Google’s Nexus 4 Reviews: A Slick, Snappy Smartphone with One Key Omission

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By Erik Pineda | November 13, 2012 5:34 PM EST

What is there to gripe about the Google Nexus 4? It is powerful thanks to the quad-core Snapdragon processor that clocks at a peak speed of 1.4GHz and brandishes the native version of Android Jellybean.

The outer shelling is both sexy and sleek making it eye-candy enough and the handset in fact produces decent photos and videos for a starting price of $US299 because LG, commissioned by Google to produce the Nexus 4, installed 8MP sensor on its camera shooter.

In the words of Venture Beat's Devindra Hardawar, the camera that buyers will have in the Nexus 4 is high-end enough when compared to other Android smartphones, likely bending only when pitted with the iPhone 5 or the superior PureView features that Nokia had unleashed in the Lumia 920.

This latest Nexus handset, as expected, appears exclusively engineered for the Android mobile platform because with the unit "Android has never felt faster ... this phone is simply a speed demon," Mr Hardawar said.

But the biggest issue against the Nexus 4 is its sluggish network capability as Google found it wise not to include LTE connectivity with the phone, which is "a crucial omission (making the phone) an almost laughable upgrade."

And CNET agreed that the absence of LTE counts as the biggest slip by Google in the latest Nexus smartphone iteration among other shortcomings such as its poorly designed overall built and call quality that requires more improvements.

The only crowning glory that came with the Nexus 4 is the native deployment of JellyBean, which means that like its tablet sibling, the Nexus 10, the phone is ensured of more frequent Android updates from Goggle, CNET added.

The tech site hinted that beyond this advantage, buyers have the luxury of studying the competition before taking the plunge.

For Engadget, pedigree is the plus point working for Nexus 4, its entire being representative of the hardware engineering pitched in South Korea's LG and completed by the software prowess of Android engineers.

Users, especially the newbies both in smartphone and Android worlds, will appreciate the handset's affordability and powerful features but will be party disappointed by its battery life, the Engadget review said.

Gizmodo echoed this concern while wondering that the 2100mAh battery pack should normally power the Nexus 4 through a day of average use but it seemed that software glitch is hampering the phone's longevity.

"Right now, this is not a phone I could take on a long trip where outlet access is spotty," the Gizmodo reviewer said.

But for ComputerWorld's JR Raphael, Google and LG forged "one very nice device," and the result is the Nexus 4, which he desribed as "the best parts of LG's Optimus G ... polished to near-perfection," by Google.

"(Nexus 4) looks and feels the way a high-end smartphone should. It's sleek, solid, and not at all flimsy," Mr Raphael concluded.

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