I’ve had the Nexus 4 phone for a full week now. It is an Android phone made by LG for Google, and it runs on pure Vanilla Android. No Modifications were made to the Operating System by LG. This is a version of the phone often preferred by geeks, developers and techies.
It was also sold quite cheap. Google/LG must have made a lot of compromise to keep the price low, I guess. The quality of the sound that comes from its speakers and earpiece when making phone calls, listening to music or watching videos is a testimony to the fact.
I had been using Samsung GALAXY S4 phone (Read review here) exclusively before this Nexus 4 phone. Sure the S4 had a larger screen and better screen resolution, but the Nexus 4 handles a lot easier with one hand.
I found the Samsung GALAXY S4 Keyboard not to suit my preference. I had to install the SwiftKey app. The Google Android Keyboard that ships with the Nexus 4 is very usable and its next word prediction is equally quite intuitive. I initially installed SwifKey, but quickly switched to the Android Keyboard that came with it.
The Android Keyboard on the LG Nexus 4 phone allows you to add unfamiliar words to the dictionary by simply hitting the word again and you’ll be presented with the option to save the word. The Android Keyboard is also having the option of Swiping – you glide your finger ( or thumb in my own case) across each letters to form each word. Swipe gesture typing enthusiasts are going to find this pretty interesting. I found that the precision of the gesture swiping of the Android Keyboard on the Nexus 4 is more accurate than the one on the SwiftKey ( Gesture Swipe typing on SwiftKey is called Flow).
What I really love about the execution of the Android Keyboard on the Nexus 4 is the ability to type one word at a time but gain an appreciable speed and the option of switching to swipe gestures without toggling any settings. Both options are activated same time.
The Camera. The Nexus 4’s camera is better used outdoors in the daylight or when you have a well lit envrionment to support the camera. Under low light conditions, it definitely falls behind the Samsung GALAXY S4 and the Lumia 920.
If I am going on holiday, I won’t depend on the Nexus 4 as my camera phone of choice, I would rather go with the Nokia Lumia 920 (Read the review here) or the Samsung GALAXY S4.
Battery. A fully charged Nexus 4 lasts between 5 to 6 hours of extensive use. On the Galaxy S4, I get between 9 to 10 hours with the same usage pattern; although the Nexus 4 has a 2100 mAh battery compared to the Galaxy S4’s 2600 mAh capacity.
You also cannot remove the battery or extend the memory for storing media files.
Visibility in the outdoor when it is sunny. Using the phone outside when it is sunny can be a pain. You’d have to squint as the screen won’t be visible enough.
Google Services. Google Services are a breeze on the phone. Google Now, Google Maps, Gmail and Google Plus work excellently on this device.
Music Payback. I had to resort to third party music players. My best being TTpod. The app manages my locally stored music and gives me the option of seeing the lyrics of the song I am listening to. Another excellent consideration is the Spinlet Music app which also allows you to play music from your local library apart from buying and subscribing to their music service
Design. Nexus 4 looks great. Apps looks pretty on it. But you’re going to despise the screen resolution if you’re coming from an iPhone 5 or a Samsung GALAXY S4. Considering this is a phone that was released October 2012, about a year ago it is still a strong contender with the new phones being released.
The Downsides. I don’t like the fact that I can’t peg my network to 3G only. The options I have are 2G only and automatic (2G and 3G). When the network fluctuates between 2G and 3G and sometimes stays perpetually on 2G. Pictures and videos are almost impossible to work with when on 2G.
Why would I recommend the LG Nexus 4 Phone?
The Nexus 4 is about a year in the market and the Nexus 5 should be around the corner. Some would say it is better to wait. If you want to save some cash and still have in your hand a device with top of the end specs, not some watered down specs in the name of mid-range or low end phones, go for it.
I am running the latest edition of Google Android OS on the Nexus 4 right now. My colleague in the office has the Samsung GALAXY Nexus which is the predecessor of the Nexus 4 and he also got the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update too.
Spend your cash well and get good bang for your money. Go for the Nexus 4. It is a winner with me.