Google unveils the LG Nexus 4 with hardware and pricing you simply can’t ignore

Alex Masters

nexus4 300x225 Google unveils the LG Nexus 4 with hardware and pricing you simply can’t ignoreGoogle have unveiled their latest Nexus handset, the LG Nexus 4. This is the first time Google have collaborated with LG to build Nexus hardware, so there have been high expectations for this device. Luckily for us, it seems LG have delivered an excellent handset.

The Nexus 4 marries LG’s incredible build quality with the instantly recognisable design language seen in its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. From the front, the two phones look almost identical, aside from a black frame that surrounds display. The back of the Nexus 4 features a plate of toughened glass, reminiscent of the iPhone 4, which appears black in colour until the phone is tilted in the light to reveal a hologram-like pixelated pattern hidden below its surface.

The Nexus 4 has a flat screen, unlike the curved panel found in the Galaxy Nexus that came before it. That being said, the sides of the Nexus 4’s display do still curve around the frame slightly, designed to complement some of Android’s swiping gestures, such as the tab switching gestures found in the Chrome browser.

The LG Nexus 4 comes in eight and 16GB versions, featuring a 4.7 inch IPS display, 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and an eight megapixel rear camera with LED flash. Google claim that this phone currently has the fastest processor on the market, so the Nexus 4 is definitely no slouch.

nexus4 landscape 300x225 Google unveils the LG Nexus 4 with hardware and pricing you simply can’t ignoreAs well as the usual WiFi 802.11b/g/n, HSPA+ and Bluetooth connectivity, the Nexus 4 is equipped with NFC (Near-field communication). Android’s ‘Beam’ feature can share files between other NFC-equipped Android devices, simply by placing the devices back-to-back and tapping the phone’s screen. Due to the universal standards that govern NFC, you can even share web addresses and contacts between Android and Windows phones, which is a nice little perk. It’s a shame all mobile operating systems do not currently support this technology.

NFC is not the only wireless trick up Google’s sleeve either. The Nexus 4 contains inductive charging technology, enabling wireless charging of the device when it’s placed on top of Google’s optional wireless charging ‘orb’.

Sadly the Nexus 4 does not feature 4G LTE capabilities. There may be an LTE version in the pipeline, but so far Google haven’t announced any plans to support it. The reasoning behind their decision? Google want the Nexus 4 to be as compatible and affordable as possible with regards to the varied mobile networks around the world.

In most countries, 4G networks are still in their infancy and therefore leaving out the technology is not cause for concern at this point. Things will be different with next year’s Nexus device but until then, it looks like there will be no 4G model available.

The Nexus 4 will ship with stock Android 4.2 right out of the box, showcasing the pure Android experience with some brand new features in tow. ‘Google Now’ will see significant improvements too, with Google doubling the amount of ‘cards’ available, providing information such as local cinema showings, hotel reservation details, and even upcoming gigs in the area based on artists you have regularly searched for in Google.

The Android camera app has seen a significant redesign too, including an impressive 360 degree panorama feature called ‘Photo Sphere’. The software stitches together multiple photos of a given scene, generating a single interactive 360 degree image, similar to what you see when using Google Street View.

Despite the impressive build quality, full featured specs (despite the lack of LTE) and refined design, off-contract Nexus 4 handsets will retail for just £239 and £279 in 8GB and 16GB versions respectively. These are incredibly low prices for a flagship smartphone. Google really are pulling out all the stops with their latest line of mobile products, and with prices as cheap as these, the LG Nexus 4 is guaranteed to attract a lot of attention from consumers.

The LG Nexus 4 will be available to purchase on Tuesday November 13 direct from the Google Play Store.

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  • David Hampson

    I had a look on EE’s (“Orange’s”) website last night at the cost of their 4G plans, ludicrously expensive!

  • dourscot

    Of course they are – nobody else has a 4G network yet.

    Not so much bleeding edge as bleeding wallet.

  • Klesk Antonus

    The networks won’t pass on any savings to customers taking out contracts because there are none for them to pass on. The price that networks purchase this from Google at is barely different to what they typically pay. The difference is that Google are offering it direct to punters with very little profit.

    From the network perspective this is no cheaper than most other new phones, but for the savvy consumer it’s a pricing revolution. Google have broken the traditional economics of contract Vs handset purchasing……in a good way!

  • Jim H.

    Absolutely agree. I would want this device even at a substantially higher price point (say, the usual $549). At $349, I’m practically jumping out of my seat waiting for the opportunity to buy it.

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