BY | November 20, 2012

Google Nexus 4 is one of the best smartphone to have been launched. With LTE chip inside, Nexus 4 is set to give tough fight to iPhone 5

In the last week of October Google released the next version of the its Nexus phone. The Nexus 4 has LG as hardware partner, and – quite apart from software enhancements that came via Android 4.2 – it looks good and feels good in the hand. The Nexus 4 is smooth and elegant.

At a time when Apple itself has moved away from glass, the Nexus 4 sports a glass back, but Google said that it has taken care at the design level to ensure that the phone is not easily cracked. It used to be that iPhone got points for hardware, while people praised Android phones for its software and added features. Now, Android phones are catching up.

A whole host of phones, including the recently released HTC DNA are stunning to look at. The Nexus 4 is no different in this regard. It packs great hardware and specs in a beautiful body. According to Engadget the Nexus 4 “Google’s newest Android smartphone flagship will be one of the most exquisite devices you can buy.” It is quite light, weighing just 139gms, and 0.36 inches thick. And its tapered edges make it easier to hold. It runs on a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro and has 2 GB of RAM.

The rounding off the specs is the True HD IPS PLUS with 1,280 x 768 resolution display. The display is of course protected with a gorilla glass 2, and the glass back is scratch resistant. The battery is 2100 mAh, which is quite capable of handling a full day usage.

Add to this features like Photo Sphere, enhanced camera controls, and wireless charging. Add also support for Miracast,  and it would be no stretch to say that this was the best Nexus phone ever launched. All this could be brought at an amazing price. At $299 unlocked for the base version it costs about half as much as an iPhone.

There is however one fly in the ointment, the Nexus 4 does not have LTE capability. For some users the might be a deal breaker. All modern US phones come with built in LTE capability. Apparently in the search for being a truly open, Google chose to rather go without LTE than buckle in under the demands of the various carriers. One of the big problems that Android has faced is that it Google cannot push out updates as fast as Apple can.

There are two main reasons for this, OEMs need to customize their skins for the latest Android software, and the carriers want control over the update. The Nexus line circumvents the first problem. This time, by going without the carriers it circumvents the second problem also. By offering low prices, it lowers the threshold for adoption, and the pain for a non-carrier subsidized buy.

Ok, so back to LTE. When ifixit took apart Nexus 4 (as they do with all new gadgets) it found two things. A) It was surprisingly repairable, and b) surprise, it had an LTE chip in it. Ifixit gave the Nexus 7 out of 10 for reparability. The 3 points were docked because of its hard to remove battery and the fused together front panel. While it is not clear why there is an LTE chip inside when the Nexus 4 is without LTE capability (maybe because LG used the same setup as Optimus G, which has LTE and did not want to go to extra cost for removing it), it means that in future if Google wanted to bring LTE to Nexus 4, it could do that easily.
Nexus 4 specs
Core specs
Display: 4.7 inch IPS Plus capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 768×1280 pixels (~318 ppi)
CPU: Qualcomm APQ8064, quad-core 1.5 GHz
GPU: Adreno 320
Storage: 8/16 GB storage, 2 GB RAM
Camera: 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 1080p@30fps, Secondary Camera
Connectivity: HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, TV-out, microUSB (MHL) v2.0, A-GPS support and GLONASS
Battery: Li-Po 2100mAh

iPhone 5 specs
Display:  4-inch LED backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 1136×640 pixels, (326 ppi)
CPU: A6 Processor
GPU: Triple-core PowerVR SGX 543MP3
Storage:  16GB, 32GB or 64GB
Camera:  8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 1080p@30fps. 1.2 MP 720p secondary cam
Connectivity: DC-HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, LTE, 100 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, Lightning port, A-GPS support and GLONASS
Battery: Li-Ion 3.8V – 5.45Wh – 1434mAh battery

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