Nexus 4 Review - Feels great in the hand but will probably break in the bush!

posted Apr 26, 2013, 4:49 PM by Klc Kelsey   [ updated Apr 30, 2013, 3:07 PM by Thomas Sierocinski ]

The Beginning:

With great reservation i ordered the Nexus 4.  
I wanted Android. 
I wanted updates from Google direct.  The Nexus Brand
A 2nd hand galaxy nexus was cheap, locked but easily rooted. 
The nexus 4 was about the same price,direct from Google and a write off (developer expense). 

I'm not great at commitment. 
And contracts with Telcos are beyond me. 
It needs to be said that i'm a 2nd hand phone queen.
I've been  buying phones (2nd hand on craigslist, nvr pay more than 3 bills)  and try not to break them (which is how it will die and then i will buy another).  I'm tuff on tech =p  Its there to be used, abused, loved and then thrown away for the new model. 

I rarely buy new, but i bought a new Nexus 4.

Started off ugly.  What a gong show via Google. 
Years previous I had signed up for an android developer acct and was getting news of the nexus 4. 
Google had even given me a specific time and day I was going to be "allowed" to purchase one (10:40pst Nov 12/12). 

Well come allotted day and time -  Google Play Store is totally broken/overwhelmed by demand. 
I managed to complete a "check out" once only to get a email saying sorry try again next week.   
Oh snap!

Long story short:

Had phone in my hands just after x-mas, Google took my money in early November. 
16 gigs - $420 Canadian buckaroos after taxes and shipping. 



4.7" screen.  I was worried about this.  I mean shit, is that gonna fit in my pocket.  I'm no hipster with skinny jeans and no where to put my phone.  If i need a purse to carry that shit around then by definition this is not a "mobile phone".  


Good news... Fits in most pockets thus far.  Its not that it doesn't fit, the question is will it fall out?
Thus far no but... my PJ pockets and my hoodie pockets are death traps for this phone.  
As it kinda not really fits in those sub-sized loose pockets and would definitely be going for a beater if i put it in there. 

Also as a someone that's averagely built this phone is towards the max.  My hand does fit, i can do one handed operations but i worry about dropping it. I wouldn't want this phone if i was small handed.  Really need to have phones come in different sizes. 

Case or No

Really with the glass front and back its just gotta get broken at some point.  I can see why apple moved away from it.  But it feels cozy in the hand.  the glass is heavier but warm.  metal is so "cold" in comparison  but lighter and stronger are tuff functionalities to beat. In fact, the glass makes u want to take it out of the case and feel it bareback in your hand.  It feels really nice, but danger danger when out of the case one drop and its done for!

Interface / OS

Direct updates from Google for the win.  Last 3 android phones i owned and got 1 update in 3 years total.  Swore i would never get stuck off on some android branch that there is no active development on, IE:  Had to a Nexus. 

Unlocked.  No encrypted boot loader.  This is a hackers paradise.  
Speed, ui, are all perfectly smooth no glitches cause bugs are getting fixed daily and rolled out weekly. 
iOS comparable.
I don't notice slowdowns ever (i make no effort to close apps).
Phone crashed twice in 5 months....


Battery not coming out is no biggie for me.  There are screws on the top that i'm sure one could use to put a new battery in if need be.    I'll break it before i need a new battery likely. 

I don't do alot of internetting on my phone and the batter is more than enough for me.  I keep the mobile data off and that really saves a ton of power (wifi on though).  If i turn the mobile data on I'd be lucky to get though the day.  Screen still sucks most of the juice but can't really turn that off (when using the phone). 


Lack of micro-sd sucks.  I've pretty much standardized on micro-sd between my cameras, laptop, and previous phones.  Sucks that i can't take one of my 2-gig playlists and pop it in.   Got some extra google drive storage.  Its linked to my google acct which i'm not to excited but sigh...


Camera is amazing.
Simple.  Works quickly. I hate delays. 
The best camera is the one that you have on you. 
not if it takes 10 min to get the smart phone into camera mode....
moments can be lost forever.  
Don't even need to unlock screen to get into camera mode (or flash light mode for that matter). 
(fast fast fast)

Super bright (sunny on snow = glare) with black subject  and blue skyline on a cold cold day 

Macro tests (ice crystals are a few mm in size)

Test of Vintage filter 

Nice Box!

As a Phone

Reception call quality no complaints.  Even works well with the windows down while driving!
Great build quality.  
No LTE but no worries.  
There is an LTE chip in the phone, its just not enabled right now but hackers have enabled the chip and connected to an LTE network means sometime in the future.....

Alot of people made a big stink about the lack of "4g" in the phone.   But its just bull by people who love making excuses.  The reality is it gets near LTE speeds.  Users are claiming, benchmarks are showing that the nexus 4 is  getting between 20 and 40 mbps in the real world. Which is almost exceeding the theoretical limit  to HSPA+ (does that make it HSPA++ or 3.75G as some are calling it).  Google claims to have made improvements to the standard that allow them to reach near theoretical speeds (most hspa+ phones donn't get more than 10mbps)


Absolutely Love My Nexus 4, perfect phone for me! 
My first new phone in forever and it's made out of glass = Really scared to break it

Android the way is was meant to be.  Updates and bug fixes on a regular basis. 
No random changes made by hardware manufactures.