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Google Nexus 4 First Impression: Review and Tips

Nexus 4 and iPhone 5

The LG made [easyazon-link asin=”B00A9ZER46″ locale=”us”]Google Nexus 4[/easyazon-link] has been in the news ever since it was announced in late October, and it still remains to be one of the most wanted smartphones out there. Sure the arrival of the Sony Xperia Z and the much expected launch of the Samsung Galaxy S IV might have put a damper on the sales a little, but one simply can’t deny the fact that it’s a hot selling smartphone.

The smartphone had its own issues to figure out as it was not exactly available at any given time. And the problem was limited stocks. It took Google a good two months to figure out its issues and stock up on the smartphone so that supplies don’t run out. And even as we speak now, the smartphone is still available, albeit with a shipping time of 2-3 weeks. That’s acceptable for us as long as we’re getting the device. So if you’re one of those users who managed to get the smartphone in its second or third wave of launch, here are a few things to keep in mind before getting started with your brand new Nexus 4.

Nexus 4 Positives:

Well, as you would have noticed about the Nexus 4, it’s the gorgeous design that stands out at first. It is only after you turn on the phone that you realize that this is in fact a more than capable superphone. So to put it straight, this is one of those phones which you will be proud to show off despite going easy on your wallets. A word of advice though. If you’re planning to get the Nexus 4, make sure you get the 16GB version as the 8GB variant just won’t cut it in this day and age. Sure, if you would like to use the phone merely as your daily driver to make calls, receive and respond to texts, you’re good to go. But if you’re a heavy user and like to watch a lot of movies on the go, this is certainly not for you. To be honest, 16GB isn’t a prize either. The idea basically by Google is to get storage deprived users hooked on to Google Drive, which offers massive cloud storage for a subscription. So that’s about storage.

Secondly and most importantly, it is crucial that we understand the vulnerability of the device against drops and scratches. While the front of the Nexus 4 is covered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 screen, the back isn’t. So it’s that much easier to scratch it when you land the phone against its back on a rough surface. So the wise thing to do would be to get a bumper or a cover for the smartphone. I’m personally not a huge fan of screen guards myself, but it might not be a bad idea to apply a protective film on the back as well as the front of the Nexus 4. So should you land it somewhere, you can be assured that the screen guard will take most of the damage. Also, whatever you do, don’t try doing something adventurous with your Nexus 4. It only takes a drop to make the beautifully shiny back get an awful crack. Most of hypothetical scenarios however can be thrown out of the window with a bumper. So make sure you get the right bumper for your Nexus 4 and if the official LG bumper is out of stock, you should check out the bumper by Poetic. This case has had some durability issues in the past, but it’s half the price of the original bumper and the company offers 3 year warranty for the bumper which is reassuring.

Nexus 4 Tips:

When you’re first getting an Android device, there are certain things you do and you don’t. One of the things you do is, set up your Google account immediately. If you’re migrating from another ecosystem, you might not see the need to this immediately. Older users will be able to get all their apps back in their phone after signing into the Play Store, which is a neat touch. So make sure you sign into your Gmail account to get emails in real time (if auto sync is enabled), and enjoy the world of Google services.

Another thing to keep in mind with your Nexus 4 is the battery life. You might have noticed that it’s nothing to write home about. However, there can be a few ways to improve the battery life of your beloved droid. Firstly, make sure you have enabled auto brightness from the display settings. This will go a long way in keeping the device going for longer as the screen eats up most of the battery. Also, see to it that you use Wi-Fi as much as possible as being on HSPA+ or mobile internet will drain your battery quicker. This is because mobile internet requires access to your cellular connection, hence draining battery quicker than usual. Lastly, see to it that you’ve enabled auto sync disabled for email accounts if you’re away from the charger for long intervals. Auto sync makes sure you get your mails immediately, which means that it is checking the server constantly for new mails. Thus draining battery like crazy.

It is believed that the battery life of the Nexus 4 improves after a few charge cycles, which is something I’ve yet to experience, but I’m looking forward to that. Unfortunately for the users, the Nexus 4 has a non removable battery cover and it seems like a couple of screws are holding them together. But prying the back cover open will mean that the warranty is voided, which is something we don’t want. So unlike the vastly customizable Samsung Galaxy Nexus from 2011, the Nexus 4 is a disappointment in this area. But on the brighter side, we have a better looking Nexus phone. So if you keep these things in mind, you can be assured that your Nexus will serve you well and sustain for long, or at least until the next Nexus arrives.

At $299 and $349 for the 8 and 16GB variants respectively, the Nexus 4 is worth every dime. If you’ve been lucky enough to get it, make sure you savor every bit of it as there aren’t a lot of smartphones out there which can run as smoothly as the Nexus 4. Sure the likes of the Sony Xperia Z and the HTC One have slightly better hardware, but it’s the no-fuss software which is a winner here. Also, the promised update cycle of Google is worth commending. One can be assured that the Nexus 4 will be host to at least another two major Android updates, if not more. It’s one of the few smartphones in the world right now running the 4.2.2 version of Android which speaks volumes about fragmentation issues with other manufacturers, but that’s for another day to discuss. For now, the LG Nexus 4 is easily the best Android smartphone that money can buy.

If you own a Nexus 4 yourself, make sure you let us know your thoughts below. And if you have questions or complaints about the smartphone, hit us up at [email protected] and we’ll make sure your questions are answered.

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7 Comments

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  1. Nice review. The only disagreement I have with you is about syncing email accounts. When you use push email, the battery drain is less depending on the number of emails you normally receive. For instance if you get an email a minute syncing every ten minutes could possibly give longer battery life, but if you get ten every two hours you’ll use the battery more checking every ten minutes than using push to sync.

  2. Love the phone, but the battery life is a serious handicap. Going from full charge at 0900hrs to 15% by 1600hrs truly sucks. Achilles’ heel on a beautiful device.

  3. My nexus 4 has fallen at least a half dozen times from chest height on multiple surfaces, including a nasty fall on a marble floor, and dozens of knee falls. This phone is fine in the hand b’cuz the glass back is tacky – but laid on surface, it will slide on and off everything.

    It hasn’t broke yet

  4. I am on my third Nexus 4. I am in one of T-Mobiles highest signal areas and can barely make a call. My signal bars are sometimes 2 or 3 but most of the time it is more like zero or one bar. Using data is out of the question without WiFi. TMo says there is no problem with signal where I am.I don’t know what to do next other than buy a different phone. Signal inside any building is terrible anywhere I go.

  5. You did not mention wireless charging. This is a great feature. It does not matter that the battery is not great. You always keep the phone charged because it is so easy to just put it down on the charger. I have a charger in my kitchen, bedroom, and office. I am generally in one of those places. If not, the phone is charged 100% when I pick it up, so battery life is not an issue.

    The quad core CPU provides a snappy experience. The screen is great, perfect size, not too small or large. The best part of this phone is NO CONTRACT!!! You don’t need to fork over $100 a month for this phone. In fact if you don’t have a contract, it will work perfectly as a WIFI phone with Groove IP Lite. I use T-Mobile’s $30 a month plan. 5 gigs of data and 100 minutes talk time, which I never use, since I do all my calls with Grove IP and it sounds great.

    I highly recommend this phone for anyone, you really can’t go wrong, and yes, get the 16 gig model.

  6. Let us know when Google drive can be used for app install (sarcasm). 8GB is useless and 16GB is still only 12GB available to user apps. Even a galaxy s3 16GB needs to be hacked to use the external SD card for app storage. Pushing users to remote storage is meaningless.

  7. Another biased review with a positive paragraph at the end to try and save face.
    Despite your best attempts the article is obviously biased.

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