First there was the HTC-built Nexus One, then two from Samsung – the Nexus S, followed by last year’s Galaxy Nexus – and this year, there’s one more to add to the pile, with the appropriately titled Nexus 4, handled by LG.
The design is a little reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and 4S, with glass on both the front and back, although it does feature a softer look with a much wider display.
We found it was a comfortable fit in our hands, and with rubberised edges, you’ll find your fingers grip the sides much better than with a plastic or slick metal surface. Hold it with your fingers pressed against the front or back, however, and you’ll see it slip and slide out of your digits.
LG has certainly done a decent job at making this an aesthetically pleasing handset, that’s for sure, with a simple black face, and barely a centimetre framing the 4.7 inch screen on the top and bottom of the handset.
On the back, LG has looked past the simple monochromatic colour schemes most manufacturers choose for their handsets and gone with a a sparkling set of tiny squares, providing an almost pixelated holographic look that is really quite dazzling, so much so that you can get lost looking at it.
The screen is quite nice too, with great viewing angles that continually show off the colours your images and phone experience need. It is a very glossy screen, so expect some reflections, but if you push the brightness up, you’ll find it’s an easy way to overcome the heavy reflectivity.
Moving on to something more important, there’s the operation of the phone itself.
We’ve already mentioned that the Google Nexus 4 has more than a passing resemblance to an upcoming LG smartphone, and outside of a few other specifications – connection speed, body design, camera, LG’s enhancements to the operating system – it should be a very similar phone.
One thing that makes this handset special, however, is Google’s inclusion of the next generation of its mobile platform, Android 4.2, which still keeps the “Jelly Bean” moniker from the previous version.
Much like previous Google Nexus handsets, this is Android the way Google intends it to be, and with Android 4.2, it’s a showcase for the latest edition of the platform.
New to this incarnation of Jelly Bean is a cleaned up drop-down notifications bar where you can still swipe things out of it once you’ve seen them, as well as expand emails and other notifications to see more information in that drop down.