First Impressions Of The Nexus 4 On T-Mobile

Sometime during the course of the summer, I wrote an editorial where I pledged I would never buy another Android device that didn’t carry the “Nexus” name. In that editorial I laid out my case and stated that, thanks in no part to the incredibly unreliable timetable for Android updates, I felt most comfortable investing in a future Nexus device, even if I was only doing so once a year. To me, the idea of being first with updates is more important than having the latest hardware. One could still argue the Galaxy Nexus, which appears long in the tooth when compared to the newest Nexus, Galaxy S III or HTC One X, is not only a viable smartphone but remains one of the best options available. Perhaps iPhone ownership has spoiled me as I’m used to getting all my updates on all my (iOS) devices at once, but the moment I wrapped my hands around the Nexus 4, I knew that editorial still held true.

A lot has been said about LG and and its place in the Android market as many question why Google partnered with someone other than Samsung for the Nexus? Samsung, which as all you know controls the lion’s share of the Android world, seems like it would have been the likely partner yet again for a Nexus device. It’s true that Samsung did get the nod for a 10” tablet with the Nexus 10, yet the success of the Galaxy Nexus had me hoping that Samsung would continue the Nexus name.

All my thoughts changed the moment I wrapped my hand around Nexus 4 which and its just “right” feeling in my hands. I’ve stated in a lot in previous reviews that I’m not a fan of the continued physical growth of smartphones and I think we’re getting to a breaking point with the Galaxy Note II. Yet, for some reason, the Nexus 4 not only feels better in my hand than the Galaxy S III, it also feels a lot better than the Galaxy Nexus.

The good news is the curvature of the phone, which sports a 4.7” display feels far smaller than the Galaxy S III. The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor has breezed through every task I’ve thrown at the Nexus 4 so far with plenty of room to spare. Project Butter is definitely in high gear with this device as I’ve yet to find a place where I can get the phone to lag. The touchscreen has been very responsive and the presence of stock Android is so incredibly refreshing, I want to jump for joy. There have been some complaints about the back heating up when pressing the phone with multiple apps, but I’ve yet to experience anything beyond what I would consider normal.

When it comes the Nexus 4 and software, it’s hard to use a Jelly Bean device these days and then try and go backwards to any Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone I have laying around. The presence of Project Butter, Google Now and the little tweaks Google has made in Android 4.2 make for a striking and much more pleasant all- around experience. If you can put aside your feelings about LG (I’m looking at you G2x owners), you’ll likely find plenty to like about the Nexus 4.

Still, I’m definitely interested in keeping track of battery life as it does seem among the biggest concerns I’ve seen from those on the fence with the Nexus 4. Will I need to charge more than once a day? Can I allow for the possibility that the lack of LTE (more specifically T-Mobile’s lack of an LTE network) is a gift in this case as it pertains to battery life?

I’ll try my best to answer these questions and more as I continue forward with my full review sometime after the holiday weekend. For now, I’d like to open the comments for any questions you might have. I’ll do my best to pop in and answer them with the full review and anything I can quickly look through as I see your questions come in.

For some closing thoughts I’ll say there’s a lot to love with the Nexus 4 including the promise of being first with Android updates.  That promise along with an inexpensive no-contract option will hopefully make a compelling argument that wins me over time and time again.

Early Likes:

  • Form factor feels great
  • Project Butter is buttery smooth (pun absolutely intended)
  • Beautiful display
  • Stock Android is refreshing
  • Unlocked means any and all GSM networks are at my disposal

Early Dislikes:

  • First impressions of the camera are so-so, not wildly impressed
  • Glass black has me worried about physical damage
  • Lack of LTE isn’t an issue on T-Mobile, right now, but future-proof would be nice
  • There’s no December on some parts of the calendar *known issue, Google has promised a fix

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  • Charles Smith II

    I recently started using my wife’s Galaxy Nexus and LOVE it. The last android phone I had was a G2 and android has come a LONG way since my last experience. I can see myself being very happy with this for awhile… at least until a white variant of the Nexus 4 comes out.

    • Legione13

      I went from a G2 to a Galaxy Nexus as well, and it was a huge upgrade. If the Galaxy Nexus had a better camera (especially in low light situations), I wouldn’t even be reading posts about the Nexus 4 right now.

      Despite the camera though, I still think the Galaxy Nexus is a great phone, even with standard Jellybean. Now, with 4.2, it has features that most Android phones won’t get for weeks or months.

      That said, I am Nexus only, at this point, like Mr. Beren. I’ll hold off on the Nexus 4 until it has LTE, though… or until Google drops the Nexus 4 price… or until a new LTE-equipped Nexus comes out.

      In the absence of LTE on T-Mobile, there is just no need for me to upgrade from my Galaxy Nexus.

      • Matlock

        Trust me, I did the upgrade from the Galaxy Nexus to the Nexus 4, and the data speeds are much better. Every thing loads and downloads much faster on the Nexus 4 compared to the Galaxy nexus. The availability of HSPA 42 makes a huge difference, plus the Nexus 4 is smoother than the Galaxy Nexus.

      • spann37

        The Nexus 4 DOES INDEED have LTE. I won’t be turning mine on until T-Mobile turns theirs on. LOL

  • Rob Daman

    If it’s buggy like the g2x then i’d pass on this. the google play price when in stock is terrific though. i hope nobody decides to get it directly through tmo.

    • alfonzso

      I got mine directly through T-Mobile because Google was sold out and I needed one fast. Time is money. I didn’t mind paying the extra $150 or so to get one fast and better support. When getting it through T-Mobile, I do have the support that Google lacks.

  • tobidashi

    So many great reviews, I just can’t wait to get my order in. How much longer will I have to wait? I already sold my old Samsung Vibrant and am back on an old Nokia backup dumbphone.

    • By the time we receive ours the next nexus will already be out..

  • Jeremy R

    How would you compare the camera to the Galaxy S II?

    • I would like to know that as well. I still think the GSII camera is one of the best.

  • I’ve had mine for 2 days now and absolutely love it. It is extremely fast and responsive. I love Google Now. For TMobile, I def think this is the best phone you can get right now.

    • steez12

      Note 2 is better

      • aaronfg

        for you.

        • @35373109adcd0d9798e3292b503ed7d1:disqus probably not even for him. #EpicTroll

        • He was replying to the comment about it being the best phone on T-Mobile right now, the Note 2 IS the best phone they have right now even if it’s not personally for you. The battery, the multi tasking,wi-fi calling, the screen, LTE proof, removable battery, expandable memory, etc. are all upsides that the Nexus 4 doesn’t have.

        • Joseph Lagalla

          Not trying to troll, just being objective. The Nexus 4 may have the crown in speed when the benchmarks are updated. The screen is also arguably better(ppi). The build quality is better. The price is right.

        • Build quality is subjective

        • spann37

          Coming from an unlocked Galaxy Nexus on T-Mobile, and now with an unlocked Nexus 4 still on T-Mobile, I’d also have to agree that the materials do feel better in the hand than the plastic used by Samsung. Subjective, maybe. But so is saying that the Note 2 is the best phone on T-Mobile. Last I checked. They still have those available everywhere. Can’t seem to keep the Nexus 4 in stock ANYWHERE.

        • There is just nothing inspiring about the design of the nexus. ..I am not knocking it at all but it just doesnt stand out enough for me to want it – Just my personality. … The nexus is a great device that doesnt push the envelope both spec and design wise.

        • why is she talking to me. I knew exactly what he was commenting on and I agree with him but I dont agree with you. Now vamoose!!!

        • I didn’t say anything you could agree or disagree with, those are just the specs.

        • Noel

          Latest info…seems the N4 is LTE proofed for band 4 (1700/2100) which is what Tmo will use…check video of it working in Telus Canada on Engadget

      • niftydl

        At twice the price, it absolutely isn’t.

        • Guest

          prob mommy bought for him

        • Guest

          Why do you say that? I’m 21 and bought my own, no parents involved – ignorant answer.

        • Richard Yarrell

          You pay for the best. The Lg Nexus 4 couldn’t touch the Galaxy Note 2 with a ten foot pole.

        • niftydl

          I think you are missing the point. The Note 2 is a great device, but in it’s price range – it is not competing against the Nexus 4. It should be considered for value against other $600 devices like the latest iPhone, Droid DNA, etc. Money wise (2 x Nexus 4) > 1 Note

        • No one was comparing/competing against it! Simply stating that the nexus 4 isn’t necessarily the best phone on the network right now…it’s all subjective so should just stop arguing and be happy with what they have.

        • Jeff Martinez

          Your comment is complete moronic. Just avoid the “post button” please thank you.

        • Your Daddy’s Dad

          You sir are uninformed. The Note 2 and Nexus 4 are totally different phones. The Note 2 won’t get updates, what you pay is what you got. The N4 will be updated for the next three years or so, unlocked, half the price and better specs. I have both phones, both have strengths but for the long haul I bet on Nexus.

  • Iucidium

    ‘Perhaps iPhone ownership has spoiled me as I’m used to getting all my updates on all my (iOS) devices at once’

    Nah – it isn’t, Nexus is the future.

    I hate the fact T-Mobile UK haven’t even acknowledged this monsters existence
    G1>Desire Z (rooted with G2 ROM)>Nexus S>Nexus 7>Nexus 4

    • Jose Andino

      actually the Galaxy Nexus did get the android 4.2 update very quickly. At least in my case I received the android 4.2 update on my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 the very same day of the release of the Nexus 4 so Google seems to be on track this time and not making Nexus owners wait like they did when they released the Nexus S

      • Iucidium

        ? Don’t you just love interpretation!
        This comment didn’t mention 4.2 at all. Just my favour of the Nexus line and my lament of T-Mobike UK not even knowing this phone exists.

        • Legione13

          Won’t the radios work with T-Mobile UK? If so, is Google selling it directly to consumers over there, or do you know somebody in the US who can procure and then ship one to you?

        • Iucidium

          Its GSM, so yeah. UK play store has no stock ATM. Bugger

  • youngt82

    I want a nexus 4 so badly :(

  • TeflonFong

    I am using the Nexus4 alongside my Galaxy Nexus – I like the new display resolution-wise, but the colors look faded out to me when held side by side with the Galaxy Nexus

    • Iucidium

      That’s IPS for ya, I use my nexus s after my nexus 7 and it looks over saturated.

    • Super Amoled colors will spoil you. I’m due for a more true to accurate screen now. Sick of SA.

  • I’m still on the fence about this one, but I can say the form factor of the phone is by far the best to me.

    • Iucidium

      It feels fantastic in then hand, slightly heavier than a ‘cased’ Nexus S.
      Looks beautiful.

  • Jasen Minus

    Well, if the LTE chip was ‘said’ to actually be there, maybe it is future proofed.

    • I agree.

    • g2a5b0e
      • Hyuri

        That article is incorrect. According to Qualcomm’s data sheet the MDM9215 is an LTE modem (“LTE FDD/TDD CAT 3, SVLTE-DB, Release 9 DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, EGAL”). All the MDM92xx and MDM96xx Gobi chips have LTE. In fact, the MDM9215m specifically is the same modem used in the One X – which clearly does have LTE. What is more commonly claimed is that the Nexus 4 lacks an LTE amplifier. Yet Avago Technologies states that their ACPM-7251 amp supports “UMTS Dual-Band (Band1 – UMTS & LTE and Band5 UMTS & LTE)”. Again, a chip also used in the One X. Also present are Avago A5702 and A5704 LTE/UMTS power amps. So… At this point I’m not even sure where the problem with LTE lies other than FCC approval and software support.

        • exeot

          Thanks for the specifics. We’ll see how it plays out in time. In any case, t-mobile needs to get this second generation lte network they say they’re going to implement rolling.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Finally, someone who gets it!

          “Radios,” “antennas,” lol. Some people are so confused. It really comes down to power amplifier modules. And their presence.

    • exeot

      It’s missing hardware to implement it. The chip is there, but the LTE antennas are not. Don’t bet on it, even though Google has surprised us before(unlocked color capability of notification light on the nexus one was one of those). It shouldn’t stop anyone on t-mobile from getting it though.

    • LTE chip with no LTE radios is useless…

  • Iucidium

    @David get the bumper!

  • prasad

    Its time for Google to take advantage of their Motorola purchase and deliver some stock android guddies…don’t know what the hell they are waiting for..I am fed up with phone manufacturers/carriers.. waiting for them to give me their crappy updates.. if Google ever dreams of beating apple.. only way is to churn out more goodies like Nexus 4s.

    • Iucidium

      I’m still hoping for a ‘Nexus MAXX’ with an IPS display

    • trjcasper

      Google might be shy about using Motorola muscle for Android device domination for fear of alienating device OEMs. Telling Samsung to take a leap will cause Samsung to leap right into bed with Windows. HTC is right there with them. Remember, Google is a search/marketing company. Android feeds the beast and is a means to an end. Keeping market share with as many OEMs involved as possible is necessary and in their best interest.

  • Chris

    To each their own, I had a nexus. Besides great update times, I think other phones UI brought features to table that makes you think “do you really need a phone with timely updates when people nowadays buy phones every year or so?”

    I bought GS3 not because of hardware. But because of what Samsung Touchwiz brought to the table. Smart Stay, Smart Rotation, voice app commands, etc.

    I find it hard to go back to my nexus because I miss these other features.

    Anyways I guess my point is, there are people like me who looks at phone features than hardware per say.

    • exeot

      This has to be a joke. Touchwiz brings very little to the table. It was really useful during the galaxy s period, but the nexus line has really advanced in interface lately. I disabled all those gimmicks on my s3. The nexus 4 brings wireless charging and wireless display. Updates> touchwiz any day of the week, unless it’s a tablet/phablet.

      • I have a hard time believing that anyone would buy an Android device for one of the overlays, you may like them and you may tolerate them, but they are not necessary. That’s part of the Android promise, almost all of those features can duplicated in some way through widgets and third party apps and in most cases, vastly approved.

        • paul2834

          Good luck finding something as versatile as T-Mobile’s Wifi Calling in an app market.

        • Which has nothing to do with TouchWiz, or Sense, just T-Mobile branded device. A stock Android device could run this just fine if it wasn’t a Nexus device. You can’t draw those lines and say they are related.

        • paul2834

          It’s the same essence. The original complaint/point was that Nexus devices allow us to get updates much faster. T-Mobile’s bloatware is another hurdle along the path to getting an update, very much like the TouchWiz or Sense hurdle. Carrier bloatware affects the update process in the same ballpark as an overlay.

        • its called sip and voip. Which has been built in android since gingerbread. You don’t even have to have an an t-mobile account to make calls either.

        • Shawn

          Really? Because I buy Samsung phones because of TouchWiz. I have not noticed how the TouchWiz overlay has caused one bit of lag anywhere on the phone. I like the look of TouchWiz (more professional than blue everywhere), I like all of the built in Motion/Gesture features–use them all day long. Don’t get me wrong, I like CM & AOKP, and if someone knows of a way to add the motion/gesture features or knows of apps that mimic Samsung’s fancy-looking Memo & Calendar widgets, please let me know.

        • Shawn

          Oops.. By “the phone” I mean the Galaxy SIII

        • atari37

          Man, I couldn’t have put your comment any better. To me getting a phone that has no bloatware or added UI elements that get’s in the way of upgrades, is worth so much more than all the crap these OEM’s and carrier force on us. Like you said, most of the added features found in touchwiz can be found as dedicated APPs and widgets from 3rd party developers.

        • I would buy a device because it has sense UI its not too absurd to say…. While Google is closing in on the feature list compared to other manufacturers UI not everyone wants to have to download an app for what others get coded into their phones. Google doesn’t have Beats sound nor do I believe its sound is comparable to the great sound The One series backed by beats provide. (Not Sense UI specifically but just an example) Sense Widgets are just great. Sense Camera UI is great and on the video camera does slow motion recording of which I didn’t even know could be done with a phone…

        • patrik69

          I’m a One X owner and the app Equalizer by Smart Android Apps, LLC blows Beats right out of the water. It is hands down better than Beats. It’s free and ridiculously good.

        • I use equalizer as well to present a even louder sound on top of beats. Its not something that replaces beats though because to some extent beats is built into the software. I prefer Dolby sound actually when I had my sensation it wasn’t a beats device but the rom I was running had beats from the One S it was weak on the sensation compared to dolby but you then gotta realize there is more to sound than the software you gotta have good speakers and the One Series has great speakers for music to go through. I still wish HTC had coupled the headphones with it or at least some headphones I mean its a music device for crying out loud

      • kev2684

        Touchwiz on the Note 2 is way better than stock imo. i own Nexus 7 and never touched it again since i had the Note II. TW+jelly bean mmm. i have yet to experience multi-tasking. it will just get better from here. i do hate the look of the message app though. i like stock message app.

      • Richard Yarrell

        People who purchase Samsung devices do so because they like touchwiz. What Samsung brings to the table pisses all over anything Google can offer on any drab stock android device. The Galaxy Note 2 does full fledged true multitasking the way it was meant to be with a two Window layout being able to switch at will. The Nexus 4 as well as all other devices on the market do not really multitask as intended. Many manufacturers can learn from Samsung in so many ways. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the best all purpose productivity device on the market. The Lg Nexus 4 offers nothing of any significance to the user experience. You learn nothing using the Lg Nexus 4 plus the storage options and camera as well as battery life is pretty comical.

    • “people nowadays buy phones every year or so?” I don’t know about you, but most people go along with the carrier’s “suggestion” of upgrading every 2 years, with a new 2 year contract. Of course, I’m soon leaving this mindset behind with the purchase of a contract-free Nexus 4.

      • I got 2 devices last year off contract SK4G and HTC Sensation not only that I used my upgrade for the Google NS that december when it released initially. Then Now I got a One S of which was a Asurion replacement for the Sensation just not too long ago and still on track for upgrading to a Note 2 and off contract a Nexus 4. Then again I’m not most people.

      • Little T

        Buy unlocked, off-contract. Buy a phone . . . use it. Sell it, get most of your money back. Buy a cooler phone.

        • Nexus 4 God

          I do this every year with the iPhone.

    • od312

      Same here :)

  • Deadeye37

    I was on the fence about getting this phone and getting the GSIII. I ended up getting the GSIII because of WiFi calling (and to a lesser degree, microSD slot).

    Since I’m still in the regret period (I haven’t receive the GSIII in the mail yet), I’m wondering if there is a *GOOD* substitute for the WiFi calling (IE receive calls where I have no phone reception, like at my cube at work). I use Google voice for text, but could I use Google Voice to get calls while I’m out of cell range, but connected to WiFi? I would really prefer getting the Nexus 4.

    • jonathan

      Try grooveip. Links to your Google voice account and allows outgoing and incoming calls via data.

      • Deadeye37

        That groove ip sounds promising. I think I might test that on my phone right now. Anyone else have any suggestions?

        • Deon Davis

          Talkatone is good too.

        • David VanHouse

          GrooveIP is where its at…i never understood the fascination with TMOs WiFI calling

        • Groove ip is trash, try Talkatone even though I do fell that Talkatone works much better on iOS, but still dance circles around Groove ip.

          Another alternative is Skype calls. I pay $2.99 a month for unlimted calling anywhere in the world becuz I don’t have a unlimited plan, just a data plan. My Skype calls uses my mobile number as well so I don’t have to go thru the hassle of a Google number.

      • Mike Snoow

        i use grooveip but its not always perfect and u need to tune the settings to get the best performance. i use skype and the performance is incredible with that it cost less then $3/mon for unlimited calls to us and canada incoming number cost too

    • TBN27

      Bobsled get better everytime.

      • Bobsled uses mobile minutes from what I hear, but I could be wrong.

        • TBN27

          No actually. It usrs data or a wi-fi connection. Does not use your cell phone minutes and you get 72 minutes if talk time per call within North America. And if you use wi-fi abroad and need to call home with a phone without wi-fi calling feature, bobsled will allow you to call home from abroad free.

          I just had my friend download it on his Sprint Android phone and he now can make wi-fi calls back home when he flies to France or Japan. They are also working to add other countries in Europe to the calling capabilities down the road. If i switch to a Nexus 4 or an iPhone 5, i will be getting this app as a substitute for not having wi-fi calling.

        • Thats interesting. I don’t know why, but I remember seeing somewhere that it uses mobile minutes. I wonder if it is as reliable as Skype calls and uses my cell # as well.

        • TBN27

          In the beginning it was quite buggy however the updates has cleared them over time. When you set it up, you will dusplay a different number when you call out.

  • sminey

    i’d really love for you to detail battery life. not just a vague description like good or last you through the day with moderate use, blah, blah…

    i’d want to find out how much surfing you did, how much calling, video watching, music listening, etc before you had to charge.

    reviews regarding battery life have been mixed and very vague. hope you will do better. thanks.

    • I can do that…I’m not one for a standard battery test of looping web pages for hours on end which is in way no shape or form real world use. I’ll keep a good list of how I use the phone, and how it drains during that usage.

      • Iucidium

        Real life usage ftw!

      • aaronfg

        and go to Settings–>Battery–>Screen and write down the total time listed for “Time on”

        That’s the real number we need to see.

        • Richard Yarrell

          On my Note 2 I have gotten 7hrs on screen time and 19hrs of battery life on one day. That’s more than great for me. Since my device is new 1 week old come Thursday November 22nd i am still doing testing. No Lg Nexus 4 can touch that. .

        • spann37

          I think the smaller battery for a smaller phone may have something to do with that.

      • Todd_the_Hunn

        Read an article U did earlier saying it had no wi-fi calling . That would have to be a dislike yes ? For me thats deal breaker if true .

        • Anon Delivers

          Of course it has mo wifi-calling. Can’t go polluting the purity with apps that depend on a carrier. And if you think it’s only an apk, think again. Wifi calling requires several libs as well as lines added to build.prop or default.prop

        • kaw kaw

          just use groove ip

        • BigMixxx

          or vonage. I like groveip. It’s pretty cool…

    • OnlineRefugee

      Battery life? There’s always someone on the Net asking about battery life. No device has long-lasting battery life. Fact is, battery technology is not there yet. Won’t be for about five more years.

      Until then manufacturers will tweak this and that to give the appearance of better battery life than competitors, but in reality with all that people do with their phones, 8 to 10 hours is about it.

      Whiners put the display on 100% brightness, haptic feedback everything, leave WiFi, BlueTooth on, even if not being used, send and receive 100 e-mails and texts daily, watch movies, download 10 apps a day, use the camera, camcorder, and go to sleep at night playing MP3 files, etc., etc. Then they complain that the 1500 to 2000 mAh battery does not last long.

      For a real laugh type in the name of your favorite device and “battery life sucks” in quotes and you will find amateurs acting like experts saying, for example, the iPhone 5’s battery life sucks.

      • OnlineRefugee

        Here’s an example of what I mean:

        • I have the iPhone 5, battery life is fantastic, easily one of the best I’ve ever owned.

      • tek

        guess u havent heard of the razr maxx. its fine. batteries CAN be good when the manufacturer puts focus on them. but they rather focus on gimmicks to get the sales. simple as that.

  • PeteJames1138

    So David you’re on the fence about the glass back but do you dislike it anymore than the glass back on the iPhone 4S?

    • I never liked the glass black of the iPhone either and had to replace 3 over the life of ownership. I was ok with that however because those drops and falls were not subtle nor would I have expected anything else to survive. I’m not one for using a case, so that’s also my fault. As to your question, I’m not concerned about this either, but if it did fall, I don’t necessarily believe it will escape unscathed.

      • remister

        Naked phones!. I am scared to drop the phone for the first time, whenever that is to happen.

  • alfonzso

    Having owned numerous HTC and Samsung Android phones, the Nexus 4 is unbelievable. I love it! I am never going back to skinned Android.

  • Nate33x

    I got my N4 on Monday and am very happy with it. Had to switch to a micro-SIM, though. The phone feels much more polished and fast (and I’m coming from a GN with 4.1.1). I made a decision long ago that I will only buy Nexus phones. I tried the GSIII but can’t stand the bloated cartoonish interface.. Now waiting for the Google N4 bumper case!

  • James Helsby

    You hit the nail on the head with your comments on G2x owners and LG stigma. I bought into the G2x thinking that I was getting pure google, on Tmobile. The latest incarnation of the G-series. I chose so wrong. I could have bought an S2. I could have bought just a Galaxy. But no. I chose the G2x thinking the dual-core was future-looking, and the G-Series was the best bet at pure google at the time.

    Now, having heavily rom’d and patched my phone, it is still borderline unreliable and Tmobile won’t do dick about it. I promised myself the next phone I got would be the Nexus. And I would NEVER buy another LG phone.

    So I am left with a dilema. It’s time to upgrade. And I can’t bring myself to look at the Nexus. I love it, looks great, seems great, but for me and my LG phobia, I just can’t go for it yet. Add in the lack of wifi-calling, and we are borderline deal-breaker regardless. Wifi-calling is one of the primary reasons I chose Tmobile in the first place.

    • Jordan Williams

      Well if you keep in consideration that the Nexus hardware has to pass Google’s approval, the LG issue becomes almost non existent. I have a Nexus 4. And I love it.

    • phatpaw

      I just picked up my Nexus 4 yesterday. I too was a G2x survivor. I always loved the hardware on the G2x, but the lack of driver support disappointed me to no end even though I had moved my way from CM7 to CM10 on the phone.

      So far, I am loving this Nexus 4. The display is fantastic. At some point I think I may go back to CM, but for now the pure Android is nice.

  • scotty137

    What about lack of storage????? 16 gbs just ain’t enough!

    • samagon

      16gb isn’t enough for you. obviously, it doesn’t seem to be that big a deal for David.

      besides, this article doesn’t seem to be about the hardware, it’s about nexus..

      • Well said @21e2cc4d84ddd3550c891070d14d66db:disqus . If David, someone who runs an unofficial blog of a company that has a 33 million customer base, can manage with 16gbs, Im willing to bet anyone can.

        Consider this… while cloud storage is not ideal, storing some of the not so important pics, or rarely listened to songs would be good for the cloud.One thing I always fear is my phone being stolen. Not because of whats on the phone b/c I can remote lock or wipe the phone. But take out my memory card and you have my life in your hands.

        • Chimphappyhour

          Pay up! You just lost your bet. There’s A LOT of us who can’t. I should know, I had the GNex and hated every time I had to decide what to put on it and what not to put on it.

        • archerian

          I think there are two categories of people – one group can survive with 8GB, as they have email, maybe a few ringtones and a few occasional camera pics, who use it more as a communication device (voice, email, facebook, text etc.) with the occasional photo clicks. The other group (in addition to the stuff the first group have) download and store a lot of music, videos etc. In short, 8GB/16GB is plenty enough for the first group, 32 or even 64 will not be enough for the latter. To each their storage.

        • @chimphappyhour:disqus I actually instagram more than most. So not only is my picture taking not soaking up my memory but my screen shots, edit, and creations. I think the key here is organizing. Because if I just have a million pics in my folers, it will be monkey NUTS trying to find a pic that I need at a certain time. And yes chimphappyhour, monkey nuts was pun intended.


    Got the Nexus 7 for my daughter and have to say that 4.2 is amazing. I cannot wait until the nexus 4 is available for employee upgrades.

  • Tim

    I played with a Nexus 4 in a T-Mobile store for about 2 hours while I’m still waiting for the Play store to get more stock. The thing I liked the most about the phone was the design even though I felt like it was to light for some reason. I did have an issue with the back overheating to a pretty significant temperature but I also had it plugged in and was multitasking like a mad man so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt. The OS wasn’t my concern because I’ve been using it on my Nexus 7 for the past week which I love. I’ll be buying this phone the second I can get my hands on it but one question is whether this rumor of a white one is true….

  • ruffneck

    Got my N4 and love it. Just looking at options to get voip calling going as 100 mins is tight :)

    • @545988dc2cd481015575c4ee174271fb:disqus have you tried tmobile bobsled?

      • ruffneck

        I haven’t tried this but looking into it. I am testing Sipdroid right now and it seems to work well enough but h as outdated UI and causes issues with the data connection.

  • Brad

    David, how is the fluidity of the device as it compares to the Galaxy Nexus and latest iteration of the iPhone?

  • Dave

    Nexus 4 owners: does that phone respect settings for ‘vibrate on alert’ in vibrate-only mode? My Galaxy Nexus with 4.2 does not. By this I mean, I set up the Gmail app for notifications to never vibrate, but they still do. This isn’t just a problem with the gmail app, the stock messaging app behaves the same way. And yes, this all worked fine with 4.1.

    • trjcasper

      are you using light flow app? Most GN users have light flow installed to manage the led notifications. Trouble is, light flow also can manage vibration and ringers and people inadvertently set the app to control them and create a redundant notification. Then when they change their notification requirements in say gmail but forget to change the setting in light flow they get confused as to why the phone still rings or vibrates.


    Just switched yesterday evening from my first Android phone, G2, to a Nexus 4 (that I’ve ordered last week Tuesday from Google Play). It’s night and day for the screen, the O/S, and pretty much everything about it. Except that it’s not easy to still type as fast as I did with the physical keyboard on the G2.

    I was really pushing to get my next smartphone with a kick-ass camera, like on the Lumia 920, but in the end I couldn’t live with waiting another 6-months until AT&T released their exclusivity deal with Nokia.

    So I’ll suck it up, use the N4 camera when needed, and rely on the Nikon D80 and P300 for real camera shots. But going from the G2 to the N4 is a HUGE upgrade on the camera.

    • like the 900 before it, the 920 will never come to TMO.

      • PiCASSiMO

        In 6-months, I may end-up giving my N4 to my wife, buy the 920 from AT&T for $450 and unlock it right after, use it on T-Mobile’s refarmed 1900 network.

  • Daragh

    You know, so many are focusing on the lack of LTE as being a major issue with the N4; LTE isn’t the only flavor of ‘4G’, as T-mo will remind you.

    I’m seeing 12M speeds on my N4 over HSPA+, and that’s faster than my U-Verse home Internet.

    Otherwise, I’m getting used to the form factor, going from the near-perfect Nexus S. Since I already have JB, it’s not a big experience difference, but I really notice the raw speed. Loving it overall.

    • Ted

      I agree. I noticed you can stream high quality video at about 3mbps without any stuttering so why do we need speeds over 10mbps? Currently on T-Mobile I can usually get between 5 and 10, so why does it need to be faster? Unless I am downloading torrents I don’t see the need for more speed. Webpages load super quick as it is, I can videoconference and stream HD video no problem, stream music, etc

  • I’ll wait and see if they come out with one in white. Getting tired of black phones but I really want a Nexus 4 even though I hear the battery and camera sucks. I can care less about wi-fi calling.

  • Ted

    I feel sorry for the G2x owners who claim they will never buy LG again. They are missing out on some of the top phones out today. I have an Optimus LG 4x HD and it is superb and this Nexus 4 looks fantastic as well and the Optimus G is getting rave reviews. LG has come a long way since the G2x (which I had and suffered through the reboots and freeze ups too)

  • Foodie #2

    I’ve had mine now and been putting through good daily usage.

    The criticism are all valid. Yes, the camera is better than the Galaxy Nexus but certainly not better than the GSIII. It is still a pretty good camera for all the shots you will need.

    As for LTE. I’m on T-Mobile. The speed I get in NYC is actually pretty decent. Yes, it would have been nice to have LTE but seriously, by the time if/when T-Mobile does have LTE I’ll be on another phone by then.

    The glass back which everyone is making such a fuss about. Personally, maybe i don’t have jittery coffee shakes or extremely anal but all my phones are in perfect condition. Okay, so you have to maybe ‘take’ care of the phone more instead of throwing it around. It is actually nice that an Android users treated as ‘precious’ as users of the other fruit.

    Another fuss that seems to be brought about and the tech blogsphere has gotten on the bandwagon like it is the end of the world. Let’s put this in perspective. This only affects in the Peoples not in the Calendar. Yes, December is there. Yes, Santa will come December 24th. I personally, don’t use the People that much to begin with and yes, Google will certainly fix it.

    My biggest concern is more of the battery life and storage. Battery life seem to really vary on some day. Maybe I’ve been use to begin able to replace my battery so I will need to get use to it. I’ve brought a little external battery just in case. Storage (16GB) is enough for me but I can potential see a problem as I start to put my music and as I take more pictures.

    In the end this is a darn nice phone for price and looks to match it. Just ashame the people on Verizon/Sprint won’t get to experience it.

    • exeot

      I don’t know why you were down-voted there. This is a whole lot of phone for close to half of what comparable phones are going for. Try out the wireless charging few note about it if you’re interested.

  • Chimphappyhour

    I used to be one of those that liked to talk up the the Nexus phones but I have to say that has come to an end. Google is pushing the cloud too much and the idea just doesn’t work. No large memory capacities or lack of removable storage is a big non-starter and will only get bigger. Sometimes a signal just isn’t available, like when flying. Sometimes a carrier puts a cap on your data. When they don’t cap you, they reserve the right to throttle you. (Check the fine print, it’s there and they definitely use it!) I’ve tried streaming music while driving. It stops to buffer every so often. That doesn’t happen when playing from local memory.

    And lucky you if you do live somewhere that has TMo’s full HSPA network. Where I live, they didn’t bother upgrading it all the way because they switched focus to LTE build out. Want fast speeds? Better have a phone that will operate on their LTE spectrum because you’re not going to get much on their HSPA network in some places.

    Nope, I can’t suggest this phone for TMo.

    • spann37

      As someone who uses the cloud daily, I feel sorry for you. I used 14GB of data last month, streaming movies on Netflix, Music on Google Music, and other videos on Google Play. On T-Mobile, Not throttled at all. When I’m going on long trips, I just download the music and podcast that I’m going to listen to, and when I get to my destination, I delete it off of my phone. No need to keep it there if I always have access to it. I’m good.

  • I was so happy when this phone was announched for T Mobile, been holding my upgrade for a while, and wanted my next phone to be pure Aandroid-Nexus device. The Wi-fi calliing isn’t an issue for me, I’ve never used it. The real sticking point for me is no sd card slot, and only 16GB of internal memory. I know that’s not enough for me & I like having anything I want, on my sd card, on the phone. I’ve been going back between this & the S3. The N4 is newer, a Google phone with many of Googles little features, will get the updates instantly, etc. In dealing with a Nexus phone, there’s no need to really root it right, because it doesn’t have all he bloatware and everything right? So, less instances to need to pull a removable battery, right? The lack of LTE isn’t an issue right now because T Mobile doesn’t have an LTE network right now. But, my next phone I will have for at least a year and a half, so some form of LTE may be in place in that time, so that’s also something to consider. My contract is also up next month, and ill be free to take my biz elsewhere, but I’ve decided to stick to T Mobile, no other carrier offers plans for the same or better services, for the price I pay, I have a legacy plan. I know when I upgrade they are going to try to have me switch plans to get a subsidy on a phone, but I’m not trying to change plans. Not to mention, this Friday I may be able to get a S3 cheap, a few places will have it for $.96 and $50 w/ a 2 yr deal. Can I really pass that kind of deal up? I could always geta Nexus 4 later, from Google if I want it, without have to renew my contract again

  • Mirad77

    Guys shut the f*ck up and complain about something else other than the camera. This is a fricking phone for crying out loud. Buy a Sony or Nikkon or Olympus if you want a good camera or another phone. There is over 300 Android phones out there and not everyone was made for every body, buy the other phone. All these whining is not going change anything as there is some that come and complain about every phone coming out lacking this or that. It is getting old, if it’s not for you then move on. Seriously!

  • Whitney

    Who the heck am I kidding? I can’t afford Verizon or AT&T. If I stay with T-mobile should I get note 2 or this one or samsung s3? Also I been on the family plan but I missed my upgrade in june. I have not upgrade my phone in since 2010. Will I be able to upgrade my phone and removed myself from my current family plan

  • GwapoAko

    So when can we buy this beast again?

  • wanderson

    note 2 is better!

  • steveb944

    Can’t wait for the review David.

    Anyone know what stores stock them in the South Florida area? Apparently Broward didn’t get any. I’m willing to drive to Palm Beach or Miami to check one out in store b4 Google restocks and I order online

  • Dug Doodle

    I’ve used my nexus 4 for a few days now and it’s awesome! If the LG logo on back worries you, cover it up with a case because there is NOTHING LG about this phone. Same thing with my wife’s galaxy nexus. There’s a samsung logo on back, but there’s nothing samsung about it. As long as Google is controlling everything, and they create the most bang for the buck, they can put whatever logo on back they want. I’ll still be interested!

  • John

    I’ve been very frustrated that the Bluetooth microphone doesn’t work with Google Voice Search. Is this fixed on the Nexus 4?

    Can I be in the car, click voice search, and say “note to self… you are awesome”????


  • Dug Doodle

    By the way, battery life is the same as all other smart phones i’ve used. Charge it every day.

  • Richard Yarrell

    I walked into my favorite tmobile store in Manhattan on Thursday November 15th. I purchased my Galaxy Note 2 as promised but spent 1hr before purchasing playing with the Lg Nexus 4. I wasn’t overwhelmed at all I thought the device was rather boring and offered no pazaz at all. Yes it was fast and I updated the floor model to android 4.2 from 4.1.2 the camera was kool but just not Galaxy Note 2 kool. Overall stockvis simply boring and offers nothing of any importance. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 just slaps the Lg Nexus 4 silly but I will gladly say for the 2hrs i was in the tmobile store over 20 people came in to play with the device. 7 people purchase the phone 5 people purchased Galaxy Note 2 devices and 2 people purchased Galaxy S3 devices. I am proud of my purchase of the Galaxy Note 2 and very happy tmobile has the Lg Nexus 4 it will be great for business.

    • James

      Touchwiz sucks and you are an idiot with your constant whining, most people here disagree with you

      • ebatr8

        you sir are the idiot, he stated his opinion and as a matter of fact, I own most android phones that come T-Mobile’s way and can say its not a bad one. I have used stock android both stock, and rooted such as aokp, cm10 etc… all this is a matter of opinion but Samsung offers much more with TW on the Note2 then any other company with other software. The Samsung software is top notch on the Note 2 here are just a couple advantages the note 2 offers. Multi-Window, S Note, S Pen, Voice Command for Apps, Stock Note Gallery, File Manager, All Share, WiFi Direct, Stock Widgets, Incredible Battery Life, Camera. Those are only a few if we pull out a nexus out of the box and a note not only will my note last longer on battery but i will need less apps to use some of the phones great features. Most people would not disagree with him as the GS3 is a better selling phone then the nexus devices. Seriously next time you put someone down like that learn what your talking about, he even said the nexus will be great for business because its a good device, the Galaxy series will always sell more, more accessible and more features that appeal to simpler consumers.

  • CellDad

    Great article on the Nexus – the biggest reason they probably didn’t go with Samsung is they have their own mobile software they are trying to push now.

  • bustedmagnet

    Upgraded from a HTC MyTouch 4g and I am loving it. The most striking thing to me is how fast this phone is. Another thing is how much better Android OS is. A much cleaner overall experience while still giving you the ability to customize everything. My only gripe is the glass back, I find myself babying the thing and constantly checking for cracks. I really need to get a nice case but the selections are a bit limited for now.

    • Jimmy768s

      wait for the Diztronic TPU Nexus 4 case on Amazon (will come out next week or early Dec). It is the best case brand I was able to find for my Galaxy Nexus. Fits like a glove, barely noticeable and doesn’t stick to your pockets like other cases.

  • PD_Fresh

    Gotta say that I’m still on the fence about buying another Nexus device (own an N7) after Duarte’s answer about why this doesn’t have a MicroSD. Then again I’m the kind of person who would shoot himself in the foot to spite his leg (or something like that).

  • Oleg O.

    Earpiece always keeps buzzing. Discomfort during calls, maybe wastes battery while screen is off.
    Dozens of people have this issue. Do you?

  • The Nexus 4 appears to be a phenomenal phone, and I can’t wait to get one for myself. I use Pandora for music and Netflix for movies, so I don’t need a big micro-SD card. And now that I’ve got an unlimited everything service plan (including 4G data), this unlocked GSM phone is exactly the hardware upgrade that I need! Here’s a quick 1-min video of the no-contract plan that I’m enjoying – and hope to use the Nexus 4 on soon!

  • OnlineRefugee

    Isn’t this lacking a microSD slot? If so, that’s the deal breaker for me.

    Another aspect of these phones is what David alludes to and mentions, the size of these “phones” is getting to the breaking point.

    The fact is I have hated just about everything Apple does as a company and I don’t like the iPhone (so much so that I have said I would not use an iPhone if Apple gave it to me for free). But there is one thing Apple said about the iPhone 5 that I actually find agreement with.

    Apple said that it kept the 5’s display size at 4″ because people wanted to be able to use the phone with one hand. When I heard that I said to myself what a bunch of horsesheet. I figured this was typical Apple planned obsolescence, it would bring out a 4.3″ display next year, trumpeting that as one of the reasons to get the iPhone 6, a larger display.

    But when Apple said that I started to pay attention to how I used the phone. I had to admit to myself Apple was right. I liked being able to interface with the phone with one hand. (I was able to compare functionality by using my sister’s old SGS Vibrant, that has a 4″ display, with my SGS Skyrocket, that has a 4.5″ display. I have small hands. I really liked being able to check e-mails, scroll pages, or dial the phone with my thumb. I could do all that with the Vibrant (and the SGS Captivate I have). But the SGS II Skyrocket required two hands for most operations.)

    Moreover, I have a solid grip on the SGS Vibrant and Captivate handsets, the larger display phones are simply too big to have a good hold on them.

    Of course everyone is different and there’s plenty of guys with big hands who like the heft of a 4.5″ ++ phone. But I have to assume Apple deliberated a long time over which size display to put on the iPhone 5. I suspect they calculated the average hand size, including most women, and concluded a 4″ display (with the resulting size of the case) was ideal.

    In regards to locked memory, IMO that’s simply a money grab by Google to force everyone on to cloud computing. Google intends to dominate the world with its peddling ads everywhere we turn. Google is salivating at spying on its users, in every aspect of their lives. Snooping at files we store on Google clouds is one more way the Company will perfect its revenue generating machine.

    To h€ll with that.

    • BizzaBoy

      Interesting comment. I do have a Nexus 4 here, and it feels to big next to my 3.7″ older device. My hands are not small, but single handed operation with my thumb only just doesn’t work.

  • Jeff Martinez

    Absolutely love mine its IMO the best phone out there, for sheer value and performance its unrivaled, yes, unrivaled

  • Joseph Tongret

    I’ve been using the Nexus 4, and while I appreciate what it is and what it represents, I still find the Note 2 to fit my needs best. As odd as it may sound, I’m actually worried that the 5.5 display has made it virtually impossible for me to choose a smaller device as my primary. The speed of the Note 2 is definitely up to par with any other cpu, amoled screens are acceptable while far from the most beautiful, and I probably only use the S Pen 15% of the time while rarely using any of its incorporated gestures and functionalities. But, the size of the screen is indefinitely a feature that a media junkie like myself will have a hard time putting down for anything even slightly smaller! The Nexus 4 however, is most likely the device I would recommend to anyone who would be interested in my opinion, as it’s much more practical to the average consumer, and power users alike.

  • Krelia

    I’m a big fan of the device. It’s a good size, good feel, and stock android is amazing.

    Yeah, there are hiccups on some things (the dropdown icon for Brghtness for example doesn’t do anything for me, have to adjust in settings) they need to update or fix but all in all I am pleasantly impressed with my Nexus 4. Camera is a bit grainy indoors but for me, I don’t buy phones to take pictures so it’s a non-issue. (If that’s your draw probably better off with an S3)

    Battery live is so/so, comparable to other devices (for the most part) which means if you are gaming, videos, etc it doesn’t last very long. Kind of waiting for better wireless charging stations though to be released to make use of that feature on the phone.

    Otherwise I’ll be sticking with this particular phone for a good amount of time.

  • Divine Tumenta

    one of the best smartphones out there…as T-Mobile gets better with their signals I hope we have more of this..


  • Not the best phone, but best phone for the price.

  • I’m happy that the Note 2 is future proofed for LTE but I have to say I did a speed test yesterday at my local watering hole and holy crap I have never gotten HSPA+ speeds like what I was getting. I got 25mbps down consistently. Previously the best I ever got was 22mbps and that was more of a fluke. I average around 10mbps.

    All I’m saying is that when it comes to the Nexus 4, it does suck that it is not future-proofed but since T-Mobile’s HSPA+ is so incredibly amazing it’s not the end of the world.

    On another note (pun intended), I highly recommend the Note 2

  • Noel

    Just saw a video where the N4 was enabled to use LTE in some Canadian carriers…it seemed easy to get it working on LTE…awesome. Seems this thing is future proofed for the upcoming Tmo LTE..maybe even Att. So David Go deep LTE diving for more info on this find and let us all know what is cooking from this amazing Qualcomm chip…which from what i read a while back is capable of a lot more.

  • ratnok

    The Nexus has LTE on band 4. You can’t use LTE on ATT, but you can on Canadian carriers, and band 4 is what T-Mobile will be using for LTE. That means that for T-Mobile users, it DOES have LTE. Also, the “December” issue has nothing to do with the calendar or any other apps accept when manually adding a birthday to the PEOPLE app. If you use Facebook or Google+ for birthdays, it is meaningless. The N$ has already been drop tested:

  • jbhotnessmon

    PEOPLE DON’T BE FOOLED ITS AN LG PHONE… they are going to screw you over one way or another take this from a g2x owner the support from lg is going to be nil. Don’t buy from lg ever

    • tomnewtn

      Funny, my G2X works great. TMO sent it to me after they updated it to GB over a year ago.

  • Paulie22B

    I’m reading this on my G2X, LG should send me one free of charge for all the wasted time I’ve spent having to reset this lemon. T-MOBILE is just as at fault to for ignoring this problem. Fuck LG and T-Mobile, Merry Christmas everyone!

  • MIke

    you get all that with the Note 2 just more of it , LG sucks and i will never buy another one of their crappy phones after the gsx. And the updates arguement is weak who keeps a phone longer than a year anymore