Feeds
Google Nexus 4

Review: Google Nexus 4

At last, we got one

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Fast runner, hot runner

I am guessing that adding a Micro SD card slot and/or more storage would have started to tread on the toes of Google’s hardware partners and Google is of course keen to promote the cloud as an alternative to on-board storage. Either way, if you want more than 16GB of local storage, you’ll have to buy a different device.

The second major Nexus 4 drawback is battery life. With considerate use the 2100mAh fixed battery will get you through a ten-hour working day but absolutely no longer. Spend an hour gaming or watching a video and you’ll be charging the handset far more frequently. This is the downside of having a powerful quad-core processor and big screen and it’s not really good enough.

Google Nexus 4

On the subject of gaming, after I spent 45 minutes playing NOVA 3, the back of the Nexus 4 got surprisingly hot, much hotter than a One X or Galaxy S III given the same work out. Something else to bear in mind if you use your smartphone for this kind of entertainment.

Incidentally, the Nexus 4 supports inductive wireless charging and eventually you will be able to buy a charger-cum-stand which looks a lot like the old Palm TouchStone charger. The TouchStone was such a clever idea I’m surprised it’s taken this long for someone to copy... er... reimagine it.

At the moment the Nexus 4 doesn’t officially support 4G/LTE, though the hardware is there. However, until the numerous power drain, data cap and cost issues are resolved that’s no big loss in my book. The very latest incarnation of 3G, 42Mb/s DC-HSPA+, is supported provided your network can handle it too. Here in the UK, Three, for one, is rolling this out.

Google Nexus 4

The Reg Verdict

Should you buy a Nexus 4, assuming you actually can? Today, little else comes close to the Nexus 4’s quality:price ratio, but the limited storage options, poor battery life, potential fragility and the fact you can’t actually buy the thing direct from Google at the time of writing - the Sold Out sign looks ominously permanent to me - may make you look elsewhere.

If you are after an unlocked, Sim-free handset then the Nexus 4 is a very attractive option. If, on the other hand, you are buying on contract, you’ll be able to find something better more cheaply - the Samsung Galaxy S III, for instance. Then again, the ‘pure’ Android UI on the Nexus 4, free of phone vendor and operator add-ons, may raise the Nexus 4’s appeal to you.

But don’t forget all the five-inch or bigger 1080p devices with 12Mp cameras and LTE trumpeted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from the likes of Sony, Huawei and even budget device wallahs like Alcatel. Suddenly, 720p, 4.7-inch devices are looking just a bit ordinary. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google Nexus 4

Review: Google Nexus 4

LG brings Google's latest Android smartphone reference design to market, packing in a quad-core Qualcomm processor, DC-HSPA+ connectivity and a 4.7-inch, 768 x 1280 display but only 8-16GB of storage capacity.
Price: £239 (8GB) £279 (16GB) Sim-free RRP

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.