So here I am, continuing from where I left off. Well its been four days and I haven’t got enough of my Google Nexus 4. There is so much you can do with this beast that a popular forum on android development xda developers is already overflowing with threads on various tweaks and enhancements that can make this already awesome phone even better.
Well I for one am an android enthusiast and I must confess that I get a kick from fiddling with my android phones (and my wife’s too). Sometimes I do get a threatening glare from my wife when I am modding her phone and its not available for use at the moment. But that rarely stops me from doing things that I would anyway do.
So coming to my Google Nexus 4 review. Well, as I mentioned in the previous post that I believe – IF IT IS AN ANDROID THEN IT HAS TO BE A Nexus. Though I am not a spendthrift when it comes to buying phones, I do take care that I buy one with respectable hardware.
The Google Nexus 4 is a perfect combination of the features that I personally look for in a phone. Although the Google Nexus 4 is a phone that pleases the geeky and the layman alike, I will try to bring out a few features that I feel are important from an average buyer’s perspective.
India is a very price sensitive market and people would not hesitate to go for cheaper bargains given an opportunity. For the hardware that this phone packs, the price just couldn’t have been lower. The mobile phone companies charge anywhere between 20%-30% profits over the building costs and I feel Google Nexus 4, with the price at which it is being offered must be giving Google and LG a heartache.
2. Build Quality
The pricing as I said couldn’t be better but the fact is that there has been absolutely no compromise with the quality of the materials or the innards in the phone. It feels great in the hands with the glass front and back and the shimmer effect on the backside of the phone is outright gorgeous. This you have to see before you believe. The phone will get you that ‘ooh wow’ looks from your friends for sure if you are one of those style conscious people. Of course a cautionary advice for people with butter-fingers is that a bumper or a case is a must for this beauty as the rear glass is fragile and will break if the phone drops and hits the correct angle. The phone has three buttons, one for power and two volume keys. All of them are easy to press and do not give a feeling of being loose.
3. Design and size
I always used to advocate that any phone with a screen size greater than 4 inches is BULKY. In fact I took a chance this time going against my belief and bought Google Nexus 4. The phone sports a 4.7 inch screen and for an average adult’s hand is a little big. Single handed operation for me is ruled out. That being said, I found the phone reasonably pocketable because of its thin profile. The curves and design of the phone make it fit comfortably in the hand and the rounded square corners and a thin profile makes it look sexy.
What is the one thing that you always look at when using a phone?? No points for guessing that its the screen !! That is one component of a phone that needs to be delightful and of the highest possible quality. The screen on the Google Nexus 4 is nothing short of superb. The True HD IPS display for those who have no clue about what it is, gives you very clear and crisp pictures / video detail at higher viewing angles too. What that means is that even if you look at the phone from an angle, you can clearly see and read what is displayed on the screen. The 10 point capacitive touch screen is very bright and text can be read well in direct sunlight because the brightness adjusts itself automatically based on the ambient light (which is a very common feature these days is smartphones).
The photos and videos look beautiful but there are reports that some people find the colors to be washed out. Well my take on this is, that everyone perceives colors differently and what I see may not be exactly what you see. Nevertheless, there are apps on the play store which allow you to adjust screen colors as per your liking.
One of the favorite questions that we like to ask our friends when we look at their shiny new phones is that what is the processor speed ? Well I am not the one who believes in benchmarks but believe you me, this phone is FAST. It sports a quad-core processor and coupled with the latest and the greatest version of android (4.2.2) running, it does things faster than you can even imagine. I used to praise iOS devices for their smoothness but my Google Nexus 4 has given me that nirvana of owning a smooooth… android phone.
It can play HD movies quite well and I have read but can’t vouch for (I ain’t a gamer) its ability to play demanding games like NFS and asphalt with ease. Games with lesser graphic needs like temple run which I do play are like knife through butter.
Another one of those favorite questions of our envious friends / colleagues is “How many Megapixels?”. I would shrug and say only eight. But for a guy like me the camera on the phone coupled with the awesome screen gives me some great photos. Photos in broad daylight are as good as what I can click from a point and shoot camera. Of course the low light photos may be of concern for professional people who have a hawk’s eye for detail but frankly for me its a great camera that you can have on a phone to click those everyday casual pictures.
Jelly bean (Android 4.2.2) also gives a panorama mode by default in the camera app and there is the exclusive photo sphere which allows you to click a 3 dimensional photo of your surrounding. This feature as of today can only be found on the Google Nexus 4.
The phone can shoot videos at 1080p HD quality and also allows you to click a photo with a touch on the screen while you are recording. Autofocus during the recording is a problem and you must make sure that the camera focuses well before you start recording. A steady hand will also help in making a good video as the stabilization is almost non existent.
7. Battery Life
Like all other smartphones my Google Nexus 4 easily sails me through the day in a single charge. For the people who like to play games all day, I would suggest carrying the charger along. Another thing that I have noticed is that the phone does heat up while charging and with extensive use. I cannot comment at this moment whether that is bad or not. The battery is non average user removable. But frankly I personally have never replaced my phones battery before I replaced my phone
8. Speakers, Accessories & Storage
The phone has a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. Unfortunately Google does not provide headphones in the package and I found the ones I had were not very friendly with the jack. I guess the el-cheapo headphones would be no good for use with the Google Nexus 4. The earphones that come with a CTIA type connector (iPhone compatible) work well with this phone. The sound from the loud-speaker at maximum volume level is disappointing. The phone has one loud-speaker at the lower back end and it will in all likelihood be covered by your hand when you hold the phone while watching a video. This is one let down I found in the otherwise awesome device.
The phone can be accessorized with a variety of cases for those who like changing the looks of their phones often,
The phone comes with storage size of 8Gb and 16Gb of which the usable memory left out is around 4.5 Gb and 12.5 Gb respectively with no extra apps installed. There is no micro-sd card slot which may be of a concern for people who like to store lot of photos, music or videos on their phones. I keep my photos on Google+ which saves me that much space on the phone. The 16Gb variant thus suffices for my needs.
The phone works well with all Indian carriers and gives 3G speeds that the provider can offer. Obviously the capability of the phone is undermined due to the lack of service here in India since the phone is designed to give DC-HSDPA speeds of up to 42Mbps
The GPS on the phone is very fast and connects to the satellites and gives your accurate position in about 10 seconds without any A-GPS support. Navigation with Google maps and the onboard GPS is a breeze.
There are so many more things that I wish I could mention in my Google Nexus 4 review which has me glued to it from the past four days. But I am sure that reading such a loooong post would bore even the most patient readers. Nevertheless I am open to queries of any kind. People who want to know how I went about getting mine and the merits of a Google supported smartphone may contact me through the blog. So, for all those who could manage to read through till here… if you liked it, please ‘like it’ … Cheers !!
This guest post is by Umesh Sharma – An ardent fan of the Google Nexus 4 and my husband.