or sold seperately?

  16. spongeb00bs says:

    huhuhu wish ko ito kaso di abot ng budget ko kaya hanap na lang ako

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