Expert Review of LG Nexus 4 16GB E960 Black
If you are a big fan of Google’s Nexus line of smartphones, then you’ll be interested in the all-new LG Nexus 4 aka E960 aka Mako, whose specs and pictures were recently leaked by a Belarusian website. Google has had a successful journey with the Nexus line, first collaborating with Taiwanese smartphone-maker HTC, to make the Nexus One and then subsequently with Samsung to make the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Now it seems that it has chosen LG to create the Nexus 4, which bears the original aesthetics of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus but which is supposedly based on the awesome LG Optimus G. The “4” in the name is assumed to denote the fourth generation of the Nexus series. Keep in mind that the review that we have posted here is based on the review of a prototype so the features of the final production version of the Nexus 4 may be different from those posted here. From the leaked images, we can easily make out the all-black face of the Nexus 4, devoid of any additional features, typical of all Nexus smartphones. The front side of the phone almost completely resembles that of the Galaxy Nexus, except for a chrome ring along the bezel and the relocated speaker grille. The notification LED is also located at the same place as in the Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus 4 sports a gorgeous 4.7-inch HD IPS+ display that is bigger and brighter than that of the iPhone 5 and also offers fantastic viewing angles.
The display resolution is 1280x768 pixels. However, the back side of the phone tells a different story. Instead of the Galaxy Nexus’ matte grey with the familiar bump near the bottom side, the Nexus 4 sports a flat glossy shade with an unusual dotted pattern. The back cover is probably made of scratch-resistant glass and is not removable. Like in the other Nexus phones, the “with Google” label is present at the rear. The external speaker is located at the bottom right of the phone, next to the LG logo. The Nexus 4 has dimensions of 134 mm X 69.2 mm x 9.2 mm and weighs in at 139g. On a physical comparison with the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus 4 is found to be 1.5mm shorter, 1.3mm wider and 0.3mm thicker. The Nexus 4 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor along 2GB of RAM and is expected to run on Android 4.2 Bean out-of-the-box. Although the benchmark tests outpaced the Galaxy Nexus to a large extent, it wasn’t really something to write home about. The newest Nexus from LG sports an 8MP camera but image quality as of now is not very good and is barely comparable to that of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The prototype features a paltry 8GB of internal storage capacity and no microSD card slot but we hope that things will change in the final production version of the smartphone.
User Interface and UI functionality
Like we said earlier, the form factor of the Nexus 4 is very similar to that of the Galaxy Nexus. The prototype version runs on Android 4.1.2 but it is expected that the final production version will run on Android 4.2. The reason for this is that Google usually releases a new version of Android along with every launch of a Nexus model. There are serious problems and lapses in the UI functionality of the Nexus 4- atleast of the prototype model. The phone keeps rebooting from time to time, does not respond at all to pressing the power button at times, forcing you to sometimes go for a “soft reset”. When you connect the phone to your PC, it hardly gets charged and also you cannot connect the phone to your PC because there is no supported driver yet.
As mentioned earlier, the Nexus 4 prototype model runs on Android 4.1.2, which is not significantly much different from Android 4.1.1. However, we are expecting the launch of Android 4.2 by the end of October, which should bring in a host of new multimedia features. For now, the prototype model features the minimum set of applications and just the basic multimedia features expected from any 2012 smartphone.
Pictures and Video quality
The Nexus 4 sports an 8-megapixel camera. Picture quality is great but no 8-megapixel great which is a surprise because the iPhone 5 also features an 8-megapixel camera but delivers stunning image quality. Video quality is slightly shaky but video playback is a breeze even at 720p HD quality.
Obviously, the Nexus 4 will ship will all the basic internet connectivity features like GPRS/EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi, etc. However, recent rumors claim that there will be no support for 4G LTE on this handset, which is a major drawback since even the iPhone 5 now features LTE connectivity.
Internal and External Memory
The Nexus 4 prototype model came with just 8GB of internal memory capacity and NO microSD card slot for external memory expansion. We hope that the final production version comes with more storage capacity.
Applications and Gaming
Since the phone is expected to run on Android 4.2 (yet unreleased), we do not have a good idea of what kind of applications and games from the Play Store shall support the Nexus 4. It will obviously take time for developers to make their apps and games compatible with Android 4.2 and the Nexus 4.
The Nexus 4 has not yet been officially launched by LG so we do not have any idea of the claimed battery life offered by the device. However, in some tests, we saw that the battery charge reduces by 10% for every 20min of YouTube HD video full-screen playback.
The Nexus 4 is expected to be equipped with most of the basic connectivity options including GPRS/EDGE, 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microUSB of course. However, we cannot say for sure whether the phone will be NFC-enabled and LTE-enabled.
Comparing the Nexus 4 with the iPhone 5, we see many differences between the two phones. First off, the Nexus 4 sports a significantly bigger and brighter display compared to the iPhone 5. The Nexus 4 runs on the quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor while the iPhone 5 runs on Apple’s A6 processor. Both phones sport 8MP cameras but the iPhone 5’s iSight camera delivers significantly better and high-quality photos. While the iPhone 5 already features LTE connectivity, the Nexus 4 is rumored to be lacking LTE technology.