Hard to pass up: LG’s $399 Google Nexus 4 reviewed

Overall, the entire phone just feels faster, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s something we need to attribute to Android 4.2, or possibly even the 2GB RAM, as we’re seeing on other phones equipped with this boost in memory.

It’s not the performance beast you might expect, and our benchmarks showed the Nexus 4 to run under the speed put out by the HTC One X from earlier this year, but outside of the synthetic benchmarks, it’s something we didn’t really notice.

A couple of things take the shine off Google’s sub-$500 marvel, which in fairness does manage to pack in more features than most other handsets for the price, no doubt an attempt by Google to bring more people over to its ecosystem.

One of these is access to a fourth-generation network, which means you’re stuck with connection speeds lower than the high-speed next-generation system.

They are 3G speeds and are on par with Samsung’s 3G only Galaxy S3, as well as the Apple iPhone 4S, however. We managed at most a download speed of roughly 20Mbps down, with a general average of between 8-10Mbps for the norm on this handset.

Upload speeds aren’t helped by 4G, so don’t expect this to be the greatest uploader of videos or photos, as you’ll only manage barely 2Mbps.

Battery life isn’t fantastic either, with only a day of life to speak of, though you might be able to squeeze a few more hours if you don’t use push email, social networking, or Microsoft’s Exchange Email platform.

The camera could do with a bit of work, too, specifically in the area of focusing, as we found that even with defined focus points, our camera wasn’t quite nailing the subject matter.

Mind you, that’s something we’ve come to expect from Google’s Nexus range of handsets, and from past experience, the cameras often get a whole lot better after firmware updates.

We focused on the green tomato, not the wall behind it.


With a price tag that puts it just slightly out of budget territory and perfectly priced in the mid-range, you’d be hard pressed to not consider the Nexus 4, as the combination of Google’s latest operating system and LG’s engineering smarts helps to round out the new Nexus phone and make it one of the better devices out there.

While the battery life could be better and we’d love 4G, this is Android the way Google envisioned and intended it to be, and the price is certainly very hard to pass up. Recommended.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Solid and well built; Great screen; The most up-to-date Android experience; Insanely competitive price;
No 4G; Mediocre battery life; Camera autofocus isn't fantastic; A little slippery;