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Nexus 4


Google's Nexus 4 

Ultimate Android phone or squandered opportunity?

 

 


Google's Nexus 4: Ultimate Android phone or squandered opportunity?


The Unicorn: The Google Nexus 4 is a great deal at $309 but it isn't available for sale anymore because not enough stock was provided to online buyers.

Photograph by: Handout , Google




It has been two weeks since Google made its new flagship smartphone, the Nexus 4, available for sale and it sold out online within an hour.

The Nexus 4 is attractive because it is the first smartphone to offer the latest Android 4.2 operating system. It also has a gorgeous 4.7-inch HD display, Near Field Communications (NFC), wireless charging and a powerful 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor backed by 2GB of RAM and it is available for a contract-free price of $309 and it can be used on a number of carriers.

Full review after the break

At that price and with those features, the Nexus 4 would have generated iPhone-like lines around the block had it been available for sale in retailers like Best Buy or Future Shop. Instead, Google opted to sell the device exclusively online through its Google Play Store.

Google also didn't limit the number of devices per buyer, nor did it make enough stock available, which is surprising since it has been selling similar devices online for a number of years now.

Google's failure to provide a coherent online purchasing experience didn't just lead to many of their most avid supporters failing to secure Nexus 4 devices, it enabled gross exploitation by grey market speculators.

Many of the Nexus 4 smartphones purchased on launch date have now ended up for sale on eBay and Craigslist for exorbitant prices.

Built by LG for Google, the Nexus 4 is based largely on the specifications and features of LG's Optimus G Superphone, which is arguably the most powerful Android smartphone in the Canadian market in terms of raw performance.

Largely subsidized by Google, Nexus devices started out as developer tools where application programmers could test the latest software and run the apps that they were developing. Since then, Nexus devices have been the cool Android devices to have.

Google has released smartphones under the Nexus brand for a number of years now in partnership with manufacturers like HTC and Samsung. Usually featuring next-year's technology as well as an easily upgradeable operating system, Nexus smartphones and tablets receive software long before other devices do since Google manages the process.

Knowing this, why aren't most Android smartphones more like the Nexus 4? If they all ran stock Android OS without any pre-loaded manufacturer or carrier add-ons and applications wouldn't it be easier for Google to manage over the air software upgrades?

The answer to this lies with manufacturers, many of who are pushing their own app and content initiatives. They have their own services and books, videos and music to sell and they also don't want to keep paying Google license fees for each successive version of the Android OS.

As for the Nexus 4, it is an attractive device especially for Android users who are looking for a great contract free handset. But the fact that Google has failed to make it easily available is a huge missed opportunity which might sway loyal Android and Nexus fans to look elsewhere in the highly competitive smartphone market.

Announced:29 Oct 2012Market status:ReleasedRelease date:13 Nov 2012



  • Quad core processor
  • Very fast processor (1500 MHz)
  • Lots of RAM (2048 MB RAM)
  • Very big display (4.7 inches)
  • Extremely high pixel density screen, over 300ppi (318 ppi)
  • High-resolution display (768 x 1280 pixels)
  • High-resolution camera (8 megapixels)
  • Fast mobile data support (4G)
  • Global phone that can work on any GSM/UMTS network in the world
  • NFC
  • HDMI connector for TV-out (via microUSB)

Cons

  • Lacks microSD slot for storage expansion

DESIGN

  • Device type:
    • Smart phone
  • OS:
    • PopupAndroid (4.2.1, 4.2)
  • Dimensions:
    • 5.27 x 2.70 x 0.36 (133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm)
  • Weight:
    • 4.90 oz (139 g)
      the average is 4.1 oz (117 g)

DISPLAY

  • Physical size:
    • 4.7 inches
  • Resolution:
    • 768 x 1280 pixels
  • Pixel density:
    • 318 ppi
  • Technology:
    • IPS LCD
  • Colors:
    • 16 777 216
  • Touchscreen:
      • Capacitive, Multi-touch
  • Features:
    • Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass

BATTERY

  • Talk time:
    • 15.30 hours
      the average is 8 h (507 min)
  • Stand-by time:
    • 16.2 days (390 hours)
      the average is 19 days (464 h)
  • Capacity:
    • 2100 mAh

HARDWARE

  • System chip:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064
  • Processor:
    • Quad core, 1500 MHz, Krait
  • Graphics processor:
      • Adreno 320
  • System memory:
    • 2048 MB RAM
  • Built-in storage:
    • 8 GB

CAMERA

  • Camera:
      • Popup8 megapixels
    • Flash:
      • LED
    • Features:
      • PopupAuto focus, Face detection, Smile detection, Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets, Burst mode, Digital zoom, Geo tagging, Panorama, Scenes, Effects, Voice activation
  • Camcorder:
      • 1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)
    • Features:
      • Video calling
  • Front-facing camera:
      • 1.3 megapixels

MULTIMEDIAPopup

  • Music player:
    • Filter by:
      • Album, Artist, Playlists
    • Features:
      • Album art cover, Background playback
  • Speakers:
    • Earpiece, Loudspeaker
  • YouTube player:
    • Yes

INTERNET BROWSING

  • Browser:
    • Popup
      • Yes
  • Built-in online services support:
    • YouTube (upload), Picasa

TECHNOLOGY

  • GSM:
    • 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • UMTS:
    • 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz
  • Data:
    • HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS
  • Positioning:
    • A-GPS
  • Navigation:
    • Turn-by-turn navigation

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