The first Nexus 4 reviews are in and they have the expected verdict. If I would have to sum up all the Nexus 4 reviews that I have read in last one hour or so – the phone has a great display, great performance, so-so battery life and a decent design. I am not talking about LTE because it does not really matter much outside US right now, yes Europe is getting 4G, Korea has already it and blah blah, but I think you can manage decent browsing and other data experience on HSPA+, which is supported on LG Nexus 4.
Yes, let’s start with that, as you would have seen in the images, there is nothing extraordinary about design. It is elegant, nice looking and but it is clearly uninspired, personally I have no issues with that. Unless you are looking for a work of art, LG Nexus 4 seems decent enough.
What The Verge says about the hardware?
The design of the LG-made Nexus 4 is very much an iteration of the Galaxy Nexus. That is, you kind of can’t tell the two apart if they’re sitting next to one another on a table. It’s when you get closer that you begin to notice the differences — and there are many significant differences.
That glass covering is cause for concern, however. While testing the phone, I accidentally knocked the device off of my dining table and onto a hardwood floor… cracking the glass on the back.
The phone is attractive but not as compact as the iPhone 5. Part of that is the larger screen, but part of it is also has a thicker, 9.1mm base.
Engadget was pretty happy with the hardware, apart from:
Our only complaint with this is that it’s easy for dust and other tiny particles to get stuck between it and the chrome lining the edge.
With all of our praise about the phone’s design and build, there is one potential hazard: that glass-laden back. We haven’t had any terrible luck in that department yet, but it’s worth noting that this part of your phone — while sleek and gorgeous — should probably avoid the concrete at all costs.
Overall, everyone seems happy with the design, but has posted their concerns about the glass-clad back.
Coming to the display:
LG Nexus 4 has a 1280x768p True HD IPS PLUS display, which on-paper looks decent, let us find out, if it really is?
Its WXGA resolution translates into a pixel density of 320ppi, but its RGB subpixel arrangement means it actually packs more of a visual punch than the PenTileSuper AMOLED HD screen on last year’s Nexus. There’s less pixelation — if that’s even possible — and the viewing angles are fantastic, providing us better opportunities to read articles and watch movies than most other devices we’ve used. Also, it’s one of the nicest displays we’ve ever viewed in the midday sun.
The Verge however had some issues:
The display on this phone is big upgrade over the Galaxy Nexus’ Super AMOLED screen, which was often far too dim when set to auto-brightness, seemed very over-saturated, and did a somewhat poor job of cleanly reproducing text. The 4.7-inch, 1280 x 768 LCD display of the Nexus 4 has no such trouble, producing images that are clean and crisp in just about any light setting.
ABC News adds:
It also has a slightly better screen than the previous Nexus. The 4.7-inch, 1280 x 768-resolution display looks really crisp and it also felt smoother on my finger than other screens. I also prefer the screen quality to the one on the Galaxy S 3; colors just look truer to form.
The Verge was happy with the performance, but wanted a little more:
The phone has two cameras — an 8 megapixel shooter on the back, and a 1.3 megapixel lens up front for video calling. The back camera worked well — certainly much better than the Galaxy Nexus — and was able to produce vivid images with a relatively low amount of noise and excellent color clarity. Focusing in on even close subjects wasn’t an issue, though I did at times wish that its macro capabilities were a little more robust than they are. I sometimes struggled with getting close subjects to stay in focus, often having to reposition further back to get the shot I was after.
ABC News adds:
The improvement I appreciate the most is the camera. The 8-megapixel camera takes noticeably better shots than the camera on the previous Nexus and on par with the new Samsung Galaxy S 3.
And in our real-world use tests, we were overall satisfied with the zippiness of the Nexus. For the most part, it was responsive and fast, multitasking was smooth and we only rarely had any lag. In side-by-side use, it does feel slightly slower than the Optimus G; most of the time this difference is rather infinitesimal, but there are a few times that it stuck out like a sore thumb.
Holy hell is fast and smooth. The horsepower of the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, the 2GB of RAM, and the incredible smoothness of Project Butter within Jelly Bean just lights this thing on fire. It’s easily the best user experience of any Android we’ve ever tested. There’s just no lag anywhere in the system, even when playing graphically intensive games.
According to The Verge:
The software inside the Nexus 4 isn’t the kind of overhaul that Ice Cream Sandwich was in the Galaxy Nexus. In fact, it’s a “dot” update to Jelly Bean, bringing the current version up to 4.2. That’s not to say there aren’t some significant changes here — and Google is definitely continuing to polish and refine an OS which is increasingly impressive and innovative.
Read Write adds:
There are some things I loved about the experience, thanks to the new features of Android 4.2. The new version of Android has an awesome camera interface that allows you to focus, adjust and switch modes on screen by tapping and holding, and otherwise there’s nothing but the view on screen.
Android 4.2 is easily best iteration yet (as it should be), but there are still some holes in it we’d like to see filled. Android still lacks a built-in “Find My Phone” type feature, should you lose your device. It’s available to Google’s business customers, but not the lowly consumer.
So, you get it, it is great phone, but obviously there are some flaws, it is not perfect, but once you look at the pricing, you can easily let go of all these flaws.
The Nexus 4 is absolutely wonderful, but it’s also vexing. Frustrating. Annoying. It’s easily the best Android phone on the market right now, and has some of the most powerful software that’s ever been put on a mobile phone.
Sure, the Nexus 4 is not without its hiccups, but none of its predecessors have been perfect, either. And given the boost in real-world performance, the better camera and various other new features, it’s even more tempting than all those previous devices whose shoes it’s trying to fill.