December 19, 2012

Nexus 4 First Impressions

The Nexus 4 is the phone I have been most excited about since when I first acquired an iPhone. While the iPhone revolutionized what people came to expect out of mobile devices, Android has changed what one can expect from an operating system. The latest version of Android is pretty fantastic, so getting that combined with a well-specced phone is an amazing combination.

I also have been very excited about how the Nexus 4 could come close to the iPhone’s mixture of hardware and operating system unity. While I was originally skeptical of the device given that it was manufactured by LG, I have been very happy with the build quality. Its benchmark innovation is how the glass curves over the edges of the phone, leaving your finger free to slide to and from the edge of the phone. Given that most time spent with a modern smartphone is manipulating the touch screen, it is a brilliant move.

The biggest knock against the Nexus 4 in reviews was the lack of LTE. Here is my take:  if you live in a major metropolitain era with a strong LTE imprint, the Nexus 4 is probably  not for  you. If Android is your thing, instead consider the Galaxy S3 or Droid DNA. The state of the mobile industry is that only Apple has the clout to dictate how and when the operating system will be updated to wireless carriers.

Given the rapid pace of sales (both models of the Nexus 4 are currently sold out)  it is clear that LTE is not a roadblock for many. If you are in an area unsupported by LTE or don’t anticipate such heavy data needs, the Nexus 4 is a fantastic device. I have been regularly getting 10 to 13 Mbps on the AT&T HSPA+ network, which are very solid speeds. The freedom of using an unlocked device combined with unadulterated Android is well worth the moderate speed drop.

More thoughts on the Nexus 4 will come later as I spend time with the device. It is a tough assignment, but I will find a way to persevere through the challenge.

Image credit: Google


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