Nexus 4 Review

As you might know, I bought a Nexus 4 some time back. After using it for some time, I guess I’ll share some thoughts on it, even though it might be a little late.

Unboxing the Nexus 4

The Nexus 4 came in a nice compact package. But there is no earpiece. This was a surprise to me, as my previous one had spoilt, and I thought that the Nexus 4 will come with one. It doesn’t. The only thing it comes with is the charging adaptor.

Nexus 4 Unboxing

Design

Personal opinion is the phone can be described as curved. Put side by side with a LG Optimus G, you can see that the phone does not come across as squarish. But then again, all phones pretty much take up the same “design” nowadays.

The front and back is all glass, and it makes the phone feel elegant yet fragile. I’ve experienced Gorilla glass with my Galaxy S2, and I know for a fact that the glass WILL scratch. It’s just more resistant. And there are also horror stories of the screen cracking all over the net, so do handle the phone with care.

Protecting my Nexus 4

As protection, I’m using a full body guard from Xtremeguard. The picture above was taken with the screen protector on, and you can’t even tell that it’s there. It fits my criteria of cheap and good. I’ve used a variety of screen protectors in the past, and I decided to settle for this for my nexus 4. It’s the same as what I use for my nexus 7, and I’m satisfied with it. Here’s why:

  • It’s cheap ($5 or less)
  • It’s easy to apply, (and reapply if necessary due to bubbles or if the edges are coming out) It’s wet application, for those who need to know
  • It’s easy to clean off dirt and stuff if it ever gets dirty

Because I’m over protective, I’m also using the Nexus 4 bumper. It’s expensive. But it’s “officially” sold by Google, so I decided to buy it to try it out too. How does it feel? It makes the phone feel larger. And surprisingly, makes the sides more slippery and more prone to falling out of your hands. It also lifts the screen of the phone (both front and back) slightly from any surface, reducing the chance of scratches. Overall I don’t think it’s worth the price, but it does provide some protection from dropping the phone (and cracking the screen) as well as reducing the chance of of scratching (if you don’t have a screen protector)

Overall with both the bumper and screen protector, my phone feels very protected

Feel of the phone

You probably know that the Nexus 4 is powered by a Snapdragon pro 4. One of the fastest when it was first released, and still more than competent when compared to the phones that will be released this year. Paired with Android 4.2.2, the phone really does feel smooth, no matter what program I was using. It even makes my old Galaxy S2 feel laggy, while the iNo-One feels totally ancient beside it. While faster is always better, there comes a point where you need to ask if it’s really worth paying more for faster speed, because your programs might not be able to make use of it as well. The snapdragon pro 4 seems more then capable of tackling day to day tasks, and games as well.

Camera. I can only use the term satisfactory. It definitely loses out to the top phones from the other companies (even to the optimus G). But there’s no lag when taking photos, and for photos from a handphone, it’s good enough for me. The rest might be better, but they are still far from the quality of a normal camera in poor light conditions. So the photos from the nexus 4 is still good enough for me.

Software

As a nexus phone, it will always get the latest android software. At the same time, it also means you’re missing out on those “special” features that other phones have. Like “multi window”, or “note taking”. Personally, I don’t find myself missing out on anything, but hey, some people actually use those “special” features.

The Nexus 4 comes without any physical buttons. And this point irks me. Because it thought my precious display space was being taken up by buttons. As such I’m using paranoid rom. Main feature from the rom for me was it gets rid of the softkey buttons, lets you use the full display space, and uses a perfectly good “pie navigation” as a replacement.

Also because the way snapdragon pro 4 is implemented, it has a pretty high number of wakelock, reducing battery life. (this affects all phones with the Snapdragon pro 4). Custom kernels incorporate the latest patches from Qualcomm, in order to try to improve battery life. Personal preference is the faux kernel. You might have your own preference.

Space might be an issue. 16gb is sufficient for me. 8gb will definitely not be enough. If you live in the cloud, the 16gb should suffice.

Conclusion

I haven’t had a phone that I’ve enjoyed so much for quite a while. The interface is lag free, doesn’t make you frustrated. Battery life is good enough for me, (but that varies from person to person). Software updates (whether official or custom software) are readily available, which makes me happy too. Most importantly, don’t forget about the price. It’s really priced at an attractive level, and if you look for phones at the same price point, you can’t find anything that is nearly as good. There are definitely better phones out there, especially new phones being released this year. But you must remember how much they cost, almost double in some instances. Personal opinion is, the Nexus 4 is definitely good enough. There ain’t any need to pay extra just to get that 10% extra performance.

tedfox

Zhaolin aka Tedfox owns both Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013), a Nexus 4, iNo Two, and the OnePlus One. He enjoys playing with the latest gadgets as well as software, - like Plex and Waze.

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