The LG Nexus 4 is a mixed bag. We liked some aspects of it while others irked us.
Easily one of the most beautiful Android smartphones, the Nexus 4 impressed us with its glass panel and unique reflective pattern of tiny circles on its back. Although the design concept is nothing new, Google and LG gave the market a breathe of fresh air with the Nexus 4. Comparatively, most of the Android phones today are made up of polycarbonate or other plastic-based materials. Looks are not the only areas that gained brownie points, the Nexus 4 also offers solid build quality and good handling.
Being a Nexus-branded device, you are almost guaranteed to receive two years of swift software updates from Google itself. What's even more important is that the Nexus 4 runs on vanilla Android, one that flies and delivers a flawless user experience that is unmatched by any other Android phones out there.
Credit ought to be given to Google for pushing themselves in bringing innovative features such as Daydream and Photo Sphere although the lock screen widgets are potential grounds for privacy invasion. Existing services such as Gmail and the stock Android keyboard continue to be improved too.
Battery and imaging performance remain the two biggest bugbears that have yet to be resolved by Google, LG and future Nexus manufacturers. As the flagship bearer for the latest Android OS, it is a shame that the Nexus 4 cannot match up to the standards of the other Android flagship devices. After all, what's the point of having the snappiest phone when the battery drains so fast?
Even with an upgraded 8-megapixel camera sensor, the Nexus 4 still slipped behind the competition. The HTC One X (and its variants) and Samsung Galaxy S III/Note II continue to take the lead from the Android camp against the Apple iPhone 4S/5. With many companies devoting more and more funds to enhancing the imaging capabilities of their devices, there is definitely room for improvement in the Nexus camp to come up with a competent camera module.
Retailing at US$299 (8GB) and US$349 (16GB), the Nexus 4 has no equal when you consider the overall package. Let's put it simple and straightforward for readers out there: The Nexus 4 is a must-have for existing Android users who are tired of waiting for the latest firmware updates from the respective companies. However, if you value battery performance, like to take a lot of photos with a phone and want to jump on the 4G LTE bandwagon, the Nexus 4 is probably not on your shopping list.